Surfside is about 60 miles south of Houston, where the closest airport and car rentals can be found. Take SH-288 South all the way through Lake Jackson. On the south edge of Lake Jackson you'll cross Main Street and a few hundred yards later, on the right, turn right on SH-332 East, across the intercoastal waterway bridge to Surfside Beach.
From Galveston, head south to the toll bridge ($2 either direction) and follow the Bluewater Highway to town.
The beach makes for excellent walking, but the few services in town are spread out enough to make a car or bike a necessity.
Horses are allowed on the beach May 15 - Sept 15
- Beaches. The pedestrian beach is located between Welk St. and Thunder St., with free parking located at both edges. The rest of the beach, from Welk St. north, allows cars with beach permits. There are picnic tables and BBQ grills at Jetty and Stahlman parks. Water quality signs are posted along the beach and swimming is not recommened in all areas.
- Jetty Park, 301 Parkview Rd, ☎ +1 979-233-3000.
- Stahlman Park.
- Surfing. See below for surfboard and boogeyboard rentals.
- Crabbing. There's a crabbing pier over a small estuary at the north end of town, just across from Stalman Beach Park. The end of the pier is currently in disrepair and the last few yards have collapsed, but the rest is stable enough for crabbing, fishing, and birdwatching.
- Watersports. Jetskis and boats of all sizes are popular. Kayaks can also be rented.
- Easy Going Charters, ☎ +1 979-233-2947. Easy Going takes up to 6 people on their 35 ft. boat for 6 or 12 hour fishing trips. They even clean and wrap your fish. $1000.
- Johnston's Sportfishing, ☎ +1 979-233-8513.
- Bingo's Boards, ☎ +1 979 230 9000. T-shirts, swimsuits, assorted beach accessories, boards for rent and sale
Surfside has only a small convenience store for groceries, for real shopping you'll need to head over the bridge to Clute or Lake Jackson. Fresh fish and shrimp can be purchased at the small fish market on the other side of the bridge.
- Kitty's Purple Cow, 323 Ocean Ave, Freeport.
- Landshark's Pizza and Grill, 409 E SH-332, Freeport, ☎ +1 979-233-4355. Laidback pizza, salads, grilled meat, and fish. Take out and delivery available. Landshark is closed now.
- Castaways Bar and Grill, 110 Fort Velasco, Surfside Beach. Burgers, steaks and daily grill specials
- Red Snapper Inn, 402 Blue Water Hwy, Freeport. Greek and Italian influenced seafood. House specialties include Red Snapper a La Grec and crab stuffed jalapenos. Children's menu available. A small selection of beer and wine, including some Greek options.
- Surfside Liquor, ☎ +1 979-233-3382. Has beer, wine, and hard alcohol (note that neither Clute nor Lake Jackson offers anything but beer. Closed Sundays.
- Castaways Club and Grill, 110 Ft Velasco Dr, ☎ +1 979-239-3737. Dim local's bar with a couple of video gambling machines and $2 beers. The Grill part seems to have closed.
- Surfside Jetty Shack. A great local find - just to the right of the Jetty... Not very large but big on atmosphere and company. Sandwiches and burgers are tasty and the beer is always cold. Rebuilt after Hurricane Ike.. has a pool table, dart board and a few video gaming machines.
Most visitors to Surfside take advantage of the numerous and affordable vacation homes ranging from tiny one-bedroom A-frames, to muti-story houses big enough for family reunions. Always do your homework before choosing your vacation rental home or rental management company.
- Cedar Sands Motel, 343 North Beachfront, ☎ +1 979-233-1942. Tired budget motel a block off the beach.
- Surfside Motel, 330 Coral Ct, ☎ +1 979 233 4948.
- Austin's Landing RV Park and Resort, ☎ +1 979-239-1923, toll-free: +1-888-468-1923.
- Surfside Beach RV Park, 102 Fort Velesco Dr, ☎ +1 979-233-6919.
- Beach Camping. Fires are permitted as long as they are small and under control. Any cars on the beach, outside of the free parking areas, must have a permit. Around 8 dollars..
- Beach House Associates, 140 Bluewater Highway, ☎ +1 979-239-1073. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. Beach House Associates has a Selection of Premier Front Row Beach Houses in Surfside Beach, from 2 - 6 Bedrooms with sleeping space for 2 - 30 per house.
The closest public internet connections are at the Lake Jackson Public library and in Galveston. If you're in town for a week or more, you can arrange wireless access through Surfside.net (owned and operated by the mayor!).
Note that many vacation rentals do not have telephones, but there is decent cell phone coverage for the area.
- Tap water is affected by "trihalomethanes", a byproduct of over-chlorination. It's also not very tasty. According to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, there's no health danger for short term visitors, but you'll probably want to buy bottled water for drinking and cooking.
- Jellyfish are common in Gulf waters especially the Portuguese Man-of-War. Counteract the painful poison with a towel zapped in the microwave for 1 minute or a mix of vinegar and meat tenderizer.
- Hurricanes affect the area. Evacuation route signs are posted along main roads.
Seaweed - a significant amount can sometimes be heaped up on the beach, especially after a storm. It can sometimes accumulate in large rafts that are too thick to comfortably navigate