The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Swimming Spots
We have to come clean, there aren't really any natural swimming spots inside the Houston city limits, so we've gone a little farther looking for places to take a dip. These spots might not be in Houston, but they are the most popular with Houstonians. Some are just 30 minutes away, one requires more than six hours drive, but most are just an hour or two away, easily doable in one day. We've got beaches, rivers and lakes on our list. See if your favorite spot made it into the top 10.
10. Garner State Park / Rio Frio
234 RR 1050, Concan
The furthest destination that makes our list is Garner State Park / Rio Frio, some six hours drive away. There's lots of traffic at Garner, so plan your trip accordingly. But even with the crowds, the ice cold water of Rio Frio is too tempting to resist. Swimmers and inner tube riders share the river, while canoeing is also popular.
9. Village Creek State Park
Village Creek State Park is a low-key destination and perfect for families. Along with swimming, there's fishing, hiking, camping, picnicking and bird watching. Canoe and kayak rentals are nearby. Check with the ranger's station for info on activities, including night hikes.
8. Porretto Beach
10th and Seawall Blvd, Galveston
A privately owned beach that's open to the public, Porretto Beach has on-the-sand parking making it especially convenient for families who want to spend the day swimming.
The pretty beaches of Port Aransas make for great swimming. On the tip of Mustang Island, some 30 minutes from Corpus Christi, the beaches are also known as great places for sea shell hunting. Locals call Port Aransas "the best kept secret on the Gulf Coast." It's not exactly unknown, but even during the busy season there's plenty of space on the beach for visitors.