Fun, Sun, and Sand at Galveston Island

For a seaside vacation, head to the Texas shoreline for some of the most beautiful beaches alongside the Gulf coast. In particular, Galveston, with its 30-plus miles of beachfront, is a good place to go because of the selection of things to do. There are a number of beaches that accommodate various activities and age groups, so whether you're heading out with a group of buddies or the family, Galveston has something to offer.

The major beach on Galveston Island is an excellent day visit. The beaches are clean, quiet and vast, so they can hold a lot of tourists without feeling crowded. If you travel to this beach, there are a couple of details you should know. First of all, no one can stay on the beach overnight. Campfires and alcohol are prohibited. Pets require a leash. Walking on sand dunes is strictly prohibited. Security guards are scattered around the area watching for lawbreakers.

Although this may seem like a lot of guidelines, they are in place to make this beach a quiet, relaxing day at the water and not a party-laden, litter-strewn college spring break atmosphere. For those who go to the beach to read a book, get some sun, and take a refreshing dip in the water, this is the place to head to.

If you need to drink alcohol while you're on a beach, then head over to the east end of Galveston Island to East Beach. This is the biggest beach by area in Texas, and set up with the party crowd in mind. There is a bar right on the beach, you can lease 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 access to this beach is free also. 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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