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Planning the Perfect Trip to Kemah Boardwalk

Planning the Perfect Trip to Kemah Boardwalk

If you’re looking for a dose of Vitamin Sea, picture perfect views, and unlimited excitement and thrills, you don’t have to leave the country or even venture that far from the Space City.

The Kemah Boardwalk is known across Texas and beyond as one of the must-visit locations when you’re in the Houston or Galveston area. Apart from the iconic Ferris Wheel, the boardwalk offers an afternoon (or a weekend) of absolute fun. 

Come with us as we explore everything the boardwalk has to offer from exhilarating rides to fun games and activities for the whole family. Slather on the sunblock and put on your wide-brim hats as we take a virtual stroll on the Kemah Boardwalk. 

Things to Know 

Things to Know

Image Source: Kemah Boardwalk Website

The Kemah Boardwalk is a theme park that sits across 60 acres of land along the coast of Galveston Bay and Clear Lake in Kemah, Texas. Entry to the boardwalk itself is free, but you have to pay to enjoy the rides and other attractions there.

It was named one of the top 10 boardwalks by Forbes Magazine in 2009 because of the extensive list of things you can do there.

Address: 215 Kipp Ave, Kemah, TX 77565, United States

Phone Number: +1 281-535-8100



  • Monday to Thursday – 12 am to 8 pm 
  • Friday – 12 pm to 10 pm 
  • Saturday and Sunday – 11 am to 11 pm 


Here are some spots where you can park:

  • On-site parking lots – cashless payment
  • Gated parking lots (Bradford and Kipp Avenue ) – Free when the gate is up except on weekends and holidays 
  • Un-gated parking lots (Kipp Avenue and 6th Street – Cashless payment 
  • Shuttle Boat parking lots – Free parking included in Shuttle Boat ticket 

Best Time to Go

The best time to visit the Kemah Boardwalk is during the months of February to May when the temperatures aren’t too high and the chance for precipitation is low, so you won’t have to worry about any of the rides being temporarily closed. 

How to Get There

To get to Kemah Boardwalk from Houston takes around 20 minutes if you start from the downtown area. Start the trip by heading south on I-45 and exit onto NASA Road 1. Head east until you reach TX-146 which will be on your right. 

Continue straight and turn left on 6th Street. Once you reach the intersection with Bradford Avenue, turn left. Kemah Boardwalk will be straight ahead.  

Tips and Things to Remember 

  • You aren’t allowed to bring food and bottled drinks onto the Boardwalk..
  • Pet’s aren’t allowed inside.
  • You can’t fish from the boardwalk! 
  • Wear and comfortable clothes to stay cool on your visit. Bring an extra change of clothes. 
  • Put on plenty of sunscreen and consider bringing a hat especially during the summer months. 

What to Do and See in Kemah Boardwalk 

Party on the Boardwalk Beast

Image Source: Kemah Boardwalk Website


  • Children – $20 
  • Adults: $25 

If you like starting your day with a bang, taking a ride on the Boardwalk beast is the perfect way to begin your adventure at the boardwalk. The ride is 25 minutes long and takes you 4 miles into the Galveston Bay. 

Once you’re out in the water, they stop the boat to allow the guests to take some photos and videos or to just enjoy the view. There are also staff on board that tell you tidbits of information about the area and the history of the boardwalk. 

The ride lets you see the bay from a different perspective instead of just seeing it from the boardwalk. Plus, you’ll get the initial dose of excitement with the Boardwalk Beast reaching speeds of up to 40 miles per hour with hype music blasting through the air. 

You might want to bring a raincoat or avoid the spots up front if you don’t want to get splashed. 

Get an Adrenaline Boost at the Rides

Image Source: Kemah Boardwalk Website


  • Boardwalk Bullet: $7.50
  • Iron Eagle: $12
  • Other Rides: $6 

One of the boardwalk’s biggest selling points are the array of rides that dot the strip. The Kemah Boardwalk has all sorts of amusement-park style rides for everyone from children to death-defying ones for adults.  

The Wonder Wheel is perfect for kids who want to experience the feeling of riding a Ferris wheel without fear of being too high up. 

Be on the lookout for the C.P. Huntington Train which is the boardwalk’s replica of the 1863 train that takes you around the boardwalk. You can take a picture in the conductor’s station before you get off.

Right after the train ride, children can go on the Double-Decker Carousel and choose between riding horses or more exciting creatures like dragons, sea monsters, and unicorns.

