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Planning the Perfect Baycation: A Guide to the Houston Bay Area

Planning the Perfect Baycation A Guide to the Houston Bay Area

If you’re on the hunt for your next Baycation spot, consider your destination found! The Bay Area Houston is a bustling tourist destination with huge crowds flocking all year long for the fun you can have under the sun and in the water. 

From recharging strolls along the water’s edge to an endless supply of fresh seafood  that’ll make your taste buds sing, this region is bursting with hidden gems waiting to be uncovered. It’s an overall great spot to spend quality time with friends and family. 

Whether you’re a landlubber or a seasoned sea dog, there’s no shortage of fun to be had in this coastal haven. So, drop the anchor on your boredom and get ready to navigate through a sea of entertainment options that’ll have you saying, “Bay-mazing!”

Things to Know about the Bay Area

Things to Know about the Bay Area

Image Source: Bay Area Houston Website

Bay Area Houston, also known as the Galveston Bay Area, surrounds the Galveston Bay and encompasses Clear Lake which are the 2 waterfronts that pull tourists and visitors from far and wide with their scenic views and exciting activities.

The area consists mainly of 5 cities namely, Clear Lake Shores, League City, Nassau Bay, Seabrook, and Texas City. Each of the cities that make up the area has their own personality and flair, as well as attractions and things to do and see.

Clear Lake Shores which is located in the middle of Kemah and League City is known as a docking center for boats with over 1,600 boat slips that provide convenient access to the waters of Clear Lake and Galveston Bay.

Clear Lake Shores

Image Source: Clear Lake Shores Website

League City is mostly known for its quaint and charming small town appeal with a Historic District nestled in the heart of the area with old buildings and homes, as well as nature parks and lots of scenic spots with views overlooking the water.

Created in 1962 as a base for astronauts and NASA workers, Nassau Bay is the space capital of the Space City and is home to the Johnson Space Center. As a quirky trivia, the famous “Houston, we have a problem” line was uttered in this very place.

Known as a waterfront city and aptly named Seabrook, this city is home to a treasure trove of water activities and the best and widest selection of seafood fished right out of the bay and served fresh onto your table. 

Texas City is the most metropolitan area out of all the communities there with a more modern set of amenities like an entertainment center and plenty of shops and stores.

Best Time to Go 

If you’re visiting the Bay Area and you’re after sun and sand, the best time to go to the area is in February to April when the chance of rain is at its lowest throughout the year. These months are also part of the off season so you can expect fewer people.

This is also a great way to enjoy the beaches and coasts without the peak of Texas heat pummeling down on you as compared to if you go during the summer months in July and August.

How to Get There

By Land

The Bay Area Houston is made accessible by way of the 2 interstate freeways that serve the area.

  • Interstate 45 connects the Bay Area with Houston and Galveston.
  • Highway 146 connects all the coast side communities that make up the Bay Area.

By Air

If you’re flying in, the Houston Hobby Airport is the closest one to the Bay Area for domestic flights. The airport is a 20 to 25 minute drive to Nassau Bay which is the city nearest to it.

For international flights, the Bush Intercontinental Airport in northern Houston also serves the Bay Area.

How to Get Around

By Bus

The Houston Metro Bus system is in service in some parts of the Bay Area, mainly in the southeast, while the Greyhound Bus Lines serves Baytown and Texas City. But, the majority of the location does not have a public transportation system in place.   

By Car Rentals 

The best way to get around is by renting a car while you’re there for a trip. The Bay Area Auto and Truck Rental is a trusted car rental service provider that accommodates needs in terms of pricing and car type.

Address: 2800 Gulf Freeway, Dickinson, Texas, 77539, United States

Phone Number: +1 281-337-8395

Things to Do in Houston’s Bay Area

Explore Space Exploration

Image Source: Space Center Houston Website 

Address: 1601 E NASA Pkwy, Houston, TX 77058, United States

Phone Number:  +1 281-244-2100



  • Saturday to Monday – 9 am to 6 pm 
  • Tuesday to Friday – 10 am to 5 pm

The Bay Area Houston is known for its ties with NASA as the organization has made a home in the location since the 1960s. The area is home to 2 space themed attractions that are a must visit for space enthusiasts. 

The Space Center Houston houses memorabilia, replicas, and actual crafts and pods that have made it to space during the landmark Mercury, Apollo, and Gemini missions. 

Check out the real life Saturn V rocket that’s the same model as what brought Neil Armstrong to the moon. For a glimpse into the future, the center also houses the SpaceX Falcon 9, a trailblazer in new technology which was launched in 2017. 

Kids will have a great time at the center playing with the interactive displays as they learn more about space and the training you need to undergo to become an astronaut. 

