Where are the Best Beaches and Best Lakes near me?
Summer in Texas can mean indoor activities to keep away from the unbearable heat outside, or it can also mean jumping into the water and have some splashy fun with the whole family. If you love Camping, we also recommend Eisenhower State Park. Apart from various waterparks and pools, Texas has a lot of swimming spots from lakes and rivers to beaches. These spots are so beautiful (and useful) during summer time.
Texas has a lot to offer! Residents and visitors can have a fun-filled day; you can either do some adventurous activity – like boating, swimming, fishing, sailing, kayaking, canoeing, parasailing to name a few – or, just to relax in a quiet place under the shade or even under the sun (don’t forget your sun screen!).
If you are looking for a fantastic place to cool off and appreciate nature, then we have got you covered.
Lakes within a 3 hour drive from DFW
Within the State of Texas
Location: Denton County, Texas
Lake Lewisville is a great escape from the city or the suburbs and is probably the closest boating lake to Plano. It has five marinas in which each offers its own amenities- boat rentals and watersports equipment rentals, food, entertainment, and others. You’ll likely find picnic tables and fishing boats here too. Check out for more details. And, Lake Little Elm Park which is most of the local’s favorite park and beach on Lake Lewisville. It’s probably the closest swimming lake nearby.
Location: Rockwall / Dallas / Collin / Kaufman Counties, Texas, US
Lake Ray Hubbard is a reservoir located near Dallas, Texas which is one of the largest lakes in North Texas, 22,000 acres. This lake is perfect for any recreational activities you can think of, to stay away from the hustle and bustle from the city. There are some parks located around the lake, some beautiful beaches you can have a picnic and enjoy the water. There are also hiking and biking trails, and other outdoor and watersports activities.
Location: Dallas, Texas, United States
White Rock Lake is a 1,015-acre urban oasis located approximately 5 miles northeast of downtown Dallas – a really beautiful city based Texas lake. It is one of the most favorite lakes for kayakers, canoers, and paddle boarders in Dallas. And your best place to get away from the city and experience natural areas and wildlife. It’s a popular spot for Runners who like to circle the lake on a cooler day and it’s right next to the Dallas Arboretum.
Location: Oklahoma–Texas border, United States
According to Wikipedia, Lake Texoma is one of the largest reservoirs in the United States, the 12th largest US Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) lake, and the largest in USACE Tulsa District. Denison Dam formed it on the Red River in Bryan County, Oklahoma, and Grayson County, Texas, about 726 miles (1,168 km) upstream from the mouth of the river.
There are so many things to do in Lake Texoma; this lake is very known as the Striper Fishing Capital of the World and famous for many other activities and recreations as well.
Location: Austin, Texas
Lake Austin, formerly Lake McDonald, is a water reservoir on the Colorado River in Austin, Texas. The reservoir was formed in 1939 by the construction of Tom Miller Dam by the Lower Colorado River Authority, according to Wikipedia. This lake is an excellent choice of a day of water fun as well as hiking and biking. This family-friendly lake is located near the city.
Location: Collin County, Texas
Lake Lavon, a 21,400-acre lake, is an excellent location for family fun for all of Collin County. It offers 121 miles of shoreline, which gives plenty of beach areas to enjoy with the whole family along with various camping sites to spend more time. Perfect for fishing, skiing, boating, hiking, biking, and relaxing. There are numerous parks located around the lake, all of which you can find detailed information on their site.
Location: Dallas / Tarrant / Ellis counties, Texas, United States
Joe Pool Lake is the main attraction for most visitors who came to Cedar Hill State Park. There are a lot of facilities in the park to keep you busy and entertain, which include lakeside for a picnic, swimming area, campsites, boat ramps, and fishing piers. For people with boats, there are different access to Joe Pool Lake.
Location: Henderson and Kaufman Counties, Texas
The beautiful Cedar Creek Lake is 32,623 acres, 18 miles long and provides 320 miles of shoreline, which makes it the fourth largest lake in Texas. It is only over an hour drive from Plano, and all fun water activities – boating, fishing, and watersports await you and your family. With its eight marinas, it makes a boat launch easy from any part of the lake.
