The Beach Road is the coastal section of the Texas Highway 87 system. Stretching along the Gulf of Mexico from Sabine Pass through Chambers County to Port Bolivar in Galveston County, it follows a historic route that proved vital to the early development of Jefferson County. Native Americans, early settlers, traders, cattlemen and Republic of Texas mail carriers all used the road. During the Civil War, Confederate forces used the route, which was generally known as the "Road from Galveston."
By 1920, local residents found it difficult to travel on the unmaintained Beach Road. In 1923, Commissioner W.A. Vaughan worked to improve the route using shell deposits from along the coast. Soon traffic to McFaddin Beach and westward to Port Bolivar increased dramatically, leading to a business boom in the area as firms built facilities for visitors. A larger effort by the state in the late 1920s called for a paved road with a ferry connection to Galveston. The project moved slowly, but in 1931, the Texas Highway Commission named the new roadway as part of State Highway 87.
In the 1940s, during World War II, the highway contributed to coastal defense preparedness. The U.S. Immigration Service set up a barricaded checkpoint for through traffic and the Coast Guard patrolled it during that time.
Over the years, hurricanes battered the highway and eroded the nearby coastline, resulting in tidal zone encroachment. Destruction caused by two storms in 1989 forced its closure, though sections of the route remain in use for local traffic.