21+ Best San Antonio Beaches to Visit in 2024

San Antonio, Texas may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of beach destinations, you can find plenty of sandy spots to enjoy the sun and water! There are several amazing San Antonio beaches to explore on a hot summer afternoon or on a weekend getaway.

While San Antonio is not located on the coast, there are several lakes and rivers in the area that offer a beach-like experience and coastal beaches just a couple of hours away!

We live in Central Texas just a couple hours from San Antonio and it is easily one of the best spots to visit in the area. We are beach lovers through and through and love that beaches in San Antonio offer some new hidden gems to explore! We visit them regularly and are excited to share them with you!

In addition to the best Texas beaches themselves, San Antonio also offers a variety of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. From water sports like kayaking and paddle boarding to hiking trails and scenic drives to rich history and culture, there is so much to do in San Antonio.

Texas Beach path near San Antonio

Best San Antonio Beaches

San Antonio is a city known for its rich history, culture, and attractions. However, it is also home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Texas. Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly spot or a place to relax and soak up the sun, check out the best San Antonio beaches below.

Guadalupe River State Park

Located just outside of San Antonio, Guadalupe River State Park is a beautiful park that offers visitors a chance to enjoy the great outdoors. The park has four miles of riverfront that are perfect for swimming, Guadalupe River tubing, and kayaking. This beach is made of pebbles here rather than sand, but the water is cool and refreshing.

Guadalupe State Park

You will also find several picnic areas and hiking trails if you want to explore the park’s natural beauty. We are fans of the Honey Creek Area’s guided hikes on Saturday mornings.

Blanco State Park

Blanco State Park is less busy than some of the other more popular state parks that provide beaches in San Antonio. But swimming is the perfect activity along this beautiful stretch of river. The park is small with one mile riverfront property to explore.

With little ones, you’ll want to check out the shallow wading pool near Falls Dam. You can also rent tubes or kayaks at the park store or bring your own.

If you want to camp for a night or two, they full hookup sites, sites with water and electricity, and screened shelters with cots along the river. Picnic tables and grills are provided along the river as well for yummy day trip picnics.

Rio Vista Park

Rio Vista Park in San Marcos offers a deep swimming hole that makes for a great day of water fun. You can also bring your own tube or kayak, or rent one from the Lion’s Club and use their shuttle for one way transportation upstream.

The river banks are made up of rock slabs (but are so picturesque!) so bring those water shoes for traction.

Plenty of other amenities make this spot perfect for a summer day out. Enjoy the tennis courts, basketball courts, picnic tables, swimming pool, and hike and bike trails through most months of the year.

Wimberley’s Blue Hole Regional Park

Wimberley’s Blue Hole is a natural spring-fed swimming hole located just outside of San Antonio. While not a typical beach with sand, the pool is surrounded by cypress trees and grass with several picnic areas.

Wimberley's beautiful Blue Hole with rope swing and swimming area

The water is crystal clear most of the year and perfect for swimming. We visit here multiple times every year and it is one of our favorites! You’ll want to bring some floaties or tubes, as the water can be chilly. There are two rope swings which are great fun! My children spend HOURS jumping from them every time we go.

Always on our summer bucket list, this is a great spot in Wimberley for families to spend the day. Reservations are required so be sure to do that in advance. Weekends do fill up a bit early, so this is one spot where it is really worth planning ahead.

Jacob’s Well (closed)

A unique, iconic swimming hole in Wimberley, Jacob’s Well is no longer open to swimming. For those that are interested in a hike and a picnic, you might find it still worth the visit. This spot is a amazingly beautiful with a deep well that offers a great view as well as a fun rock jumping spot.

We are locals to this area and will keep an eye on this one and update it’s status if they reopen it for swimming when water levels come up!

Canyon Lake -Swimming Beach #1 (and #2) at Canyon Park Beach

Canyon Lake offers several great swimming spots around lake and two of the best at Swimming Beach #1 and #2. The first is much larger, but they are right next to each other and both offer a great sandy, lakefront beach near San Antonio.

These beaches are popular spots for swimming, boating, and sunbathing. The sandy shoreline and clear waters are perfect for swimming. The swimming area is a designated, roped off area. It also has several picnic areas as well as volleyball nets and tetherball, making it a great spot for families to spend the day.

Vehicle admission is $20 ($5 for locals).

Comal Park

Comal Park is one of the most popular beaches in San Antonio. It is located on the south shore of Canyon Lake and offers visitors a wide range of activities, including swimming, fishing, and boating.

You can choose from the sandy beach area or set up on the rock ledge on the other side of the peninsula. You’ll find restrooms, picnic tables, grills, and a boat ramp at this San Antonio beach. Kids will love the on-site playground.

This place gets BUSY on the weekends. Plan to arrive close to opening (around 8am) to make sure to get in. They often fill up before 10am. Admission is $20 per vehicle (or $5 if you are a county local). The beaches closes at 6pm in the summer, so don’t plan to stay for sunset.

With its clear waters and sandy beach, Comal Park is a must-visit for anyone looking for a fun day out in the sun.

