Surfside or "Surfside Beach"  is in the Gulf Coast region of Texas. A small beach town between the Gulf of Mexico and the Intracoastal Waterway with over 4 miles of beaches.
Surfside is about 60 miles south of Houston, where the closest airport and car rentals can be found. 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 beach May 15 - Sept 15
- Beaches. The pedestrian beach is located between Whelk St. and Thunder Rd., with free parking located at both edges. The rest of the beach, from Whelk St. north, allows cars with beach permits. There are picnic tables and BBQ grills at Jetty and Stahlman parks. Water quality signs are posted along the beach and swimming is not recommened in all areas.
- Jetty Park, 301 Parkview Rd., ☎ 979-233-3000.
- Stahlman Park.
- 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 currently 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.
- Easy Going Charters, ☎ 979-233-2947, . 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, ☎ 979-233-8513.
- Bingo's Boards, ☎ 979 230 9000. T-shirts, swimsuits, assorted beach accessories, boards for rent and sale
Surfside has only a small convenience store for groceries, for real 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.
- Kitty's Purple Cow, 323 Ocean Ave, Freeport, ☎ 979-233-4355.
- Red Snapper Inn, 402 Blue Water Hwy, Freeport, ☎ 979-239-3226. 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, ☎ 979-233-3382. has beer, wine, and hard alcohol (note that neither Clute nor Lake Jackson offers anything but beer. Closed Sundays.
- 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.. has a pool table, dart board and a few video gaming machines.
Most visitors to Surfside take advantage of the numerous and affordable vacation homes ranging from tiny one-bedroom A-frames, to muti-story houses big enough for family reunions.
- Surfside Motel, 330 Coral Court, ☎ 979 233 4948, .
- Austin's Landing RV Park and Resort, ☎ 979-239-1923 toll free: 888-468-1923, .
- Surfside Beach RV Park, 102 Fort Velesco Dr, ☎ 979-233-6919, .
- Beach Camping. Fires are permitted as long as they are small and under control. Any cars on the beach, outside of the free parking areas, must have a permit. Around 8 dollars.
Do your homework before choosing your vacation rental home or rental management company.
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 for the area.
- 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.
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