East Beach in Galveston is a beach and party destination at the far eastern end of the island. In summer, it serves as an open-air venue for live performances and festivals. Moreover, East Beach hosts the annual American Institute of Architects (AIA) Sandcastle Competition, an event attracting thousands of people who wish to see impressive complicated structures built of sand. As you may have already guessed, it’s one of the rare beaches in Galveston where alcohol is allowed. At the same time, most of the visitors know how to behave and, apart from youngster companies and party lovers, some families with children like to come here as well.
Access and Parking
In the summer months, East Beach Park is open from nine to six on weekdays and from eight to seven on weekends. In autumn and spring, the working hours are shorter. For precise information, please check the official schedule since the hours are seasonal and can be changed.
The beach entrance is chargeable. You can pay for admission either by credit card or in cash: it’s $12 from Monday thru Thursday and $15 from Friday through Sunday. They also sell seasonal parking passes for $50. There is ample and convenient parking near the beach. There are areas for free parking as well.
Amenities and Facilities
East Beach is a well-maintained beach offering the most necessary beach facilities for maximum convenience. There are public restrooms, showers to rinse the sand off, and a modern pavilion with picnic tables and electric outlets. If you’ve forgotten to bring beach chairs and umbrellas, don’t panic – there are chair and umbrella rental services on site. Visitors with kids will be pleased to know there’s a children’s playground. Moreover, the area is patrolled by lifeguards, so you may not be afraid to go into the water. In case you need something, there are concessions selling beach equipment, food, drinks, and alcohol, which you can drink right on the beach. If you have a valid driver’s license, you can rent beach wheelchairs.
Sea Life and Birds
If you have children, they are going to be very much excited about all those shells and various sea animals on East Beach: shrimps, crabs, mullets, and other fish species. If you’re lucky, you will probably see pelicans flying overhead or fish jumping out of the water. And don’t forget to look for beautiful shells in the fine sand!
Cleanliness and Swimming Conditions
Unfortunately, many tourists leave trash and litter after themselves. The sand is dark and far from perfect; however, after a cleanup, walking barefoot can be quite enjoyable – the clean sand feels smooth and silky. Moreover, it’s hard-packed enough for easy strolling and even driving on in a car.
As for the water, it’s somewhat murky and dirty-looking, with a lot of seaweed. Nevertheless, you should take into account that you’re not in the Caribbean but in Texas, and, for a beach on the Gulf Coast, East Beach is a perfectly appropriate seaside destination where you can swim and your kids can play in the water. Lifeguards patrol the area. The waves are gentle and the water is warm.