The Kemah Boardwalk is located southeast of town in the small community of Kemah, on the shores of Clear Lake, an inlet of Galveston Bay. The boardwalk is essentially the workings of the huge Landry's Restaurants corporation. Most of the restaurants in the area are owed by Landry's, and the Boardwalk Inn Hotel is part of the company as well. There is quite a bit to do here, as it is sort of a waterfront carnival type atmosphere. There are many rides and games, such as a ferris wheel, a carousel, a small train, and various amusement games to play and win prizes. The boardwalk frequently has festivals throughout the year, including the popular "Christmas on the Boardwalk", when the entire area is decorated for the holidays, and there are many events and concerts put on. As I stated, there are many restaurants here as well, most of them are of the seafood variety. And you can take a tour of Galveston Bay in one of several boat tours available. The Kemah Boardwalk is an excellent place for families to go with the kids anytime of the year.
Kemah Boardwalk is about an hour from Houston (including traffic). It is a miniature version, however, so if you are expecting the works don't get that excited. However, for a day/night away from the city it's a great solution. There are rides for children (even a new roller coaster), fun restaurants, shopping, and all while listening to (and smelling) the gulf. Most of the restaurants have live music, too, on the weekends. Kemah also have a few hotels available if you want to make a weekend trip out of it!
I would definitely recommend it for a family trip!
I would also recommend looking at their calendar of events on the website while planning your trip to Houston because they often have celebrations (usually towards each holiday), concerts, and special occassions which you can have fun with. Most are centered towards kids but others focus on guys (Houston Texans, race car days, etc).
*When you first find your way there you will see some cheap parking prices. My advice would be to go directly to Kemah's parking. It is free and we have always been able to park there. Some people assume there aren't any paces and then end up paying $5-$10USD when they could have parked a whole lot closer and cheaper. Save that money for a pina colada! :)
Great family place. Live music outside on the weekends. They have carnival type games. Most famous for the best/freshest seafood restaurants near Houston (9 or more restaurants in one complex). There's an outdoor fountain that shoots up random water and kids love to play here in the summer. They have a little train that goes around the area and a ferris wheel. They also have lots of shopping here.
The Kemah Boardwalk on Galveston Bay has become one of the area's biggest attractions. Less than 40 minutes from south of downtown, the Boardwalk and surrounding aea have an entertaining mix of restaurants, shops, hotels and amusement rides. It's a great place to spend an afternoon or evening enjoying the waterfont sights and sounds, browsing in the shops, and satisfying your appetite for seafood.
Kemah is a small, charming waterfront community at the entrance to Clear Lake from Galveston Bay. It's very non-Houston and looks more like something you might find in the Mid-Atlantic. The most popular part of Kemah is the Kemah Boardwalk. Run by Landry's restaurants, the boardwalk has a relatively short, actual boardwalk, arcade games similar to what you would find at boardwalks in other parts of the country, restaurants, bars and a wooden roller coaster. It's a family destination but can be fun for singles as well.
Summer is the busiest period for Kemah. Once the weather turns cool, the roller coast and other attractions shut down, although most of the restaurants and the boardwalk remain open. The lack of crowds make the winter a relatively pleasant time to visit if you're anti-crowd like I am.
There is no swimming in this area. This part of the bay (mainly the water quality) is not conducive to swimming and the currents and boating activity make it a less than ideal place.
We stopped here for lunch. There was a good feeling. Everyone was having a great time. Parking was a little difficult, can't imagine what it would be like when it was crowded. We walked up the boardwalk, played an arcade game, won a stuffed animal, debated taking the speed boat trip, but debated too long and they were full. So we went to Joe's Crab Shack where we were well fed, and treated well. On the way back to the car I spotted a wood carved pelican or 10 and had to stop at the little store there. Lots of fun things to buy, but I managed to only buy the pelican which came home with me as my carry-on to join my bear, owl and turtle carved wood.
When my family first moved to Houston, we visited Kemah Boardwalk and loved it!! Therefore, before we moved back to Oklahoma, we decided to take one last trip down to Kemah for the day. It's located near NASA, which my husband used to work there! We ate great seafood, rode the amusement rides, and took a boat ride out on the Gulf of Mexico. I highly recommend you visit this place when in Houston!!!!
Kemah is a boardwalk area surrounded by several small blocks of specialty boutiques. It's got a ferris wheel, arcade, and carousel for the kids, several good restaurants with views of the water, and lots of good shopping (esp if looking for special gifts). It's family-oriented, free to enter and a nice place to spend a day.