(Note: The 2008 hurricane season took a severe toll on Galveston beaches. The text below was written prior to that hurricane season. It's a good idea if you're traveling to Galveston and planning some beach days to call the Galveston CVB and inquire about conditions.)
There are plenty of beaches all around Galveston. Obviously - it's Galveston Island, after all! In fact, there are 32 miles of beachfront on the island. Listed below are a few of the public beaches on the island and some of those beaches' amenities. Some of these are city beaches, but there's also Galveston Island State Park.
East Beach Park
This is a large, wide beach near the ship channel, and while swimming is permitted it is not recommended. There are lots of fishermen here and swimmers run the risk of getting hooked! Cars can be pulled right up to the water's edge in places. There is a jetty near the south end that is a popular fishing spot. Park has pavilion, restrooms and showers. Food is available and alcohol is permitted. There is a parking fee.
Any number of public beaches are located along the Galveston Seawall. Alcohol is not permitted on these beaches, but food is available at some locations. Beachgoers here can rent boogie boards, umbrellas and even surfboards in a few locations. The rock jetties extending out into Galveston Bay make for good fishing, but there are also no-swimming areas around the jetties.
Its reputation is as the "family beach" in Galveston because no alcohol is permitted and there are several attractions the kids will enjoy - a miniature golf course and a waterslide, for example. For the adults, there is a gift shop and food concessions, and peace of mind from the lifeguards who are on duty from spring through early fall. Good parking, but a parking fee applies. Located between the East End and Seawall beaches.
Galveston Island State Park
At slightly more than 2,000 acres in size, this state park is on the west end of Galveston Island. All the swimming in this park is unsupervised (no lifeguards on duty). The camping areas contain shelters and sites with water and electricity. There are four miles of hiking trails. Great spot for quiet beaches, beachcombing, birdwatching and stargazing.
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