If you're in Texas or traveling to or through Texas this summer, here are the best Texas beaches for family vacations.
Best Texas Beaches for Families – Plan Your Summer Trip Now
These are my favorite Texas beach spots for families. I have firsthand and recent experience with all of these places and recommend them.
1. Cinnamon Shore – Port Aransas
Cinnamon Shore is a condo/vacation home community in Port Aransas. Everything about Cinnamon Shores is a step above everywhere else we've stayed in this area. From the elegant (but still approachable) coastal decor to the high end kitchen equipment, everything about this resort is just so well done.
We stayed in a two bedroom two bathroom unit that was perfect for our family. We had two balconies, access to a gas grill, and a short drive in our golf cart to the beach. Cinnamon Shore can also set up beach service for you so that your chairs will be ready when you get to the water.
There are also on-site amenities, such as dining, a coffee shop and other activities. When we were there recently, there was live music, yoga, and lawn games.
Cinnamon Shores has three pools, a kid's playground, and a fitness center. There is direct beach access, although because of the size of the property and the way it is set up, you'd be most comfortable renting a golf cart to get down to the water. It is walkable but it is a trek, especially if you have younger kids. You can rent a golf cart on site.
To read a more in-depth review of Cinnamon Shore, check out what I've got on the blog.
2. Lively Beach – Mustang Island
Lively Beach is Mustang Island's newest boutique hotel, although I consider it more of a resort than a hotel. We stayed in a one bedroom two bathroom unit with a full kitchen and balcony. The buildings have rooftop decks which are a great place to gather and watch the sun rise or set.
Lively Beach has direct and fairly easy beach access. It's pretty easy to walk down and after you get up the initial set of steps, it would be easy to pull a beach wagon. If you want to drive a golf cart or your car onto the beach access road, Lively Beach is located adjacent to that, so it's an easy hop to the water on wheels.
Lively Beach has a great pool with an adequate amount of shade. The community center was still under construction when we visited so I'm excited to return and see the progress. We visited shortly after Lively Beach's soft opening and loved the peaceful and minimal vibe of the resort.
You can also rent a golf cart on site.
I've got a full write up about Lively Beach on my blog – check it out!
You might also like: Just Add Salt Water – The Ultimate Beach Packing Guide
3. The Mayan Princess – Port Aransas
We have stayed at the Mayan Princess three times, so obviously we've had good experiences there. You'll have to scope out the rooms on their website – there are a variety of sizes and locations.
The property is set up so that all units are facing the beach and have a patio or balcony. We've always stayed in a one bedroom with a set of bunk beds tucked into the living room. The only thing we don't like about this setup is that the bathroom is inside the bedroom, so you can't go into the bathroom and turn on the light without disturbing whoever is sleeping.
The Mayan Princess has three pools – although it kind of seems like one pool because they are all connected. There's plenty of seating and a decent amount of shade. You can also bring your own chairs or canopies to the pool area.
There are a few BBQ grills in the pool area. You're not allowed to grill or have a fire on your balcony or patio.
What I like best about the Mayan Princess is the easy beach access. It's a quick walk from the pool area to the beach and we've always been able to find space for our canopy.
Other than the pool, there are no on-site amenities but it's close enough to Port Aransas and Corpus Christi for shopping and dining.
You might also like: Things to do in South Padre with kids
4. Ocean Village Hotel – Surfside Beach
The Ocean Village Hotel at Surfside Beach is pretty no frills but you absolutely cannot beat the location if you want to stay right on Surfside Beach. It's clean and comfortable and there's an attached restaurant with great food and service.
You can probably get a better deal and perhaps a more well-appointed room if you want to stay in Lake Jackson – the prices at the Ocean Village reflect it's awesome location – and that is what won us over. I would absolutely stay again. We stayed in a double queen room and it was fine for our short stay. They do offer larger options and there's lots of space for gatherings.
Please note: there is no pool.
The hotel website is a little bit clunky. If you are having trouble booking through Booking.com or directly through their site, I recommend you call for availability.
To read more about the beaches and other things to do in this area, check out my blog post on the Brazosport area.
Other Options for Texas Family Beaches
If you're interested in renting a beach house, I recommend going through Vrbo. I've booked through Vrbo all the time – although never at any of these locations but enough to know their service and guarantees are stellar – and I love the ease of their site and great selections.
Vacation Rentals Near Texas Beaches
I'm a big fan of a vacation rental versus a hotel when going to the beach. Vrbo has some great ones – just check your proximity to the water before you book. If you're not beachfront, you'll want to look for a rental that includes a golf cart or find a place to rent one.
Our family has also stayed at the Aransas Princess in Port Aransas but our last stay was in 2015. We really enjoyed our stay and the location but it has gotten mixed reviews in recent years and since it has been so long since our stay, I don't feel comfortable given it a solid thumbs up but I definitely wouldn't count it out based solely on someone's bad experience shared on Trip Advisor.
You can book condos at Aransas Princess through Booking.com but you'll have to sort through the individual units, as that is how they're listed.