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10 Gorgeous Beaches near Kemah, TX

Kemah provides quick access to a few charming local beaches right in the bay area. Plus, Galveston Island is a stone's throw away. Discover the options!
Stewart Beach chairs on Galveston Island

The appeal of Kemah doesn’t stop with its famous Amusement Park. 

Nestled on Galveston Bay, Kemah provides quick access to a few charming local beaches right in the bay area. 

However, for those seeking an array of sandy options, the neighboring Galveston Island is the ultimate beachhopper’s paradise. 

This coastal nirvana, adorned with an extensive assortment of beaches, caters to every beachgoer’s whim and fancy. 

From tranquil, family-friendly shores to vibrant, activity-filled hotspots, Galveston Island has it all. 

Discover the best and nearest beaches to Kemah, TX!

1. El Jardin Beach

  • Distance from Kemah: 5 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, fishing, picnics, kitesurfing
  • Facilities: restrooms, parking, picnic tables, benches

Just 5 miles away from Kemah lies El Jardin Beach, an idyllic oasis nestled in Pasadena’s El Jardin del Mar neighborhood. 

This quaint and lesser-known beach offers a serene atmosphere and an escape from Texas’ sweltering heat, particularly for those avoiding the larger crowds in Galveston. 

El Jardin Beach extends a repertoire of traditional beach activities including swimming, sunbathing, sandcastle building, picnicking, and the rare treat of a leashed-dog allowance. 

Although parking can be a bit of a challenge, given the limited availability, its small-town charm and quieter waterfront experience compared to nearby options certainly compensate for it. 

This unpretentious beach exudes a calming vibe that caters to both locals and out-of-town visitors seeking solace by the seaside.

2. Sylvan Beach Park

Sylvan Beach Park in La Porte Texas
Source: dreamstime
  • Distance from Kemah: 9 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, fishing, picnics, boating, volleyball
  • Facilities: restrooms, parking, picnic tables, seasonal lifeguards, pier, playgrounds, boat ramp

Sylvan Beach Park, a 32-acre haven located 9 miles from Kemah, attracts both locals and tourists with its array of facilities and diverse activities. 

Boasting fine sand and gentle waves, this popular beach provides a refreshing oasis on sweltering days. 

The highlight of the park is the pier, where for a mere $4, fishing enthusiasts can enjoy an afternoon of angling. 

Besides the beach and pier, the park includes a playground, clean picnic tables, a boat ramp, and an air-conditioned pavilion. 

Regularly scheduled events like the Annual Sylvan Beach Festival add to the park’s appeal. 

Notably, the park also accommodates a skate park and volleyball court, offering activities beyond the typical beach fun. 

Sylvan Beach Park truly provides a comprehensive recreational experience for all.

3. Babe’s Beach

Bikers cruise along the Seawall in Galveston during the Lone Star Rally in Galveston Texas.
Source: dreamstime
  • Distance from Kemah: 26 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, fishing, picnics
  • Facilities: restrooms, parking, picnic tables, seasonal lifeguards

Babe’s Beach, a 15-block stretch located on Seawall Boulevard in Galveston, stands as a tribute to A.R. “Babe” Schwartz’s devotion to protecting public access to Gulf Coast beaches. 

The nearest Galveston beach to Kemah, this recently revitalized shoreline is close to Galveston Fishing Pier, as well as restaurants, cafes, and accommodations.

It’s complemented by easy parking access, public restrooms, picnic tables, barbecue pits, and seasonal lifeguards. 

Renting an umbrella or chair makes for a relaxing day at Babe’s Beach. 

The pet-friendly policy welcomes all members of the family. 

Babe’s Beach balances serenity with proximity to Galveston’s vibrant energy, offering an attractive destination for beach lovers.

4. Porretto Beach

Aerial view crowded parking lot and busy people along shoreline of Galveston beach, Texas, America. Row of colorful umbrellas on white sandy next to ocean waves
Source: dreamstime
  • Distance from Kemah: 28 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, fishing, picnics, jet skiing
  • Facilities: restrooms, parking, umbrellas, jet ski rentals, delivery service

Sitting on the east end of Galveston Island, privately-owned Porretto Beach serves up a diverse menu of attractions that make it a magnet for beach lovers. 

This sun-drenched haven offers on-the-sand parking that puts you within feet of the surf, providing an extra layer of convenience and safety for families with young children. 

With a daily parking pass, beach-goers can make multiple trips between the beach and nearby restaurants and shops. 

Comfort is also a priority here, with iconic umbrella and chair rentals available for $50 a day. 

Adventure seekers will appreciate the on-site jet ski rentals, while those seeking a laid-back experience can enjoy food and drink delivery right to their rented spot. 

Porretto Beach offers a deluxe experience for well-deserved beach vacations.

5. Stewart Beach

View of colorful beach chairs and umbrellas on Galveston Island Texas - Stewart Beach
Source: dreamstime
  • Distance from Kemah: 28 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, fishing, picnics, volleyball
  • Facilities: restrooms, showers, parking, umbrellas rentals, playground, volleyball nets, concessions, lifeguards

Positioned at the juncture of Broadway and the Seawall, and a stone’s throw from Porretto Beach, Galveston’s Stewart Beach is a stellar choice for a family-oriented beach experience. 

Named among the “10 Best Beaches for Families” by Family Vacation Critic, the beach is patrolled by highly trained lifeguards, offering a secure environment for fun in the sun. 

Visitors can rent chairs and umbrellas or bring their own, choosing their perfect spot on the well-groomed sand. 

