Kemah City in Texas has always been a public choice when it comes to recreation. But we wanted to make sure all the first-timers know what to do and how to do things to make the most of their trips. And that’s why we opted to create this travel guide for visiting Kemah, TX.
Kemah, TX – What-to-Dos & How-to-Dos
- General Information
- Top 10 Attractions within 50 Miles
- Kemah Entertainment District
- Extra Adventurous Things to Do
- Fun Things to Do on Water for Free
- Best Spots to Stop for a Meal in Kemah, TX
- Where You Can Sail? (Water Access)
- Marinas and Public Access Facilities
- Things to Know About the Rules Before Sailing in Kemah
- Best Campsite for RV and Trailer Owners
- The Best Season for Sailing in Kemah
- Boat Repair Shops (Phone Number and Address)
- Top 3 Watercraft Rental Shops
- Angling Opportunities in the Area
- Fishing Codes and Regulations
It’s a city that has been through a lot! It was being run by a criminal syndicate, it got hit by a horrible hurricane, then it got hit by another one. But through all these years, Kemah has survived, rebuilt, and moved on. And now, it’s the main tourist attraction in Texas.
At Sailingyes, we care about the first-timers and regulars who’d want to make the most of their trip to the Lone Star State. That’s why this time, in this article, our team will tell you what to do and how to do things when in Kemah. Our guide includes every detail about sailing (aka the most popular on-water activity), fishing, hunting, and having fun in the formerly-called-Evergreen city!
Full name: Kemah City
What does Kemah mean? It’s derived from the Indian term “Karankawa” meaning wind in my face
Former names/titles: Flanders Grove or Flanders Labor, Evergreen, and Shell Siding
Land area: 1.84 sq. miles
Water area: 0.07 sq. miles (3.55%)
Coordinates: 29°32′33″N 95°1′13.08″W
Top 10 Attractions within 50 Miles
Kemah city in Texas is a part of the Bay Area Houston. This area contains several admired tourist destinations such as Seabrook, El Lago, Clear Lake City, etc. So, it’s not a good idea to restrict your trip to only visiting Kemah as there are lots of attractions located within the walking distance.
To help you see the bigger picture and plan a trip to cover all the Bay Area Houston’s attractions, we’ve made the list below. It consists of the top 10 attractions within 50 miles from Kemah.
Space Center Houston
Just 5 miles away from the city center, there’s a must-see spot offering lots of interactive doings to its visitors. The Space Center Houston is a well-known attraction near Seabrook that has always topped the list of fun places to visit in Bay Area Houston.
The tickets are not cost-effective, but considering the amenities and hands-on experiences offered by this place, it’s worth it. Right now, you can get an adult ticket for $29.95 whereas the prices for minors (4 to 11) start from $24.95. Plus, elderly visitors (65 or older) can get a ticket for $27.95. And the good news is that children younger than 4 can enter the area with no need to pay for tickets.
Expert advice: get Houston City PASS (it only costs $62), allowing you to visit Space Center Houston and 4 more H-Town attractions.
One of the main reasons why many people love this place is the Tram Tours. Right now, you get to choose between two tours, Mission Control Center and Astronaut Training Facility Tour. The earlier is a 60-75-minute trip to check out the areas that were used as the main control facilities for space missions. However, the latter allows you to check out the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility.
If you’d like to see the Apollo Mission Control Center, get a timed ticket (available at the ticket booths, ticket kiosks, and the Guest Services Desk).
For those who love rockets, there’s a must-see called the Rocket Park. This is where you can see the real Saturn V rocket that was involved in the Apollo mission.
During the tours, you’ll see a gigantic shuttle mounted on top of a Boeing 747. And that will indicate you’re at Independence Plaza. The space shuttle on top of the airplane is known as Independence and there are exhibits inside the aircraft all the time.
If you’re looking for more information about NASA and its cool plans, head for the Destiny Theater & Space Center Theater & Blast-Off! Theater. These places will provide you with short films and visualized diagrams, explaining how the International Space Station is working and what are the upcoming space-related missions.
There’s also a virtual reality simulation right next to the Destiny Theater that would let you see the space in person—while standing on Earth!
Plan at least 6 hours if you want to see everything here (ideally come before 11 AM or 12 PM). A 3-hour trip would only give you enough time for one tram tour and selectively picked exhibits or short clips you want to see here.
Location: 1601 E NASA Pkwy, Houston.
Butler Longhorn Museum
Located at 1220 Coryell St, League City, Butler Longhorn Museum is devoted to a breed of beef cattle mainly known as the longhorn. This is where you can find out how important this breed was for Texas after the Civil War and how it almost went extinct.
