Surfside, Texas

Article and Photography
by George Hosek

Surfside is truly a wonderful Texas coastal city, with miles of unspoiled shoreline, coastal marsh, rivers and bays, Surfside is the perfect retreat for the hard working city dweller or laid back retiree. From downtown Houston go south on Texas Highway 288 through the towns of Angleton, Lake Jackson, Clute and Freeport, it takes about an hour or so. Once you top the Surfside bridge you'll get a panoramic view that you won't soon forget.

From Galveston, just go west. Once you reach the San Luis Pass bridge you'll know you're getting close, pay the $2.00 toll, and keep going. The road, named the Bluewater highway goes straight to Surfside. Whether you're coming from Houston or Galveston, the stretch of road between Surfside and San Luis Pass is your access point to fun and adventure.

On summer weekends, especially holidays, the beach is usually crowded and there is an access fee, however, if you travel east from the Surfside bridge until you reach "beach access road" number 3 or 4, there is no fee and you can find some room to spread out a bit. Although, Its always wise to get an early start and stake your claim to a prime location.


If you like to fish, then you've come to the right place. Early morning is an excellent time to try your luck, your choice of fishing the bay or the surf will depend on many factors, such as the direction of the wind, movement of the tide, water clarity, abundance or scarcity of baitfish or just personal preference and experience.

Whatever you decide the chances are good that you'll come away with  some pleasant memories and maybe even some fish fillets you can share with your friends and family. The kayak has become a popular tool for the once shore bound angler, access to prime fishing spots and the ability to get away from the crowd is a huge advantage to those in the know. Other fishing options include the Surfside jetties or the San Luis Pass fishing pier. Both are outstanding choices, especially if you want to keep your feet dry.

For birdwatchers, Surfside is hard to beat. Hundreds of different species have been spotted, including residents like the reddish egret and rosette spoonbill.

Rare species like the osprey can sometimes be seen on the telephone poles overlooking the shallow marsh and lakes. A short drive to Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge is a must for any serious birdwatcher, also nearby Quintana and Bryan beach are excellent places to search.

If you have access to a boat, their are some outstanding bird rookeries in Christmas and Drum Bay that are definitely worth the trouble, you will be amazed at the abundance and variety of birds that gather in this coastal habitat throughout the year.


Surfside is also a great place for outdoor and nature photography. Landscapes, birds, wildlife and flowers are just a few of the subjects you will find, you never know what you may stumble across while cruising the back roads and beaches, this wrecked shrimp boat made for some unusual pictures.

An hour before and after sunrise and sunset are usually the best times to be out with your camera, wildlife tends to more active at this time, plus the softer light makes for more appealing images. Try to include some graphic element into your beach scenes, like people, birds, boats, etc., this will make your pictures more interesting.


Surfside is also home to the beach house. Hundreds and hundreds of multi-colored, bizarrely shaped dwellings line the gulf, ready and waiting for you to call home for a week or a weekend.

It doesn't matter if you're looking for a rental that sleeps 2 or 10 or whether you prefer a bay view a gulf view or both, there's something for everyone.

If staying on the beach is not a priority, there are also several hotels a few miles away in Clute ( see below ) you might want to consider. If roughing it is your preference, camping on the beach is another option.

If you want to get out of the big city for a while and enjoy a relaxing day or weekend on the Texas coast, consider Surfside. Friendly people, mild weather, and lots of open beach make for a fun and exciting time you won't soon forget.

Surfside Chamber - Beach Rules

Clute Visitor Bureau

Freeport Chamber

Quintana Texas

Texas isn't known for its big surf, but on rare occasions when the conditions come together, surfers converge at Surfside Jetty Park to take advantage. Usually, hurricanes in the gulf bring the monster waves Texas surfers crave, although, anytime the waves get big you'll likely find the parking lot full of anxious surfers.

Gary's Surfside Surf Cam

Surf House Surf Cam

Surfrider Foundation Texas

Superior Surf Boards, Surf Shack

Surf Cam Surfside

Bingo Surf Boards

The Breeze Hotel & RV Park - The Breeze RV Park is a year-round beachfront park.

Ocean Village Hotel - We are located next to Pirates Alley Cafe in the heart of Surfside Beach.

Cedar Sands Motel - The Cedar Sands Motel features newly renovated rooms to offer guests a pleasant experience.

Surfside Motel - The Surfside Motel is a family owned and operated business just a few yards from the gulf.

Peregrine Resort - Peregrine offers a quiet, relaxing vacation with the attractions and activities for all life styles.

