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How to Have Fun in the Sun at Clear Lake Houston 

How to Have Fun in the Sun at Clear Lake Houston

If your idea of paradise is a sunlit day, a gentle breeze, and the promise of pure water fun, then make your way to Clear Lake! 

Whether you’re an avid angler, a water sports enthusiast, or someone simply seeking a serene escape, Clear Lake holds the key to an unforgettable lakeside experience.

In this guide, let’s discover the best spots for swimming, casting a line, and soaking in the scenic beauty of Clear Lake. Let’s make a splash!

What is Clear Lake?

What is Clear Lake

Image Source: Texas State Historical Association Website 

Clear Lake is located in Harris County near Houston. It’s surrounded by Clear Lake City, Clear Lake Shores, El Lago, League City, Pasadena, Taylor Lake Village, Nassau Bay, and Seabrook. 

The surrounding communities are collectively known as the Clear Lake Area and form a vibrant space for a wide array of activities and amenities both based on water and land. There are multiple access points to Clear Lake, you can find the full list here

Boasting one of the nation’s largest concentrations of recreational boats and marinas, the lake is a hub for activity. It also acts as the centerpiece for leisure and adventure. 

Clear lake also bleeds into Galveston Bay, making it accessible through the famous Kemah Boardwalk.

Pro Tip:
Other notable attractions in the area that you should visit are the Armand Bayou Nature Center and the farmers markets inside Nassau Bay and Clear Lake Shore.

What You Can Do at the Lake 

Enjoy Boating in the Heart of the Lake’s Waters

Image Source: Sailo Boat Rentals Official Website 

For boating aficionados, Clear Lake beckons with the promise of water fun. With a staggering 19 marinas and over 7,000 boat slips, it has the third-largest concentration of boats in the United States. 

Its allure lies not just in the sheer number of vessels but in the diversity they represent, ranging from nimble sailboats to powerful yachts.

Clear Lake’s water spans approximately 11 miles, offering a unique blend of salt and freshwater. This has transformed the region into a bustling tourist destination, where the Gulf of Mexico is accessible too. 

Along the lake’s shoreline, a collection of boat clubs and marinas adorn the landscape, offering an array of vessels for enthusiasts to choose from. From smaller boats to large yachts, Clear Lake hosts a mesmerizing array of watercraft.

Enjoy Boating in the Heart of the Lake’s Waters-2

Image Source: Sailo Boat Rentals Official Website 

If you don’t own your own boat, you can rent one from one of the many charters in the area. 

Sailo offers boats and yachts of all sizes and price points with packages that provide food and entertainment for bigger groups. 

Clear Lake’s calendar is peppered with events that elevate the boating experience. You can watch the skies light up with Fourth of July fireworks or join the Blessing of the Fleet boat parade in Kemah, a celebration steeped in the shrimp-fishing history of the town. 

Sailboat races add a competitive edge, and the Galveston Bay Cruising Association ensures the spirit of regatta thrives with events like the Bay and the Performance Cup.

Get a Rush with Jet Skis and Other Watersports

Image Source: Kemah Jet Ski Rentals 

For those of you who are always looking to get a fix of adrenaline, Clear Lake is a great place for jet skiing and water skiing. 

You can rent equipment at various stores near the area. Jet Ski Texas, for example, offers rentals starting from $95 an hour.

Although there’s lots of space to jet ski, the best spot for us is near Kemah. You can rent jet skis for $150 from Kemah Jet Ski Rentals that gets you an hour of fun along with some professional instructors to guide you!

Go Fishing on Clear Lake's Waters

Image Source: Clear Lake Fishing Charters Website

Clear Lake’s unique blend of brackish water creates an ideal environment for marine life, which a lot of anglers will be satisfied with!

The shrimp and mullet that spawn here make for great food sources that attract fish of all species. This makes the lake a treasure trove for Black bass, carp, catfish, crappie, alligator gar, sunfish, trout, white bass, and striped bass.

Take note though, that those aged 17 and above are required to carry a valid fishing license with both saltwater and freshwater stamps. You can opt to charter a fishing boat to take you out and arrange these licenses.

Pro Tip:
To ensure responsible fishing, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Development Department has set regulations for how much of each fish species you can catch and take home with you, so make sure you stay updated. 
Go Fishing on Clear Lake's Waters-2

Image Source: Clear Lake Fishing Charters Website

The lake’s diverse ecosystem welcomes fishing enthusiasts year-round and doesn’t disappoint with different fish being available in different seasons. Overall, early morning or night fishing sessions are most effective. 

If you go nighttime fishing around the illuminated piers scattered along both sides of the lake, you’ll get a unique experience and more bites too. Live bait or jigs are recommended, especially when navigating around underwater structures or drop-offs. 

The prime seasons for fishing are spring and fall when temperatures hover between the mid 60s and low 80s. Winter also sees plenty of catches. Summer months are less effective with all of the water activities happening on the surface of the water. 

Clear Lake can be a refreshing oasis for those who love swimming or just floating around in the water. 

