9 of Texas’ cleanest lakes & most pristine beaches

Long Exposure of a Beach Pier at sunrise or sunset

Photo of Horace Caldwell Pier in Port Aransas Texas courtesy of Getty

By Joey Held

May 6, 2024

As one of the largest states, Texas is full of bountiful areas of water. The Lone Star State is home to about 150 significant lakes, though if you count every lake, no matter the size, the total is closer to 7,000. There are also hundreds of beaches across the state, particularly along the Gulf of Mexico coast.

Each of those lakes and beaches offer unique experiences. Since visiting all 7,000 would be a significant challenge (though a fun goal), we’ve got the scoop on the cleanest and most beautiful of the bunch, perfect for a quick day trip or a weekend getaway.    

So, put on your swimsuit, grab your fishing line, and remember the sunscreen. We’re diving into the cleanest lakes and most pristine beaches across Texas.

Little Elm Beach

Little Elm Beach, located on the shores of Lewisville Lake, aims to create a beach experience that “makes you forget you’re in North Texas.” Thanks to the variety of things to do here, you can build your own day of adventure.

Get a team together and hop on one of the beach volleyball courts, or rent a kayak, wakeboard, or paddleboard for an excursion into the water. When you need to refuel, the Lakefront at Little Elm has ten different food options, from burgers to tacos to ice cream.

10 Of Texas’ Cleanest Lakes & Most Pristine Beaches

Photo courtesy of The Lakefront at Little Elm via Facebook

Canyon Lake

Sporting the second-clearest water in the state, Canyon Lake has welcomed swimmers, divers, fishers, and other water enthusiasts since 1964. With 80 miles of shoreline, there’s always plenty of room. 

Canyon Lake is also neatly situated between several unique Texas Hill Country hotspots. After taking a dip, grab a tube and head down the Guadalupe River, catch a live show at Gruene Hall or Whitewater Amphitheater, or visit Cranes Mill or Potter’s Creek Park.

Possum Kingdom

Possum Kingdom’s name is the inspiration for the Toadies’ 1994 hit — a song that reached No. 4 on the U.S. Alternative Airplay charts. The state park’s name comes from the early 1900s when a peddler named Ike Sablosky got into the hide and fur business. His most reliable possum hides arrived from Northwest Palo Pinto County; he dubbed his suppliers “the boys from Possum Kingdom.” 

The lake was the first water supply reservoir constructed on the Brazos River basin and spans about 310 miles of shoreline. The highlight is the Hell’s Gate and Devils’ Island party cove. Additionally, snorkeling and scuba diving are great activities in the exceptionally clear blue water.

10 Of Texas’ Cleanest Lakes & Most Pristine Beaches

Photo courtesy of Possum Kingdom Lake via Facebook

Joe Pool Lake

Snoopy’s alter-ego is known as Joe Cool, but the closest he ever got to water was hanging around the school’s drinking fountain. The Peanuts characters’ loss is your gain.

Joe Pool (which is also quite cool) opened in 1989, a joint effort from the lake’s planning council, Army engineers, the Trinity River Authority, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The lake, fed by the Walnut and Mountain Creeks, offers more than 60 miles of shoreline and 7,400 acres of water. And a quirky fact: This is one of the few lakes in the state that flows north.

Lake Ray Roberts

Lake Ray Roberts sits about 10 miles north of Denton and is filled by a tributary of the Trinity River. It has some of the most transparent water in the state and includes multiple beaches and overnight camping areas.

Fishing is permitted in the lake, and there’s also a kids’ fishing pond for junior anglers. On land, hiking, horseback riding, and rollerblading are all excellent ways to see the beauty of the Greenbelt Corridor.        

10 Of Texas’ Cleanest Lakes & Most Pristine Beaches

Photo courtesy of Ray Roberts Lake State Park Johnson Branch – Texas Parks and Wildlife via Facebook

Tyler State Park Lake

This lake nestled in Tyler State Park is 64 acres and spring-fed. No matter where you approach from, you’ll see tall trees and impressive skylines across the water.

Take a dip after tackling one of the park’s walking or biking trails, or post up with a fishing rod and try to catch crappie, perch, catfish, or bass. While enjoying the cool water, you might also spot different wildlife, birds, and flowers.

10 Of Texas’ Cleanest Lakes & Most Pristine Beaches

Photo courtesy of Joey Held

Lake Whitney

Sitting about 80 miles south of Dallas-Fort Worth, Lake Whitney welcomes more than two million visitors annually as the state’s Official Getaway Capital. Water activities are abundant across the 225 miles of shoreline, including fishing, boating, jet skiing, water skiing, wakeboarding, and cliff jumping.  

After visiting the lake, stop by one of the nearby restaurants or take a short detour to the Texas Through Time Museum or Hillsboro Country Club.

Mustang Island

Paddling, shallow-water fishing, and camping are the top activities at Mustang Island, stretching between Corpus Christi and Port Aransas. There are 48 water and electric campsites available for overnight stays.

If you head toward the Port Aransas Beach end of the 18-mile stretch of beach, you can indulge in tasty restaurants and seaside bars. While the island isn’t swarmed with as many birds as it was decades ago, you still might catch a coastal creature soaring by.

10 Of Texas’ Cleanest Lakes & Most Pristine Beaches

Photo courtesy of Mustang Island State Park – Texas Parks and Wildlife via Facebook


Boca Chica Beach

SpaceX has set up shop in the area to test rockets, but Boca Chica Beach remains one of the more isolated beaches throughout Texas. Located about 25 miles east of Brownsville, it’s the last beach you’ll find before arriving in Mexico.

The water is excellent for surf fishing, and the sand is filled with unique and colorful shells. That terrain might not be the most pleasant to walk over with bare feet, though it’s still a beautiful sight!

This article first appeared on Good Info News Wire and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.9 of Texas’ cleanest lakes & most pristine beaches9 of Texas’ cleanest lakes & most pristine beaches

  • Joey Held

    Joey Held is a writer and author and the founder of Fun Fact Friyay. He’s regularly planning travel adventures and encourages exploring new places with curiosity and kindness.



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