A short film will welcome you and give some general information about the museum. Then, the 2nd and 3rd story viewing will introduce the memorabilia, history, and art of the Lone Star City—all related to longhorns, of course.
You’ll learn about how Texas has the genuine breed of Longhorns that are native to the land, and how a few ranches have preserved this type of cattle. So, if you are even slightly interested in longhorns, you’ll find the museum informative and interesting.
They’ll also let you know the economic impact the longhorns had on Texas after the Civil War. Plus, you’ll finally realize how they survived a possible extinction going into the 20th century.
It’s a family-friendly spot that can be very informative for adults and children who’re curious about the longhorns of Texas. Just have in mind that the museum closes at 4 P.M. and since each tour lasts for one hour, you might want to get there before 3 P.M. Otherwise, you may lose the chance of visiting the longhorns for the day.
Armand Bayou Nature Center
ABNC is the largest urban wilderness preserve in the U.S. with 2500 acres of the natural wetlands, forest, and prairies. SO, if you’re a nature-lover type of person, this is your dreamland. They have over 370 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians and the wildlife is very active in year-round.
This nature center is located at 8500 Bay Area Blvd, Pasadena, offering dozens of hands-on experiences and fun activities such as Sundays in Nature, Canoe Tours, Pontoon Boat Cruise, Guided Photo Hike, and Guided Trail Hikes.
Moreover, there are several annual events & programs available at this nature center that keep the yearly schedule busy. World Migratory Bird Day, Prairie Pandemonium (a prairie restoration project), Creepy Crawlers (Halloween special), Martyn Farm Harvest Festival, Christmas Bird Count, and ABNC’s Fundraising Dinner and Auction are just a few examples of these annual events.
Other features of this park are:
- Having 3 walking trails around a mile each that have benches along the trails.
- A spot for observing alligators.
- An area to learn about different reptiles and a platform to see the bison.
- Plenty of parking area available.
According to the Seabrook government, this city has 13 miles of hike and bike trails filled with various bird species and other wildlife, 1,000 ft. pier, 15 parks, 2 splash pads, swimming pool, indoor rental facilities, and multiple rental pavilions and cabanas. So, Pelican Trail is just one of the attractions you’ll find in this city.
This trail is a part of the Pelican Path is indicated by multiple pelican statues all over the city. These statues will guide you through the path, uniting all the Pelicans in Seabrook.
Right now, most of the businesses in Seabrook have their own customized Pelican to help the city extend the trail. So, following this path will let you visit almost every must-see place as the Pelicans are everywhere now.
However, there are some rules to obey while using Pelican Trails. The following list will show you what is acceptable and what’s not.
- No alcohol or other controlled substances
- Park hours are sunrise to sunset unless posted differently
- All animals must be on a leash
- No unlawful firearms
- No glass containers
- No open fires
- No parking on grass or unpaved areas
- No motorized vehicles on the trails
- Bounce Houses must be registered with the City
- No fishing, crabbing, or casting nets from footbridges, marine nursery areas, or any designated area
- No metal detectors
- No cutting, digging up or removing objects
- No animals in the water of the Municipal swimming pool or splash pads
- Children under 12 must be supervised by an adult
Lone Star Flight Museum
After Hurricane Ike, this Texas Aviation Hall of Fame, with vintage aircraft & rides on warplanes is now located at 11551 Aerospace Ave, Houston, TX 77034. And not only does it contain lots of airplanes, motors, propellers, it also has great, interactive displays. And you can get close to many of the airplanes—just to feed your curiosity.
They operate from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. (except for Sundays that they open at 12 P.M.). The entrance fee for adults is $15 and you’ll not need to pay the fee for kids 3 or younger.
They have a couple of flight simulators that allow the kids to have some hands-on experiences. This would be a great chance to let them see how it would feel if they were a pilot. (And maybe they wanted to become a real pilot in the future, who knows?).
Most noteworthy, former pilots and other experienced personnel were patrolling the exhibits, frequently stopping by, and sharing concepts and experiences with genuine zeal. So, if you have a family member who is obsessed with aeronautics, this is the place to be. They have a membership program for locals to keep them up-to-date regarding the aeronautics and airplanes.
There’s also a gift shop in the museum area that sells very cost-effective souvenirs. So, you can spend an extra $3-5 to buy your loved ones a gift and show your love to them.
Visiting the Lone Star Flight Museum would be interactive for school-age kids. Plus, it would be a great interactive field trip to learn about the history of airplanes.
