Kemah is a city on the Gulf Coast of Texas. The boardwalk is a popular destination for people in the Houston area. The best time to come if you want to relax is during the week, but if you have kids and want them to be able to play in the fountains and things, come on the weekends.
In the mid-1990s, Landry's Restaurants bought the all the property along the south side of the Clear Creek channel. It was then rebuilt with a theme-park atmosphere and the energy in Kemah increased dramatically. All the boardwalk restaurants are chains owned by Landry's, and all the smaller shops lease space. Limited parking is free. There are plenty of other independent shops through the town, back off the boardwalk.
Kemah is small enough to travel on foot or bike, but most people get there by car. From IH-10 in Baytown (east of Houston), turn south on TX-146. Kemah is just past the second or third very tall bridge. From Houston or Galveston, go towards the other on IH-45. Turn east on FM-517. Continue straight on FM-2004 until it ends in Kemah at TX-146 (if you accidentally "turn right" and stay on FM-517, just keep on going to TX-146 then turn left - you're only a couple of miles down the road).
Kemah Harbor Marina offers transient docking services for $1 per foot. Slips up to 30' are almost always available, 30-50' boats should call in advance.
Due to the small size of the town there is no public transportation. Taxis are available, and plenty of parking is available.
Johnson Space Center, 2101 NASA Parkway, Houston, ☎ 281-483-0123, . Rocket park is available for personal tours, though the Saturn V rocket is covered for maintenance.
Space Center Houston, 1601 NASA Parkway, Houston, ☎ 281-244-2100, . 10 AM - 5 PM weekdays, 10 AM to 6 PM weekends. Lots of exhibits and rides, tram tours of the Johnson Space Center working facilities.$18.95 per adult ticket, $5 parking per vehicle.
Joe's Boardwalk Beast, . A fun ride through Galveston Bay, on a big speed boat. Closed in the winter.
Boardwalk Train. A mini-train that follows a track around the boardwalk.
Murder by Chocolate, 512 7th St, Kemah, ☎ 281-535-0623, . A family-friendly dinner theater. Lots of fun.$40 per person (includes dinner, dessert, non-alcoholic drinks, tax, and tip).
There are several marinas that offer various yachting services. Consider chartering a sailboat for half a day, or looking into a weekend-long sailing certification course.
Kemah Boardwalk Marina, 555 Bradford Street, ☎ 281-334-2284, . Can direct you to their resident services, but recommneds you contact providers directly.
At the Helm Charters and Sailing School, ☎ 281-334-4101.
The area is renowned for its fishing. Red Drum are a popular hunt, as are croaker, flounder, and trout.
Flipt, 243 Marina Bay Dr, ☎ 281-334-6506. Sporting goods, including kayaks and canoes.
Marburgers Sporting Goods, 1400 Bayport Blvd, Seabrook (north on TX-146, just over the bridge, an orange building on the right side), ☎ 281-474-3229. Outfit for hunting or fishing. Knowledgable staff, decent selection.
Tabasco Country Store, 10 Kemah Waterfront St (on the boardwalk), 281-334-4600. For anyone that wants a little spice in their life, this is the place to go. Every Tabasco is here from the popular red Tabasco to Tabasco candy. Tabasco is made on Avery Island, Louisiana
Kandy at Kemah 10 Kemah Waterfront St # T (on the boardwalk), 281-538-4077. A wide variety of candy and treats, including fresh fudge.
Coffee House, 8 Kemah Waterfront St (on the boardwalk), ☎ 281-334-5351. Coffee and beignets. Buffet on weekend mornings.$5-$10.
Saltgrass Steak House, 215 Kipp Ave, Kemah (on the boardwalk), ☎ 281-538-5441. A chain joint, but still decent. If you can handle a little heat try the trail rattlers (jalapenos stuffed with shrimp and stuffing, deep fried - they're not really that spicy).$10-$25.
Claudio's, 700 Kipp Ave, ☎ 281-334-7744. A classy restaurant and piano bar.$15-$25.
T-Bone Tom's, 707 Highway 146 (red building and sign), ☎ 281-334-2133. Steaks and country kitchen food. The burgers carry a good reputation.$10-$20.
Ichibon, 406 Texas Ave, ☎ 281-538-0788. Japanese steak and sushi. If you sail way up Clear Lake, you'll see the owner's boat in a dock just past Nassau Bay.10-$30.
Aquarium, 11 Kemah Waterfront St (on the Boardwalk, at the creek end), ☎ 281-334-9010. "An Underwater Dining Adventure", the price is high, and the seafood is not the best, but only locals notice. The whole building is a huge aquarium with sharks, and exotic fish. This is a must, even if you just go to the bar, you have to go in and look.$20-$35.
The Flying Dutchman, 9 Kemah Waterfront St (on the boardwalk, near the middle, can't miss the sign), ☎ 281-334-7575. A local favorite, this was the first restaurant on the bay and will probably be the last too. The atmosphere is great, but like everything else on the boardwalk, the price is high.$15-$25.
Kemah Crab House, 3 Kemah Waterfront St, ☎ 281-334-3360. East coast style sea food, with a good bit of local flair. The avocado crab salad is a little spicy but worth trying.$15-$25.
Molly's Pub, 400 Texas Ave (281-334-2777). One of a series of local bars, frequented by locals. They go for the americanized irish pub feel and keep a vast selection of beers on tap. Ask for the current Saint Arnold Brewery seasonal.$2-$4/pint.
Zone 504 Sports Bar, 504 Kipp Ave, ☎ 281-538-8123.
Monkey Bar, (near bradford and 6th). A more whimsical bar. You can find toucans in a big cage nearby.
Palapa's, 608 6th St, ☎ 281-334-3746. A tropical-themed bar. Expect near-overpriced fruity drinks, but good service.
Passport Inn & Suites Kemah, 601 Texas Ave, ☎ 281-334-4855, . This two story motel is not recommend, nothing but bad experiences, way over priced, and very dirty.$59.
Days Inn, 1411 Hwy 146, ☎ 281-538-0077. Your average chain motel.$59.
Kemah Boardwalk Inn, Bradford and 2nd Street (on the Boardwalk), ☎ 281-334-9880 (fax: 281-334-9232), . A full-service 52-room hotel, the Inn is nestled in the center of The Kemah Boardwalk and is a great place for a quick stay in Kemah, somewhat expensive, but worth it.$100-$250.
Kemah Escape, 617 9th Street, ☎ 281-538-3200 (email@example.com), . A great place if you want some more privacy, a small boutique hotel. Each room has a hot tub, a full kitchen, high speed internet access, and first floor rooms have a patio, and second floor rooms have a screened deck.$139-$229.
Bayside Bed and Biscuit, 920 Lawrence Road, ☎ 281-334-9663, . A resort for pets (eg you drop your pet off here while you stay elsewhere). Whimsical atmosphere, responsible staff.$15-$25/per day or night depending on services..
Galveston - With its sandy beaches and history it is a perfect place to go after a great stay on the boardwalk. Follow US-146 south until it merges with IH-45, and continue south.
Houston - Go west on FM-2004 until it merges with FM-517 and continue west. Then go north (right) on IH-45.
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