15 Top Dog-Friendly Beaches in Galveston, Texas Your Fur Baby Will Love

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Galveston, Texas, loves all of its fur babies from A to Z. Starting with the Affenpinscher all the way to the Zwergspitz. And since Galveston is an island that is always warm and all dogs love the water, finding the top dog-friendly beaches in Galveston is a must if you plan on visiting or moving there. We listed 15 of the top dog-friendly beaches in Galveston to begin, starting from the east end of the island. 

Most of the Galveston beaches require leashes, but there are a few that let your pup run free. However, since many of the beaches have dangerous undercurrents, you really should keep your fur buddy on a leash anyway for safety reasons. A doggie life jacket is also a good idea. There are also a few dog parks on the list that have beaches and/or water features. 

Take your pick and head for the beach. Don’t forget doggie waste bags, water, and treats!

East Beach

Also known as R.A Apffel Beach, this large beach is at the eastern tip of Galveston Island and boasts a world of entertainment as well as a sweet piece of golden sandy beach for you and Fido. Besides having access to the warm waters of the Gulf, you will also find playgrounds, concession stands, a boardwalk with numerous shops and eateries, and a stage where they often have entertainment throughout the summer months.

East Beach also has restrooms, water fountains, and showers to clean off the saltwater after your swim, as well as chair and umbrella rentals to shade you from the sun while you watch your fur baby play. He will have to be on a leash, but you can let it out far enough to let him run around and swim. And this is one of the only beaches in Galveston that allows alcohol, so go ahead and have a drink. 

Stewart Beach Park

Known for its clean beaches and family fun, Stewart Beach was named one of the 10 Best Beaches for Families in Texas. You can find this awesome dog-loving beach between East Beach and Porretto Beach, with a long stretch of golden sand and the blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Although your pooch has to stay on a leash, he can still play in the water and on the sand. Just make sure his leash is long enough. 

The beach here is accessible to all with new beach wheelchairs that can go right into the water. Also, there are a variety of games for everyone, including giant Jenga, cornhole, and volleyball, as well as a playground, concessions, umbrella and chair rentals, and restrooms with showers. There is a small fee to get onto the beach, but it is worth the luxury of clean restrooms and a lifeguard. And bring doggie waste bags to clean up after your canine companion.

Porretto Beach

Next up, just west of Stewart Beach, Porretto is a private beach and more of a touristy place with numerous eating and drinking establishments, seating, and amenities. They also rent floats, jet skis, and other water toys. Located along the seawall, a seaside walk with your fur buddy would be fantastic, but he can also take a swim or play in the sand as long as you keep him on a leash at all times. 

Being a private beach, you will pay a small fee to park and to rent items, but it also gets you lifeguards, restrooms with showers, and one of the cleanest beaches in Galveston. In addition, Porretto allows alcohol on the beach as well as long as it is not in a glass bottle. Be sure to bring along water for your pup. You don’t want him drinking seawater! However, if you need more water or snacks, there are several eateries, including the Flip Flops Beach Bar & Grill. 

Seawall Urban Park

Right next door, the Seawall Urban Park boasts a quiet and less popular beach that is perfect for those fur babies that do not like crowds. It is a smaller stretch of sand with no real amenities or concessions. It is just a nice quiet place to relax between Porretto Beach and the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier. Speaking of which, the pier does not allow dogs, but it is pretty to look at with its huge roller coaster and thrill rides. 

Parking is free in many spots along this stretch of beach, but you can get a closer spot if you want to pay $2 per hour. You can pay with your phone and update it for as long as you want to stay. One of the most unique features of this park is the Seawall Boardwalk/Sidewalk. With 10 miles of paved paths, it is the longest sidewalk in the nation. What a perfect place to walk your fur baby. But be sure to keep him on a leash and clean up after him. 

Beach Pocket Parks

Galveston Island also has several of what they call Pocket Parks running from the end of the Seawall Urban Beach to Galveston Island State Park. Pocket Park One, also known as Sea Gull shores, has about two miles of sandy beach with several other water features along the shoreline for your pup to play in. Here, you can even park on the beach for free! Pop open your trunk, pull out a chair, and turn up the radio for a nice day at the beach. 

