It’s been years since I’ve been to Sea Rim State Park in Sabine Pass but it’s certainly a new favorite that we definitely plan to revisit soon!
We usually head towards Bolivar Peninsula and Galveston Island because my kids have always loved riding the ferry boats, and in recent years we’ve really been enjoying Surfside Beach even though it’s a bit of a drive. But I’ve got a little love affair going on with Southeast Texas, in case you haven’t noticed, and coupled with the little flirtation I’ve got going with Texas State Parks – Sea Rim was a no brainer!
It has to be said that we have an amazing little group of friends that we do a lot of our adventuring with. It started off as a little homeschool co-op of sorts, but all the kids are so bonded now and the moms are too! Our original schedule of every-other-Friday quickly turned into an every-Friday standing appointment, usually with a couple of one-off adventures in between. I’ll be honest, we play it kind of loosey-goosey as far as an actual school schedule goes, but Fridays are specifically set aside for adventuring and fun. Fridays are our favorite.
We planned to arrive around 9 a.m., so naturally it was about 9:30 when I pulled up to the pay station. I had packed the car the night before, so it was really just a matter of throwing the kids in the car, throwing a few snacks at them in the backseat and hitting the road. Total drive time from my driveway in northwest Jefferson County to the park was an hour on the dot. It was uncommonly windy, even for the beach, so it was interesting trying to get the pop-up canopy set up, and then we spent the rest of the day running away from the rising tide, but it was almost charming and definitely comical. We had the entire beach to ourselves – total homeschool perk of a beach on a weekday!
I’ve never seen so many pristine, perfect shells in one area! You could barely take a step without crunching them under foot (and I felt guilty every single time). We came home with quite a nice little collection. The water is still pretty cold but that didn’t stop my big – who has always been a total fish – from staying in it all day. His friends were barely getting wet and then coming back shivering with blue lips, but I barely saw the dude all day. The little one was more content on the sand until he discovered the marsh behind us, but there is frequent, significant signage noting the presence of alligators, so I kept him busy on shore even though we never saw one.
We packed a lunch and lots of snacks and water, and could barely get the kids to stop playing and come eat. We’re beach lovers, so I have an IKEA bag full of sand toys that lives in our deck box. It gets thrown in the car the morning of, and thrown back in the deck box as soon as we get home. Our friends brought super fun new additions like kites, catch and release observation aquariums, toss and catch sets, and more. So the kids were never bored, and the moms got lots of mom time!
Sea Rim State Park has 5.2 miles of Gulf shoreline and 4,000 acres of marshlands. It was closed for years due to extensive hurricane damage but is reopen amid ongoing efforts to rebuild the dunes. Visitors can camp, go birding and beach combing, paddle in a canoe or kayak, swim, fish and crab, hunt (in season) and walk. Stroll along the Gambusia Nature Trail Boardwalk, a nearly 1-mile trail which takes you through the marsh.
Children 12 and under are free, adults are $3 daily and can come and go from the park as you please with admission.
Things to bring:
- pop-up canopy (not necessary but we enjoyed it – make sure you bring anchors! I got our 10×10 canopy from Walmart for less than $40)
- coolers with snacks, lunch, water, etc. Divide the snacks into small, individual bags to keep sandy hands from contaminating everything!
- chairs (at least one for you, mama!)
- sand-free beach blanket (listen, I was skeptical, but this one is legit)
- kites (we love these octopus ones, and they come in a 2 pack!)
- sand toys (these don’t have to be specific – one friend brought a bag of trucks and construction vehicles and the kids had a great time driving through the sand)
- a bucket or bag for shell collection
- Boogie board! Ezra LIVES on his at the beach (his is from Academy)
- A waterproof bluetooth speaker for fun beach tunes (I have this one in blue and I love it)
- towels (I always bring enough for the number of people plus one)
- sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen
- bug spray for later in the day – it is a marsh
- a change of clothes (leave these and the towels in the car so they don’t get sandy)
- baby powder for de-sanding before getting in the car
- there ARE restrooms, but they are camp potties (i.e. a hole in the ground with a seat); still, wipes or toilet paper may be handy
- COLLAPSIBLE WAGON. Listen up. This is important. I just recently got ours, and it’s made me question everything. How did I do life before this little miracle contraption?! (Again, Academy)
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