Is Houston Considered a Coastal City? Yep!
Some of Houston’s nicknames include Space City, H-town, and Bayou City. As a result, many folks don’t realize that Houston is, in fact, a coastal city, as opposed to a landlocked metropolis. Houston, TX is home to the Port of Houston, one of the world’s largest ports on the Gulf Coast with a metro reach that expands all the way to the Gulf Coast. Whether your home is in Houston proper or built in the surrounding area such as League City, Friendswood, Clear Lake, or Webster, you are just a stone’s throw away from enjoying sandy beaches and fun in the sun and water.
What Makes Houston Coastal?
Coastal cities are defined by their location as a bridge between the land and sea, or other large bodies of water. Neighboring the Gulf Coast, Houston, TX and cities like Clear Lake and Galveston offer easy access to commercial and recreational opportunities in the rich Gulf of Mexico. Communities like Edgewater offer new homes for sale near Friendswood, TX in the city of Webster, making commuting to the coast a breeze and allowing residents to enjoy the bay life.
Fun fact: As a coastal city, Houston has some of the most diverse saltwater fishing available in the nearby Gulf of Mexico both on and offshore.
The iconic Houston skyline rises from the flat Gulf Coastal Plain, which places the city itself about 55-feet above sea level, and with a series of bayous dissecting the city, it’s no wonder residents across the area want to escape to the beach whenever possible with freeways that connect right to the Bay Area.
Looking to get away to the coast? Discover fun in the sun in these cities nestled in Houston’s Bay Area.
La Porte, Texas
Drivetime from Downtown Houston: 30 minutes
Whether you are looking for a day trip or a weekend getaway, La Porte has so much to offer just north of Clear Lake. The small-town charm of La Porte and its two beaches comes with the site where Texas won its independence.
- Sylvan Beach Park - The Sylvan Beach Park is home to two sandy beaches and has the longest fishing pier in Texas at a whopping 1,100 feet.
- Discover History - At the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site, you can explore this historic battlefield before checking out artifacts at the San Jacinto Museum of History at the base of the San Jacinto Monument. While you are there, explore the Battleship Texas, which is the only remaining battleship that saw action in World Wars I and II.
- Nearby Attractions - Head over to Nassau Bay to visit Johnson Space Center and Space Center Houston on NASA Parkway. The center offers exciting tours and exhibits like an astronaut gallery, starship gallery, and shuttle replicas, honoring Space City’s history as a hub for exploring the stars. Feeling like a more down-to-earth experience? Enjoy wildlife and recreation at Clear Lake where the family can take advantage of watersports, boating, and bird watching opportunities.
Drivetime from Downtown Houston: 45 mins
Less than 10 miles from La Porte, 15 miles from Friendswood, and 30 miles from Downtown Houston is the city of Kemah, TX, the Gateway to the Bay. Kemah has earned the title of one of Houston’s top vacation destinations, or “bay-ground”. The city has a reported population of about 11,571 residents but is packed with coastal fun.
- Kemah Boardwalk - If you are looking for waterfront restaurants, amusement rides, midway games, live entertainment, and more, stop by the famous Kemah Boardwalk. The boardwalk hosts annual seasonal events like Boo on the Boardwalk and Craft Beer Fest.
- Kemah Lighthouse District – Located in the center of town, the Lighthouse District is an eclectic shopping district with entertainment every weekend. Visitors can take home mementos from the district’s many shops for antiques, collectibles, décor, clothing, and unique gifts.
Drivetime from Downtown Houston: 1 hour
When you think of Galveston, you instantly think of sandy beaches, coastal sights, and gulf water stretching into the sunset. Galveston offers coastal fun at its best with stretches of tourist spots, including eclectic shopping and dining on The Strand, museums, and historic sites.
- East Beach - One of the many draws of East Beach is that it’s the only beach in Galveston that permits alcohol. Here, you’ll find festivals, live bands, tournaments, sandcastle competitions, and more! This beach is incredibly popular with the younger crowd due to its party vibe.
- Stewart Beach - If you are looking for a family-friendly beach, look no further than Stewart Beach. Don’t worry; family-friendly doesn’t mean quiet. You’ll find showers, restrooms, a snack bar, a playground, and lifeguards to ensure a fun, worry-free day in the sun.
- Seawall Urban Park - Even though park is in its name, there is still plenty of beach sprawling across more than 10 miles at Seawall Urban Park. Here, you’ll traverse the nation’s longest continuous sidewalk with easy access to restaurants, resorts, and Galveston attractions.