Pocket Beach Two is a bit further down and has several bars, including the Tipsy Turtle, which is a popular spot for locals. This one has paved parking and restrooms with showers, as well as umbrella and chair rentals. Admission is free! Pocket Beach Three is also called Seashell Beach because it is one of the best places for seashell hunting in the world. Here you get free parking on the beach and lots of clear blue water!

Babe’s Beach

Who doesn’t want to swim at a place called Babe’s Beach? Named after the former Texas State Senator A.R. “Babe” Schwartz, this sunny stretch of sand is 15 blocks long between Pocket Park One and Pocket Park Two. Babe loved Galveston Island so much that he helped instigate the Texas Open Beaches Act that guarantees free public access to the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. That means you and your pup are allowed to visit gulf beaches for free. 

According to many of the locals, Babe’s Beach is the best one on the island because of the famous seawall and walking path. Besides walking along the beach, you can also take a swim or toss in a line and see if you can catch some fish. After a day at the beach, it is always nice to enjoy a drink or some food from one of the neighborhood eateries or bars. There are also a variety of shops and retailers. 

Galveston Island State Park

With over 2,000 acres featuring multiple swimming areas, nature trails, fantastic birdwatching opportunities, and campgrounds, this park is the perfect spot to spend a weekend with your canine companion. Between Pocket Park Three and Sea Isle Beach, this large natural space has two different sides of the beach. The north side is on West Bay, while the south side is on the Gulf of Mexico. Both are great places to play with your pooch as long as he is leashed. 

Take your fur baby on one of the 10 trails through the woods and prairies, including the easy one-mile Alligator Loop, the moderately difficult 1.2-mile Clapper Rail Trail, or the 3.3-mile Prairie Trail, which is easy but a little long for novice hikers. You will want to keep your pup on a short leash here because there are alligators in the park, especially on the Alligator Loop Trail by the ponds. 

Jamaica Beach Park

You do not have to leave the country to visit Jamaica Beach! Just go to Jamaica Beach, Texas, located at the northwestern tip of Galveston Island State Park. And as long as you keep your fur baby on a leash, he is more than welcome to join you in the sand as well as the surf. The waters here are calm as you are in the Carancahua Cove area of West Bay. Be sure to bring doggie bags to clean up after your pup. 

Jamaica Beach is a small neighborhood with several parks and a bunch of eateries along the coast. Some of the nearby places are Venados Cantina, Shrimp n Stuff Food Truck, and Way West Grill and Pizzeria. The public beach is free, and you can also find free parking all around the coast within walking distance. But be aware, there are no lifeguards here, so put a doggie life vest on your pooch. 

Sea Isle Beach Park

Also known to locals as Beach Access 27, this is a small beach with a gravel parking lot just past the Holiday Inn Club Beach west of Galveston Island State Park. This beach is part of a neighborhood called Sea Isle, which is a family-friendly resort community. Although there are private fishing and boating piers, the 1.6-miles of the beach is open to the public, including your dog. You and Fido can swim, but there are no lifeguards here.   

The beach is reachable by walking over the wooden boardwalk, which is a fine place for a selfie or a shot of the sunrise or sunset, depending on what time you visit. You will not find any restrooms or showers here, but there are a few places to get something to drink and eat, like Beachside Bar & Grill, the Sandbar Grille, and the Sea Isle Supermarket. But first, ask permission before bringing your pup indoors. 

Terramar Beach

Another seaside village, Terramar Beach is a little further west from Sea Isle Beach Park and features a public beach with fantastic fishing and swimming spots for you and your pooch. Parking on the beach is free, but you won’t be able to go far since there are roadblocks to keep you from entering the beach area where people are enjoying themselves. There are several eateries and bars, as well as a small grocery store for everything you need. 

There are three walkovers to get you onto the sand if you opt to park on the road, and you can see that the beach is one big wide expanse of sand on the warm waters of the gulf. You will need to keep your pup on a leash and pick up after him so bring extra doggie waste bags. Many people come here just to bird watch so keep your pooch from chasing the wildlife at all times too.  

San Luis Beach

At the western tip of Galveston Island, San Luis Beach is right below the San Luis Pass Toll Bridge. A lot of people park on the sand here, but since it is very soft, you may get stuck. The current here is also swift, so you will need to keep your pooch close to shore, fit him with a doggie life jacket, and keep the leash short to prevent accidents. You should also stay close to shore. 

