Sea Center Texas is a very popular attraction for families of all ages. A joint effort by Dow Chemical, the Gulf Coast Conservation Association, and Texas Parks and Wildlife, created the Sea Center Texas. Located in nearby Lake Jackson, the 11 million-dollar saltwater fish hatchery showcases a 22,000 square foot hatchery building that houses red fish and speckled trout brood fish, producing over 20 million fingerlings a year. The hatchery includes "touch tanks" for children as well as three aquariums. A 2,000 gallon tidal grass aquarium features fish found in Texas bays, rivers, and lakes. The 5,000 gallon surf aquarium features fish caught of Texas beaches and jetties. Finally the 52,000 gallon offshore aquarium houses fish found in the Gulf. All aquariums represent the species as they would live in their natural habitat. There is a 5 acre freshwater wetland site designed to help visitors understand the importance of our vital wetlands. A nature walk around the wetlands offers the chance to view birds and other wildlife. Sea Center Texas does offer guided tours of the facility but you must call in advance to schedule. Otherwise you can go anytime during business hours for a self guided tour and admission is always free.
Tuesday - Friday
9am - 4pm
Saturday 10am - 5pm
Sunday 1pm - 4pm
For more information call (979) 292-0100
The Beach is PERFECT for Kite Flying. Most places on the island carry a small selection of kites or pick one up before you head down. Breaker Sports carries a small assortment of kites (located next door to our office). You can also check the one gas station on the island, Valero.
The 27 miles of beach here in Surfside is home to more than 600 different species of seashells that wash up on our shoreline every day. Shelling is a fun and educational activity that the whole family can take part in. Before heading to the beach; be sure to grab a bucket or grocery bag and some sun protection (sun block, hat, long sleeve shirt, etc.). After a short walk, you should be able to find all kinds of great finds... shells, sea glass, driftwood, coral, crab shells, fish bones, shark teeth, and other fun things that wash ashore.
After your vacation, you will just need to find a glass jar to display your new found treasures. You can make this a yearly tradition, and after a few years, you will have an impressive collection of shells and stories! So grab your bucket and start shelling!
-Shelling on Low Tide is the best time to shell as it exposes the most amount of shells. Check the Tide Charts to see when Low Tide will be.
-Stormy weather can cause more shells to wash ashore, so shelling after a storm is a must.
-Pedestrian Beach is a favorite shelling spot for us.
-Looking for shark teeth? Closer to San Louis Pass will be good as the sharks often feed on fishing coming from the pass.
-Try taking a drive down County Beach and look for big patches of shells. Shells are not always spread out, most of the time they come ashore in piles!
-Look up your shells online when you get home!
Building Sand Castles
Before leaving for the Beach, take a look around the Garage / Kitchen and grab anything that could be used to dig, shape, or mold sand. A few things you might want to grab are buckets of all sizes, shovels, rakes, water can, colander, etc. are great to use on the beach! Or you can stop by any of the local surf shops who carry an assortment of plastic buckets, shovels and nets for catching minnows at the waters edge.
-A rake is great for clearing away any seaweed.
-Try to use damp sand since it holds better. Sand too soft or dry will not hold its shape. Sand too close to the water will be too wet and loose, plus the waves will wash away your hard work.
During the summer the ocean is normally very calm and perfect for a little paddle out in the open waters. If the surf is up and you don't feel like battling the waves, then take a stroll around the bays and maybe do a little fishing while you are out there. Don't have a kayak? No problem, you can rent them from Breaker Sports located next door to our office. They have both single and double kayaks! For a map of the paddling trails click below.
Click Here for a 'How To' Video on Paddling a Canoe
If you have a volleyball set then bring it! Beach Volleyball is great way to get the family involved in something all at the same time. Local shops sell the lower quality sets but you can get a nice one at a sports store in Lake Jackson or your home town before you leave. You can also build your own too. See the YouTube video below on how to build your own volleyball court on a budget!
Building your own Portable VolleyBall Net on the Cheap!
This is another great sand activity for the whole family! Think about having a Horseshoe Tournament one day and maybe giving away some small prizes! The whole family will be on the beach all day long.
The sound of a crackling fire and the crashing of the waves is so relaxing you will want to sleep on the beach. It is also a great time to enjoy the beach when the sun is not beating down on you. Just be sure to bring some firewood from home or purchase some from the local corner store here on the island. PLEASE DO NOT burn anything found on the beach or sand dunes. Not only is it illegal but it also takes away from our beach. Erosion is a constant battle and driftwood washed up on the beach will help build our beach back up.
Be sure to check with our office to see if our area is under a Burn Ban before starting a fire.
Dust off that old Metal Detector that Grandpa never used and start scanning! A strainer of some sort will help to sift out any treasures from the sand. The waves are always uncovering new things in the sand as well as washing them on shore. So you may just find some buried treasure!
A late night stroll along the waters edge can be both an adventure and a relaxing way to end the day. Grab a flashlight and the kids and go on a ghost crab hunt. Maybe you will even see Bioluminescence in the water. When Bioluminescence is exposed to oxygen it will emit light causing the waves to look like they are glowing a neon blue or green color. Check out the Video below to see just how it work!
