Everything You Need to Know about Matagorda Beach

There have been heavy Rip Tides on Matagorda Beach. Click here to make sure you know how to get out of a RIP Tide.

Matagorda, Texas has approximately 58 miles of beach. 23 miles of the beach east of the Colorado River is open to vehicles. The remaining 35 miles of beach is west of the Colorado River and only accessible by boat, kayak, canoe or other watercraft.  On the East side there are trash cans on the beach for the first 3 miles. The first 8 miles of beach beyond the dunes is private property. After 8 miles, it is state property behind the dunes and there are lots of trails you can explore. Watch out for rattlesnakes if you are walking in the dunes and grasses. Driving in the dunes and damaging the native grasses is illegal so stay on the established trails or the beach. Check out the Emergency Info page before you go.


There are two entrances to Matagorda beach. To get to the main beach entrance from Matagorda, go south on FM2031 for approximately 7 miles. Turn left onto the public beach access road (there is a sign). Drive until the road ends at the beach. You can drive onto the beach or park in the parking lot at the entrance. To get to Jetty Park, continue straight on FM2031 past the beach access road. FM2031 dead ends into Jetty Park next to the Matagorda Nature Park. There is a beach entrance on the west side of the parking lot. To access the beach east of Jetty Park you can drive under the Pier when the tide is low enough. Watch your clearance when you go through.

Camping on Matagorda Beach

Camping on the beach is welcomed in Matagorda and there are no additional fees to camp. You can camp anywhere on the beaches in Matagorda county including Jetty park for up to 72 hours. Tents and RVs are permitted but beware of the soft sand if you are bringing an RV. See below for information on parking areas if you do not or can not drive onto the sand.

Driving on Matagorda Beach

You will need an annual $10 Matagorda County Beach Vehicle Permit in order to drive onto Matagorda Beach. You can buy one at most local merchants or at the beach entrance during the summer. The sand on Matagorda Beach can be very soft so drive with caution. If you do not have a 4×4 vehicle you are cautioned against driving onto the beach at all most of the time although the county does grade the beach entrance during the summer. Yield to traffic headed off the beach and anyone with their hazards on – they could have an emergency. The beach is a state highway and all normal driving regulations apply. The speed limit on the beach is 15mph. Do not drive in the dunes. It is illegal and damages our island causing beach erosion. You are permitted to follow an established trail through the dunes and into the marsh area, but stay on the trail and do not damage the native grasses. Beware of the Matagorda mud back there. It can be deeper and thicker than it looks and could take a tank to get you out. Check out our page on beach driving tips before you go. See the Emergency Info page for towing info if you get stuck on the beach. It is expensive to get a 4×4 tow truck to Matagorda Beach. Make sure to check out the beach rules & regulations before you go.


Matagorda beach is a great place to go swimming, but you should check the conditions when you get there. Before heading to the beach make sure you know how to get out of a riptide. Swimming near the jetties, piers and passes is dangerous due to the rip currents and undertow in that area. Mitchell’s Cut and the mouth of the Colorado River often have very swift currents. Most drownings on the beach occur in these areas and are preventable. When the waves are large on the beach, the riptides will get stronger. Stay in shallow water when riptide warnings are in effect and swim sideways to escape a rip current if you get caught in one. It is always best to have someone on the beach to call for help if you do get in trouble. If you have any doubts or questions about the conditions, ask a local. The people in Matagorda are very friendly and will happily give you advice.

Parking Areas

Jetty Park Arial PhotoIf you don’t want to drive onto the beach there are a couple of parking areas within walking distance. The first and best area is Jetty Park at the end of FM 2031. This is a County Park and there is no usage fee. There are bathrooms, outdoor showers, and covered picnic tables as well as a walking pier and the Colorado River Jetties. Beware of rip currents near the jetties and pier. Swimming is prohibited in these places. The second location is next to the bathrooms off Dunes Drive at the main beach entrance. Make sure not to park on the road or you may be towed or ticketed.Matagorda Beach Bathroom Parking Area

You can find information on Hotels, Motels, RV Parks, Vacation Rentals, Restaurants & Shopping at the Matagorda Chamber of Commerce website.

Recent Posts:

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

Comment on Facebook

Another great report Clay! Remind people to take their trash with them too!

Thank you Clay and ALL Matagorda EMS for helping save lives. Please everyone reading this help me to let TEA know that you believe that education is the key to saving lives and ALL Texas school districts especially those 100 miles from the Texas coastline must mandate Swimming lessons and water safety taught in all elementary school districts. The minimal cost of swimming pool installations is nothing compared to the cost of Texas Childrens lives. This is a life skills class that allTexan children should be required to take. Education is the key to saving lives. Clay is right in saying that Matagorda is NO different than any other Texas Gulf coast beach.

Thank you

Oh, no. It looks windier there than here in Galveston.


Thank you for recommending safety. I firmly believe the surf is not for swimming! Cool off, sit in shallow water, but USE safety precautions and safety equipment. I care about my fellow man too much to see another life lost. Stay safe and, again, thank you!

Thank you Clay!

What a wonderful service you are sharing. I hope there’s a way to get these messages out to more folks. Yes, the misinformation is out there! Again. A great job. You folks need to recognized and appreciated even more👣

Good wise advice.


Thank you for this reminder of the dangers of our Beach!! Life jackets are imperative fir small children and those who don’t understand the dangers of Water

Thank You for that report

Bonnie Cornelius Elbel

Thank you !

Great Report Clay We all should wear life preservers. Especially children!!

Great info!

make sure you take your trash back with you too

Christie Plumley Penny Donowho Shelly Cook Teague

Another great report Clay, people do need to be aware of what is going on. Thanks

Couldnt have said it any better! Anybody who lets their kids go far are irresponsible

Also remember that the harbor has free life jackets that you can use and return .

Good report as always.. It's sad that people still ignore all the signage around the jetties. What else can the county do? Can't fix stupidity.

Jessie Sterling Clarke

Brittany Granado Epley Casie Joseph Granado Jeremiah Rubio Ginger M. Rubio

Patrick Harris Adam Hutchings Jay Nicks some food for thought 🤔

View more comments

Thank you Gary Janise and Harbor Bait and Tackle. If you are headed to the beach and need a life jacket, they will loan you one!

Comment on Facebook

Thank you Gary!!!

You're a good man "Charley Brown"

Thank you. 🤩🤩

Comment on Facebook

Those rip tides are bad killed a friend of mine a few years back