Note: the center has activities set up for pre during & post educational STEM activities.
San Jacinto Museum of History & Battleground State Historic Site
Museum of History at 1 Monument Cir, La Porte, TX 77571, is a free showcase of artifacts, documents, books & images from points throughout Texas history. And the TWPD has done a marvelous job in the management of this property, presentation of the facts, an outstanding display of artifacts, pictures and paintings, period clothing and tools.
There are several displays inside the museum on the bottom floor of the monument. However, there’s even a 3+ mile path you can walk to retrace the different battleground and significant moments.
Note: the museum operates from 9 A.M. to 6 P.M. all week long—and it’s free for the visitors.
Within the walking distance to this museum, there’s San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site at 3523 Independence Pkwy, La Porte, TX 77571. It’s the Circa-1939 obelisk & museum commemorating the battle that marked Texas’ independence from Mexico. And you can opt to visit it every day from 9 A.M. to 6 P.M. for free.
It’s a great starting place for your visit (either here or the Texas museum in Austin) as you will understand the history and people of Texas. Buy the whole ticket and ride the elevator to the top to learn about the Texas oil and gas industry and its importance to the United States.
If you are tight on cash, you can see them both for free without going to the top or getting on the ship. However, going to the top will give you the chance to gain valuable information about the Ship Channel and its role in creating jobs and helping Houston’s economy.
Galveston-Port Bolivar Ferry
You’re probably thinking why would one include a ferry in an attraction list. Well, hold on there; this one is a bit different. Besides providing an actual service Galveston-Port Bolivar Ferry is a great site seeing activity.
You can ride the ferry to watch the dolphins, seagulls, and pelicans as well as the big ships and tankers arriving into port. You are also allowed to get out of your vehicle and walk the ferry while underway. Plus, air-conditioned indoors and has restrooms are available for all the passengers.
Better yet? It’s all free! So, you don’t have to pay a penny to get your vehicle carried. Just head to Texas 87, Port Bolivar, TX 77650 and wait in the lines until it’s your turn to get into the ship.
Houston Area Museums
The area between Pasadena, Bellaire, and Aldine is full of the museum. That’s why you can find roughly 18 museums with various themes and fields in this district.
However, the most popular ones among the Houston Area Museums are the Houston Museum of Natural Science and the Children’s Museum of Houston.
The museum of natural science is located at 5555 Hermann Park Dr, Houston, TX 77030 and operates from 9 A.M. to 6 P.M. every day. This is where you can find multiple exhibits with various scientific themes for kids and adults. However, bear in mind that each exhibit will cost you an extra fee unless you join the membership program or get a city pass.
The city pass will enable you to watch the exhibits for free and have access to 4 other H-Town attractions such as the Houston Zoo. Plus, an annual membership costs only $120 whereas a single visit (parking included) may cost you $150! ($67 per adult and $50 for kids).
The museum itself has so much to offer to appease the senses of people of all ages. The Butterfly Exhibit, for instance, will create a magical environment where the butterflies are flying all around you. Moreover, the planetarium with reclined seats will make you learn anything from the stars to the true history of the titanic watching the displays above your head.
Houston Arboretum & Nature Center
This 155-acre urban green space offering nature trails, exhibits, workshops & events in various habitats is located at 4501 Woodway Dr, Houston, TX 77024. And you can plan an almost 12-hour trip to this amusing nature center as they operate from 7 A.M. to 6:30 P.M.
You will see lots of native trees as well as active wildlife in a quiet setting. The park has several trails too so that you can walk your dog or just jog around among the plants, tree, and cute animals.
Plus, a gift shop is in the park, offering some budget-friendly souvenirs and tokens. So, make sure to get something for those who didn’t get the chance to see the park.
Since there’s no admission fee required in the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, you can visit it for free. However, the regulations for parking lots have changed since 8/4/2019. And now, you must pay $1.35 per hour to park your vehicle.
Is that it? Uh-uh… not at all. The main reason why most of the families in Texas love visiting this place is their educational programs. The park offers 4 different educational programs for families, adults, children, and schools. And in addition to that, it holds numerous special events year-round.
So, if you’d like to make the most of your time and have an interactive field trip while enjoying the quiet environment, this is the ultimate choice. Your kids will have a lot to learn and see in this park and you’d be able to spend some quality time with your loved ones.
Bear in mind that the park is also available for rental as they offer wedding & birthday parties, family events, meeting, conferences, receptions, and memorial services.