Address: 789 Park Rd 16, Tyler, TX 75706
YES, a natural swimming hole, a 64-acre spring-fed lake nestled among 100-foot-tall pine trees in Tyler State Park. By far, one of the best places in East Texas to beat the heat. Drive through a dense forest until you reach the designated swimming area on the Eastern part. This lake is an excellent place for watersports activities, and for swimming and lounging, too. There are picnic areas, pavilions, playgrounds, a 13-mile of nature trails through pine and hardwood forests and cabins and campsites to stay for a night or 2. What more could you ask for?
Address: US-281, Lampasas, TX 76550
Hancock Springs Pool, one of the very few free-flowing pools in the state and the oldest spring-fed pool in Texas, history dates back since the 1800s. The water comes from a large spring which keeps the water at a constant cool all year round. In 1911 Hancock pool was constructed and has been in operation ever since. They are open Thursday to Sunday throughout the summer.
Location: Bosque / Hill counties, Texas, United States
Address: 9207 TX-17, Toyahvale, TX 79786
Location: Central Austin, Texas, United States
Location: Williamson County, Texas
Location: Travis / Burnet counties, northwest of Austin, Texas
Address: 3630 Park Rd 4 W, Burnet, TX 78611
6 Oklahoma State Lakes that are also within a 3 hour drive
Location: McCurtain County, Oklahoma
Location: Haskell / McIntosh / Pittsburg counties, Oklahoma, US
Location: Carter County, Oklahoma and Love County, Oklahoma
Location: Norman, Oklahoma
Location: Murray County, Oklahoma, United States
Location: North Fork Red River
10 Beaches in Texas
Oh yeah…Texas has some beautiful beaches! With its 370 miles of coastline along the Gulf of Mexico’s teal and emerald water, you have a lot of options to choose from. You can enjoy watersports like boating, fishing, jet skiing, sailing, kayaking, snorkeling or to just relax and get some vitamin Sea. Although they are not within 3hrs driving from DFW areas, it is still worth checking them out.
Most have condos you can rent either directly or through AirBnB.
Here is a list of some of the best beaches in Texas:
Close to Port Aransas, you can go boating, kayaking and collecting seashells on the beaches. One of Texas’ State parks, it’s really peaceful and quiet. If you are an RV and camping family, there are 48 campground sites available.
Around a 7 hour drive with a super clean beach area. Cinnamon Shores is a great base to stay in. You’ll find 6.3 miles of beach along the Gulf of Mexico.
Probably the most popular of Texas beaches but the furthest drive – around 8 hours. Fans of South Padre say it’s gorgeous! About 25 miles from Corpus Christi, there is a wide choce of places to stay and eat. You can go horseback riding, dolphin watches, Port Isabel lighthouse and also plan some time at one of America’s best waterparks – Schiltterbahn. It’s renowned as the Sand Castle Capital of the World, so be sure to bring buckets, spades and other tools to complete.
Rockport Beach, Corpus Christi
One mile of scenic views and photo opps on a bayfront with pavilions, public restrooms and picnic sites.
A 6 hour drive. You can explore the USS Lexington, Selena Museum, Water Street Market and the Texas State Aquarium. With more than 500 restaurants, many are Oceanside – there are a lot of choices for places to eat and they have more than 80 hotels, vacation rentals, bed and breakfasts and campsites.
Driving South West from Houston, you’ll find this gem at the banks of the Colorado River. Rent all types of boats and watercrafts, fish and swim. They also have horseback riding, bird viewing and it’s a great spot to go beachcombing to find hidden treasures.
A 5 hour drive and an hour South of Houston. You won’t find white sandy beaches there and the water is not as clear as it is further afield. However there is a lot to do there – Moody Gardens, Pleasure Pier, Railroad Museum, The Strand Boat rides, some great restaurants and a Children’s Museum close by. Don’t forget to spend a day at the Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark.
