Too Expensive, Houston
The Kemah Board walk is located in the Clear Lake area (NASA-Johnson Space Center area). It is the ultimate tourist trap. It is a pier on Galveston Bay with restaurants and tourist/souvenir shops. The restaurants are too expensive for very ordinary food. Their only advantage is the view on Galveston Bay.
Unique Suggestions: Enjoy the view on Galveston Bay!
Fun Alternatives: Go to the other side of the big Kemah bridge (146 highway). Go to the restaurant Bay Thai (see my restaurant tips). Stroll along Todville road to enjoy the houses on stilts and the fisheries next to the bridge. Go to Clear Lake Shores (see my Off the beaten Path tips).
The exhibition of fish was great, but very short. Lots of video to fill up the empty spots. Best indoor feature is the hands on tank that allows kids to touch. Best read the signs though because the help rarely speaks.
I definitely would not let them touch the baby sharks though.... the 'guide' was otherwise occupied.
The shark train is fine and the only ride with a bit of shade for the wait - which was long as there was only ONE train in service the weekend following the All Star Game. (7/16/2004)Amazing!
The downstairs restaurant was nearly empty but time spent was an hour and a half to get two children's meals (chicken strips w/fries, shrimp w/fries) and two adult meals (fried shrimp and specialty sandwich) which totalled over $50.00
The Houston Aquarium 'boardwalk' is HOT. No shade for the lines waiting for rides. Waited in sun for Carousel for 10 minutes, got on, it went around 5 times and stopped. I thought there was motor problems, but no. That was it!
Wanted to buy an icee for my 3 year old and 7 year old grandsons at the outside refreshment stand, but they ONLY came in the half a yard long glasses. Isn't this outdoor area a children's attraction? 100 degrees and searching for drinks for children. Someone missed the boat. Cancelled the order and went inside.
Besides the lower restaurant that robbed us for lunch, the bar was open and empty. Went in to order the 3 year old a drink, but was told the child could not sit on the barstool while I got the money out to pay. Okay, rules are rules - cancel that order.
The help seemed to be in zombie state and rarely said a word. Probably heat exhaustion.
The parking valet brought the wrong vehicle (8.00 for valet parking) and we had to wait an additional 10 minutes in the sun while they tried to figure that out since he threw the ticket in the garbage as he drove up.
Disaster, except the kids really were impressed by the shark train ride's escaped big white that popped up to scare them.
Unique Suggestions: Park yourself, eat before you go, try to find value coupons, skip the outdoor attractions unless the shark ride is worth the whole thing to you.
Fun Alternatives: Moody Gardens in Galveston is WAY better and a better value all around.
Or, go to San Antonio's Sea World instead.
Or, go to New Orleans Aquarium and you can do the zoo cruise and zoo from the same entrance area and only pay to park once.
OK it's a brand new restaruant opened by a local chain named Landry's. It's pretty cool and worth the trip, but don't get me wrong it is a tourist trap and even locals will be crowding in the place. However, definately a neat dining experience.
Unique Suggestions: Have a drink at the Dive Lounge upstairs. Same enviroment without the over-priced entrees!
Fun Alternatives: Try, Cabo, a Mexican Seafood place, just a few block futher into downtown. Best fish tacos in town, guaranteed to be a local after work crowd.