Sea Center Texas
Located at 302 Medical Dr, Lake Jackson, TX 77566, Sea Center is a marine museum with touch tanks, an aquarium, a hatchery & an outdoor wetland with a boardwalk trail. People love their touch tank which is where you can pat the under-water life. It allows you (and the kids) to touch the fish and see how it feels to pet them.
But the most fantastic part about this museum is that it’s free. Yes, you read it right. There’s no admission fee included—no matter how many people are in your group. However, this place accepts donations. So, if you went there and enjoyed the experience, don’t forget to donate.
Kemah Entertainment District
Several years after the Maceo crime syndicate shut down, the Landry’s Restaurants established the Kemah Boardwalk (in the 1990s). The district soon became a tourist attraction as the increasing number of brand-new restaurants, shops, and retails seemed tempting to travelers at the time.
Right now, it’s known as one of the main reasons why people choose Kemah over other cities in Bay Area Houston. And it helped the whole city to gain the title of the top tourism spot in the Greater Houston area in 2012.
Some of the well-liked activities and amenities in the Kemah Entertainment District are amusement rides, shopping, and eating at the high-end restaurants.
It’s a great place to have a family outing as there’s so much to do. However, you must know that it’s usually crowded and finding a parking spot may take some time. So, plan your trip accordingly.
The water fountains in the back by the aquarium are a great spot to let the kids run around and cool off in the heat. Live bands usually play songs week long as well. Plus, inside the aquarium, you can feed the stingrays.
The toy shop is another great place to visit when you have kids and minors in the group. You’ll enjoy watching the train going around the ceiling of the store! (And yes, there is such a train in the shop). But don’t let it make you feel it’s just a good place for kids. By contrast, it’s a great experience for people of any age as there’s a lot to do whether you are 5 or 95.
Visiting the Kemah Boardwalk at Halloween or Christmas will give you the chance to see the themed decorations. There’s even a haunted house designed for those Halloween enthusiasts.
Where to Stay in the Kemah Entertainment District?
Since there’s only one hotel in Kemah Boardwalk, you’ll have a few options when it comes to staying. However, the Boardwalk Inn will fulfill all your needs single-handedly. The rooms at this place are very clean and well-maintained and you’d face no issues as they have a satisfying customer service.
This 3-star hotel is located at waterfront #8, Kemah, TX 77565. But you can call (281)-334-9880 for reservation.
Where to Eat in Kemah Boardwalk?
Because Landry’s Restaurants Inc. is a food industry giant, Kemah Boardwalk has become a tourist attraction for gourmets. Right now, 14 restaurants are active in the district and the number is expected to increase soon.
However, here we have a list of the top 3 restaurants in the Kemah Entertainment District for those who don’t have time for cherry-picking.
Note: the list below is based on the customer votes on the scale of 1 to 5.
- Aquarium Restaurant (4.2 out of 5). Located at 215 Kipp Avenue Boardwalk #11.
- Landry’s Seafood House (4.1 out of 5). Located at Boardwalk #1.
- Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. (4.1 out of 5). Located at Boardwalk #5
Extra Adventurous Things to Do
Kemah Boardwalk is full of fun things to do and new stuff to experience. So, if you don’t want to miss out on the most iconic things-to-do, read on. That’s because we have a list of extra adventurous doings.
Eat inside an Aquarium
Turning your head around is enough to find a restaurant or eatery at Kemah Boardwalk. However, not all of them are as irreplaceable as the Aquarium Restaurant. Yes, you read it right; it’s an aquarium that serves food! How? Well, they have an indoor area surrounded by 50,000 gallons of water. So, technically, you’ll be sitting in a tank.
They have a wide variety of fish, sharks, stingrays, and other sea creatures to make you fill it’s an under-water eatery. And guess what? Your kids will love this place in the blink of an eye.
So, if you’re bored of eating at ordinary restaurants, this is the one you must try. Just head to 215 Kipp Avenue Boardwalk #11, Kemah, TX 77565, for a second-of-none type of experience.
Charter a Luxury Yacht
Don’t have a boat and don’t even know how to skipper one? No worries at all. Boardwalk Fantasea, located at #8 Kemah Boardwalk Suite G Kemah, TX. 77565, is there for you. It’s a yacht charter company capable of providing you with private & public cruises, leisure cruises, and corporate event arrangements.
But that’s not it; you can also count on Fantasea for dinner voyages, historic sightseeing along the water and unforgettable party cruises as well as weddings or special occasions.
Give them a call via (281)-538-9600 or check out boardwalkfantasea.com for more information, booking, and/or buying tickets.
