Homeward Bound

These Beloved Summer Activities are Off-Limits for July 4 Weekend

Beach closures, park restrictions, and more strict measures the COVID hath wrought.

By Gwendolyn Knapp July 3, 2020


It's the Fourth of July Weekend, but you're freedom to do whatever you please has been sorely hampered by the threat of COVID-19 and the cases and hospitalizations that continue to spike in Houston at this very moment. For those not up to date on where you can go or what you can do this weekend—we know; we want to escape so badly, too—it's probably just best to stay home and grill some weenies in the backyard. Le sigh. But here's a reminder for those hellbent on leaving the house.

Here's what's off-limits this weekend for Houstonians:

Soaking up the sun at Galveston Beach. 

On Wednesday, June 30, Galveston mayor Jim Yarbrough, announced that all beaches in Galveston County would close beginning at 5 a.m. on Friday, July 3, to prevent the spread of our spiking COVID numbers. That means folks cannot tailgate, picnic, park, or even just sit on the Seawall until beaches reopen at 12:01 a.m. Monday, July 5. 

Heading to other Texas beaches.

Popular south Texas beaches have also shut down for the weekend, including The Padre Island National Seashore, which closed from Thursday through Tuesday, and beach access to South Padre Island is closed through July 13. Other popular spots have restrictions in place: Mustang Island is open, but you need reservations to visit, and Port Aransas beaches are banning vehicles and offering limited parking, though still open.

Floating the River.

Gov. Greg Abbott shut down tubing and river-rafting outfitters on Friday, June 26, after COVID-19 cases spiked in Hays County were attributed to young folks floating in the San Marcos and New Braunfels areas.

Visiting Eleanor Tinsley or Sam Houston Park.

The city has shut down both parks for July 4 to ensure it can safely pull off its virtual fireworks show. So do stay away.

Gathering in groups at all local parks. 

City parks are open this weekend for active recreation only—ie. exercising—and urban park rangers will be patrolling to make sure folks aren’t gathering in groups for parties and picnics. “We want it to be a kinetic experience,” Turner said in a press conference on July 1. “Just keep going, keep moving, and keep yourself safe.”

Renting a local airbnb if you’re under 25 and want to throw a rager.

The short term rental platform has just announced an initiative to further crack down on house parties here in Houston and across the U.S. People under 25 with fewer than 3 positive reviews on the platform will no longer be able to rent local airbnbs.

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