Galveston’s Party Beach

East Beach in Galveston draws in a unique crowd of party-goers, thrill-seekers and families, all just looking for a good time. Famous for it’s Summer Concerts and Festivals, Sand Volleyball Tournaments and Annual AIA Sandcastle Competition, the beach is, not surprisingly, one of the few beaches where you can publicly consume alcohol. While it’s not Spring Break at South Padre, East Beach is always a party just waiting on the people.

As it’s name applies, East Beach is located at the far Eastern end of the island, making it a great place to watch as the big ships enter Galveston Bay, and one of the best beaches on the island for dolphin watching, as well.

On maps, you’ll often see it named R. A. Apffel Park, it’s the same location. The park is named for the long-time Galveston attorney and board member.

There is a paid parking area near the beach, and rates vary by season, but expect to pay $10-$20 to park, or splurge for the $50 annual parking pass. If you travel light to the beach, there is free parking before the entrance kiosk.

Traveling light is easy at East Beach, as they rent chairs and umbrellas on the beach, and you can purchase food and drinks, including alcohol, at the concession stand.

You can also bring your own chairs and umbrella or shade.

The Annual AIA Sandcastle Competition attracts people from all over to come watch as teams compete to build the best sandcastles.

East Beach is also home to the Galveston Island Horse and Pony Rides! Take a leisurely stroll on a horse along the beach!

Know Before You Go

The park offers restrooms and showers.

Leashed dogs are allowed. Please come prepared to clean up after them. This does not mean bring a shovel. Gross.

Day Tents and Beach Shades are allowed, but only in designated areas.

Surfboards, kayaks and other hard-bottomed vessels are prohibited during the Summer.

Fishing is only allowed in designated areas, which is great because let’s be honest, it’s hard to enjoy the beach when you’re worried about getting snagged, or snagging someone, with a fishing line.

Volleyball Tournaments are held almost weekly during the Summer, and many have open play, so bring your best spike!

If sand isn’t your favorite condiment, there are picnic tables near the concession stands.

I told you it was family friendly, there is even a playground for the kids near the Park Pavilion.

More Things To Do in Galveston’s East End


The East End Lagoon Nature Park and Preserve offers a hiking trail and guided hikes.


I absolutely LOVE The Porch on East Beach.


Near East Beach, you’re going to find more condos than houses, which can be great because of the amenities, such as a pool! Search for East Beach Galveston for a great condo!

 East Beach  

1923 Boddeker Road, Galveston

Click HERE to visit their website.

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