Escape Kemah at the Escape Kemah
This one is the best bonding activity in the district. Escape Kemah allows visitors to create groups and work together to solve the mysteries and escape the rooms. They have designed several themed rooms such as the Fear room (detective/murder), Star Wars, and Bomb room (a disgruntled person has planted sa bomb).
However, the most interesting thing about this place is that they update the rooms constantly. So, you can rely on the novelty of the games and trust the Escape Kemah’s team’s creativity for having fun every single time.
Since some rooms require teamwork, you’ll bond with your friends and/or coworkers during the escape. For instance, the Fear Room divides a team into 2 groups and asks them to solve the puzzles in separate rooms before merging. During this period the 2 groups will communicate via two-way radios and help each other. Once each team gets out of the first room, they then work together as a larger group to escape two more rooms. The two teams combined get a total of five clues from the host and they are given 60 minutes to escape the room.
Find them at 609 Bradford Ave, Ste 213, Kemah.
Learn How to Sail
South Coast Sailing Adventures at 502 Texas Ave, Kemah, TX 77565, is an ASA-approved school right next to Clear Lake. So, in case you have enough time to take a sailing course, don’t hesitate to call them.
They are operating since 1993, offering all sorts of hands-on experience on the Clear Lake or Galveston Bay waters. Plus, they are able to issue an ASA-approved certificate, which may come in handy when navigating on your own.
SCSA is also a well-known broker and chartering company. So, if you don’t have time to learn sailing, just buy one of their boats or hire one to head out on the water right away.
Fun Things to Do on Water for Free
It’s not a mega-fact that swimming in Kemah (i.e. Clear Lake and/or Galveston Bay) is free. However, you should know that it’s a great chance to get wet and brush up on your swimming skills as the water temperature is almost always inviting.
According to Weather Spark, the average water temperature during a 4-month period starting from early-June to early-October increases to 80°F. That’s while the coldest water temperature in this area is 64°F, which is still warm enough for swimming!
So, Kemah is a great spot for free swimming all year long.
Angling in public waters of Texas is NOT free and you must purchase a license before catching any water creature. However, it’s considered as a free-of-charge activity when done in Texas State Parks.
So, if you don’t want to pay for the fishing license, head to one of the many state parks near Kemah. (Galveston Island SP or Sheldon Lake SP & WMA just to name a few).
Note that having a fishing license is not obligatory in state parks. But that doesn’t make other rules such as the Freshwater Bag and Length Limits discretionary. Any angler in Texas—regardless of the fishing spot and location—must follow the bag and length limit rules. And any attempt to violating this code will cause punishments for the violator.
All you need is to bring your watersports equipment and set things off. You can either use your own vessel or higher one (it’ll cost some money though). However, since no type of license is required for doing watersports in Kemah, it’s considered as one the well-liked free on-water activities.
Best Spots to Stop for a Meal in Kemah, TX
Ever since the Landry’s Restaurants Inc. started to run the Kemah Boardwalk, the number of restaurants and eateries increased rapidly. However, most of them are licensed by the Landry’s Restaurants Inc. and working as a partner of the Kemah Entertainment District. And we already covered the most popular ones earlier on this post. (See above).
But now, we want to introduce the top restaurants, eateries, fast-food spots other than those you find on the boardwalk. The city has plenty of must-try places hidden in the shadow of the Kemah Boardwalk. And it’s not fair to focus only on those in the entertainment district. Below, therefore, you can find the list of the top 7 spots to stop for a meal in Kemah City.
We’re talking about a place with deep-fried eats that rule the roost for Southern fare such as steak, BBQ & burgers. The T-Bone Tom’s is a family-friendly spot with dozens of delicious dishes such as the armadillo eggs, French Dip sandwiches, and Prime Rib.
They have provided a nice and cozy patio as well to make sure those outdoor-stuff fans are having fun as well. Additionally, there is live music being played all week long (except for Mondays).
Find them at 707 TX-146, Kemah, TX 77565.
Here’s a down-home joint serving signature burgers & other casual fares at 406 Texas Ave, Kemah, TX 77565. They have a homemade ranch and some spicy dishes to satisfy the Texan desires.
You must try the buffalo chicken sandwich which is huge, crispy, and ultra-delicious. The double burger and the buffalo chicken strips are favorites as well. So, make sure to give them a try if there was still someplace left!
Crazy Alan’s Swamp Shack
Want some live music, good food, and fun? Then, head to 310 Texas Ave, Kemah, TX 77565, where you can find the Crazy Alan’s Swamp Shack. As the title explains, you must be ready to face some crazy Cajun-style seafood and meat plates in upbeat digs with live music & a roof deck.
