First off, I am a Texas beach "snob." Galveston absolutely disgusts me. The beaches are gross, the water is a muddy brown. We always go to Florida or Outer Banks, NC. This year for several reasons we could not. My husband had been to SPI years ago (like >25 years) and assured me the water was pretty and the beaches were nice.
He was partially right ! The beach in front of our condo was really nice. We were only there 5 days but it seems like it was groomed almost nightly and most of the accumulated seaweed was taken off. The water was a beautiful blue/green blue and was only muddy one afternoon after it had stormed most of the morning which is totally understandable to me.
Our condo was *great.* Sea Vista condos are in a great location for the most part (I saw some corner units that I wouldn't want to have but I think most of those belonged to residents who live there year round.)
We rode horses on the beach and had a great time with wonderful guides and a good view up on horseback. We stopped at the Turtle Rescue place and were all really impressed with what those folks are doing there. Our kids were going to do the outdoor Schlitterbahn but an afternoon of rain or so coupled with the fact that they were just happy to hang out on the beach resulted in them not going. My husband and I went over the beach access dock just to look at Schlitterbahn and honestly the outdoor part looked like a dump. Just old, not clean and bleh. I would've been fine if they had wanted to go but I wasn't impressed.
We drove back to a public beach access so our kids could collect some shells.. It was fun to drive ON the beach. But that beach is disgusting. Why do the people who live there consistently trash their beautiful beach?? I don't get it. Set back from the beach are some beautiful dunes and the sand is a much lighter color than it is down the beach. The potential to clean that place up is really really there.
The town itself...it's like Texas has just given up on the town. A few of the restaurants we ate at (all had mixed reviews on Trip Advisor so we decided to give them a try. I am low maintenance and I find that some people just can never be satisified so I give the mixed ones a try) were just completely nasty. Some of the other ones were really good. It just overall seemed to by kind of an old depressing town..
So that's it...the water was beautiful and the beach near us was clean and the drive was less than a day for us. That's all we needed for this year.