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Posts Tagged ‘beach near Houston Texas’

Sylvan Beach Festival 2015

Posted by E.G.D. on May 6, 2015

Brown Water and Crashing Waves: Day After a Storm (photo by E.G.D.)

Brown Water and Crashing Waves: After a Storm (photo by E.G.D.)

I’ve been hearing stories about Sylvan Beach Festival since I started working in Pasadena in January 2014, and when the banners went up around La Porte in the early spring, I was pretty excited!  The town sent out pamphlets with information about who would be performing on the stage, the town’s tiny monthly newspaper rejoiced, and I made plans to go on Saturday 4/25.

I was therefore, not unnaturally annoyed when I woke up to a violent lightning storm that lasted straight through the scheduled time for the parade.  As you can tell from the photo above, though, by 1:00 in the afternoon the weather had changed its mind, and there was barely a cloud in the sky!  Granted, the water was more brown than I have ever seen it, and the waves were actually crashing!  Seriously.  Crashing!  In the bay!  I have never seen the like at Sylvan Beach, and let me tell you, the 40-or-so kids who were playing in the swells were having the time of their lives.

A few feet away from the beach, the festival was in full swing by the time I arrived, with stalls selling pretty much everything, midway rides, cooking competitions, live country music, and a cook-off.

Stalls on the water (photo by E.G.D.)

Stalls on the water (photo by E.G.D.)

The music was pretty good, though I’ll admit I’m not a big fan of country.  The stage was right on the water, so even with the amps booming, everyone in the audience could hear the crashing waves mixed in with the instrumentals ^_^.

Stage (photo by E.G.D.)

Stage (photo by E.G.D.)

I didn’t actually do anything at the midway, but I did take a picture:

DSCN0436It reminded me a lot of state and county fairs I’ve been to.  It was fun, and it was worth the $5 admission fee.  Normally, the beach is free, but normally the beach doesn’t have live music and a midway. I’m definitely going to the festival again next year, and maybe next year I’ll get to see the parade ^_^. -E.G.D.

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Posted in Gulf of Mexico Beaches | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

I Found the Beach at Lake Livingston!

Posted by E.G.D. on July 17, 2014

It was no easy feat, but I found them: the beaches of Lake Livingston.  After failing to find a beach at Lake Conroe a couple days earlier, I was absolutely determined to find something equating a beach at Lake Livingston State Park, which is around two hours north of the northern reaches of Houston, Texas.  You see, I was passing through Livingston on my way home from Diboll, TX, where I was performing a Mad Science show for the local library.  For those of you who are familiar with that stretch of Texas, Diboll is squarely between Lufkin and Livingston, which are both fairly sizable towns with a lot to offer a visitor.  None of the listed locales, however, boast a beach in any of their tourist literature.  Soooooo, I paid the $5 entry fee for the state park, hopped out of my car, and went off-trailing (the on-foot equivalent of off-roading) around the edge of Lake Livingston in hopes that a swimming pool and an in-lake swimming area edged by a boardwalk were not all the lake had to offer.  Behold!  This is what I found:

This counts, I tell you! (Photo by E.G.D.)

This counts, I tell you! (Photo by E.G.D.)

This one was sort of behind and below the area with the swing-set.  Those are the best directions I can give, because I had to get a bit creative to find it.  Here’s a shot without ducks:

See?  It's totally a beach! (photo by E.G.D.)

See? It’s totally a beach! (photo by E.G.D.)

I hopped around the rocks for a while at this little beach, and then I moved on.  The other beach I found was behind and below the campsites for campers (the sites with water and electric hookups):

This one's rocky, too. (photo by E.G.D.)
This one’s rocky, too. (photo by E.G.D.)

Whether or not you are looking for a beach there, Lake Livingston is quite lovely, and I recommend it to anyone who happens to be in the area.  There were many families cycling around the trails (apparently bikes are welcome pretty much anywhere in the park), enjoying the swimming hole, hiking, fishing, grilling… the usual state park camping sort of things.  I get the feeling it’s the local population’s favorite way to beat the heat in the summer.  And hey, there are beaches!  I know.  I found them.