If you had the chance to eat at this place, try the Grilled Fish, fried oysters, shrimp, and the boiled crabs.
It’s not possible to live in Texas not having heard of the Chick-fil-A. This chain fast-food restaurant is one of the most well-liked eateries in the state having several branches all over it.
The Kemah spot has nothing less than the other spots in Texas, and you can get the finest chicken sandwiches here. They are located at 321 Marina Bay Dr, Clear Lake Shores, TX 77565, operating from 6 A.M. to 10 P.M. every day (except for Sundays).
Note: this place offers some vegetarian-friendly options.
Joe Lee’s Seafood Kitchen
At 1108 Marina Bay Dr, Kemah, TX 77565, there’s a must-try eatery for seafood lovers. The Joe Lee’s Seafood Kitchen is known for robust portions of fried, grilled & blackened fish in a waterfront setting.
So, give them a try to meet the seafood-oriented Texan cuisine right next to Clear Lake.
This one is one of the old spots in the area being close to Amarillo Texas. However, you can still grab a burger, find a picnic table at Amarillo, and eat outdoors!
They are currently located at 305 FM 518, Kemah, TX 77565, operating 24/7!
Where You Can Sail? (Water Access)
Kemah City offers access to two of the largest and most-known sailing areas in Texas, Clear Lake and Galveston Bay. And thanks to having several marinas and harbors in the district, you have access to two of them all the time. So, you just need to plan a route and head for one of the plenty destinations around Clear Lake and Galveston Bay.
Below you can find a list of marinas and public facilities in Kemah, where you can launch your boat and head off.
Marinas and Public Access Facilities
Kemah Boardwalk Marina
Looking for a secure place for your boat? Then head to 555 Bradford Ave. This is where you can find a well-maintained marina, offering boat storage and launching services.
They operate from 8 A.M. to 6-7 P.M. each day, and the fun fact is that you can call the staff to bring ice on your deck!
Portofino Harbour Marina & Yacht Club
1 Portofino Plaza, Clear Lake Shores, is where you can find a very well-maintained harbor with great facilities such as a pool, laundry, several clubhouses, and showers. They also have some floating docks that survived hurricane Ike with no damage. So, it’s still a go-to when it comes to a safe place for moored boats.
The upside of using this marina is it’s very close to the outlet on to Galveston Bay; so, you’ll need a very short trip to begin sailing. Plus, you can park close to your boat so getting gear and food aboard will cause no problems at all.
Just keep in mind that they operate from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M all week long.
Marina Bay Harbor
At 323 W 6th St, Clear Lake Shores, you can find this marina, offering an indoor storage space. Marina Bay Harbor can handle your boat’s maintenance and you can let your vessels be in their safe hands. But the most noteworthy detail is that they can launch your vessel just by a phone call.
So, if you want to keep your craft ready for sail/cruise, this is the best bet. They are very close to Clear Lake and Galveston Bay which shortens your traveling distance—and reduces the fuel expenses!
They operate every day from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M.
Things to Know About the Rules Before Sailing in Kemah
Skippering Age Limit
- There are no restrictions on skippers age as long as there’s a certified adult (18 or older) on the deck.
- Navigators of any age who are accompanied by an exempted adult are automatically exempted from this rule.
Boater Safety License
- boaters born after August 31, 1993, must own a TWPD-approved Boater Safety license.
- The rule also applies to all the overseers (captains) of over-14-feet windblown vessels, crafts with 15 or more horsepower, and all PWCs.
- In order to have a solo skipper who’s 13-17 years old, having the Boater Safety license is obligatory. Otherwise, the navigator is not allowed to skipper a vessel alone.
- Note: having the license on you is compulsory. The USCG officers may want to check your certifications on a random basis. So, not having them will not be excused. And the overseer will face punishments.
- Any vessel that is not an under-14-feet sailboat or a non-motorized craft must be registered before navigating on public waters of Texas. The rule doesn’t apply to crafts that have registration of other states unless they’ll stay in Texas for more than 90 days.
- The Texas Certificate of Number (aka registration card) must be printed on both sides of the bow of a watercraft.
- Any craft that is navigating, floating, or cruising on public waters of Texas must have at least one PFD for each person on the deck.
- The rule applies to canoes, kayaks, rafts, etc. as well. So, there are no exceptions.
- However, vessels larger than 16 feet must have at least one Type IV PFD besides normal ones. This is a throwable PFD that allows the people on the deck to rescue those experiencing an over-board situation.
- Canoes, kayaks, and other comparable crafts do not need to have a throwable PFD.