Clute Motels & Hotels

Stahlman Park Reception and Conference Center - This facility is ideal for many events such as family reunions, wedding receptions, class reunions as well as company meetings. Originally built back in the 70's, Stahlman Park was destroyed during Hurricane Ike in Sept 2008. The park was soon rebuilt. It is bigger and better than ever.
Beach House Rentals

The Beach Beagle - 713-781-9765

Beach Front Properties - 713-995-6111

Beachfront Rental Homes - 936-582-0488

Beach House Associates - 979-239-1073

Beach Resort Services - 800-382-9283

Brannan Resort Rental Inc. - 979-233-1812

Columbia Property Specialists - 979-239-2959

Beach Front House Rentals - 979-871-3058

Island Time -303-495-3762

Le Papillion Rentals - 281-360-7795

Play N Hooky - 979-236-1072

Surfside Real Estate - office 979-233-3633

The White House - cell 713-582-5262, office 936-539-5626

The Starfish Beach House - 832-978-1202

Turkoise Properties - 713-530-1152

Surfside Restaurants

Castaway's Bar and Grill
110 Fort Velasco,
Surfside Beach, Texas

Jetty Shack
412 Parkview,
Surfside Beach, Texas

Kitty's Purple Cow
323 Ocean Avenue,
Surfside Beach, Texas

Pirate's Alley Cafe
310 Ocean Village Drive,
Surfside Beach, Texas

Red Snapper Inn
402 Bluewater Highway,
Surfside Beach, Texas

Surfside Beach Blogspot - Surfside info and photos

Up Your Coast - Surf videos and other Surfside Info.

Map of Surfside



Fishing Charters and Marinas

Action Charters - We do private charter groups up to 24 persons. 979-233-2999

Easy Going Charters - Deep Sea fishing and diving trips. 979-233-2947

Surfside Beach Charters - We specialize in offshore fishing adventures for all ages and skill levels. 979-299-4771 or 979-239-4266

Surfside Marina - SURFSIDE MARINA is a state of the art large center console dry stack and sport fish yacht basin marina on the Intracoastal Waterway near the Freeport Jetties in Surfside Beach, Texas.

Gulf Coast Marina - is a full service dry stack marina.

In nearby Clute, Texas you can find The Brazospsort Center for the Arts & Sciences a 45,000 square foot cultural and educational complex located in the heart of the Brazosport, Texas area. The facility houses the Museum of Natural Science which features the largest shell collection in the south....over 15,000 on display. They also are home to Center Stages Theater ..offering live theater productions in a 199 seat theater arena theater and 391 seat proscenium theater. The facility also includes a Planetarium, and is home to the Brazosport Art League which operates an art gallery and an art studio.

Texas Explorer Magazine
Photography be George Hosek

Full Moon Rising

On Oct 26th the moonrise coincided with the sunset and clear skies.  I knew the sun would set at 6:41 and the moon would rise 14 minutes later, so I positioned myself on the west side of the San Luis Pass pier and waited for the moon.

After a few minutes a large full moon started to appear, after a minor adjustment to my position I started recording the scene with my Canon XH A1 video camera, I also shot some still images as well.

Although, I didn't get the color in the eastern sky I was hoping for, the impressive blood red moon had all the color the shot needed. Unfortunately, San Luis Pass Pier was destroyed during Hurricane Ike.





History of Old Velasco - Surfside Texas - click the link for a more detailed article about the history of  Surfside.

Historic and key Texas Port of entry. During the civil war was fortified by troops and eight gun batteries at the mouth of the Brazos river.

To provide shelter and landing facilities for blockade runners; to protect rich farmlands; and to prevent Federal invasion. The south exchanged cotton for European guns, ammunition, milled goods for army and home use. Velasco was one of the busiest ports.

Federal vessels attempted to stop vital trade, and constantly fired upon runners as well as the shore defenses and patrols. The runners would approach the port on dark nights when the waters were smooth, and by the use of sounding lines could determine the nearness to shore and avoid blockaders.

Boilers would be kept well fired with hard coal that burned with a minimum of smoke. In case it became necessary to outrun enemy patrol ships. Union ships had to go to New Orleans for drinking water, food and fuel, because Texas marines on rafts or dredge boats or Texas cavalry and infantry units kept them of the shores.

The raw courage of the Texas coastal defenders made this a most dramatic story in the history of the confederacy.

Old Valasco
Here was fought a battle -The first collision of arms between Texas colonist and the Mexican military.

A conflict preliminary to the Texas war for independence. On June 26, 1832, when Texans under John Austin and Henry Smith came down river with cannon for use against Mexican forces at Anahuac, they ran against the resistance of Lt. Col. Domingo De Ugartechea refused passage through the mouth of the Brazos river to the vessel carrying the cannon to Anahuac.

Some 112 Texas attacked the fort at midnight, and after nine hours under the fire of Texas rifles and cannon, the Mexican garrison was forced to surrender. The battle of Valesco was brought on by a customs quarrel at Anahuac, was unknowingly fought after the dispute at Anahuac had been peacefully settled.

After the victory at San Jacinto four years later, President David G. Burnet moved the capital of the Republic of Texas temporarily to Velesco.

Here the treaty of Velesco, ending hostilities between Texas and Mexico, was signed on May 14, 1836.





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Content copyright George L. Hosek. The articles and photographs on this site are for viewing on your computer only, absolutely, no commercial or personal reproduction without written consent from George Hosek.