Bacliff is a census-designated place (CDP) in north-central Galveston County, Texas, United States, 16 miles (26 km) northwest of Galveston. The population was 8,619 at the 2010 census. Bacliff, originally called Clifton-by-the-Sea, began as a seaside resort town. Located on the western shore of Galveston Bay, Bacliff, along with San Leon and Bayview, are the largest unincorporated communities on the Galveston County mainland.
The Bacliff CDP is home to the Kenneth E. Little Elementary school and Bayshore Park, created from land donated by Texas Genco.
Bacliff was established in 1910 by local landowners G.C. Perkins and W.Y. Fuqua as Clifton-by-the Sea. The area was developed as a seaside weekend resort, and included parks, hotels, summer homes, and a bathhouse and open air pavilion built on a pier over the water. Telephone service came to Clifton-by-the-Sea in 1913, and Grand Avenue (FM 646) became the main street. Hurricanes, Galveston's recovery after the Hurricane of 1900, and rapid transportation diminished Clifton-by-the-Sea's popularity.
The hurricane of 1915 destroyed many of the improvements to the area, but by 1924 the bathhouse and pavilion had been restored and summer residents returned to the community. A fire destroyed the pavilion in 1929 and it was rebuilt and hosted numerous summer concerts by both the Galveston and Houston orchestras. The hurricane of 1943 caused major damage to the area and the bathhouse and pavilion were not rebuilt.
In 1933, Clifton-by-the-Sea was home to 50 residents and 2 businesses, and from 1940 to 1949 it was home to 100 residents and 4 businesses.