- Below you can find a detailed table, showing all the necessary pieces of equipment for vessels—based on their size.
|Texas Required Equipment||PWC||Boats Less Than 16 Ft.||Boats 16 Ft. to Less Than 26 Ft.|
|Boater Education Certification Card and
Photographic Identification on Board
|Certificate of Number on Board||✓||✓||✓|
|Validation Decals Displayed||✓||✓||✓|
|PFDs: Type I, II, III, or V||✓2||✓3||✓3|
|PFD: Type IV||✓|
|Type B-I Fire Extinguisher||1 B-I||1 B-I||2 B-I or 1 B-II|
|Engine Cut-Off Switch||✓||✓||✓|
|Backfire Flame Arrestor||✓|
|Horn, Whistle, or Bell||✓||✓||✓|
|Daytime Visual Distress Signals||✓5|
|Nighttime Visual Distress Signals||6||✓5||✓5|
Size and Capacity Considerations
- All crafts have a capacity limit that indicates how many passengers or how much weight they can carry. Therefore, any attempt to carry extra passengers or cargos is illegal. And the overseer of such a vessel will face punishments immediately.
- Some rules such as having a throwable PFD are based on the size of the vessels. So, you must know the size of your craft before heading off. Otherwise, you may violate some regulations unintentionally.
- The size (length) of a boat is the distance between its bow and stern. However, bear in mind that additional mechanisms such as the rudder are not included when measuring the length of a boat.
Best Campsite for RV and Trailer Owners
Located at 925 Marina Bay Dr, USA RV Resorts Marina Bay is a go-to for RV fans. They have a well-equipped site offering all sorts of amenities for a fair price. Below you can find a list of amenities one can have residing/camping in this resort.
This is where you get to have cable and wi-fi as already-included amenities. Plus, you’ll be able to choose among small-, mid- and large-sized cabins—in case you’re a long-term guest.
All the sites include full 30/50 hook-ups, and pull-throughs are there to make big rigs be welcome. All-concrete drives and pads will assure a safe drive whether you’re an RV or trailer owner. Plus, having a huge parking lot makes a cakewalk to find a spot for your vehicle.
There are several luxury options available at the site such as a fitness room and three swimming pools. So, it’s not going to be ordinary camping for you.
In case you’re more interested in family-oriented activities, you can use the covered BBQ picnic areas. All of them are well-maintained and well-equipped.
The 2 community rooms create a space for large meetings and gatherings. And that’s why you can opt to hold meetings, parties, and reunions at this place.
USA RV Resorts Marina Bay also has 3 laundry facilities and several showers & restrooms to ensure comfort for its guests. However, the most noteworthy detail is that there are dog walking areas and a dog washing station to help your little friends have the best time as well.
Note: since this campsite has 400 feet of bayou frontage, you can go for fishing. So, bring your fishing rod and some baits to catch some for breakfast.
The Best Season for Sailing in Kemah
According to Weather Spark, the best seasons for sailing in Kemah, TX, start from late-March to mid-May and from early-October to early-November. These two periods are when you get to have the ideal temperature, sunlight, wind, rainfall, and water temperature.
Below you can find more details about the weather conditions in Kemah, regarding sailing and boating.
The hottest period of each year starts from late-May and ends in late-September. This is when the average temperature of the area raises to 86°F, making the summertime activities more convenient for the visitors.
However, the coldest time in this district lasts for about 2.8 months, starting from early-December and ending in late-February. During this period, the average temperature drops to 68°F, allowing people to choose indoor activities over outdoor ones in general.
Since sailing is somewhat a summertime doing, you better opt to schedule your trip from late-May to late-September.
If sailing under a clear sky is a concern, mid-September to early-December is the ideal period to visit Kemah. That’s because, during this time, the sky is clear 50-60% of the time.
According to the cloud coverage diagrams powered by Weather Spark, the worst time for sailing in this city is early-December to mid-September. Of course, this is only true for those who consider a clear sky as a priority.
Precipitation & Rainfall
Late-May to late-September is when the precipitation chance increases to 31% for each day. That means, through this period, there’s a 30% of getting more than 0.04 inches of rain per day. So, activities such as kayaking and rafting are not recommended during this time.
However, the driest time of the year in Kemah starts from late-September and lasts until late-May. It means you get to have 8.0 months of dry weather each year where the average precipitation chance drops to 21%.
Regarding the rainfall average, January to early-May is the driest time. Thru these 5 months, the rainfall is only 3.0 inches per day, making it an ideal time for sailing, kayaking, and even rafting.