Canyon Overlook Park

Canyon Overlook Park is a hidden gem in San Antonio and we are huge fans! It is located on the north side of the city and offers visitors stunning views of the Texas Hill Country. The park has a mile one loop hiking trail as well as the Verada Reel walking trail.

While you won’t find a large, busy beach area at Canyon Overlook, you will find several unofficial swimming areas just begging for you to take a dip. You’ll need to take the paths that stem from the main trail to reach the waterfront, so expect a bit of rock scrambling (but nothing too crazy).

There aren’t picnic tables here, but there are restrooms and plenty of parking. Entry is free.

Krause Springs

Located in charming Spicewood, Krause Springs is a privately owned property with a spring-fed pool and beautiful swimming hole along the limestone banks. The highlight of this beach-y swimming spot is the waterfall that flows into the natural pool. It is simply stunning!

Krause Springs swimming area with waterfall

Pose on the rocks for a fun photo or just “shower” in the chilly falls. We like to bring floaties here too; there are free air pumps you can use. The rope swing is also a huge hit with my boys!

No reservations are needed here, but plan to pay admission with cash (costs more if you use a credit card!). We also like to arrive early to enjoy the natural beauty in peace before the larger crowds arrive later in the day. It does get busy, but it has never felt too over crowded to us.

Krause Springs holds a special place in our hearts – we love it so much and often spend Mother’s Day there. If you haven’t checked it out, don’t miss adding this one to your summer bucket list!

>>> Read Next: Beautiful Natural Springs in Texas (that you can swim in!)

Hamilton Pool Preserve (often closed)

Hamilton Pool Preserve is a natural swimming hole located just outside of San Antonio. The pool is formed by a 50-foot waterfall that drops into a beautiful turquoise pool. The preserve also has several hiking trails that lead to scenic overlooks. Popular photos show gorgeous photos taken from behind the falls, but this is no longer allowed due to falling rocks.

Hamilton Pool Preserve in Dripping Springs, Texas

Due to its popularity, visitors must make reservations in advance to visit the preserve. *The pool is often closed to swimming due to contamination, so be sure to check their site for updates.

Garner State Park

Garner State Park is a BEAUTIFUL spot and one of the most popular along the Frio River. This is a great spot to hop in with an inner tube and ride down the river. Or you can set up a picnic along the shoreline and spend the day near the banks of this lovely San Antonio beach. Don’t expect sand here, but grassy shorelines and beautiful, mature trees make this one of our favorites on this list.

Frio River in Garner State Park

Camping is fantastic here (can’t wait for our reservations this June!). But either way, plan on staying through the evening on summer nights to participate in the historic tradition of dancing along with the jukebox under the beautiful trees!

This is another state park, so bring your annual pass or plan on the usual admission fee. As always, reservations are highly recommended as they do fill up!

>>> Read Next: Beautiful State Parks in Texas Hill Country

Top Coastal Beaches near San Antonio

If you’re looking for an ocean beach getaway near San Antonio, you’re in luck! There are plenty of options within driving distance, each with its own unique charm and attractions.

We love exploring these spots and always have an amazing time. Here are some of the top coastal beaches near San Antonio:

Galveston Island State Park

Galveston Island is a popular beach destination located about 4 hours southeast of San Antonio and is definitely one of the best Texas beach towns. The island boasts over 30 miles of coastline, including several public beaches like Stewart Beach and East Beach. For a beautiful quieter beach on the island, we recommend heading away from the seawall and setting up your umbrella at Galveston Island State Park. Admission is free with your state parks pass or $10 per adult otherwise.

You can also explore the historic Strand District, ride the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, or visit the Moody Gardens Aquarium. Our hands down favorite activity in Galveston is taking a dolphin watching tour!

Galveston Island beach at sunset

Jamaica Beach

Jamaica Beach is another beach in Galveston that is so worth the visit! You’ll find this little gem just west of Galveston Island State Park. The stretch of sand is quite expansive, but this spot can get busy on peak days.

This beach is free, but without any lifeguards, so be aware of that. There is also a pool and a playground in Jamaica City Beach Park which are perfect when you need a break from the saltwater.

Jamaica Beach is lined with some nice vacation rentals and a hospitable, laid back feel. Local rental spots offer jet skis and paddleboards for some fun water activities.

Port Aransas Beach Park

Port Aransas is a charming beach town located on Mustang Island, about 2.5 hours southeast of San Antonio. The town has a laid-back vibe and plenty of activities for visitors, including fishing charters, dolphin watching tours, surf lessons, and beachcombing. The town also has several restaurants and bars, as well as a lively arts scene.

Golf carts are aplenty in Port A, so plan to rent one for a fun day of exploring the town and finding easy parking on the beach! Beach passes are $12 to park, and you will likely find a crowd near the pier, so head down the beach for some solitude.

Port Aransas Beach at dusk - only a few hours from San Antonio

>>> Read Next: Amazing Things to Do in Port Aransas

San Jose Island

San Jose Island is one of the most unique beaches near San Antonio on our list as it requires a ferry to reach it. Just a short boat ride from Port Aransas, San Jose is a privately owned island offering incredible birding and fishing. The beach is filled with some of the most beautiful sea shells too!

