Texas is the second largest state in the country and features 367 miles of coastline. As such, it has numerous beaches that are perfect for metal detecting. While I have only explored a small portion of the state, namely Dallas, Fort Worth, and Plano, Texas is a beautiful state that is perfect for a metal detecting trip.
Texas beaches are stunning, and many are open year-round due to the great weather and warm water from the Gulf of Mexico. So, grab your metal detector and your sand scoop and get out there and find some treasure on one of Texas’ many beaches!
1. Stewart Beach
Stewart Beach has been named one of the best beaches for families. It is in Galveston’s beach park, where Broadway Avenue meets the Seawall. This beach features concession stands, rentals, volleyball courts, special events, a pavilion, restrooms, and a playground. Stewart Beach also has beach wheelchairs available on a first come, first served basis.
Stewart Beach may be accessed via motorized vehicle with a disabled veteran license plate, handicap plate or placard, those carrying watercraft and non-expired fishing licenses and fishing gear, and any government or emergency vehicle. No ATVs or off-road vehicles are permitted on the beach.
Metal Detecting Tip: Metal detectors can have a tough time ground balancing on a beach. I’ve found scanning parallel to the shoreline provides better ground balancing. Check out this article for more metal detecting tips 👉 Metal Detecting Tips
Where to Metal Detect on Stewart Beach
The sand dunes are off limits not only to metal detecting, but to foot traffic so avoid them as they are delicate ecosystems. Stick to the sandy portions of the beach. Check areas where people typically set up their chairs and towels for the day, called the towel line. Check near parking areas, trails, concession stands, and restroom areas.
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2. Quintana Beach
Quintana Beach is in Quintana Park, a 52-acre beachfront park on the upper Texas Gulf. This area has overnight facilities and day use amenities. Quintana Beach has paved, full-service RV sites, cabins, restrooms, showers, covered pavilions, grills, picnic tables, a playground, hiking trails, a volleyball court, fishing pier with lights, jetty, paved parking lot, and the Discovery Event Center.
Quintana Beach is the perfect place for bird and wildlife watching, fishing, surfing, swimming, shelling, and beachcombing. Quintana Beach is the former site of Fort Bates from 1862, and the remains of the Freeport Harbor Defense during World War II. Quintana Beach is open year-round.
Where to Metal Detect on Quintana Beach
Because Quintana Beach is in a county park, you may only metal detect on the beach itself. Public beaches in Texas are open to metal detecting, even if the surrounding areas are not. So, stick to the sandy beach areas when detecting Quintana Beach. Check the towel line and near the surf for the best results.
3. North Packery Beach
North Packery Beach, known locally as J.P Luby Beach, is a fantastic place for surfing, wakeboarding, jet skiing, and many other watersports. Offshore winds from the northwest provide the best surfing in the area and surf fishing is also popular due to the warm Gulf waters. You do not even need a fishing license for this activity! The beach features primitive tent camping sites behind sand suns.
North Packery Beach features grills, picnic tables, and a restroom and bathhouse. You can also make a campfire, if there are no restrictions from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Various vendors in the area ensure you have everything you need to enjoy your beach trip including chairs and umbrellas.
Where to Metal Detect on North Packery Beach
Stick to the sandy areas when metal detecting North Packery Beach. Avoid the sand dunes, as they are off limits. Check areas where people recreate during the day, and areas where people camp. These are the best places to find dropped items like coins and jewelry.
4. Surfside Beach
Surfside Beach features miles of accessible beaches and was voted the best Texas beach destination. Surfside Beach is one hour south of Houston, or 40 miles west of Galveston along Blue Water Highway. This area is a barrier island and features some of the best surfing along the Gulf Coast. Spend time dolphin and bird watching, fishing from the jetty, swimming, surfing, and sunbathing.
Surfside Beach offers jet ski rentals for anyone who wants to get out and explore the warm Gulf waters. You can also take family boat rides and tours from the Beach. Surfside Beach is close to restaurants, shopping, hotels, and much more. This is the perfect beach to incorporate into your Texas metal detecting holiday!
Where to Metal Detect on Surfside Beach
As with all Texas beaches, stick to the sandy areas. These are the only legal places to metal detect and will give you the best chance to find items dropped by people recreating in the area. Avoid any sand dunes as these are protected areas.
Metal Detecting Tip: Before you head out metal detecting, always make sure the area you intend to metal detect allows detecting. You can get yourself into a lot of trouble if you do not take the time to research prior to metal detecting. Check with your local state or city offices, park ranger, or other authority figure to ensure you are detecting within the law. Always be careful and respectful of private property. Learn how to get permission in this article 👉 How To Get Permission To Metal Detect On Private Property (with Tips)
5. Port Aransas Beach
Port Aransas Beach is a popular beach in Port Aransas, Texas. This area is great for swimming, bodyboarding, and just relaxing in the warm Gulf waters. This is the perfect family beach and is centrally located so there are plenty of lifeguards on duty.
