When you think of the Texas coast what beaches come to mind? Most people know of popular Texas spots like South Padre Island, Galveston and Port Aransas, which I can attest are all wonderful destinations. But there’s so many more great places to visit along the Texas coast and we were ready to check out some new ones that are a little more off the beaten path. We drifted down to the Gulf to visit two distinctly different areas for the first time. Each location we traveled to provided unique beach experiences to enjoy. We had the best time and the trip left me with no doubt that the Texas coast is full of unexpected places that are just waiting to be explored. Let me take you to two spots on the Texas coast that deserve to be on your wanderlust list.
I kept hearing about Surfside Beach and had wanted to visit for quite a while. Located South of Houston, Surfside is a tiny coastal town with the Gulf of Mexico on one side and intercoastal marsh on the other. It reminded me of Port Aransas with fewer businesses and a much more quite and laid back vibe. You can drive your car or golf cart right on the beach, which is probably why it reminded me of Port A. The difference is there are less people and more beach to go around in Surfside.
If you’re someone who just wants to let the waves wash your worries away but still have the coastal town feel, Surfside Beach is where you want to be. It’s beautiful, affordable, and fun!
Here are some shots of our day on the beach at Surfside.
Where to Stay– Somewhere With You
PSA before I show you where you’re going to want to stay in Surfside: Wear your sunblock! We enjoyed the beach so much and didn’t reapply like we should have. Don’t be like us. Our poor choices led to some legit sunburns that ruined our plans for the next day. Thankfully, we had an awesome rent house with all the comforts of home that was the perfect place to chill and recover. Let me tell you all about it!
Somewhere With You is a perfect beach house rental for a family or small group going to Surfside Beach. The owners have thought of absolutely everything that you could need for a perfect beach vacation.The home is beautifully decorated and sleeps 10 with three bedrooms and a pull out couch. There’s also two bathrooms, a washer and dryer, fenced yard with covered parking and three outdoor spaces to enjoy. This house has it all! Somewhere With You is a great place to hang your hat in Surfside.
There are little touches everywhere that elevate this rental. The owners really pulled out all the stops with branding and sharing their personalities with their guests. They even provide a custom blend of locally roasted coffee that is only available at the house. How cool is that???
But what I think drew me to this home the most was how the owners chose its name. Inspired by their love for Kenny Chesney, Somewhere With You is named after one of his hits. I love how the owners share their interests with their guests in this way!
It was so easy to feel right at home here! The beds were comfy and cozy. The linens were luxurious. The sunrises and sunsets were beautiful. And when I say this home has it all, I mean it. They had everything we needed and everything had its perfect place.
The kitchen itself was the most impressive to me with more supplies, utensils & gadgets than I’ve ever seen in a short term rental. This was great for us when we decided to stay in and make ceviche for dinner on our sunburn day.
Local Surfside Spots
Here are some of the local Surfside businesses we visited and loved. Pictured above is the Beachfront Deck Bar & Grill, which is walking distance from Somewhere With You.
Our favorite restaurant that we tried was the Seahorse Bar & Grill. They had amazing cocktails and their coconut shrimp was the absolute best I’ve ever had. Matt had shrimp étouffée. But I think what we loved most was that the restaurant was right on the beach.
The Surf Side Loco Store was our favorite local convenience store. They have everything you need including chicken necks. Why would you need chicken necks, you ask? I’ll get to that in a minute.
Sea Center Texas
Due to those sunburns, we needed to find an activity that was indoors and that’s where the Sea Center Texas came to the rescue. This was a fun activity in the surrounding area outside of Surfside. Operated by Texas Parks and Wildlife, this research and hatchery center is doing some great work to study and protect marine life on the Texas coast. Sea Center Texas has a fantastic indoor facility with aquariums showing you all the different eco systems along the Gulf Coast.
Outside they have a short interpretive boardwalk over marshland. We were lucky that the boardwalk had a shaded pier at the end because those sunburns controlled everything on this day. It’s completely free to visit Sea Center Texas, but donations are encouraged.