Have a great day (hopefully at the beach) – E.G.D.

Helpful links: Lake Livingston State Park: “At Lake Livingston State Park, you can swim (in the lake or pool), fish, boat, hike, bird, camp, picnic, mountain bike, ride horses, geocache and study nature. We have activities for the whole family!”

Alligator Safety Tips (YIKES!)

Texas State Parks Swimming Safety Tips

 ~~~

E.G.D., you are absolutely right! It does count. The definition of a beach according to Merriam-Webster is “a shore of a body of water covered by sand, gravel, or larger rock fragments.” 🙂 We beach fans take them where we can get them!

Thanks so much for sharing your find!

Posted in Inland Shores, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sylvan Beach Park ~OR~ Who would go to the beach to use the internet!?

Posted by E.G.D. on February 12, 2014

Beautiful Sylvan Beach Park

Beautiful Sylvan Beach Park

Sylvan Beach Park

It’s super clean!

Sylvan Beach Park

Lots of Grassy Space

Last month, when my mom and dad were visiting for my nephew’s birthday, I managed to reach whole new echelons of busy.  I’m not going to go into detail here, but suffice it to say that I have four jobs, and they’re all over the very large Houston metropolitan area.  Happily, one day during my parents’ visit, I had a five hour gap between jobs C and D.  I met the family in town for lunch, and then we poked around on my brother-in-law’s cell phone to see what we would do with the rest of my little pocket of time.  Long story short, we found a beach really close to my late-afternoon job and made a bee-line for it.

Our Birthday Boy

Our Birthday Boy

Sylvan Beach Park is a lovely, quiet little beach on Galveston Bay (on the mainland side) in La Porte, TX.  While we were there, the beach was clean, the sand was soft, and the facilities were remarkable.  There was plenty of parking, more than one well-maintained public restroom, a playground, a boat ramp, a rinse-off shower, and a (crazy-expensive, I’m sorry to report) recently renovated fishing pier.  We didn’t pay to go on the pier, but we had a great walk on the beach, and the tide was low enough to make shelling possible.  We found some really nice shells, including some lovely, undamaged barnacles.  I don’t think I have ever found nicer barnacles in my shelling experience to date, and the little niece and nephew were pretty excited.

The very expensive pier

Recently Renovated Fishing Pier

A Walk at the Beach

An Afternoon Walk

Beach Treasures from Sylvan Beach

Beach Treasures from Sylvan Beach

While on our walk, we noticed signs announcing that the beach park was also a wireless hotspot.  I couldn’t help but wonder out-loud, “who would come to such a lovely beach and use the internet?”  Well… apparently the answer is “me,” because a week or so later, I was stuck on the far-east side of town, and I really needed to turn in some paperwork to one of my jobs on the west side, and I was faced with the following choice: either I could show up at work in Pasadena three hours early and use the internet in the computer lab (functional, but not very atmospheric), or I could go to the beach.  I had my scanner in the back seat of my car, so I opted for going to the beach.

What?

Say WHAT?

It was a drizzly sort of day, but when I arrived at Sylvan beach, there were four other cars parked right at the entrance to the beach, where the view of the ocean is best, and in all four cars were people with laptops propped up against the steering wheel and/or tablets in hand.  Car windows were rolled down, radios were playing, and everyone was doing their internet business beach-style.  Who knew that sort of behavior was trending?  Anyhow, I got my internet stuff done and went for a walk on the beach between drizzles (it was high tide, so I didn’t find any good shells that time, but the walk was still lovely).  Before I headed to work, I rinsed off my shiny black work shoes in the rinse-off showers, and I arrived at work sand-free, glad for both the opportunity to submit some paperwork in style and to enjoy the little bit of free time in my afternoon.

Sylvan Beach Park on Galveston Bay

Sylvan Beach Park on Galveston Bay

Next time you happen to find yourself anywhere near La Porte, I highly recommend Sylvan Beach Park!  Whether you want to shell on the beach, swim, or check your e-mail, it is a lovely place to be.