Water quality tests, conducted by The Swim Guide Org at the Clear Lake Park Pier, reveal that the lake passes with flying colors, getting safe water results 95% of the time. 

There are many access points for swimming, with locations like Taylor Lake Marina, Waterford Oaks, Waterford Harbor Marina, and the expansive Clear Lake State Park offering up to 20 miles of lake shores. 

Kayaking, Canoeing or Paddle Boarding

Image Source: Houston Pedal Barge Official Website 

Among the myriad activities that Clear Lake offers, kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding stand out as immersive ways to connect with nature. 

The Clear Lake Paddling Trail, that runs through the enchanting Big Cypress Bayou, provides an escape into secluded beauty. 

The trail guides you through narrow waterways, revealing hidden ponds adorned with cypress trees. You’ll also see some swampy areas with herons and other birds. 

For those new to the watercraft experience, rentals are readily available at Houston Pedal Barge located at the Bay Area Park, providing options ranging from single and tandem canoes to child-friendly kayaks and stand-up paddleboards. 

Best Time to Go

Based on weather predictions by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the best time to visit Clear Lake for sunny weather without rain is from the middle of February to the first week of May. 

If you prefer cooler temperatures with low chances of rain, visiting during mid-October to mid-December is also ideal. Both of these time periods also allow you to avoid the heavy summer crowds that tend to pile up during the months of June through August. 

How to Get There

Getting to Clear Lake from Houston takes about 35 to 40 minutes depending on which city that borders you’d like to go to. League City and Nassau Bay are closest to Houston.

To get to Clear Lake, make your way to I-45 southbound to Webster and take the exit toward the El Camino Real or Egret Bay Boulevard from the NASA Bypass East. Then take Marina Bay Drive to Mockingbird Lane that’ll take you to League City. 

If you want to make your way to Nassau Bay instead, take I-45 but take Exit 24 for NASA Road 1 and continue until Point Lookout Drive. Then, take Vinland Drive to San Sebastian Lane. 

Pro Tip: 
There are parking lots scattered along the coastline, along Bay Boulevard, or on the Kemah Boardwalk. To make finding a place to park easier, you can consult the Clear Lake Shores government site for the list of locations you can park in. 

Where to Eat Nearby 

Tookie's Seafood

Image Source: Tookie’s Seafood Official Website 

Address: 1106 Bayport Blvd, Seabrook, TX 77586, United States

Phone Number: +1 281 942 9445



  • Sunday to Thursday from 11 am to 9 pm 
  • Friday to Saturday from 11 am to 10 pm 

Nestled in the heart of Clear Lake, Tookie’s Seafood is a coastal escape for seafood lovers. Here, you sink into the relaxed, beachy atmosphere with hearty seafood specialties. 

From perfectly grilled fresh catches to seafood platters Tookie’s Seafood sets the bar high for seaside dining. They have an entire section in the menu dedicated to oysters prepared in different ways. The fried Oyster D’armes with artichoke butter is king. 

Don’t overlook the mesquite grill section too which features grilled items from different seafood to red meats and chicken. 

South Shore Grille

Image Source: South Shore Grille Official Website 

Address: 2800 Marina Bay Dr Suite F, League City, TX 77573, United States

Phone Number: +1 281 334 7700



  • Monday to Saturday from 11 am to 10 pm 
  • Sunday from 11 am to 9 pm

At South Shore Grille, you are taken on a culinary voyage through the flavors of America and Cuba. As you step into this booth-lined restaurant, you can already smell the aroma of the spices they use in their dishes. 

The menu heavily features flavorful dishes like the Cuban Spicy Black Bean Soup with cilantro basil cream.The Cuban sandwich made with roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, and creole mustard on a French roll is also a must try. 

Their selection of menu items from the ocean which features Atlantic salmon, catfish, shrimps, and oysters is also quite extensive. 

Viola & Agnes'

Image Source: Viola & Agnes’ Official Website 

Address: 3659 NASA Road 1 suite A, Seabrook, TX 77586, United States

Phone Number: +1 281 326 2226



  • Tuesday to Saturday from 11 am to 8 pm 
  • Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm 

For those looking to get a fix of homestyle Creole plates in a laid-back setting, Viola & Agnes’ is the place to be. This bustling cafe, tucked away in Clear Lake, captures the essence of Creole culinary traditions. 

Sidewalk seating adds a touch of quaintness to the ambiance while you enjoy flavorful dishes like Gumbo made with chicken, sausage, blue crab, and okra or the braised beef cheeks and gravy. 

Although the menu is more concentrated with a few dishes, they execute them perfectly! The fried catfish and chicken & waffles cannot be missed. 

Sam's Boat

Image Source: Sam’s Boat Official Website 

Address: 3101 NASA Road 1, Seabrook, TX 77586, United States

Phone Number: +1 281 326 7267



  • Sunday to Wednesday from 11 am to 12 am 
  • Thursday to Saturday from 11 am to 1 am 

Sam’s Boat is a local fixture that blends Gulf Coast seafood with a Tex-Mex twist. This spot in Clear Lake is a hub of flavors where pub grub meets Gulf seafood. We always start our meal with an order of Campechana de Mariscos (Mexican seafood cocktail). 

