North America > United States of America > Texas > Gulf Coast (Texas) > North Barrier Coast > Surfside (Texas)
Surfside is about 60 miles (100 km) south of Houston. Take SH-288 South all the way through Lake Jackson. On the south edge of Lake Jackson you'll cross Main Street and a few hundred yards later, on the right, turn right on SH-332 East, across the intercoastal waterway bridge to Surfside Beach.
From Galveston, head south to the toll bridge ($2 either direction) and follow the Bluewater Highway to town.
The beach makes for excellent walking, but the few services in town are spread out enough to make a car or bike a necessity.
Horses are allowed on the village beach Sep 15 - May 15. Horses are allowed year-round on the county beach north of Stanek Dr.
- Valero, 91 Fort Velasco Dr, Freeport. ☏ . The only gas station on the island and from Surfside till Jamaica Beach.
- Beaches. The pedestrian beach is between Welk St. and Thunder St., with free parking at both edges. There are picnic tables and BBQ grills at Jetty and Stahlman parks. Alcohol is allowed on the beach, but glass containers are forbidden on all beaches, city and county. The beach, from Welk St. north to Stanek Dr., allows cars with beach permits. Beach permits are $12 annually to drive within the village of Surfside. The beach north of Stanek dr. is owned by the county and is free for everyone. Several entrances stretch along bluewater highway marked as permit required or otherwise. Driving on or over the dunes is strictly prohibited. Water quality signs are posted at beach entrances.
- Jetty Park, 301 Parkview Rd, ☏ .
- Stahlman Park, 2211 Bluewater Hwy, ☏ .
- Surfing. See below for surfboard and boogeyboard rentals.
- Crabbing. There's a crabbing pier over a small estuary at the north end of town, just across from Stalman Beach Park. The end of the pier is in disrepair and the last few yards have collapsed, but the rest is stable enough for crabbing, fishing, and birdwatching.
- Watersports. Jetskis and boats of all sizes are popular. Kayaks can also be rented.
- [dead link] Easy Going Charters, ☏ . Easy Going takes up to 6 people on their 35-ft boat for 6- or 12-hour fishing trips. They even clean and wrap your fish. $1000.
- Johnston's Sportfishing, ☏ .
- Bingo's Boards, ☏ . T-shirts, swimsuits, assorted beach accessories, boards for rent and sale.
Surfside has a small convenience store for groceries, for extensive shopping you'll need to head over the bridge to Clute or Lake Jackson. Fresh fish and shrimp can be purchased at the small fish market on the other side of the bridge. Ten restaurants offer a range of food, including seafood, Greek, American, and Italian.
- Surfside Food Mart, 111 Fort Velasco Dr, ☏ . Very basic food store, can buy toiletries, drinks, and some household supplies. Head to Freeport or Lake Jackson for grocery shopping.
- Kitty's Purple Cow, 323 Ocean Ave, Freeport.
- Dorado's Dive Club, 135 Shark Ln, ☏ . Tu-Th 11AM-9PM, F-Su 11AM-midnight, closed Mondays. Casual restaurant with crawfish and oysters as their specialty.
- Seahorse Bar & Grill, 310 Ocean Ave (part of the ocean village hotel), ☏ . M 8AM-8PM, Tu-Th 8AM-9PM, F 8AM-10PM, Sa 11AM-10PM, Su 11AM-9PM. Regular place serving assorted bar foods and excellent seafood.
- Red Snapper Inn, 402 Blue Water Hwy, Freeport. Greek and Italian influenced seafood. House specialties include Red Snapper a La Grec and crab stuffed jalapenos. Children's menu available. A small selection of beer and wine, including some Greek options.
- Surfside Liquor, 430 Bluewater Hwy, Freeport, ☏ . M-Sa 10AM-9PM. Only liquor store on the island. Limited supply of the basics, including plastic bottles to comply with beach rules. Anything more substantial/specific will require a trip either to Freeport or even Angleton.
- Surfside Jetty Shack. A great local find - just to the right of the jetty. Not very large but big on atmosphere and company. Sandwiches and burgers are tasty and the beer is always cold. Rebuilt after Hurricane Ike. It has a pool table, dart board and a few video gaming machines.
- Beach Front Deck Bar and Grill, 750 Bluewater Hwy A, ☏ . M-Th 11AM-midnight, F Sa 11AM-2AM, Su 11AM-10PM. Closest place to a regular bar on the island, also serves food.
- Surfin Rita Daiquiris To-Go, 403 E, TX-332. Noon-9PM daily. Trailer serving daiquiris, beer, and jello shots to go. Can order in advance online.
Most visitors to Surfside take advantage of the numerous and affordable vacation homes ranging from tiny one-bedroom A-frames, to multi-story houses big enough for family reunions. Always do your homework before choosing your vacation rental home or rental management company.
- Cedar Sands Motel, 343 North Beachfront, ☏ . Tired budget motel a block off the beach.
- [dead link] Surfside Motel, 330 Coral Ct, ☏ .
- Austin's Landing RV Park and Resort, ☏ , toll-free: .
- Surfside Beach RV Park, 102 Fort Velesco Dr, ☏ .
- Beach Camping. Beach camping is allowed on the county beach north of Stanek drive. Cars and tents have to be parked on the dune side at night. 3' x 3' campfires are permitted as long as they under control. Camping within the village of Surfside is prohibited. Free.
- Beach House Associates, 140 Bluewater Highway, ☏ . Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. Beach houses from 2 - 6 bedrooms with sleeping space for 2 - 30 per house.
The closest public internet connections are at the Lake Jackson Public library and in Galveston. If you're in town for a week or more, you can arrange wireless access through Surfside.net (owned and operated by the mayor!).
Note that many vacation rentals do not have telephones, but there is decent cell phone coverage in town. Cell service varies the farther north one travels on the beach.
- Tap water is affected by "trihalomethanes", a byproduct of over-chlorination. It's also not very tasty. According to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, there's no health danger for short term visitors, but you'll probably want to buy bottled water for drinking and cooking.
- Jellyfish are common in Gulf waters especially the Portuguese Man-of-War. Counteract the painful poison with a towel zapped in the microwave for 1 minute or a mix of vinegar and meat tenderizer.
- Hurricanes affect the area. Evacuation route signs are posted along main roads.
- Seaweed - a significant amount can sometimes be heaped up on the beach, especially after a storm. It can sometimes accumulate in large rafts that are too thick to comfortably navigate