The beach provides an array of activities, from beach volleyball to a children’s playground. 

Essential amenities are not overlooked, with showers, restrooms, and a convenience store within reach. 

Plus, the beach provides wheelchairs, ensuring an inclusive experience for all.

With all these amenities and spotless maintenance, it’s easy to see why Stewart Beach is one of the most popular on Galveston Island.

6. East Beach

Colorful umbrellas, lounge chairs. Holiday maker, summer vacation on a beach in Galveston
Source: dreamstime
  • Distance from Kemah: 31 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, fishing, picnics, volleyball
  • Facilities: restrooms, showers, parking, umbrellas rentals, playground, volleyball nets, concessions, restaurants, boardwalk, lifeguards

Basking in its reputation as Galveston Island’s most popular beach, East Beach extends an irresistible invitation to revel in its idyllic setting. 

Situated at the island’s far eastern tip, it offers stunning vistas of the Gulf, the Galveston Bay Shipping Channel, the East End Lagoon Nature Preserve, and Big Reef. 

Unusual among the island’s beaches, East Beach permits alcohol, adding an extra layer of relaxation for adults. 

It also brims with activities and amenities — chair and umbrella rentals, a children’s playground, and food and beverage concessions. 

The beach features a pavilion, boardwalk, and an entertainment stage hosting vibrant festivals and live concerts throughout summer, including the annual AIA Sandcastle Competition

With lifeguards on duty and even beach wheelchairs available, East Beach ensures a memorable and inclusive seaside experience.

7. Sunny Beach

A cute, white fluffy dog sits on the beach staring out to sea waiting for its owner in Galveston Texas
Source: dreamstime
  • Distance from Kemah: 32 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, fishing, picnics
  • Facilities: restrooms, on-beach parking, dog-friendly

Nestled just a few miles past the Seawall, Sunny Beach in Galveston, Texas is a serene escape for beach lovers. 

Renowned for its vast and often uncrowded expanses of sand, this coastal jewel caters to simple beach activities — sunbathing, picnicking, frisbee, dog-walking, or even just unwinding with a book. 

Among its standout features is the on-beach parking, allowing visitors to drive onto the sand and park next to their preferred spot. 

With the beach’s hard-packed sand, worries about getting stuck are minimal. 

Sunny Beach also welcomes four-legged friends, making it a paradise for pet owners. 

Though it has few facilities, its proximity to Galveston’s center is a bonus, offering quick access to more amenities. 

Located 32 miles from Kemah, Sunny Beach is the destination to mark on your map for a peaceful experience.

8. Galveston Island State Park

Sign for Park Road 66 in Galveston Island State Park, Galveston, Texas on sunny day
Source: dreamstime
  • Distance from Kemah: 37 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, fishing, picnics, hiking, camping, paddleboarding, kayaking
  • Facilities: restrooms, showers, boat launch, campsites, rentals

Galveston Island State Park, a haven for coast lovers, offers a delightful blend of both beach and bay sides. 

Here, visitors can indulge in a wide array of activities like swimming, fishing, picnicking, bird watching, hiking, and mountain biking, amongst others. 

The park also boasts excellent camping facilities, ranging from beach or bay campsites to fully-equipped safari tents, making it an ideal place for an overnight retreat. 

Visitors can also enjoy exploring the park’s diverse habitats through its four miles of trails or take to the waters with kayaking and paddleboarding. 

Add to that the availability of rental services for beach chairs, umbrellas, cabanas, and bikes, and you have the perfect destination for an all-inclusive beachside experience. 

With its rich offerings and natural charm, Galveston Island State Park is undeniably a must-visit.

9. Jamaica Beach

Jamaica Beach texas
Source: flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Distance from Kemah: 38 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, fishing, picnics, beachcombing
  • Facilities: restrooms, on-beach parking

Situated on the western edge of Galveston Island and 38 miles from Kemah, Jamaica Beach is a tranquil paradise that offers pristine sands and warm hospitality. 

While the beach is open to the public, it exudes an exclusive charm that invites relaxation and exploration. 

Visitors can stroll along the shoreline, often discovering a diverse range of seashells, including scallops, clams, and sand dollars. 

Strict regulations ensure that the beach remains clean and undisturbed; no glass containers or camping is permitted, and leash laws are enforced for pets. 

Vehicles are allowed to park on the beach – Galveston Island style, giving ‘beach picnics’ a whole new meaning.

However, it’s worth noting there are no lifeguard services. 

Jamaica Beach is a hidden gem that feels serene and tranquil, far from the beach crowds of Galveston Island.

10. Bolivar Flats Beach

Morning sunrise while camped on the beach in Texas
Source: dreamstime
  • Distance from Kemah: 37 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, fishing, picnics, beachcombing, camping, beach driving, birdwatching
  • Facilities: on-beach parking

Bolivar Flats Beach, nestled on the Bolivar Peninsula, is a cherished destination for campers and bird watchers alike. 

The peninsula is accessible via a free ferry and the beach offers one of the most popular boondocking spots in the area. 

Moreover, its close proximity to the renowned Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary offers visitors a unique opportunity to observe a diverse array of local birds in their natural habitat. 

The hard-packed beach is welcoming to large rigs, and with a $10 yearly parking pass, camping has never been more affordable. 

While there are no conventional restroom facilities or any other amenities, this beach has hardly-any recreational restrictions.

Despite occasional bouts of inclement weather, the allure of bird watching, the soothing sound of waves, and the thrill of beachside driving keep visitors returning to this distinctive coastal enclave.

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