Crystal Beach, Texas

The beach called and we went running


 Texas is my favorite state, hands down. But something that Texas is desperately lacking is jaw dropping beaches… I mean the Texas sky is the biggest one I’ve seen, and everything IS bigger here, but we just don’t have sand so soft that you want to melt into it, or sand that is so beautifully colored that you want to look at all of the separate particles that make up each handful… But we do have a few things going for us, and I will definitely be making a post on how much I love Texas in the future… but until then, onward to Crystal Beach!

Recently I had a friend inform me that you can go down south and camp on the beach FOR FREE anytime you want and it is absolutely beautiful. Well, I was in need of some beach time and I decided to drive to the beach to camp and watch the sunrise.

On a spur of the moment idea, I packed up my camping gear and my dog and we drove over 5 hours to the beach. 

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Where is Crystal Beach?

Until my friend Erin posted a picture on Insta of her beautiful view one morning, I had never heard of it either. Crystal Beach is on Bolivar Peninsula, which is in South Texas… past Houston and next to Galveston Island. From Fort Worth, we drove about 5 and a half hours before we saw ocean. We took I45 to I10 and then FM124 until we hit the coast. Once you veer right on FM124, you can pitch your tent just about anywhere along the 20+ miles of beach. I drove about 10 miles before turning left on a random road to get to the beach,  and then continued a little ways on the beach while looking for a spot to set up camp. (I went over Memorial weekend, so it was pretty crowded, but even then I was able to easily find a spot with no one near me. and I cannot wait to go back when it is not a holiday weekend and have miles of beach all to myself.)

Travel tip #15: To be able to drive on the beach, you have to purchase a beach permit! Luckily they are only $10 and can be bought at most convenience stores once you are near the beach. I bought mine in Winnie, which is a little over 20 miles north of Crystal Beach, but I saw multiple places that sold them right in Crystal Beach. I bought mine in Winnie because I have learned from past travels that once you get on an island, gas prices skyrocket. So if you need gas, I would suggest doing the same and stopping in Winnie. The permits are good until the end of the calendar year of when you purchased it, so no matter when you purchase the permit, it will expire on December 31st of that same year.

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So, beach camping?

Once you make it to the coast, Crystal Beach has over 20 miles of beachfront property available for all of your camping desires. I guess it would be considered primitive car camping since there are no water hookups, restrooms, or picnic tables nearby. Just the sand, the waves and whatever you bring with you. As we walked along the beach, we saw some pretty nice tent hookups that people brought along with them, and some people even brought their own tent outhouses. So that’s a thing here, and a very smart thing at that.

I love sleeping under the stars and being right on the beach made it even better. We slept in the tent and the weather was perfect. We were pretty comfortable, but there were a ton of mosquitos out… I actually used to have to claim to fame that I had never been bitten by a mosquito… until I slept at Crystal Beach. I was constantly spraying bug spray all over my body (all natural spray made with essential oils of course) and swatting the pests away from Brandy. I still have bites all over my body and I am still finding sand everywhere, but I would do it again no questions asked. I am literally always down for the beach. That is my place.

Brandy had a blast running in the waves, chasing seagulls overhead and playing ball by the moonlight. I had a blast just by being near the ocean, the sounds of waves crashing into shore and seagulls overhead take me to my happy place. I am 100% a beach babe.

This trip was Brandy’s first time to the beach, and I now know she loves it just as much as I do. So we will definitely be going back soon!

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Beach sunrise

This was the main reason I decided to go to the beach. There is just something magical about watching a sunrise while hearing waves hit the shore.

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The cure for anything is salt water; sweat, tears or the sea.

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Onward and upward,

Christy

traveled during May of 2016

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Christy

A 24 year old nomad who has explored over 30 countries. I'm a modern day hippie, star gazer, and yoga teacher. Cookie butter, handstands, and my dog make me happy! And these posts contain my stories and memories of traveling and falling in love with the world. Cheers!

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