There are two main beaches in Galveston: the mellow family beach and the raucous singles beach. Both serve important purposes, but it’s probably best they’re separated.
The family-friendly spot is Stewart Beach (Sixth St. and Seawall Blvd., 409/765-5023, $8 admission per car, Mar.–mid-Oct.), where you’ll find moms, dads, and kids building sand castles, playing volleyball, and body surfing. Nearby amenities include a children’s playground with water slides, umbrella and chair rentals, concession area, souvenir shop, restrooms, and a bathhouse.
Things get a bit crazier at East Beach (1923 Boddeker Dr., 409/762-3278, $8 admission per car, Mar.–mid-Oct.). This is where Houston’s younger crowd comes to party, a rare surfside treat since East Beach is one of the few places where drinking is legal on the beach. As a result, you’ll find more concerts, promotions, and festivals than other public stretches of shoreline. Up to 7,000 cars can pack the beach (parking and drinking/sunbathing is a popular activity) and the bar area is a magnet for partygoers. East Beach also includes restrooms with showers, volleyball courts, chair and umbrella rentals, and a souvenir shop.
© Andy Rhodes from Moon Texas, 6th Edition