Best Lake Beaches to Visit Close to Dallas and Fort-Worth

Although Dallas is often associated with city life, it’s also home to some of Texas’s most stunning beaches. You don’t even need to go to the Gulf Coast for some fun in the sun. While it may be surprising, the city’s beaches rival its famous skyscrapers in beauty and charm. If you’re planning a summer getaway, here are some of the best beaches in and around the Dallas and Fort Worth area.

Best Lake Beaches to Visit Close to Dallas and Fort-Worth

So, grab your swimsuit and sunscreen, and let’s dive into these delightful beaches:

Joe Pool Lake Recreation Area

Located in Grand Prairie, the Joe Pool Lake Recreation Area boasts some of the finest beaches in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. It’s the closest lake to Dallas, where you can enjoy sandy shores and cool, refreshing waters for swimming.

This lake is perfect for families, offering designated swimming areas, picnic tables, and a playful ship-themed playground. Additionally, beachgoers can enjoy activities like sand volleyball, and there are plenty of concession stands to keep hungry kids satisfied.

With four parks surrounding the vast 7,740-acre reservoir, everyone has their favorite spot, and all of them are well-organized with excellent facilities, promising a summer filled with family fun.

To make the most of your visit and secure the best spot and parking, it’s advisable to come early, especially during the crowded summer months when many seek relief from the heat.

White Rock Lake Park

White Rock Lake as viewed from the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden in Dallas, Texas

Situated just about five miles from downtown Dallas, White Rock Lake Park is undeniably the most popular park in the city, and its lovely beach is no exception. Although swimming is not allowed here, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy with your loved ones, including boating, canoeing, hiking, and more, without needing to spend much money.

While you’re at the park, take the opportunity to explore various attractions, such as the White Rock Lake Museum, Dallas Arboretum, Audubon Society Bird Watching Area, and the serene wetland. You can also relax and enjoy the tranquil lake views from your beach chair, as there are beach areas scattered throughout the park, along with convenient picnic spots for those who bring their own supplies. The park frequently hosts summer festivals and a variety of activities, making it a vibrant hub of entertainment.

If you visit, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the Bath House Cultural Center. This intriguing cultural hub not only offers fascinating exhibits but also provides an educational tour, giving you insights into the rich history of the area.

Pebble Beach Park

Located in Nevada, Texas, Pebble Beach Park is a hidden gem perfect for a serene getaway. As one of the most relaxing beaches near Dallas, it appeals to water-loving families seeking a peaceful retreat. Located on the shore of Lake Lavon – one of the largest lakes in northern Texas – the park features a lovely wide sandy beach, ideal for swimming and relaxing under the shade of the surrounding large trees.

The park offers some facilities, including covered picnic tables for enjoyable family outings with breathtaking views of the lake and a convenient 3-lane boat ramp for those who wish to launch their boats into the water.

While enjoying your time at Pebble Beach Park, it’s crucial to prioritize safety, as there are no lifeguards available on the site. Remember to pack life vests and keep a watchful eye on your little ones as they have fun in the water.

Surfside Beach

Facing the Atlantic Ocean, Surfside Beach is the true epitome of beauty and tranquility. It’s situated on Follet’s Island by the Gulf of Mexico near Freeport City. It’s an excellent option for those seeking more stretches of white sand compared to Pebble Beach Park and White Rock Lake Park. It is undoubtedly one of the best beach vacation spots near Dallas.

As the name suggests, it is a paradise for surfers, providing consistent waves and great depth for both teens and adults to showcase their surfing skills. The good thing about this beach is caters not only to surfing enthusiasts but also to the entire family. Whether you want to ride the waves, go fishing, swim, sunbathe, or collect seashells, this Texan beach offers it all.

Expert tip: Try to visit Buc-ee’s gas station before crossing the massive bridge on 332. Here, you can stock up on essentials like towels, sunscreen, fried chicken, snacks, and anything else you may need for a memorable beach trip.

South Padre Island

panoramic view of the South Padre Island 

South Padre Island unquestionably stands as one of the finest family-friendly beaches in Texas. Its soft white sandy shores and crystal clear aquamarine waters create a mesmerizing setting for a perfect vacation. Families have been drawn to its charm for years, and its appeal remains unmatched.  

The inviting beaches and beautiful waters provide an ideal backdrop for creating lasting memories with loved ones. The island offers a wide array of activities like horse riding on the beach, ziplining, and the thrilling Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark.

