Life by the bay: Kemah Texas

Life by the bay has treated me well! I’ve had the pleasure to visit Kemah several times. It is a city on Galveston Bay, near Houston, Texas. Overlooking the bay, Kemah houses the family friendly Kemah Boardwalk. It’s worth visiting if you are looking family friendly entertainment that includes retro rides, a wooden roller coaster and a two story carousel. With the help from 365 Houston, here are five must do things you have to do while you are here.

  • Stroll the Boardwalk – Probably the most popular attraction in the neighborhood, Kemah Boardwalk is a lot like the charming boardwalks of the East Coast. Open daily, it offers amusement park rides, Gulf Coast eats, live tunes, charming shops, and funky festivals. Pop into shops for seaside treats ranging from candy to surf wear, then hit the amusement park attractions. Take a ride on the Ferris wheel, go up, down and around on the Wipeout Wheel, swing high above the ground on the Aviator, and test your fearlessness on the 140-foot Drop Zone or Boardwalk Bullet.
  • Experience the water – Open March through November, the Boardwalk Beast takes you on a exciting 25-minute boat ride through Galveston Bay. Don’t expect it to be a dry ride! The captain and crew are there to make sure you get splashed as you cruise at speeds up to 40 mph out into the bay. Cost is $20 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under. Boardwalk FantaSea cruises offer party boats, romantic dinner voyages, and historic sightseeing tours on the water. You can also check out the kayak and paddleboard rentals at the Kayak Shack.
  • Delicious Restaurants  – What started as a meat market into the ‘60s has turned into one of Kemah’s most beloved institutions. Crack a beer on the backyard patio (aka Tom’s Backyard) as you listen to live jams and work up an appetite for a Southern coastal-inspired meal. Go from surf to turf when you treat yourself to fried oyster baskets, Southern-style fried catfish and hushpuppies, and a beefy porterhouse steak cooked just the way you like it.
  • Sip wine at the Clear Creek Vineyard – Did you know Kemah had its own winery and vineyard? Well, now you do. Nestled in the heart of old Kemah, this Tuscan-inspired winery offers everything from weekend wine tours and tastings to private blending sessions at the Blending Bar. For some extra relaxation, plan an overnight bed and breakfast stay at the charming Clipper House Inn & Cottages.
  • Go under the sea at the Aquarium Restaurant – Don’t miss your chance to wine and dine next to a 50,000-gallon tank housing fish, sharks, and stingrays. Just be sure to save time to take the kids (or the kids at heart) to Stingray Reef, where you can touch and feed live stingrays in a touch-tank. The restaurant also houses a rainforest exhibit, featuring piranhas, snakes, scorpions, turtles, and tarantulas. Maybe save that one for after you have dinner.

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