On route between Houston and Galveston, Kemah is a recommended pitstop – the top draw is Kemah Boardwalk with amusement rides, dining, shopping and an outstanding hotel. You can also take a boat cruise, go sailing, enjoy horse carriages and other attractions.
You can also fit in a trip to Nasa on your way there or back!
An hour down the coast from Galveston – it’s a cute fishing village which has several very good restaurants and two great museums – Lake Jackson and Clute (with the largest shell collection in the county) and a Sea Center. They have some great vacation rentals on the beach and a good grocery store a short drive away.
Just north of Galveston on a strip of land opposite Texas City, Crystal Beach has soft sandy beaches, and great sunrises and sunsets. There are 27 miles of drivable beaches and chances to fish and spot native birds!
8 Beautiful Florida Beaches where most Plano Moms visit
Within this area, both Casino Beach and Perdido Key are popular with families with both white sands and green waters. Johnson Beach in Perdido Key is great for kids who like to explore their Discovery Nature Trail and Broadwalk (shore fishing is popular here)
Slightly closer than Destin and less crowded but also close to Pensacola with tons of things to do including a Zoo. Many houses are directly on the beach and can be rented.
One of the most beautiful beaches within distance in Florida, white soft sand and super blue water. There is so much to do, and a local airport nearby if you want to fly and then rent a car to get around while you are there.
We have a few fun picks that we love:
- Wet n Wild Watersports Parasailing
- Dolphin Watching Cruise
- Pontoon Boat and Jetski rentals
- Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park
- Deep Sea Fishing
For all of these and many more get more details here, you can book ahead for convenience and your spot ahead of the busy Summer Season. Hint: Big Kahuna’s Waterpark has a combo admission with a discount!
Based in Northwest Florida’s Emerald Coast this is a mile and a half beach around a small cove with a grove of trees surrounding it.
Nestled between Panama City Beach and Destin, the Highway 30A runs along the shore line and leads directly to some of the best local beaches. Renowned for being very family friendly with great reviews, it’s a good choice. Seaside is often mentioned as being beautiful and picturesque and Watercolor (right next door) has beautiful white sand. It’s around a 12 hour drive. The 30A area is really popular with Plano Moms.
Tons of beautiful cottages to rent for vacations in the area. They have some great FOod Trucks and great beachfront places to eat and in their Central Square, they have nightly entertainment in the summer with live jazz and movies under the stars.
Renowned for being a Spring Break party place, it’s transformed itself to provide a great haven for families too. You’ll find great places for snorkelling and water activities here in the Gulf of Mexico.
There’s more: Pier Park offers a staggering million square feet of shopping and entertainment, and the city’s event calendar is overflowing with family-friendly happenings.
5 Alabama Beaches you should also check out.
Around a 10-12 hour drive, but most Moms stop in Louisiana to break up the Drive a bit.
Fort Morgan peninsula has a pristine beachfront and offers a real sense of being away from it all! To visit, we recommend you stay in one of the beach hotels with private access to the beach.
Dauphin Island has beautiful views and tranquility. In addition to kids, you can also bring pets with you and camp with your RV, trailer or tent.
Popular with Plano Moms – a Traditional Beach Town with a Pretty beach, clear water and great places to eat and stay! You’ll find shops, restaurants and activities and some fun bars to hang out in too.
Renowned for beautiful white sandy beaches and very little overcrowding, although it depends on the time of year. It’s an 8-mile long stretch of coastline where you can enjoy sunset dolphin cruises, flyboarding and sailing. Close by you can also head to the Adventure Island Amusement Park and Arcade.
Cotton Bayou Beach
- Nestled within the Orange Beach area at the intersection of Highway 182 and 161. They have a number of common amenities and public facilities to make your stay even better – restrooms, showers, lifeguards and free parking. You’ll find several restaurants and shops available.
Which Lake or Beach will you choose? We’d love to hear and get your review in the comments!