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Riley Heruska
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Our state isn't exactly known for its crystal clear waters or white sandy beaches, but that doesn't mean the beaches aren't worth checking out. With the intense heat of July bearing down on us, it's time to head to cool waters. Luckily, you can drive to more than a dozen different beaches in the area for swimming, sunbathing, boating, and so much more. 

Here are some of the best beaches you can drive to along the Texas coast: 

Port Aransas

Although this beach doesn't attract as many people as some places, it's definitely one of the better-known shorelines in the area. It's relatively clean and easily accessible, so finding a place to stay isn't difficult. People of all ages will have fun enjoying the open sand and local seafood. There's a reason people love this small town area, and if you visit, you'll probably see why. 

South Padre Island 

This is the only true island in Texas, and people visit for its wide beaches and clean sand. It tends to be one of the more crowded vacation spots, but that doesn't keep tourists from checking out all of the fun water activities and relaxing beach resorts. It's a mini-tropical island getaway just eight hours driving distance from the DFW area. 

Boca Chica State Park 

Where the Rio Grand River enters the Gulf, there is a sandy shoreline that is one of the state's gems. You can truly take a breath and enjoy your surroundings without being pestered by vendors of any kind. It's usually not very crowded, so just kick back and relax. 

Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge 

If you really want to take a break from society, then head over to this wild sanctuary. You can take a trip in a safari truck through the open Texas landscape, then make your way down to the area's sandy shores. You might spot alligators, armadillos, raccoons, and a whole range of state wildlife. 

Mustang Island State Park 

You can access this stretch of golden sands from Corpus Christi or the Port Aransas area, and many people recommend it because it tends to be less crowded than other beaches. Clean and spacious, it's a great location for picnicking near the ocean. Chances are, you'll be pleasantly surprised by this serene shoreline. 

Crystal Beach 

This beach has been nominated as one of the best in Texas due to its relaxing atmosphere, cute beach houses, sea life viewing, and water activities. You can drive your car right onto the beach and camp out for a day, or you can book a stay at one of the nearby accommodations. Although it can get pretty crowded during certain times of the year, you might get lucky and have much of the beach to yourself if you visit at a less popular time. 

Surfside 

If you love paddle boarding or surfing, then you'll have a fun time at this Texas beach. Pitch a tent for shade and enjoy a cool breeze as you sip on something cold. Although most people wouldn't describe this beach as quiet or relaxing, it's an exciting getaway for people in search of a fun time. Plus, it's family-friendly and great for people of all ages. 

Matagorda Island Wildlife Management Area 

Described by some as a "fantasy destination" hidden in our large state, Matagorda Island offers everything from seashell collecting to good fishing. It is a little bit more difficult to get it than most of the beaches on this list, but some would say it's worth the strife. Take the ferry and spend a day exploring this shoreline, which is usually not very crowded. 

San Jose Island 

Tourists visit this island for its getaway atmosphere and natural surroundings. Although it is a privately-owned beach, it's open to the public during most of the year. Take in the peaceful environment as you look for shells, fish, dolphin watch, or simply appreciate the surrounding nature. 

So, where are you going to road trip before summer ends? Do you have other Texas beaches you love to visit? Let us know in the comments below! 

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