El Jardin Del Mar Community Beach, Pasadena
My husband and I agree to disagree on this place. Yes, it is down the road from nasty chemical plants, and there seem to be more of them every time we travel down 146 (or is that because they cut down more trees?). I’m not suggesting you let your kids “swim” here, though frankly everyone else seems to and not worry about it.
Being a bay, its wave action is subdued compared to Galveston beach, and it seems shallow for a good distance out. The beach is comprised of silt, not sand. However, to me it is still a very cool secluded best-kept-secret beach, with a wonderful amount of wildlife, especially large brown pelicans. At least you don’t have to worry about rip tides here like in Galveston.
The first day I took the kids here–we lived next door in Seabrook at the time–#1 son tore up the beach scooting around a large metal tonka dump truck. Another time a bunch of teens were having a great time wake boarding, and put on an awesome show. Another time, in late summer when the water was warm, hermit crabs magically appeared by the hundreds all over the pier rocks and in the water along the shore, not to be seen again on subsequent visits. One evening when the sun was setting we saw a rabbit in the grass among the wild sunflowers. One morning very early, several large crabs skittering sideways, and deer tracks along with horseshoe prints in the sand. Sailboats come close into shore here. It is secluded, but always there are other families are here making it feel friendly and safe.
The beach itself is named after the El Jardin residential neighborhood which surrounds it, which features lush tropical vegetation and no discernible deed restrictions. I like El Jardin beach to drop in for a bit, take in the scenery, then go down the road to the Seabrook community pool and waterslide, sure to get any residual chemicals off of us (just in case); or visit the most magical Maas Nursery, which is just down the road.