Lake Conroe is a thriving lake community, but one should also remember how relatively close we are to the beach. In just two hours, you can have your toes in the sand. Most residents in the Lake Conroe area are familiar with the many beaches along Galveston Island. In the same amount of drive time, you could travel to a different island and enjoy the Gulf of Mexico from a slightly different vantage point. Today I want to talk about Surfside Beach and why you should consider it for your next beach trip.
South of Galveston Island lies Follet’s Island. It is a barrier island. According to AMLI, “The Texas barrier islands provide a unique habitat for the ocean life and birdlife that make their homes behind the thin strips of land. The estuaries that separate the islands from the mainland attract migratory birds and wildlife from all over, and the diverse ecosystem that exists as a result is one of the most important and diverse in the country.” So you can expect to find birds, marine life, and much more on Follet’s Island. The estuary is named, Christmas Bay. On the southwestern tip of the island sits Surfside Beach. It is near the mainland city of Freeport. Therefore, huge ships come in every day from all over the world.
Ranked in the top 12 beaches in Texas, Surfside Beach is probably less known than others. Four miles of beach stretch out along the Gulf of Mexico with waves that live up to its name. During the summer, it produces some of the biggest waves in Texas. The water can be clear when weather conditions are ideal, but on a bad day, it is far from the chocolate milk look of other Texas beaches. Part of the beach is for pedestrians only, which makes it very family-friendly. You don’t have to worry about passing cars. The beach rules are also very relaxed. They welcome dogs on a leash, campfires, and alcohol.
The shallowness of the water is another plus for Surfside Beach. You can walk a long way into the water and still not be submerged. In fact, I am not sure at what point there is a drop-off from shore. It allows adults and children to play in relative safety. Of course, as with all beaches, there are currents, possible rip tides, and other hazards.
In addition to lounging on the beach or surfing, there are many other seaside activities available. It is a great place for fishing and crabbing. The sand is great for sandcastle building, too. Horseback riding is available on some parts of the beach. Birding is a popular past-time. A unique activity is watching the oil tankers come in and out of Freeport. They seem to sit on the horizon until it is their turn to come in. Then you can see how large these ocean vessels really are!
The combination of the beach, surf, and other seaside activities make Surfside Beach a great place to visit from the Lake Conroe area. Its laid-back community has a strong island vibe. The beach is fun and family-friendly. In just a short drive, you can soak up the sun and be in saltwater.