Galveston Island is one of Texas most popular vacation destinations. This 34-mile-long island is located within an hour's drive from Houston. Galveston is full of activities and attractions, but none more popular than the many beaches that surround the island, fronting the Gulf of Mexico. From the east side to the west side, there are a number of great beach access points for visitors to Galveston Island.
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One of Galveston's most popular beaches, Stewart Beach is conveniently located at 6th and Seawall Blvd, just off Broadway. Stewart Beach is family friendly and offers a variety of amenities that make it the perfect spot to take the family for a 'day at the beach.' A children's play area, beach umbrella and chair rentals, an outdoor pavilion, souvenir shop, and freshwater showers ensure visitors have an enjoyable, comfortable visit. Stewart Beach also features a community building that is available for parties, receptions and other special events.
Stewart Beach is located at 6th Street and Seawall Blvd on the northeast side of Galveston Island. Admission is $8 per car and $16 for buses and RVs. Stewart Beach hours of operation are: March through May - 9 am to 5 pm on weekdays, 8 am to 6 pm during weekends; June through September - 8 am to 6 pm on weekdays, 8 am to 7 pm during weekends; October - closed on weekdays; 9 am to 6 pm during the first two weekends only; November through February - closed.
Galveston Island State Park is 2,000 acre state park located on the west end of Galveston Island. Galveston Island State Park was opened to the public in 1975. Since then, this 2,000 acre park on Galveston's west end has provided visitors with a location for an array of outdoor recreational activities, including swimming, fishing, bird watching and camping. Campsite with water and electricity, a fish cleaning station, outdoor showers, two-lane boat ramp, and 4 miles of hiking/mounting biking trails are among the amenities within Galveston Island State Park.
Galveston Island State Park is located on FM 3005 west of the city of Galveston. Entrance fees are $5 per day per person over 13 years old. Campsites range from $15 to $25 per night.
As the name implies, Galveston's East Beach is located on the far eastern edge of the island. Galveston's annual sand castle building competition is held on East Beach, as are a number of other events, festivals, concerts and activities. As is the case with all Galveston beaches, glass containers are not allowed on East Beach. However, alcohol is allowed, making East Beach one of the few beaches on the island where drinking is permitted. East Beach is open daily, although hours of operation vary seasonally. Admission is $8 for cars, $16 for buses and RVs. Chair and umbrella rentals are available.
On the western end of Galveston Island there are three pocket parks in a series of beach access points. Sea Gull Shores Pocket Park 1 is located at FM 3005 and 7 1/2 Mile Road. Sand Castle Beach Pocket Park 2 is at 11745 San Luis Pass Road at 9 Mile Road. In addition to beach access, Sand Castle Beach offers an educational wetlands preserve, rinse-off showers and chair/umbrella rentals. Sea Shell Beach Pocket Park 3 is located at 13315 FM 3005 at 11 Mile Road. This 10-acre park offers excellent beach access. The Pocket Parks are open daily from March through August, weekends in September and is closed October through February. Admission is $8 for cars, $16 for buses and RVs.