Beach vacay

South Texas fave makes waves as No. 1 among affordable U.S. beaches

South Texas fave makes waves as No. 1 among affordable U.S. beaches

North Beach Corpus Christi
North Beach boasts the best value in the nation.  Visit Corpus Christi/Facebook

Texans are seeking respite now, as stress levels have been high for months during the coronavirus pandemic. During these chaotic times, a quiet, relaxing — and relatively crowd-free — trip to the beach is the escape that many are looking for.

Thankfully, Texas is home to five of the 60 most affordable beaches in the U.S., according to a ranking released this spring by HomeToGo, a vacation rental search engine. Florida is the best-represented state on the list (21 beaches), followed by California (13), and Texas. 

To come up with the ranking, HomeToGo computed the costs of beachside parking, sunscreen, lunch, one beer, and a one-night stay near the coast.

Topping the U.S. list is North Beach in Corpus Christi, where HomeToGo estimates a trip costs $88.36. Highlights of North Beach include the Texas State Aquarium, the USS Lexington Museum, Fajitaville’s Ferris wheel, a one-and-a-half mile sandy beach, a concrete walkway, two fishing jetties, and the Dolphin Park playground.

“Whether you are looking for a place to eat and grab drinks, participate in a family-friendly experience, or immerse yourself in Coastal Bend history, North Beach has something for you,” the Corpus Christi Convention & Visitors Bureau says.

Keep in mind that attractions, restaurants, and other places at North Beach — and at other Texas beaches — might still be closed or operating under limited hours due to the pandemic. (And as we all know by now, before you make a trip to any beach, give serious consideration to whether you’ll encounter big crowds.)

The four other Texas beaches appearing on the HomeToGo list, along with the estimated cost of a beach trip, are:

10. Rockport Beach, $109.88
13. Galveston Island, East Beach, $113.67
30. Port Aransas, $124.08
33. South Padre Island, $124.74