They specialize in sandwiches and seafood, so make sure you get the bestsellers from both categories – Jalapeno Patty melt and the boiled crawfish. If you prefer more Mexican flavors, make sure you try their tacos or their fajitas. 

As the perfect capper, we always get a serving of their tres leches cheesecake and praline beignets! 

Address: 4106 E NASA Pkwy, El Lago, TX 77586, United States

Phone Number: +1 281 326 2739



  • Sunday to Thursday from 11 am to 10 pm 
  • Friday to Saturday from 11 am to 11 pm

Boondoggle’s is a roomy gathering spot where hearty pub grub, wood-fired pizzas, and an extensive selection of craft beers are mainstays. 

As you explore the menu, the wood-fired pizzas are the first things you’ll see. And for good reason too! Their John Dough with pepperoni and sausage and the Quattro Formaggio are the best of the best. 

At any given day, they will have at least 30 craft beer varieties on tap for you and even offer seasonal ones that they get locally and from different parts of the country. They offer $1 off of all cocktails, beers, and wines every Monday to Thursday from 3 to 6 pm. 

Where to Stay Nearby 

Courtyard by Marriott Houston NASA Clear Lake

Image Source: Courtyard by Marriott Houston NASA Clear Lake Official Website 

Address: 18100 Saturn Ln, Houston, TX 77058, United States

Phone Number: +1 281 333 0220

Pricing: $$$

Book Now

Situated near Kemah Boardwalk, the newly renovated Courtyard by Marriott Houston NASA Clear Lake Hotel welcomes you with spacious rooms and suites equipped with free WiFi, plush bedding, and Smart TVs featuring different streaming channels. 

In between exploring the neighborhood and Clear Lake itself, you can work off excess energy at the 24-hour fitness center or take a refreshing dip in the outdoor pool to cool down in Houston heat. 

Great barbecue and five-star dining joints as well as parks and boutique shopping are also readily available to you at close proximity. 

South Shore Harbour Resort and Conference Center

Image Source: South Shore Harbour Resort and Conference Center Official Website 

Address: 2500 South Shore Blvd, League City, TX 77573, United States

Phone Number: +1 281 334 1000

Pricing: $$

Book Now

If you want to experience the perks of a full-service waterside resort and conference center then the South Shore Harbour Resort is the place to be. Nestled on the banks of Clear Lake, just 30 minutes south of Houston, this 237-room resort is a stylish hotel. 

Aside from the beautiful rooms and indoor amenities like their lobbies and sitting rooms, you can also enjoy sipping cocktails at the Lighthouse Bar & Bistro which offers a breezy, beautiful backdrop to relax in. 

Hilton Houston NASA Clear Lake

Image Source: Hilton Houston NASA Clear Lake Official Website 

Address: 3000 E NASA Pkwy, Houston, TX 77058, United States

Phone Number: + 1 281 333 9300


Book Now

Nestled on the banks of Clear Lake and next door to Johnson Space Center, the Hilton Houston NASA Clear Lake offers a waterfront place to stay if you want to make a weekend of your trip out to the area. 

You can extend your water themed adventures by indulging in the waterfront dining, shopping, and entertainment at Kemah Boardwalk, just five miles away. If you would rather spend your downtime at the hotel, you can relax by the outdoor pool,

For all-day dining, Luna Restaurant & Bar is at your service, providing you with great food and even better views.

Hampton Inn Houston NASA Johnson Space Center

Image Source: Hampton Inn Houston NASA Johnson Space Center Official Website 

Address: 3000 NASA Road 1, Seabrook, TX 77586, United States

Phone Number: +1 281 532 9200

Pricing: $$

Book Now

The Hampton Inn Houston NASA-Johnson Space Center which is just a five minute drive from NASA-Johnson Space Center and Kemah Boardwalk’s attractions offers a prime location. More attractions nearby include the Armand Bayou Nature Center. 

To start your day off right, the hotel lets you enjoy a complimentary hot breakfast while you stay connected with free WiFi throughout your stay. The rooms themselves are comfortable and clean for the best bang for your buck. 

SpringHill Suites by Marriott Houston NASA Seabrook

Image Source: SpringHill Suites by Marriott Houston NASA Seabrook Official Website 

Address: 2120 E NASA Pkwy, Seabrook, TX 77586, United States

Phone Number: +1 281 474 3456

Pricing: $$$

Book Now

SpringHill Suites by Marriott NASA Seabrook is an ideal retreat for when you need a hotel to stay in in the Clear Lake area. 

Nestled on the corner of NASA Road and Highway 146, it provides quick access to Pasadena, Deer Park, Morgan’s Point, Barber’s Cut Port Terminal, Clear Lake City Sylvan Beach, and the Armand Bayou Nature Center. 

You can opt for a regular room that’s already comfortable and spacious, but choosing the suites grants you separate areas for rest, socializing, and even work. The exceptional service from the staff is just the cherry on top to this hotel! 

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