If you have a camera then you have to bring it! There are SO many photo opportunities all over the island. There is the Intra Coastal Waterway with Birds, Corpuses, turtles, fish, barges and cargo ships. You can photograph the Bays as the Sun sets over them and all the nesting areas for the birds. The beach of course. There is also a ton of birding trails all within 20 minutes of Surfside! How about hiring a photographer for family pictures on the beach?
The Center for the Arts & Sciences
The Center for the Arts & Sciences is a cultural and educational complex featuring an art gallery, a science museum, a planetarium and two Theaters. The museum is home to the largest seashell collection in the south and is a great opportunity for everyone in the family to learn a little more about our coast line. There are also dinosaur fossils, mineralogy collection, hands-on children's section and self-guided nature trail. The planetarium schedule of shows is available on our ca lander or you can call 979-265-7661
Lake Jackson Historical Museum
Explore the unique history of the city of Lake Jackson at the 12,000 square foot Museum. Visitors can visit the ghost of Major Jackson, fly the Windecker Eagle and learn why our streets are named This Way and That Way. Open Tuesday-Saturday 10:am - 4:pm; Sunday 1-4:pm; closed Mondays. Admission is Free (979)297-1570
Surfing Lessons & Surf Board Rentals
Breaker Sports Surf Shop & Rentals - 979-233-8308
(Located next door to our office)
Psycho Surf Industries - Boards, Rentals & Surf Lessons
Horse Back Riding
Beach Bum Horse Rides- Leslie: 979-373-8789 or Bob: 979-665-6644
Coastal Birding - Does visiting some of the most well-known coastal birding sites in Texas sound appealing to you, or would you rather visit some off-the-beaten-path local birding hotspots? The coastal birding trail has it all. Plus, conveniences such as boardwalks, parking pullouts, observation platforms, and landscaping to attract native wildlife allow you to get closer to see Texas's breathtaking birds. With the bays, beach and great weather there are many photo opts with these beautiful birds. So get your binoculars, a Gulf Coast Bird Guide and camera for a great day exploring the island.
Breaker Sports (Located next door to our office)
Red Snapper Inn (Surfside)
On The River (Freeport)
River Point (Lake Jackson)
Jetty Shack Bar & Grill (Surfside)
Hammer Heads (Surfside)
Pier 30 (Surfside)
Burger Joints & Sandwich Shops
Kitty's Purple Cow (Surfside)
Pirates Alley Cafe (Surfside)
The Local (Lake Jackson)
Smithhart's Grill (Lake Jackson)
Pizza (Both Deliver to Surfside)
Allstar Pizza (Clute)
Domino's (Oyster Creek)
El Toro (Clute)
La Casona (Lake Jackson & Angleton)
Brian's Bar-B-Que - 979-265-1232 (Clute)
D.J.'s Bar-B-Que - 979-265-6331 (Clute)
Shanghai (Lake Jackson)
Brew-n-Bake (Lake Jackson)
Wurst Hause (Lake Jackson)
Zumgasthaus (Lake Jackson)
Table 24 (Lake Jackson)
The Local (Dinner Only after 5:pm)
Wilderness Golf Course - 979-297-GOLF (4653)
Freeport Municipal Golf Course - 979-233-8311
Columbia Lakes Gulf Course - 979-345-6161
Surfside and Freeport are known as one of the best places in Texas for fishing. There are many boat ramps in the area, marinas and deep sea fishing party boats. Inshore fishing for Flounder, Speckled Trout, Red Drum, Sand Trout and more. With a wide range of fishing spots from the 21 miles of surf from the Jetty Park in Surfside to the San Luis Pass Bridge. The 300-yard long Jetty at the Surfside Jetty Park has a flat surface just right to pull a wagon with all your gear. There are several bays to fish. Even bank fishing from the Inter coastal Water Ways is productive. Some popular bait are Live Shrimp, Mullet, Mud Minnows, Cut Bait, Squid, Crab, Gold and silver spoons, artificial baits that imitate shrimp and shad. Offshore fishing for Snapper, KingFish, Amberjack, Wahoo, Crevall Jack, Lane and more is exciting. A Deep Sea fishing trip can be chartered, I suggest booking well in advance for availability.
Be sure to get your One Day All Water Fishing License ($16) at Academy (located in Lake Jackson) for everyone between 17 and 64 years of age
If you are craving some fresh seafood and fishing is not quit what you were thinking then what about crabbing? With very little supplies and effort you can have dinner on the table in just a few hours. Talk about fresh! All you need is some bait, string and a net. Don't forget a bucket to hold them (without water) and a big pot to boil them in. For detailed information on the Blue Crab and techniques for crabbing you can click below for everything you need to know.
Be sure to get your One Day All Water Fishing License ($16) at Academy (located in Lake Jackson) for everyone between 17 and 64 years of age.
Your Beach Vacation is the perfect time to get family photos ...everyone is together, your relaxed, your probably tan by now, and your in a beautiful city with tons of scenic backdrops! We have put together a list of local photographers that range in style and price. Photographers book up way in advance just like a beach house so we recommend booking and securing the photographer of your choice with a deposit as soon as you can. We also suggest you let the photographer know exactly what you are wanting for your photos ...posed shots, sunset shots, water shots, etc...that way they will be prepared and know exactly what you are thinking.