Galveston Travel Answers

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by khanhlinhdat Online Now May 12, 2010 at 7:59 PM

We plan to travel to galveston in June, because the oil spill at the gulf, can anybody live down there tell me how is the beach, anh the beach is swim able, we travel with 3 small kids, how is the weather, any good clean or private beach. thanks.

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5 Answers
  • Re: Beach.

    by TOPSHELFPUBCRAWLER Online Now May 12, 2010 at 8:24 PM

    I hope I am not knocking Galveston to those who live there, but I have never been impressed much with the beach. It is a fun town for sure, but the beach is rather dirty. Not full of debris, but the sand is actually dark with dirt. The Mississippi River actually spills into the Gulf of Mexico a couple hundred+ miles away. When it empties into the Gulf, it swirls into a mushroom type cloud filled with dirt and sediment from the River and deposits its filth along the beach in Galveston. That is why most of the finer resorts are located to South (Corpus Christi).

    In fairness, I know there are a lot of families that go there regularly and enjoy it.

    Other than that, I am sorry I cannot state how the oil is affecting the area.

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    Re: Beach.

    by mccalpin Online Now May 13, 2010 at 7:28 AM

    So far, no oil has reached the beaches of Galveston, according to the local newspaper - - and the local official website -

    However, June is a ways off, so it would be hard to know what the beaches will be like then. My recollection of press reports was that the winds and tides were tending to push most of the oil east towards Florida rather than west towards Texas.

    Sean is correct that the beaches of Galveston are not beautiful white sand - never has been. He is correct that sediment from all the rivers makes the water in this end of the Gulf murky and the sand brown. There are even the occasional tar balls, probably from seepage offshore.

    On the other hand, Galveston is a laid back place that caters to laid back tourists, and I find it relaxing myself.

    As for private beaches, well, yes, sort of. Actually, by law, all beaches are public property in Texas. But there are beach park facilities near the beach that are pretty much the same thing - see

    Note that the Moody Gardens Beach Park is probably not on the beach (the Gardens sure aren't), but rather a fake white sand beach set up in the Gardens...well, the Gardens are worth a visit anyway...


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    Re: Beach.

    by bocmaxima Online Now May 13, 2010 at 9:44 AM

    No worries about knocking Galveston. The most prideful Houstonians often do as well. ;)
    I always enjoyed going down there and, while I lived in Houston, would end up down there at least once per month, year-round. For a beach town, it's quiet and laid-back and, during the winter, there's a really interesting vibe around. I still really enjoy going back there.
    All of Galveston's beaches are family-friendly. Aside from East Beach (I think they still allow it), there is no drinking on any beach in Galveston, nor is there driving on the beach as there is in other parts of Texas. East Beach is probably the ugliest and dirtiest anyway though, since it's the closest to the entrance to the ship channel. There are a few "pocket parks" a little further down the island, in what they usually call "West Beach" (although that's a broad area). They're run by the county and feature bathroom facilities, showers and even a snackbar. There is a parking fee, but it's probably worth it since bathrooms are otherwise hard to come by on the island's beaches.

    I always swam in the Gulf. It's like a bathtub much of the year. You do have to worry about jellyfish/manowars and stingrays though. I came really close to stepping on the latter once at North Padre years ago, and you always see jellyfish washed up on the shore during some times of the year closer to Galveston. Generally, if there aren't a lot of people out in the water, then it's probably not a good idea to be out there either.


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  • Try Pointe West!

    by adebbiemc1977 Online Now Jul 9, 2010 at 9:05 PM

    Its a bit further out, about 20 miles from 61st and the Seawall. Around Jamaica Beach area, the beaches are clean, nice and without all the teenagers running around wild. Great family & kids spot. I go there every couple months to rent a vacation house to hang out with my kids and family while my husband fishes. Great fishing spot too. There is one house that post videos regularly of the beaches around there. They really show how clean the beaches are. No oil and this is coming from updated videos from July 2010. Google or Bay front escape on youtube. They have videos on their website showing Pointe West and the beach over there. Hope that helps!

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  • It's not bad.

    by Zefrey Online Now Mar 6, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    We live in Baytown, about 40 minutes northeast, after everything that happened, this last summer me and the family decided to spend the day at the beach,it looked as it always has, I was born in Houston in 1966, you can say I've been to Galveston a few times,,,
    First, it's a very shallow body of water, until you get out into the middle of the gulf. So, the wave action churns up more sand and sediment than on other beaches. Secondly, we get a lot of runoff from Houston storm drains (from bayous). Anytime you have such a huge urban area emptying into a body of water, you'll have a lot of dirt. Thirdly, even though Galveston is hundreds of miles away from the New Orleans area, we still get Mississippi River runoff all the way over here. That's a huge, very muddy river. Those effects, combined with the fact that the gulf is a more enclosed body of water, and therefore has very specific current patterns, make for muddy water that appears brown or dirty. If you go to the Caribbean, yes the water looks lovely and clear and turqoise. But, you'll still see some dead fish float by from time to time. And their water will test positive for fecal coliform bacteria some times of the year, just as Galveston's does.

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