Day trippin’ to the beach is one of the best ways to pass the lazy days of summer. Galveston Island is less than a two-hour drive away from The Woodlands and a perfect spot to have some fun in the surf and sun. Pack up the family and make the drive just after rush hour traffic dies down and you’ll have plenty of time to relax on the sand and jump the waves. Then head for home after dinner at one of the great restaurants on the Strand.

As you cross the bridge onto the island, you’ll pass Moody Gardens, the three pyramids along the bay. This landmark lets you know you’re almost to the beach. Head straight to the seawall and you can go either north or south along the coast to your sandy destination. You can park along the roadside and climb down the seawall to the beach right there, or you can travel a little bit further to one of the public beaches with amenities.

Galveston Island State Park is about 15 minutes south. For a $5 entry fee per adult (kids 12 and under are free), you can park in the lot and use the portable restroom and outdoor shower facilities. They also have changing stalls available. Stewart Beach is a couple minutes in the opposite direction and has a few more amenities like indoor bathrooms and showers as well as umbrella and chair rentals.

Once you’ve had your fill of the sand, surf, and sun, head up to the Strand and pop into La King’s Confectionery. Known as a Galveston hot-spot for decades, the treats at La King’s are second-to-none. Ice cream, shakes and malts, popcorn and almost every kind of candy you can imagine will delight your taste buds as you cool down from a long day on the beach.

Before making the drive back home, stop at Nick’s Kitchen and Beach Bar for a family-friendly dining experience. A spin-off of the famous Gaido’s Restaurant, the food served is just as delicious only in a more casual environment. Then you’ll be ready to hit the road and get home just in time to fall into bed.