Galveston Beach Regulations

Read about Galveston's beach rules and regulations, including parking, personal property, erosion response, and more.

Beach dunes

City of Galveston Dune Rules

Sec. 8-4. Driving vehicles or horses on sand dunes

It shall be unlawful for any person to drive, operate or park any motor vehicle, motorcycle or motorbike, dune buggy or other recreational vehicle upon, over or across any sand dune, or to ride or walk any horse, pony or mule upon, over or across any sand dune, located within the city. (Code 1960, § 4-1.5; Ord. No. 79-48, § 1, 5-31-79) State law reference— Similar provisions, V.A.T.C. Natural Resources Code, § 63.093.

City Regulations:

To view a comprehensive copy of the City of Galveston Code of Ordinances for Beaches and Waterways, visit:

Personal Property Cannot be Left Overnight on the Beach

City of Galveston Overnight Beach Ordinance No. 19-017

Secs. 8-27 Personal property cannot be left overnight on the beach

(a) Definitions. As used in this Chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them in this section:

  1. Item of Personal Property – includes, but is not limited to items such as canopies, shade structures, tents, umbrellas, chairs, towels, equipment, games, and coolers.
  2. Unattended – refers to an item or items of personal property that are not supervised or looked after by a person.

(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to leave an item of personal property unattended on the public beaches or within the public beach access areas between the hours of sunset and sunrise on the following day, except as otherwise permitted.

(c) Any item of personal property left on the public beach or within public beach access areas in violation of this Section shall be deemed discarded by the owner, and may be removed, destroyed, or otherwise disposed of, accordingly by the City of Galveston, the Park Board of Trustees, or their designees.

(d) In the confiscation and disposal of any such item under this Section, the City shall not be subject to any responsibility or liability to persons or damages to property caused by the confiscation or subsequent disposal of unattended items of personal property.

(e) Exemptions. The provisions of this Section shall not apply to personal property such as equipment and materials for use in the following circumstances when authorized by the City of Galveston, Galveston County, or a State or Federal government agency:

  1. Coastal and beach projects, such as beach nourishment.
  2. Academic and/or scientific research.
  3. Life safety, disaster recovery, emergency management or response.

Erosion Response Plan

The City of Galveston has prepared an Erosion Response Plan (ERP) to achieve the following broad local objectives:

  • Reduce public expenditures for erosion and storm damage losses to public and private property, including public beaches
  • Ensure the health and stability of existing dune systems and dune vegetation
  • Encourage the natural recovery of dunes and beaches following storm-induced erosion
  • Provide for the establishment of new dunes through restoration projects; and allow for the landward migration of beaches and dunes due to erosion.

The Erosion Response Plan is designed to implement dune protection, erosion response, and beach access policies and objectives in the City Comprehensive Plan and comply with requirements set forth in set forth in Title 31 Texas Administrative Code, §15.17 (31 TAC15.17). In 2009, the Texas legislature adopted the Texas Natural Resources Code §33.607, which requires local governments along the Gulf Coast to develop plans for reducing public expenditures for erosion and storm damage losses. To implement the law, the Texas General Land Office (GLO) adopted rules to guide local government’s preparation of erosion response plans. The rules are intended to ensure local governments enact regulations to reduce future storm damage and protect public access to beaches. To download a copy of the Erosion Response Plan, visit:

Coastwide Erosion Response Plan