Get an Adrenaline Boost at the Rides 2

Image Source: Kemah Boardwalk Website

For kids who prefer more excitement in rides, the Jungle Bounce is perfect! The ride takes you high up only to stop at random spots at which point, the ride proceeds to drop you for a freefall feel that made even my heart stop a couple of times. 

The Drop Zone is the more extreme version of the ride. Lifting you to heights of 140 feet in the air with the same random drops! The Aviator, a swing ride on steroids, continues the blood-pumping action by swinging you at high speeds and great heights.

If you’re more into pendulum rides, Pharaoh’s Fury isn’t far off, while the Iron Eagle takes you from one end of the boardwalk to the other on a giant zipline. 

Get an Adrenaline Boost at the Rides 3

Image Source: Kemah Boardwalk Website

The Kemah Boardwalk has 3 different roller coasters with varying fright factors depending on how daring you are. The Rockin’ Rocket is a space themed coaster that everyone can enjoy. 

The Flare 73-foot coaster has one of the craziest loops while it goes 25 miles per hour, but the biggest coaster is the Boardwalk Bullet measuring 96 feet high and reaching double the speed. The 92° drop is definitely not for the faint of heart.

For some family fun for everyone, the Hypno Spin is an adult and children friendly ride that lives up to its name. A kaleidoscope of colors make the ride feel almost trans-like as it spins you at high speeds. 

Get an Adrenaline Boost at the Rides 4

Image Source: Kemah Boardwalk Website

Taking a spin on the Century Wheel during the sunset has always been our favorite part of our visits to the Kemah Boardwalk. The Ferris Wheel’s peak sits at 65 feet above ground, giving you a full and uninhibited view of the entire boardwalk and the water. 

The Boardwalk Tower offers similar views if you’d prefer to stay up high for longer. The feeling of the wind blowing while the boardwalk rides slowly light up as day turns into night is a view to see.

Plus the reflection of the lights on the Galveston Bay is a sight you wouldn’t want to miss. 

Pro Tip: 
If you’re as much of an adrenaline junkie as we are, you might want to consider getting the all day ride pass for unlimited chances to get on all the rides over and over again all day long, but it doesn’t grant you access to the other entries here. 
Try Your Luck with Carnival Games

Image Source: Kemah Boardwalk Website

After enjoying the rides or if you need breaks in between the screams of fun, the Kemah Boardwalk also has a whole row of carnival inspired games that you can try. 

They have aim based games like basketball stations, balloons and darts, gun shooting games where you can try and win marine-themed stuffed animals or some snacks as prizes. 

If you’re not as skilled of a shooter like us, you can try your luck at the ring toss or the faux-fishing station where you can try to catch one of the ducks with a special rod and hook as they spin in the water. 

For athletic people, they also have rope ladders you run across while balancing, ring the bell to test your strength, and the classic whack-a-mole! 

Get a Feel of the Sea at the Stingray Reef

Image Source: Kemah Boardwalk Website

Pricing: $5.25

If your kids like the sea and the creatures that call it home, they will absolutely love the Stingray Reef at the Kemah Boardwalk. At the tanks, the kids can get up close and personal with the stingrays and watch them swim around. 

You can also touch and feed the live stingrays under the guidance of the staff there while they tell you about fun facts. After the interactive experience, the kids can then immerse themselves in the rainforest exhibit where they can see turtles and snakes. 

There are also other animals and insects that we don’t usually get to interact with like piranhas, scorpions, and tarantulas. 

Attend an Event

Image Source: Kemah Boardwalk Website

Although the boardwalk is open all year long, timing your visit to coincide with some of their standout events is definitely worth doing. You can check the list here!

Some of the ones we enjoy the most are the Mardi Gras Celebration in February with a special yacht parade and the Salsa Beats where salsa music is blasted throughout the entirety of the boardwalk along with free dance lessons and performances at the plaza. 

But their biggest event has to be at the end of summer held in September where they hold special dance numbers and give freebies to guests. They close the day with a special fireworks show at the end that rivals 4th of July shows. 

For themed events, don’t miss out on their Halloween event where they have staff in costume scattered around the area trying to scare the guests, RocktoberFest where they put on a rock concert, and Christmas Day celebrations complete with decorations. 

Ride the Boardwalk Fantasea Yacht

Image Source: Boardwalk Fantasy Website

Book Now

If you want to add a bit of style and luxury to your visit to Kemah Boardwalk, the Boardwalk Fantasea is the way to go. They are the biggest charter for yachts everywhere on the Gulf Coast. 