- Moody Mansion – A top-visited historic site and a must for those who like historic homes that may or may not be haunted.
- Moody Gardens – Part aquarium, part rainforest, and part theme park, Moody Gardens is a place where Galveston residents and tourists alike come to play. Who knew you could meet penguins when living near Friendswood?
Drivetime from Downtown Houston: 1 hour 9 minutes
Brazosport, TX is a Houston Bay Area community that engulfs other coastal communities, giving you 27 miles of publicly accessible beaches. It’s the perfect place whether you are looking for a family-friendly adventure or a getaway from the hustle-and-bustle of life with nature sites, beaches, attractions, and coastal restaurants.
- Freeport, Texas - Drivetime from Downtown Houston: 1 hour 3 minutes
- Bryan Beach - Discover three miles of natural beach, perfect for enjoying sun and sand, camping, birding, and more!
- Fishing and Diving - In Freeport, you’ll find some of the best fishing in Texas between the beaches and two marinas. If you are a diver, about 100-miles off the coast, discover the northernmost coral reefs in the continental United States.
- Surfside, Texas - Drivetime from Downtown Houston: 1 hour 4 minutes
- Replica of Fort Velasco - The first shots fired of the Texas Revolution were near Surfside Beach. At the replica of this fort where Texian and Mexican forces clashed, you’ll discover the history through dioramas, artifacts, vintage rifles, and more.
- Water Recreation - Deep waters off the coastline make it an ideal location for fishing near the shore or deep-sea fishing. Or enjoy water sports such as windsurfing, surfing, and kayaking. If you prefer your kids to stay on-land but want them to enjoy the water, there is a 2,000-square-foot splash pad that boasts ten water features.
- Outdoor Recreation - The town is near the Brazoria Nation Wildlife Refuge that has over 200 varieties of birds that change based on the time of year you visit. If you prefer exploring Surfside Beach, take the Bluewater Highway Trail with easy access to restaurants and wildlife watching. Don’t forget to relax on the beach while you visit.
- Quintana, Texas - Drivetime from Downtown Houston: 1 hour 13 minutes
- Quintana Beach County Park - With a pedestrian beach, a lighted fishing pier, and full-services paved RV sites and self-contained cabins, Quintana Beach County Park in Brazoria County spans over 51-acres.
- Neotropical Bird Sanctuary - The island of Quintana is recognized by bird enthusiasts and is the perfect stopover for migrating birds. It features trails and benches as well as a large observation tower for wildlife watching.
Drivetime from Downtown Houston: 1 hour 39 minutes
Once the third-largest port in Texas, Matagorda is now a coastal paradise with unblemished beaches. The variety of wildlife found in Matagorda makes it a great place for fishing and hunting, as well as a conservation haven. Don’t forget that you can also sit on the beach and relax while only being a short daytrip from Houston.
- Matagorda Bay Nature Park - At the mouth of the Colorado River on the Matagorda Peninsula is the 1,600-acre Matagorda Bay Nature Park. Camp overnight in a tent, RV, or streamliner to get a fully unique experience where you spot local wildlife, enjoy various types of water recreation, beachcombing, picnicking, bird watching, and mini-golf.
- Matagorda Beach - With roughly 58 miles of beach, 23 miles are accessible to vehicles. In contrast, the other 35 miles of beach are accessible by kayak, boat, or canoe. While at Matagorda Beach, you can enjoy walking in the sand dunes, exploring trails, swimming in water straight from the Colorado River, or spending the night camping on the beach.
- Museums - If you need a break from relaxing and the beach and want to learn more about Matagorda, soak in the history offered at the City by the Sea Museum or Matagorda County Museum.
Explore the Best of the Coast in Your Own Backyard
Near Houston, there are miles upon miles of sandy beaches, rich gulf water, boardwalks, attractions for everyone, wildlife watching, all types of fishing, important Texas history, and so much more. Despite being in different cities, Houstonians will tell you that the Bay Area and Houston Ship Channel is an important part of what makes living in this coastal city amazing.
Being a stone’s throw from the excitement of the beaches is a perk when buy a new home in the Bar Area near Friendswood, Clear Lake, or even League City. Residents of Edgewater in Webster, TX can enjoy Houston’s coastal benefits daily with easy access to major freeways that lead straight to the beaches and other attractions.
Interested in building a new home in Edgewater? Speak to our builders to learn more.