Best Snorkeling In Texas: South Padre Island, Gulf Coast & More

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Texas, the Lone Star State, is widely known for its ten-gallon hats, cowboy boots, and some of the best cuisines in the country. While snorkeling may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of Texas, the state does have numerous fascinating snorkeling destinations that are well worth exploring.

Snorkeling in Texas is an underwater experience nothing short of world-class. Though the Lone Star State might not be known for snorkeling per se, there are exquisite waters just waiting to be explored below the surface. Popular snorkeling spots include Possum Kingdom and San Marcos River.

The Lone Star State promises an exhilarating snorkeling experience, as this vibrant state boasts some of the world’s best snorkeling spots. With hundreds of miles of coastline, crystal-clear waters, and the exciting opportunity to see some rare, tropical fish, find out why Texas could be the perfect snorkeling destination for you.

Snorkeling In Texas

The lovely state of Texas features a roughly 367-mile coastline with exquisite waters ready to be explored, which undoubtedly makes it one of the most popular destinations for outdoor activities such as snorkeling and scuba diving. 

Summer in Texas is undoubtedly the best time of year to enjoy its many exciting activities, and March through May, in particular, is the finest season to explore the many waters on a snorkeling adventure. 

However, the months of June through August can also be an excellent time to visit the Lone Star State. You will, however, still have the chance to enjoy a fantastic beach and snorkeling experience, but you can expect the prices of hotels and local transport facilities to be a little higher than usual during this time, as it is one of Texas’ peak tourist seasons. 

Before you go ahead and dive into your next snorkeling adventure, there are a few essential things to remember and make a note of. First and foremost, ensure that your snorkeling mask fits your face properly before going straight underwater. Make sure first to try on your mask and check that it forms a tight seal over your face in order to prevent any air from coming through. 

Secondly, when choosing the right fins for you, keep in mind that they should be a relatively tight fit, but not overly so. And finally – arguably most importantly – remember to have a good time and enjoy the underwater scenery!

The Best Snorkeling Spots In Texas

Alright, now that you are a little more up to scratch with the Lone Star State’s snorkeling experience, let us help you plan your next underwater excursion by showing you some of the best snorkeling spots in Texas:

Windy Point Park

Windy Point Park is undoubtedly one of Central Texas’s most popular snorkeling and diving destinations. The waters here are extremely popular among a number of expert divers and diving instructors. It is nestled on the grounds of Lake Travis and promises a one-of-a-kind snorkeling experience. 

While snorkeling in Windy Point Park, you can expect to come across interesting sights like boat wrecks and interesting metal sculptures of divers. There is also an exciting variety of sea life that you will be able to spot, including the likes of sea turtles, sharks, and manatees. 

If you happen to have an advanced diving qualification, you might also be interested in exploring the deeper parts of the water to see and swim around the canyon wall.

South Padre Island

South Padre Island is an exquisite destination considered to be one of the top snorkeling spots in the world. Due to the island’s beautiful diversity, Scuba Diving magazine ranked South Padre Island among the Top 100 snorkeling spots over the years. 

One of the most popular snorkeling spots near South Padre Island is the exquisite Laguna Madre Estuary, a stunning location where the Rio Grande connects to the Gulf of Mexico. 

Laguna Madre is one of the world’s largest hypersaline coastal lagoons, which gives snorkelers the exciting opportunity to see many fish that are generally only found in reefs but have made their homes here on the beach jetties. A wide variety of tropical fish like triggerfish, wrasse, and trumpetfish can be spotted while snorkeling here.

The only problem that the island faces is the powerful undertow that surrounds it. Try to stay alert and do not push yourself beyond your ability. The last thing that anyone desires is to be caught in an unpleasant snorkeling situation. 

Possum Kingdom

Though its name does not particularly allude to it, Possum Kingdom State Park is one of the most beautiful snorkeling spots in Texas, with its crystal-clear lake, stunning shoreline, steep granite walls, and beautiful coves. If you want an exciting snorkeling experience, then Possum Kingdom is the place to go.

Sunken automobiles, boats, jewelry, and, oddly enough, a drive-through restaurant burger sign are among the underwater mysteries to be explored in the Possum Kingdom Reservoir. Snorkelers will also have the opportunity to see some marine life like sunfish, crabs, blue catfish, and several types of bass.

Possum Kingdom offers a large variety of adventure opportunities, both on land and in the water. Swimming, sailing on boats, hiking, fishing, camping, and picnics, are all part of what makes Possum Kingdom a must-visit spot. 

Balmorhea State Park

The beautiful Balmorhea State Park is home to the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool with some of the most exquisite crystal-clear waters and is interestingly referred to as the “cool oasis in the high desert.” 

Balmorhea State Park, located in West Texas, offers many exciting opportunities for the whole family, snorkeling being the top favorite, of course. The stunning waters here are home to a few species of endangered fish, and snorkelers from all around the globe flock to catch a glimpse of them. 

San Marcos River

San Marcos River, located halfway between San Antonio and Austin, offers a variety of outdoor activities. However, none of the other activities come close to the snorkeling experience in the San Marcos River. Snorkelers will be able to see blue tilapia crayfish, sunfish, red-eared slider turtles, and other exquisite marine life in these gorgeous, spring-fed waters. 

For those who might be interested in guided snorkeling tours of San Marcos’ aquatic life, Snorkel TX, a local outdoor adventure company, are a fantastic option. Snorkel TX will provide all of their clients with a mask, fins, and snorkel, and even include transportation to and from several river locations.


Despite the fact that Texas is better renowned for its legendary cowboy culture, excellent BBQ, and crazy-humid weather in comparison to its coastline or lakes, the Lone Star State does have a number of beautiful beaches and swimming locations that promise an underwater paradise for snorkelers. This is a snorkeling adventure not to be missed!