Galveston: Where You Can Enjoy Sun, Surf, and Sand

For a seaside vacation, go to the Texas coastline for some of the prettiest beaches alongside the Gulf coast. In particular, Galveston, with its 30-plus miles of beachfront, is a wonderful place to go because of the assortment of things to do. There are a number of beaches that accommodate various activities and age groups, so whether you're going out with a group of pals or the family, Galveston has something to offer.

The main beach on Galveston Island is a fantastic day visit. The beaches are clean, quiet and wide, so they can maintain a lot of tourists without feeling crowded. If you go to this beach, there are a handful of things you should know. First of all, no one can stay on the beach overnight. Campfires and alcohol are prohibited. Pets must be on a leash. Walking on sand dunes is strictly prohibited. Security guards are scattered around the area looking for lawbreakers.

Although this may seem like a lot of rules, they are in place to make this beach a quiet, stress-free day at the water and not a party-laden, litter-strewn college spring break environment. For those who come to the beach to read a book, get some sun, and take a rejuvenating dip in the water, this is the location to head to.

If you must drink alcohol while you're on a beach, then go over to the east end of Galveston Island to East Beach. This is the largest beach by area in Texas, and set up with the party crowd in mind. There is a bar right on the beach, you can rent umbrellas for shade and there’s a volleyball court set up in the summer months. There are also fresh-water showers so you can rinse the salt off your body before heading back.

For the family with smaller children, Steward Beach is your destination. It is set up similar to East Beach but with a children's play area and no bars. Drinking is not allowed on this beach. Parking and entry to this beach is free as well. Keep in mind, though, that there are no public restrooms here, so prepare accordingly. If you want sand and sun in a kid's environment, this is the beach for you.

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