To be on the safe side, go up the beach a bit to the east to avoid the current from San Luis Pass. Right past Pointe West Resorts, this area is also a popular birding spot where you can see pelicans, gulls, and terns. The beach is long and flat, a great place to take a walk along the beach and hunt for shells and shark teeth. If you want calmer waters, visit the northern section of the beach on West Bay.

Lindale Dog Park

Located on the eastern end of the northern side of Galveston Island, Lindale Park is a sensational place to spend the day with your kids, both four-legged and two. There are five different huge playgrounds with all sorts of fun activities, as well as three tennis courts where you and your pup can probably find some lost tennis balls. Finders Keepers! There is also a ball field and numerous picnic areas with tables. 

The best part about this park, according to your canine kid, is the dog park where your pooch can run around off his leash. It has separate areas for large/friendly and small/shy dogs so everyone can have fun. If you want your fur baby to learn some skills, this is the park to visit. The entire dog park is like an agility course with several ramps, a bunch of tunnels, weave sticks, and hoops to jump through.  

Kempner Park

It may not be a dog park, but it is still a lot of fun, and it has some historical significance as well. You and your fur buddy can find a bunch of picnic tables in the shade, a fun walking trail, and other fun things to do right across from Pleasure Pier. The grounds are stunning, and you will love taking a stroll around the Garten Verein (Garden Club) from the 1800s, where you can see a variety of flora. 

Right across from the Kermit Courville Stadium, you may be able to catch some of the local football games if you are there during the season. Also, there is a beautiful fountain in the park where you and your fur baby can get some selfies to share on social media. You will need to keep your canine companion on a leash at all times and bring doggie bags to clean up after him. 

Menard Dog Park

Right next to the Pleasure Pier, Menard Park features a variety of fun to enjoy, from basketball to a walking trail. The community garden is a nice feature where you and Fido can meander along to smell the flowers and a bunch of picnic areas and pavilions to relax or have a bite to eat. Although your dog will need to stay on a leash, he can enjoy all the fun of the splash pad during the summer, and across the street is a nice beach. 

Menard Dog Park is a large stretch of grass inside Menard Park. the palm tree-lined park has a shade shelter with seating as well as water access. For your fur baby, there is a real fire hydrant and several obstacles to climb and play on. Since it is a mixture of grass and dirt, the park provides a dog washing station to clean up your pup before getting back in the car to go home. 

Seawolf Park

Across the Galveston Channel on Pelican Island, Seawolf Park is a fun and exciting waterfront park with the most popular fishing pier in the city. Besides fishing, you and your furry friend can enjoy a dip in the water if you get too hot and stroll along the boardwalk for a bit. Just be sure to keep your pup on a leash at all times. The historical and military displays do not allow dogs, though. 

However, your dog is allowed to join you for a barbecue at one of the covered picnic areas or watch the kids play on the many playgrounds. You will have your choice of beaches to enjoy since you are surrounded by water on three sides. Swimming is fine, but Fido still has to stay on a leash. You can even stay and fish overnight if you want to, but tents are not allowed. There is a small fee to park, but it is worth it for the amenities you will enjoy here. 

The Final Woof

Besides beaches, there are so many things you can do with your canine companion in Galveston. 

You can take a boat tour to see dolphins and other water wildlife with BayWatch Dolphin Tours or go on a scavenger hunt with a group of other fun people at Go Galveston Scavenger Hunt. There are also a few other dog parks on the island where your fur baby can run off the leash and play with other pups. Schreiber Park is home to West End Dog Recreation Area and also has a large park with a splash pad, walking trail, and picnic areas. 

When you get hungry, stop at one of the fur-friendly eateries like Yaga’s Cafe or Mosquito Cafe

Photo of author
Patty Oelze is a freelance writer who is also in the process of getting her PhD in Psychology. She has been writing about dogs and other critters for about 10 years and has a plethora of animals at her home including several cats, some chipmunks, a dozen raccoons, two foxes, one coyote, and herds of deer. She and her husband have been living in the Missouri Ozarks for years where she enjoys taking care of wildlife, fishing, photography, boating, and of course, writing.

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