NASA Johnson Space Center

Image Source: NASA Johnson Space Center Website 

After exploring the Space Center, hop onto their tram tour that will take you to the NASA Johnson Space Center just next door. 

Here, you can step back in time and reimagine yourself as part of some of the most memorable and significant feats in space exploration. The Apollo Mission Control Room has been preserved as it was during the famous moon landing. 

You can also get an insight on present day processes and procedures in the training facilities for astronauts on site and also the in action control rooms where scientists monitor active space explorations projects. 

Address: 2101 E NASA Pkwy, Houston, TX 77058, United States

Phone Number: +1 281-483-0123



  • Every Day – 9 am to 6 pm
Spend a Day at Kemah BoardWalk

Image Source: Kemah Boardwalk Website 

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

Phone Number: +1 281-535-8100



  • Monday – 11 am to 9 pm 
  • Tuesday to Thursday – 12 pm to 8 pm 
  • Friday – 12 pm to 10 pm 
  • Saturday and Sunday – 11 am to 11 pm

Kemah Boardwalk is an absolute must visit while in the Bay Area. The boardwalk features an amusement park with over 15 rides, shopping opportunities with specialty stores and kiosks, and great places to eat like the underwater aquarium restaurant! 

The amusement park consists of several rides, but the star is the Boardwalk Bullet which is a unique wooden roller coaster that features over 42 track crossovers. The carnival booths where you can play games and win prizes add to the fun you can have!

They also have a stingray reef where you can get up close and personal with the animals by touching and feeding them. The rainforest exhibit lets you interact with piranhas, scorpions, snakes, and tarantulas safely!

To tend the day, hop on the Boardwalk Beast for a half an hour ride on Galveston Bay complete with music, food, and a great view. 

Make a Splash

Image Source: League City Website 

The Bay Area is lovingly called the Baycation Spot for a reason. The location offers easy access to water, so water based activities are always at the forefront of the top things to do in the area. 

The Clear Creek Paddle Trail in League City offers over 6 miles of kayaking trails where you can explore on your own or go on group and guided tours. They also have canoes and paddleboards for rent. There are several places that rent out jet skis and boats.

You will encounter great views and local wildlife (including the occasional alligators). But, if you’d rather enjoy the water while staying dry, you can opt to book a ride on one of the many charters available in the area where you can also fish on board the boats. 

If fishing is the main activity you want to try, the area also has loads of fishing spots, both in fresh and saltwater where you can cast a line. Redfish and perch are common in the Clear Lake Park. Anglers also love fishing along the bay for flatfish and flounder. 

Be One with Nature

Image Source: Nassau Bay Wildlife Peninsula Website 

The Bay Area has an extensive pool of nature spots where you can enjoy the fresh air while looking at plants and interacting with some of the wildlife that’s native to the area. 

The Nassau Bay Wildlife Peninsula which is a 76-acre wetland connected to the Nassau Bay. The peninsula has a nature trail you can trek that’s dotted with informative posts and signs. It is also home to native birds like egrets, spoonbills, and herons. 

The Bay Area is located right along the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail which offers plenty of opportunities for bird watching enthusiasts to get their fix. You can spot all sorts of bird species here like waterfowls and shorebirds, as well as woodland ones. 

If you’re more of a rest and relaxation type, the Bay Area also has loads of parks where you can just and sit with nature. The Pine Gully Park offers the best of both the bay and the forest with a cool breeze perpetually blowing and great shade from the trees. 

Where to Eat 

Clear Lake Shores - Schafer's Coastal Bar & Grille

Address: 1002 Aspen Rd, Clear Lake Shores, TX 77565, United States

Phone Number: +1 281-532-6860


Pricing: $$

The Clear Lake Shores area is known for its coasts and consequently, fresh seafood, but Schafer’s Coastal Bar & Grille is its only resident upscale sports bar and restaurant. Their menu features American fare with what they call a Gulf Coast twist. 

They specialize in steaks both classic cuts and keto versions, but they also have sandwiches, wraps, tacos, and desserts. Not to mention a seaside restaurant that’s the perfect place to enjoy one of their wines, beers, or cocktails during sunset! 

League City - The Toasted Yolk Cafe

Address: 2535 Gulf Fwy S, League City, TX 77573, United States

Phone Number:  +1 281-729-1053


Pricing: $$

If breakfast for lunch (and dinner) is your thing, then The Toasted Yolk in League City is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat! The owners opened the eatery because they couldn’t find a restaurant that served breakfast food any time of day. 

In line with this vision, their menu features all the cult favorites like fluffy omelets and pancakes, sandwiches, soups, and salads. Our go to order has always been their Donuts Churro Style which is 4 cinnamon cake donuts with a caramel dipping sauce!