You can choose from their packages for special occasions or just a romantic dinner on the yacht while you appreciate the sights or you can schedule a party on the water with your friends. 

They also have public cruises available if you just want to join in on the experience without breaking the bank.

Explore the Kemah Marina

Image Source: Kemah Marina Website

If you aren’t into rides and you prefer to take leisurely strolls, the Kemah Boardwalk Marina is the perfect area for you. The marina is home to an extensive selection of restaurants, hotels, places to shop, and entertainment spots. 

It’s also a docking place for boat owners with over 400 slips available and extremely friendly and accommodating staff to guide you. They even have a golf course and an olympic-size pool to get a few swings and swims in on your visit. 

Engage in Retail Therapy

Image Source: Kemah Boardwalk Website

The boardwalk has a whole host of shops where you can burn some cash (or plastic) for some souvenirs and gifts for your loved ones or yourself! They have everything from big name brands like Pandora, Katie Loxton, and Kendra Scott. 

For beach and surf needs like apparel and accessories, you can head to Kemah Outfitters with brands like Quicksilver, SWIG plus Kemah, Saltgrass, and Salt Life. 

For those with a sweet tooth, The Candy Box offers a wide array of candy from classic lollies, gummies, and chocolate to weirder ones like pop-rock covered gumballs. 

Don’t forget to drop by the Treasure Chest Gift Shop for some aquarium and sea themed clothes, accessories, games, and knick knacks! 

They even have a Build a Bear along the boardwalk so the kids and the kids at heart can enjoy making their own bear and dress it in a personalized selection of outfits and sounds for a one of a kind souvenir. 

Take a Photo on the Iconic Kemah Throne

Image Source: Kemah Boardwalk Website

To remember your trip to the Kemah Boardwalk, don’t forget to take a picture at the giant wooden Kemah chair near the entrance! 

Where to Eat Nearby 


Image Source: Aquarium Restaurant Website

Address: 215 Kipp Ave Boardwalk #11, Kemah, TX 77565, United States

Phone Number: +1 281-334-9010


Pricing: $$$

If you’ve heard of floor to ceiling windows, the Aquarium restaurant takes it up a notch higher with floor to ceiling aquariums totalling 50,000 gallons of water as a centerpiece to your dining experience. 

You can see over 100 species of fish from Hawaii, Caribbean Sea, and the South Pacific swimming around as you enjoy food that’s just as amazing. 

Their menu features the freshest seafood including fish, shrimps, lobsters, and crawfish. They have other menu items like our favorite Calamari Miso and their steak platters. Don’t leave without trying one of their island themed cocktails like the tidal wave.

Joe’s Crab Shack

Image Source: Joe’s Crab Shack Website

Address: 7 Boardwalk, Kemah, TX 77565, United States

Phone Number: +1 281-334-9049


Pricing: $$

For a relaxed eating experience that is still in theme with your adventure along the Kemah Boardwalk, you and the family can make your way over to Joe’s Crab Shack. They serve up a lot of well-made seafood dishes like their New England clam chowder. 

We recommend getting any of their platters if you want to taste a lot of variety in a single order. Our favorite one to get is the Cajun Steampot with snow crab, lobster claws, mussels, and sausages all doused in flavorful cajun seasoning. 

You can also mix and match and make your own combos with non-seafood items! 

Bubba Gump

Image Source: Bubba Gump Website

Address:  5 Kemah Boardwalk, Kemah, TX 77565, United States

Phone Number: +1 281-334-2881


Pricing: $$

With a history 25 years in the making, the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurant is a trusted eatery when it comes to providing Houston’s best seafood dishes. The restaurant’s opening was inspired by the success of the Forest Gump movie. 

To pay homage to its inspiration, it serves up classic American dishes with decorations that match the movie’s set in Alabama along with actual memorabilia from the movie production. 

L.T. Dan’s surf and turf features the best of both worlds both land and sea with baby back ribs and grilled shrimp. Don’t forget to take a Box O’ Chocolates inspired by the movie home!

Landry’s Seafood House

Image Source: Landry’s Seafood House Website

Address: 1 Kemah Boardwalk, Kemah, TX 77565, United States

Phone Number: +1 281-334-2513


Pricing: $$

Landry’s Seafood House is an old Hollywood themes seafood restaurant that both locals and visitors alike love. With more than 10 branches across the United States, their menus are known to feature the best and freshest seafood that’s local to the area. 

Some of their chef recommended dishes include almond crusted mahi mahi with blackened shrimp and pico de gallo and the seared salmon with mushrooms and sweet corn fondue. Their catch of the day is always fresh, so try those as well!