You can camp on Port Aransas Beach and may even build small campfires. Use your metal detect along the sandy beach to find dropped jewelry, phones, coins, and other items while recreating on this beautiful stretch of Gulf Coast beach.
6. Rockport Beach
Rockport Beach is just a short drive from Port Aransas. This one-mile stretch of beach, although small, is consistently ranked as one of Texas’ best beaches. The beach is beautifully maintained and meets strict environmental quality standards. Rockport Beach is Texas’ first certified Blue Wave Beach.
The beach features cabanas, shaded pavilions, showers, restrooms, volleyball courts, walking paths, playground, and a saltwater swimming lagoon. Use your metal detector along the sandy stretch of beach to find items left behind by recreators in the area. Check near the restroom areas, volleyball courts, and walking paths, too.
7. Sylvan Beach
Sylvan Beach is a small, man-made beach with beautiful sand and a long fishing pier. Just a short drive from Galveston and Houston, this family friendly beach is a great choice for metal detectorists. The area features restrooms, playgrounds, picnic tables, showers, parking, and is close to restaurants and hotels. There is also an ice cream stand and snack bar nearby.
The area is popular for swimming, but the water can be a bit cloudier than other beaches in Texas. The long pier is a great place to fish and take a walk. Use your metal detector only in the sandy portions of the beach. Avoid the grassy areas. Check where people set their items out for the day and near the surf line.
Metal Detecting Tip: When metal detecting on Texas beaches, you will want to take along a sand scoop. A sand scoop makes digging on the beach so much easier. These area basically a basket type shovel scoop with holes. These holes allow the sand to filter out of the basket leaving your treasure inside. Learn more about sand scoops here 👉 The Best Tools for Digging (Metal Detectorist)
Metal Detecting Laws for Texas
As with all states in the country, metal detecting in Texas is governed by the Archaeological Resources Protection Act. This federal level law is aimed at protecting the nation’s heritage by protecting its artifacts. Per this Act, no man-made item over 100 years old may be removed from public lands. You may not dig in any area deemed historically or culturally important.
Metal detecting is prohibited in Texas State Parks unless you receive a permit from the park ranger. Metal detecting is not restricted on state public lands if the area is not considered a park. If the land is a state forest or state park, metal detecting is restricted. You may, however, metal detect in national forests in Texas. Always check with the park rangers prior to metal detecting to ensure there are no restrictions.
Metal detecting in Texas is also governed by the Antiquities Codes of Texas. Under these codes, if you wish to disturb over 5000 cubic yards of earth, you will need to notify the Texas Historical Commission prior to starting. You also may not remove any item relic or artifact found with a metal detector on public beaches in Texas. You are required to take a photo of the item and note any details pertaining to what you have found. You may remove any modern items you find. Learn more here https://www.thc.texas.gov/blog/found-artifact-beach
Metal Detecting Clubs in Texas
- Texas Association of Metal Detecting Clubs seeks to unite, promote, and encourage not only metal detecting, but metal detecting club in Texas while protecting the history and artifacts of the state. Learn more about their mission here https://www.tamdc.org/
- Golden Spread Gem, Mineral and Treasure Society is a multi-purpose club that hunts fossils, rocks, minerals, gold, and metal detects throughout the state of Texas. Read more about them here http://www.amarillotreasure.com/
- Austin Metal Detecting Club is the oldest organized metal detecting club in the state. They have been operating since 1963 and even offer a free lost item search service. Learn more about them here http://amdconline.com/
- Golden Triangle Explorers Society is one of the oldest metal detecting groups in Texas and holds monthly meetings. They welcome new members and offer great advice and knowledge. Read more here https://goldentriangleexplorers.org/
Metal Detecting Treasure Found in Texas
Robert Hodsdon, a metal detectorists, was beachcombing near Galveston for lost treasure. In January of 2017, he got numerous signals and knew he was onto something big. What he found that day buried in the sand was a stash of foreign coins! The coins were reported stolen from a man’s apartment, and Hodsdon was happy to return them to the rightful owner. Read more about his discovery here https://www.statesman.com/story/news/2017/01/12/beachcomber-in-galveston-finds-foreign-coins-believed-stolen/10374308007/
Metal Detecting Resources in Texas
- MDHTALK is one of the best resources for information about metal detecting in Texas. Check them out here https://www.mdhtalk.org/cf/city-regulation.cfm?st=TX
- Legal Beagle is a great resource for laws about metal detecting in Texas. Read about them here https://legalbeagle.com/6948318-laws-metal-detecting-texas.html
Metal detector Stores in Texas for Expert Advice
- Metal Detecting Stuff https://metaldetectingstuff.com/
- American Detector Distributors https://www.detectornet.com/info_distributors.html
- Garrett Metal Detectors https://garrett.com/
Learning How to Use Your Metal Detector Can Be Tough, But I’ve Got You Covered with These Articles
David Humphries, Writer and Creator of METAL DETECTING TIPS. After borrowing my son’s detector and finding $.25. I felt like a treasure hunter. FREE MONEY! I was seriously bitten by the metal detecting bug.