There aren’t any facilities on the island, so you will need to pack in (and out!) everything you need for your adventure.

There are several ferry rides available each day, so check the times and arrive early, but no need for reservations. Tickets for adults are currently $18 and just $9 for children.

Mustang Island State Park

Mustang Island State Park is located on Mustang Island, just south of Port Aransas. The park has over 5 miles of beachfront, as well as opportunities for fishing, birdwatching, and hiking. We love this Texas state park as it is a great option for families with a wide expanse of sand to run and play along with typically gentle waves.

Mustang Island State Park

Mustang Island State Park tends to be quieter than other beaches in Port Aransas, so add it to your itinerary for a relaxing day on the beach – and perhaps a nap under your umbrella?

Since Mustang Island is a state park, you can enter for $5 per adult or free with your Texas State Parks. Occasional special vents take place here too, so watch the calendar for star gazing, nature walks, birding activities, and more.

Malaquite Beach

Padre Island National Seashore is a protected area located on North Padre Island, just south of Corpus Christi. While we rarely meet a beach that we don’t like, it is love at first sight at Padre Island National Seashore! The sand is powdery, the water is clean, and there are much less crowds than other beaches in the area. Head to Malaquite Beach to check out our family favorite spot.

one of the best Beaches Near San Antonio: Malaquite Beach - sandy beach with blue water

The seashore is home to over 70 miles of undeveloped beach, as well as a variety of wildlife, including sea turtles and shorebirds. You can explore the park’s small trails, go fishing, or simply relax on the beach. In the summer months if you get lucky, you can also witness a sunrise sea turtle release from the rescue center – how amazing is that?

Surfside Beach

Surfside Beach is a small beach town just down the coast from Galveston. The town has a relaxed atmosphere and plenty of beachfront for visitors to enjoy. The beach is also popular with kiteboarders and surfers, and there are several rental shops in town also offering kayaks and jet skis.

If you are visiting in fall – spring, you can even horse back ride on the beach!

Head to the jetty and walk the mile-long Bird & Butterfly Trail to see some native winged wildlife. With a boat ramp and plenty of fish to be caught, bringing along your fishing pole wouldn’t be a bad idea!

South Padre Island

South Padre Island is a popular beach destination located about 5 hours south of San Antonio. While this is the farthest beach from San Antonio, it is beautiful! So if you are looking to get away for at least a few days, the drive it totally worth it.

Isla Blanca Beach in South Padre Island

Of all the gorgeous beaches on South Padre, we find that Isla Blanca is the most beautiful Texas beach! Plenty of soft sand and clear water, along with fun water activities, makes this a gorgeous (and fun!) beach to spend the day.

When visitors ask locals where the best beach in Texas is, there is always a resounding “South Padre!” in response. Unless you would like a party, you might avoid this as a Texas spring break destination, but otherwise it is a fantastic option year round.

The island has over 30 miles of beachfront, as well as a variety of activities including dolphin watching tours, horseback riding, and parasailing. The island is also home to several restaurants and shops, as well as the Schlitterbahn Waterpark.

>>> Read Next: Best Texas Beaches on the Gulf Coast

North Beach

North Beach is located in Corpus Christi and is a popular spot for families. The beach has calm waters and plenty of amenities, including picnic tables, showers, and restrooms.

This is honestly not one of our favorite beaches to visit as it feels more like a “city beach” than a nature-filled one. BUT there is so much to do nearby that it can be a great spot if you are exploring the city and want a little beach time. You can explore the nearby USS Lexington Museum or the Texas State Aquarium which are both fantastic.

North beach in Corpus Christi - the closest  coastal beach to San Antonio!

AND…bonus! You will also be close to the largest Whataburger in Texas – it is two stories! My kids had discovered it before our last trip and added it to the itinerary. Burgers with a bay view? Check and check!

Rockport Beach

Rockport Beach is a small beach town located about 2.5 hours southeast of San Antonio. The beach is popular with families due its shallow entry and calm waves. It is also one of four beaches on the Gulf Coast with the Blue Wave Beach title meaning that it is kept especially clean and beautiful for you!

Located close to Port Aransas, there are plenty of amenities, including picnic tables, restrooms, and showers. You can also explore the town’s art galleries or go fishing in the nearby bays.

Beautiful clear water at this beach in Port Aransas!

Beaches in San Antonio FAQs

Does San Antonio have a beach?

The San Antonio area offers several lake and riverfront beaches that are perfect for keeping cool on a hot, summer day. Since San Antonio is located in Central Texas, it will take a couple hours to drive to a coastal beach.

How close is San Antonio to a beach?

It will take 2.5 hours to drive from San Antonio to the Port Aransas and Corpus Christi area beaches. There are several lake and river beaches within an hour of San Antonio.

How long does it take to drive from San Antonio to the beach?

The closest coastal beach to San Antonio is North Padre Island which takes about 2.5 hours to drive.

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