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FAQ


Visiting Galveston Island beaches soon? Here are some frequently asked questions and other important information.

Top Frequently Asked Question

  1. Where is alcohol permitted on Galveston Beaches?
  2. Are glass containers permitted?
  3. Can I bring my pet to the beach?
  4. Where can I camp on Galveston Island?
  5. Can I have a fire or barbecue on the beach?
  6. Can I drive a 4-wheeler/ATV/Dirt Bike on the beach?
  7. Where can I surf or go kayaking/canoeing off the beach?
  8. Where can I launch a watercraft from the beach?
  9. How do I rent a beach umbrella and/or chair?
  10. How do I pay for parking on the Seawall?

 

Other Important Information

  1. Swimming and Water Safety
  2. Sand Dunes
  3. Fishing
  4. Horseback Riding on the Beach
  5. Golf Carts

 

Top Frequently Asked Questions


Where is alcohol permitted on Galveston Beaches?
Alcohol is permitted in select areas on Galveston Beaches and prohibited in all others. Alcohol is permitted at East Beach/Apffel Park, Porretto Beach, and west of 61st St to 16 Mile Road. Alcohol is prohibited in all other areas on Galveston Beaches.
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Are glass containers permitted?
Glass of any kind is prohibited on all Galveston beaches. This is prevent injuries from broken glass that can easily become buried and mixed with sand.
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Can I bring my pet to the beach?
Pets are allowed on all Galveston Beaches, so long as they remain on a leash. You are responsible for cleaning up any excrement left by your pet.
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Where can I camp on Galveston Island?
Camping on all Galveston beaches is prohibited from 12am-5am. Additionally, there is no overnight parking allowed on Seawall Blvd. The only designated place to camp on Galveston Island is at the Galveston Island State Park. For information regarding camping and reservations, visit the State Park’s website.
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Can I have a fire or barbecue on the beach?
There are no open fires or bonfires allowed on any Galveston beaches. Fires must be contained in a manufactured fire pit, chiminea, or barbecue pit, and have water or a fire extinguisher within reach. Any barbecue pit must be placed away from beach umbrellas and chairs. Charcoals must be fully extinguished before being properly disposed of in a designated trash can. Do not bury coals in the sand at any time!
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Can I drive a 4-wheeler/ATV/Dirt Bike on the beach?
4-Wheelers, ATVs, and Dirt Bikes are permitted only where there is designated vehicle access. All types of vehicles must be street legal with proper tags. The speed limit on all beaches is 15mph max. All vehicles must obey the rules of the road. Reckless or negligent operation, such as donuts and burning out, is prohibited. All vehicles must stay off sand dunes.
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Where can I surf or go kayaking/canoeing off the beach?
From May 15th to Labor Day, surfing, use of kayaks and canoes, and all other non-motorized, hard bottomed watercraft is permitted only in the designated Multi-Use Areas within 50 yards shoreline. The Multi-Use Areas are as follows: from the west end of East Beach/Apffel Park to the east end of Stewart Beach; from the west side of the 17th St. rock jetty to the east side of the 21st St. rock jetty; from the west side of Pleasure Pier at 25th St. to the east side of the 53rd St. rock jetty; from 300ft west of the 61st fishing pier to 300ft east of the 91st St. fishing pier; and from 300ft west of the 91st St. fishing pier to the west end of Galveston Island.

From Labor Day to May 15th, these activities are allowed in all areas, with the exception of within 300ft west and east of the 61st St. fishing pier and the 91st St. fishing pier.
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Where can I launch a watercraft from the beach?
There are several designated launch sites from Galveston Beaches. They are: on the west end of East Beach/Apffel Park; on the east end of the Stewart Beach Special Use Area; on the west side of the 29th St. rock jetty; and from all West End beach access points. All trailers must be pulled away from the shoreline and vehicles parked in designated parking areas.
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How do I rent a beach umbrella and/or chair?
Many of Galveston beaches offer rentals of beach umbrellas and chairs. To rent the items, simply sit down in a vacant set up and a representative of the rental company will come by to assist you. Prices vary by company and location.
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How do I pay for parking on the Seawall?
Parking along the Seawall from 6th to 69th streets and 81st to 103rd streets can be purchased via Pay By Phone for $1 per hour, $8 per day or $25 per annual pass. Paid parking is enforced from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Register your vehicle by visiting PayByPhone.com or by calling 1-866-234-7275.

Seawall parking is enforced by the City of Galveston.
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Other Important Information


Sand Dunes

Sec. 8-4. Driving vehicles or horses on sand dunes:

It shall be unlawful for any person to drive, operate or park any motor vehicle, motorcycle or motorbike, dune buggy or other recreational vehicle upon, over or across any sand dune, or to ride or walk any horse, pony or mule upon, over or across any sand dune, located within the city.  (Code 1960, § 4-1.5; Ord. No. 79-48, § 1, 5-31-79)  State law reference— Similar provisions, V.A.T.C. Natural Resources Code, § 63.093.

Erosion Response Plan

The City of Galveston has prepared an Erosion Response Plan (ERP) to achieve the following broad local objectives:

  • Reduce public expenditures for erosion and storm damage losses to public and private property, including public beaches

  • Ensure the health and stability of existing dune systems and dune vegetation

  • Encourage the natural recovery of dunes and beaches following storm-induced erosion

  •  Provide for the establishment of new dunes through restoration projects; and allow for the landward migration of beaches and dunes due to erosion.

The Erosion Response Plan is designed to implement dune protection, erosion response, and beach access policies and objectives in the City Comprehensive Plan and comply with requirements set forth in set forth in Title 31 Texas Administrative Code, §15.17 (31 TAC15.17). In 2009, the Texas legislature adopted the Texas Natural Resources Code §33.607, which requires local governments along the Gulf Coast to develop plans for reducing public expenditures for erosion and storm damage losses. To implement the law, the Texas General Land Office (GLO) adopted rules to guide local government’s preparation of erosion response plans. The rules are intended to ensure local governments enact regulations to reduce future storm damage and protect public access to beaches.  To download a copy of the Erosion Response Plan, visit: http://galveston.surfrider.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/12_0117_GALV_ERP_Plan_Exhibits_webres.pdf

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Fishing

All State laws apply to fishing in Galveston waterways.
Sec. 8-5. – Fishing

It shall be unlawful for any person who shall catch or capture fish, crab or shrimp in the waters of the Galveston Bay or Gulf of Mexico to leave any such fish, crab or shrimp upon any beach or other public place in the city. It shall be the duty of any person catching or capturing such fish, crab or shrimp to make such disposition of his catch or capture that the same will not be found upon any beach or other public place.

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Horseback Riding on the Beach

Sec. 8-8. Horses on Beaches

(a) Except in areas designated for the purpose, it shall be unlawful for any person to ride, lead or drive any horse, mule, jackass, donkey or pony upon any public beach within the-city between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day and on any Saturday or Sunday during the months of May through September, inclusive. The city council shall, from time to time, by ordinance, resolution or other official action, designate areas where the prohibition of this section shall not apply.
(b)The prohibition set forth in subsection (a) shall not apply to the public beach area situated between the westerly boundary of County Beach Pocket Park No. 1 and the easterly boundary line of County Beach Pocket Park No. 2.(Code 1960, § 4-11.3; Ord. No. 85-47, § 1, 7-11-85)

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For additional information on the city ordinances pertaining to Galveston Beaches, click here.

Do you still have an unanswered question? Give us a call at 409-763-4769, or fill out the form below and we’ll respond as soon as possible.

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