South Padre Island is also a popular spring break destination, attracting collegiate vacationers from far and wide. So if you prefer a more serene and peaceful family getaway, it’s best to avoid visiting in early March when the crowds are at their peak. Opt for a time when it’s not in demand to fully enjoy the island’s tranquil ambiance and family-friendly attractions.

Galveston Island

Aerial view beach shoreline on sunny summer day with people bathing, sunbathing, and relaxing in Galveston, Texas

For families, there’s no dull moment on Galveston Island. It’s one of the most popular family-friendly locations for a beach outing in Texas. Located approximately 250 miles from Dallas, this island is an exceptional destination for families seeking an unforgettable beach experience. The long drive from Dallas is undoubtedly worth it, as the island is packed with family-friendly diversions, making it a beach bum’s paradise.

You can find something for everyone on this picturesque island, from surfing and sunbathing to breathtaking views and mind-boggling attractions like the Lone Star Flight Museum.

If you have a penchant for learning new things, take advantage of the opportunity to explore Moody Gardens, a non-profit nature center that offers an insightful and educational experience. Additionally, you can add some splashy fun to your trip by visiting the Schlitterbahn Waterpark.

Crystal Beach

Crystal Beach, located on the Bolivar Peninsula, is the closest white sand beach to Dallas, making it a perfect destination for beach enthusiasts. Crystal Beach is nestled on a pristine 7-mile stretch of sugar-white sands and offers a breathtaking and picturesque setting. The beach’s gentle waves make it an excellent spot for families with kids, as it ensures a safe and enjoyable swimming experience.

This family-friendly beach provides plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained. From hunting for seashells to launching small sailboats, there’s no shortage of fun on Crystal Beach.

For a change of pace from the sandy and sunny excitement, make sure to visit the historic Bolivar Point Lighthouse, adding a touch of history to your beach adventure. Also, don’t miss out on the live music scene on the beach, which promises to enhance your overall experience.

Burger’s Lake

Burger’s Lake is in Fort Worth and is undeniably one of the easiest recommendations for a quick and delightful beach getaway from Dallas. Since the 1930s, this spring-fed lake has been a beloved destination for Dallas residents seeking respite from their bustling city lives. Its laid-back charm and sandy shoreline provide a refreshing and exhilarating escape from the scorching Texas heat.

For a more relaxed experience and to avoid crowds, consider visiting the lake early in the morning on weekdays so you find a convenient parking spot.

Little Elm Park

If you want to have a ton of fun and adventure with your loved ones without needing to drive away too far, go to Little Elm Park. With an impressive 233-mile shoreline, Little Elm Park offers a picturesque setting for various water activities, including swimming, paddle boarding, and kayaking.

For families with teenagers, the park provides an added treat with ten volleyball courts near the swimming area, ensuring plenty of entertainment for all.

While enjoying the water activities, it’s essential to be cautious, as there is no lifeguard on duty. Swimmers should take extra care, and for added safety, life jackets can be rented for both kids and adults.

Sea Rim State Park

Located in Sabine Pass, Sea Rim State Park is a beach destination that can easily rival the best beaches near Dallas – thanks to its sandy shoreline and captivating outdoor adventures.

At Sea Rim State Park, visitors can enjoy a beautiful 5-mile sandy beach, providing ample space to relax and take a refreshing dip in the water. The park also boasts vast wetlands, where lucky guests may catch glimpses of alligators roaming among cypress trees, adding an element of excitement to the experience.

For a pleasant visit, preparing for the intense sunlight is important, especially during the warmer months. Wearing plenty of sunscreens is essential, as the sunlight at this state park can be more intense compared to other parts of the US. Additionally, when on the shore, it’s advisable to wear flip-flops or shoes, as the intense sunlight quickly heats up the sand, and walking barefoot may lead to discomfort.

Lynn Creek Park

As one of the four parks surrounding the popular Joe Pool Lake, Lynn Creek Park offers not only a wonderful sandy beach but also a wealth of recreational opportunities such as boating, jet skiing, fishing, hiking, and bird-watching.

The park’s soft sandy beach is perfect for families to enjoy, with kids building sandcastles while parents relax under umbrellas with cool drinks. For those seeking more active pursuits, fishing, boating (with a marina and boat ramp available), a large kids’ playground and ample open picnic areas offer plenty of options. An exciting highlight at Lynn Creek Park is the annual holiday light display known as “Prairie Lights,” held from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve.

Convenient amenities, including changing rooms, showers, and restrooms, further enhance the beachgoers’ experience. However, it’s important to note that the beach is closed from October to February.