Try to drop by on Mondays to Fridays from 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm for happy hour with all of their house blend cocktails at just $6! 

The Flying Dutchman

Image Source: The Flying Dutchman Website 

Address: 9 Kemah Water Front, Kemah, TX 77565, United States

Phone Number: +1 281-334-7575


Pricing: $$

If you like lore mixed in with your restaurant experiences, The Flying Dutchman in Kemah is the best eatery in the area. The decor of the place keeps in theme with the legend of the Flying Dutchman with dishes just as popular as the tale

Their crawfish bisque is some of the most flavorful of its kind we’ve tried. The Dutchman Cobb salad made with Danish blue cheese is another crowd favorite. Their fresh and grilled oysters are also a must get when you’re there. 

We like to finish up our meals here with their blackened catfish served with etouffee for the main and their Kemah Lime Pie for dessert. 

Places to Stay 

The Boardwalk Inn

Image Source: The Boardwalk Inn

Address: 8 Kemah Water Front, Kemah, TX 77565, United States

Phone Number: +1 281-334-9880

Pricing: $$$

Book Now

Located right on the boardwalk, The Boardwalk In is the perfect place to stay if you don’t want to worry about getting to and fro your hotel during your visit. 

This boutique hotel is elegantly decorated in island and tropical themes with each room celebrating its own unique theme. 

Not to mention that each of the 60 rooms have a balcony that overlooks the boardwalk for perfect views of the attractions as well as the Galveston Bay! They also have live shows at the plaza on Fridays to Sundays for that extra fun at the end of the night! 

Courtyard by Marriott Houston Kemah

Image Source: Courtyard by Marriott Houston Kemah Website

Address: 805 Harris Ave, Kemah, TX 77565, United States

Phone Number:  +1 281-334-0003

Pricing: $$$

Book Now

A stay at The Courtyard is guaranteed to exude quality and luxury with Marriott behind the hotel’s design and management. 

Aside from the world-class suites with the comfiest beds and bedding, they also have amenities that make your stay all the more comfortable like a 24 hour fitness center with all the latest machines and a huge outdoor pool. 

The fireplace by the patio is a great place to relax after a long day of having fun at the boardwalk. The on-site restaurant, The Bistro makes your stay more convenient with dishes and drinks served from breakfast to dinner. 

South Shore Harbour Resort and Conference Center

Image Source: South Shore Harbour Resort and Conference Center Website

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

Phone Number: +1 281-334-1000

Pricing: $$

Book Now

South Shore Harbour Resort is the biggest waterfront hotel and conference center in Texas’ southeast region. Just half an hour away from Houston and on the shore of Clear Lake, this is a great place to stay near the Kemah Boardwalk. 

The hotel has over 230 rooms that are all decorated in maritime themes. For fun outside the rooms, you can go for a round of golf at the country club or squeeze in a work out at the fitness center. 

For the perfect nightcap, order a cocktail from the Lighthouse Bistro and Bar while you take a relaxing dip at their Oasis Pool. 

Scottish Inns & Suites Kemah, TX

Image Source: Scottish Inns & Suites Kemah Website

Address: 601 Texas Ave, Kemah, TX 77565, United States

Phone Number:  +1 281-334-4855

Pricing: $$

Book Now

Located just a few steps away from the beach, the Scottish Inns & Suites is perfect for those who want easy access to the water. You start your day at the inn with free continental breakfast at the hotel dining room that overlooks the water. 

Once you step outside, the inn itself offers a great backdrop for a photo with the ocean in the background and the facade looking like a textbook beachouse. 

The Kemah Boardwalk is walking distance away, so you don’t have to worry about transportation. After a day of exploring the boardwalk and the surrounding area, get some takeaway and enjoy a sunset dinner on the inn’s deck that overlooks the marina. 

Days Inn by Wyndham Kemah

Image Source: Days Inn by Wyndham Kemah Website

Address: 1413 N Hwy 146, Kemah, TX 77565, United States

Phone Number:  +1 281-336-0236

Pricing: $

Book Now

For extra affordable accommodations near the Kemah Boardwalk without forsaking quality and comfort, the Days Inn by Wyndham is the perfect place to book. This inn features all the basic amenities like Wi-Fi, free parking, and guest laundry services. 

For a great bang for your back, this inn even has an indoor pool you can use to cool off. Each of the rooms are equipped with flat screens and appliances to make your stay as convenient as possible. Plus, the staff are very friendly and give the best service!


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