Hit the Road
'Sea' yourself in Brazosport for a breezy summer getaway
One beachy destination is nice, but five-in-one is even better. That's what you get with Brazosport, a coastal community located just 50 miles south of Houston that encompasses Clute, Freeport, Lake Jackson, Quintana, and Surfside Beach.
You can choose to concentrate on just one area, or spend your time city-hopping between them. Either way, there's plenty to do, see, eat, and explore with these recommended activities:
If the beach is your happy place, then Surfside Beach has got to be in your vacation plans. Miles of golden sand studded with seashells and marine life make Surfside Beach the perfect retreat for recreational athletes, sun worshipers, and nature lovers alike. With beach house rentals, motels, offshore fishing charters, restaurants, and souvenir shops all close at hand, Surfside Beach is a great spot for every type of beachgoer.
Sea Center Texas, Lake Jackson
At this marine development, aquarium, and education center you'll find vast aquariums that include the Gulf of Mexico, Salt Marsh, Coastal Bay, Jetty, and Artificial Reefs. Visit the 20-foot touch pool and handle marine animals such as blue crabs, hermit crabs, urchins, and anemones. The hatchery at Sea Center can produce 20 million fingerlings annually, primarily red drum and spotted sea trout, for release into Texas coastal waters.
Center for the Arts & Sciences, Clute
An art gallery, science museum, planetarium, and two performance theaters make up this mecca of culture. Featuring work by local, regional, and international artists, the gallery regularly updates its collection. The Center’s Museum of Natural Science contains one of the South’s largest seashell collections, as well as fossils of dinosaur and mammoth bone. The museum also features Texas coastal wildlife and a unique jade and ivory collection.
The BASF Planetarium offers a star show every Tuesday and on the fourth Friday of each month. Visitors can also view images from the Hubble telescope in the lobby through View-Space. The Center is also home to the longest-running community theater on the Texas Gulf Coast: Brazosport Center Stages, which offer five major productions each season. Pro tip: The Center is closed on Mondays.
Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge
This extensive, 43,000-acre refuge has a varied habitat of salt grass prairies, mud flats, fresh and saltwater marshes and lakes, and salt cedars. These habitats make it a favorite for many species of coastal and migratory birds. Meanwhile, an auto tour, boardwalks, and air conditioned discovery center make it a favorite for Texas birders. Open daily from sunrise to sunset, it's also a great spot for kayaking.
Surfside Jetty Park, Surfside Beach
More than half a mile long, with flat surface walkway about five feet above the water, this is a great place to go saltwater fishing for redfish, sheepshead, shark, and spotted sea trout.
Surfside Bird & Butterfly Trail, Surfside Beach
Stroll 2.5 miles surrounded by native plants and woodland, and bordered by the Freeport Harbor. Opened in 2019, this is a great place to spot butterflies, herons, pelicans, egrets, terns and more.
Quintana Neotropical Bird Sanctuary, Quintana
Home to salt cedars, beach dunes, gulf frontage, and brackish marshes, and with an observation tower and trails open daily from sunrise to sunset, this quaint beach community offers one of the hottest birding spots on the Texas Gulf Coast. During the month of April, the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory staff and volunteers provide local birding information, bird checklists, lead tours, and help identify birds for visitors at this site.
Christmas Bay Paddling Trail, near Surfside Beach
Find extensive oyster reefs and salt marshes ideal for fishing, bird watching, or just simply enjoying nature. It is very shallow and most paddlers can comfortably stand in its waters in most areas. But beware: If you wade or fish, wear ray-proof wading boots or shuffle your feet to avoid a stingray strike! The total trail length is 19.1 miles, with a 3.8-mile route and a 10.3-mile route. Launch sites are along Bluewater Highway between Surfside Beach and San Luis Pass on County Roads 257J, 257S, and at San Luis Pass County Park.
Gulf Coast Bird Observatory, Lake Jackson
Be sure to return in the fall for the annual Xtreme Hummingbird Xtravaganza, which is held at the peak of ruby-throated hummingbird migration. It features symbolic hummingbird adoptions and live hummingbird banding, where you get the opportunity to see these amazing birds up close and in the hand.
Where to feed your hunger
Being located along the Gulf of Mexico, of course you'll find some of the freshest seafood around. But don't forget about Tex-Mex and dishes that reflect Texas' original German settlements. After browsing the locally owned boutiques in downtown Lake Jackson or a day immersed in nature, you'll want to dig in. Find an extensive list of restaurant's here.
Where to rest your head
Stay right next to the sand with beach house rentals at Surfside Beach. Staying a little longer? Check out Beach Resort Services for short-term rentals in Surfside. In Lake Jackson, post up at the Best Western Plus and Staybridge Suites.
Explore more about Brazosport and start planning your next vacation here.