~~~

Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Seashells | Tagged: , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Paddle Boats and Picnics at Huntsville State Park, Texas

Posted by Jody on April 27, 2012

Today’s Featured Writer: Kristie McLin

Although the Houston area is very close to Gulf Coast beaches, there are a fair number of inland beaches within a short distance, as well. If you drive north on I-45 about 65 miles from the center of Houston, you will find Huntsville State Park. My co-worker recommended it to me after she and her husband went camping and canoeing here over a weekend.

Lake Raven, Huntsville State Park, Texas (Photo: EGD)

At Huntsville State Park, you can go on a nature hike, horseback ride, and play at the beach all in one day. The trails, campgrounds, and picnic areas are surrounded by tall trees that provide plenty of shade on hot sunny days. The beach is unsupervised, but the division into deeper water is clearly marked, and a diving pier is available for swimmers.

Lake Raven, Huntsville State Park, Texas (Photo: EGD)

Kids can build sandcastles on the beach and then run right up to their family’s picnic table for lunch. If you forgot something, there is a very convenient store (Texas State Parks Store called “Gator Junction”) where you will find a variety of food items, sunscreen, hats, swimsuits, and books that will help you identify the birds, wildflowers, and butterflies that you are sure to see.

Lake Raven, Huntsville State Park (Photo: EGD)

We went for a short nature hike with the kids (the 0.2 mile Loblolly trail), then rented a paddle boat (only $10 an hour) and enjoyed the beautiful early April day.

Lake Raven, Huntsville State Park, Texas (Photo: EGD)

After coming for the day, I decided to buy a state parks pass because I am sure we will be back!

Posted in Featured Guest Writer, Friday Finds, Inland Shores | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Galveston Island: A Texas Oasis

Posted by Jody on August 15, 2011

I had the pleasure of visiting my eldest daughter and grandchildren in Houston, Texas last summer.  Believe me, being a resident of Albuquerque, New Mexico, I can now proclaim with authority:  “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity”! In Albuquerque, we enjoy many days of high desert sunshine with under 10% humidity, aka: “It’s a dry heat”.

I loved having so much time to spend with the kids. On weekdays, we would be out at the playground in the early hours of the morning, but by 9:30 AM we would have to come back inside due to the oppressive temperatures.  No kidding!  That left us 9 hours for indoor fun time!

Galveston Island – Seawall Beach (©Jody Diehl)

Happily, on the weekends, we headed to the beaches of GalvestonGalveston Island, situated on the Gulf of Mexico, is just 50 miles south of Houston. It’s the perfect destination for anyone wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle, heat and humidity of the big city. Galveston Island offers 32 miles of beautiful, well-groomed Gulf Coast beaches and an average summer temperature of 81 degrees. With the added incentive of easy beach access,  it’s no wonder Houstonians head for Galveston in droves.

You’ll find plenty of outdoor fun on the treasure beaches of Galveston Island.  According to  Galveston.com, “At 10.4 miles long, the seawall lining the Gulf of Mexico is the world’s longest continuous sidewalk and attracts walkers, joggers, bicyclists, surfers, sunbathers, skaters and sightseers year-round.”  Sailing,volleyball and birding are also high on the visitor to-do list.

Lunchtime at the Beach (©Jody Diehl)

There are plenty of restaurants near Galveston‘s Seawall Beaches. You can always pack a picnic, though (or not).  o_O

Before you head to the beaches of Galveston Island, be sure to print up the extremely helpful Beach Access Map Brochure provided by the City of Galveston. In addition to having a detailed access map, it’s loaded with practical ocean safety tips.

Stay safe, and always swim near a lifeguard!  -J-

Feel free leave us a comment on your favorite Texas beach! Please remember to share us with your friends and Like us on Facebook. Thank you!

Posted in Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Monday Miscellaneous, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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