If you want to make the most of the sunlight, opt to be into Kemah during late-May to early-July when each day has 14 hours of sunlight to offer.
By contrast, for those who’d like to experience nighttime sailing on Galveston Bay or Clear Lake, November through January is the best bet. Thru this 3-month phase, the average sun presence drops down to 10 hours per day, allowing you to have longer nights.
The humidity comfort level in Kemah is pleasing for almost 7.4 months. A period starting from late-March to mid-November is when you get to have the most comfortable humidity level 29% of the time.
In case humidity is a concern, opt to visit the area in July. That’s because the humidity comfort level raises to 99% this month, making it a very comfy situation for boaters and sailors.
Windier parts of the year last for 7.9 months, creating the ideal sailing condition for navigators.
The windy period starts from mid-October to early-June with the approximate airstream speed being 10-11 MPH. This is when you can navigate a windblown craft with the highest speed on Clear Lake or Galveston Bay.
The average water temperature during a 4-month period starting from early-June to early-October increases to 80°F. This is the warmest water temperature throughout the year, offering the ideal swimming time.
However, the temperature drops to 64°F from December 11 to March 19, making it harder for visitors to have in-water activities such as swimming.
Boat Repair Shops (Phone Number and Address)
This is a list of boat repair shops in the area to help you with emergencies. In case you don’t know what to do or how to fix a problem, just call one of these numbers or head to their location. They will take care of the rest!
Cosmetic Boat Repair
Address: 1005 Sue Dr
Phone Number: (281)-334-2929
The Boat Yard
Address: 1145 FM518
Phone Number: (281)-334-3300
Kemah Boat Repair
Service area: Clear Lake, Kemah, Galveston, and surrounding areas. (They work at your boat’s home location)
Phone Number: (281) 698-7752
Yacht Equipment Service Centers, LLC
Address: 828 Marina Bay Dr
Phone Number: (281)-538-9377
A & E Marine Repair, LLC
Address: 1000 Anders Ln
Phone Number: (832)-864-2475
Advanced Marine Service Clear Lake
Address: 518 Seminole Dr
Phone Number: (281)-332-1929
Address: 1900 Shipyard Dr, Seabrook
Phone Number: (281)-474-5186
Top 3 Watercraft Rental Shops
You may not be a boat or yacht owner but that shouldn’t stop you from being a navigating enthusiast. There are several shops in Kemah and Bay Area Houston that offer rental crafts for not-fancy-at-all prices.
Here, we have a list of the top watercraft rental shops in Kemah to help you find the right place in the drop of a hat.
Houston Party Boats
Address: 2500 South Shore Blvd, League City
Phone Number: (281)-334-3400
South Coast Sailing Adventures
Address: 502 Texas Ave, Kemah,
Phone Number: (281)-334-4606
Address: 100 Admiralty Way, Kemah
Phone Number: (281)-467-2279
Angling Opportunities in the Area
Kemah was a fishing town before becoming a tourist attraction. Even after the removal of the criminal syndicates in the 1950s, it was the shrimp business that helped the city survive. When major commercial fishing ships chose this area for its great shrimp, the whole city got a new chance to rebuild from scratch.
Even now, after all these years, Kemah is still one of the public choices when it comes to angling opportunities. Below you can find more details about the stocked fishes, current angling codes, and limitations in the district.
Most Common Fish Types in Kemah – Clear Lake & Galveston Bay
According to TWPD, the most common fishes are:
- Black bass
- White, Striped and Yellow Bass
- Carp, Catfish
Fishing Codes and Regulations
All anglers on Clear Lake or Galveston Bay must be aware of the Freshwater Bag and Length Limits. This is a restricting rule that prevents excessive fishing in public waters of Texas.
However, the most noteworthy detail is that each species has its own specific limits. So, you, as an angler, must know what are the specific rules/codes before catching any type of fish in Kemah.
To help with that, we created a table that shows what are the limitations for catching fishes in Kemah. (All the information included in the table below is based on the latest TWPD reports).
|Fish Type||Daily Bag Limit||Minimum Length Limit|
|5 fish for all black bass species||For largemouth and smallmouth bass = 14 in.
No minimum length for Alabama, Guadalupe, or spotted bass
|White Bass||25||10 inches|
|Striped and Yellow Bass||5||18 inches|
|Carp||No Limit||No Limit|
|Channel and Blue Catfish||25||12|
|Alligator Gar||1 fish of any size||No bag limits on other species of gar|
|5||No limit for rainbow and brown trout, their hybrids, and subspecies|
|Sunfish||No Limit||No Limit|