The Crabbing Pier
The Crabbing Pier is my must do activity in Surfside Beach. Remember that I said you would need chicken necks? That’s what you’re going to need to go crab fishing at The Crabbing Pier. I suggest going in the late evening around dusk. Even if the fishing isn’t good, you’ll see get to see that incredible sunset! We went on the last evening we were in Surfside and it was the most perfect way to end our time there.
That’s a wrap on the Surfside Beach leg of this trip. We loved the laid back beach and friendly locals. The food and sights were great! And Somewhere With You was the perfect beach house. Onto the next unexpected coastal spot.
Sea Rim State Park
Sea Rim State Park, outside of Port Arthur, is the furthermost Southeastern state park in Texas where a sea rim was formed by deposits from the Sabine River. This park has miles of beautiful Gulf of Mexico beach and acres upon acres of intercoastal marshland. As someone with family roots in East Texas, I can tell you this area is distinctly East Texas with Cajun flair. We felt right at home here.
Since we only had two nights at Sea Rim State Park, we focused on enjoying the beach and I’m so glad we did because we practically had it all to ourselves. Not completely, but there were so few people in the park that we were able to find a good stretch of empty beach each time we went.
Unfortunately, there was seaweed washed up, but all in all we had a great time on the beach here. A Kona Ice truck even showed up one day and let me tell you a beach day is better with sno cones!
Typically you must follow the “leave no trace” principals when visiting state and national parks. At Sea Rim, collecting shells is permitted, but we focused on collecting something else.
Taylor was so excited to find all this sea glass. This was all found in one hour. We found a lot more over our time in the park. At first I was excited too. I love finding sea glass, but we ended up finding so much of it that it made me so sad knowing this was all litter that wasn’t packed out like it should have been.
Sea Rim State Park gave us a completely different beach day than any of us had ever experienced. We loved it so much that we had a campfire dinner on the beach one evening and enjoyed the most beautiful beach sunset you’ve even seen. It was magical!
Where to Stay- Lodging at Sea Rim
As with most state parks you can find campsites at Sea Rim State Park, but they also have this adorable fisherman’s cabin on the water marsh side. It’s a modest one room cabin with full kitchen and bathroom. It sleeps 6 with two bunk beds (both full on bottom, twin on top) but you have to bring you own linens. At a rate of only $95 a night, it’s well worth the price.
Especially when you get incredible views like this. Just keep your eye on that water because there’s definitely some eyes in there that are on you.
We really enjoyed the peace and solitude that this place provided for us. I would come stay here again in a heartbeat. You can make reservations for this cabin online here.
Cajun Dinner in Port Arthur
Since we wouldn’t be here long we wanted to spend most of our time in the park, but Matt wanted some good Cajun food while we were here. So one evening we ventured over to Port Arthur for dinner at Reel Cajun Seafood and it was so good! I had the crab legs, which were incredible, and Matt had gumbo. But I think our favorite dishes here were the fried pickles and Good Time Fries.
Kayaking the Canal
This is my must do activity at Sea Rim State Park. They have 10 miles of paddling trails and if alligator infested waters don’t scare you too much, I highly recommend you give kayaking or canoeing the canal a try. For $15 per hour you can rent everything you need to paddle the canal from the park headquarters.
Since the paddling trails begin and end at the cabin we rented, we were able to do this activity the last morning before we left the park. One hour was all the time we needed to paddle the shortest trail and back, which was two miles total and so much fun!
And that brings me to the end of our time at Sea Rim. I hope you enjoyed exploring the Texas coast with us. If you have an unexpected Texas coastal spot you think we should check out, leave it in a comment below.
Drift & Explore with Tumbleweed TexStyles
Did you notice all of the cute Texas shirts and hats we were wearing while exploring the Texas coast? Those are all from our friends at Tumbleweed TexStyles, who partnered with us for this trip. “Drift & Explore” is a pillar of the TWT brand and for years their designs have been inspiring our family, like many others, to get out and explore Texas. (Sponsored)
I’m excited to get to partner with them and show you how our family drifts and explores! Check out Tumbleweed TexStyles for the best Texas gear and accessories. Follow them on Instagram and Facebook to stay updated on their latest styles. If you’re in North Texas, go visit them at their flagship retail store in Downtown Frisco.
Want to order any of the designs you saw? Click on the pictures below to go directly to TWT’s site and use code TXTRIBE for 20% off your order!