Nassau Bay - 1000 Degrees Pizza Salad Wings

Image Source: 1000 Degrees Pizza Salad Wings

Address: 8032 Saturn Ln, Houston, TX 77058, United States

Phone Number: +1 281-532-6877


Pricing: $

For no frills comfort food in Nassau Bay, we suggest heading over to 1000 Degrees Pizza Salad Wings. Their pizzas stand out from the rest because they cook them in special rotating pizza ovens that blast the pizza at a temperature of 1000 degrees. 

This makes the crust perfectly crispy on the outside but still soft on the inside. Their wings are also flash fried at the same high temperature, so you can expect juicy and crunchy wings every time. Plus, you can customize your pizza toppings too!

Seabrook - Lakewood Yacht Club

Image Source: Lakewood Yacht Club Website

Address: 2322 Lakewood Yacht Club Dr, Seabrook, TX 77586, United States

Phone Number: +1 281-474-2511


Pricing: $$$

To embrace the Bay Area experience, head on over to the Lakewood Yacht Club for a high end dining experience that has been compared to a 5-star restaurant by locals and visitors alike. The ambience of the place adds to the overall vibe while dining. 

Seasonal seafood is front and center in their menu, with some selections only available at certain times of the year when the ingredients are freshest. 

But, some of the permanent items like their shrimp and mahi ceviche and Gulf oysters are something that we always go back for when we’re in the area. 

Texas City - Boyd’s One Stop

Address: 227 Dike Rd Building #1, Texas City, TX 77590, United States

Phone Number: +1 409-945-4001


Pricing: $

Aptly named the Live Shrimp Capital of Texas, Boyd’s has been serving up crawfish, shrimp, and crabs for decades both for casual diners and wholesale orders. If you like to get your hands dirty when you eat seafood, this is the place to be. 

The menu heavily features meal deals like baskets of shrimp, catfish, crab, and crawfish or combinations of several types of seafood. But, they also have burgers and sandwiches that are just as good! Don’t forget to get a serving of their fried okra! 

Where to Shop 

Tanger Outlet Mall

Image Source: Tanger Outlet Mall Website

Address: 5885 Gulf Fwy, Texas City, TX 77591, United States

Phone Number: +1 281-534-4200



  • Monday to Saturday – 10 am to 9 pm 
  • Sunday – 10 am to 7 pm

The Tanger Outlet Mall is the biggest shopping center in the Bay Area with a collection of shops from big brand stores like Nike and Gap to smaller and local brands selling handmade goods and products. 

The outlet mall has everything from clothes, shoes, and accessories, to home decor and home appliances. Plus, most of the things here are sold at a discounted rate. The mall also has a host of restaurants and cafes to fuel up in. 

The Shooter’s Corner

Image Source: The Shooter’s Corner Website

Address: 2835 Palmer Hwy, Texas City, TX 77590, United States

Phone Number :+1 281-474-9494



  • Monday to Friday – 9 am to 6:30 pm
  • Saturday – 9 am to 6 pm 
  • Sunday – Closed

If you’re a gun collector and looking to add a new item to your collection, the Shooter’s Corner in the Bay Area is a specialty shop that offers new and used guns for sale and for trading. 

They also have a wide array of accessories from holsters, ammo, and straps that you might need. The staff here are very knowledgeable and extremely helpful which is why lots of gun enthusiasts make the trip just to visit the shop. 

The Bin Zone

Image Source: The Bin Zone Website

Address: 2504 25th Ave N, Texas City, TX 77590, United States

Phone Number: +1 409-995-0298



  • Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday – 9 am to 6 pm 
  • Saturday and Monday – 10 am to 6 pm 
  • Thursday and Sunday – Closed 

For bargain shoppers like us who get excited about getting something for a very affordable price, the Bin Zone in Texas is an unassuming place with great deals on a variety of items like clothes, jewelry, appliances, furniture, artwork, and more. 

They also have a fun mystery box sale where you pay $20 for a random selection of goods they put in sometimes amounting to around $50 to $100. So, definitely drop by for a quick thrift shopping experience. 

Karat Creations Jewelry

Image Source: Karat Creations Jewelry Website

Address:  811 6th St N #400, Texas City, TX 77590, United States

Phone Number: +1 409-945-9999



  • Monday to Saturday – 10 am to 5 pm 
  • Sunday – Closed

Operational for 3 decades since their opening day, Karat Creations Jewelry is a trusted shop that both locals and tourists visit for their jewelry needs whether it’s for everyday pieces or for more special occasions like proposals or anniversary presents. 

They also have a wide selection of more unique pieces that they get both from local jewelers and imported from international artists and specialty shops. 

Alspaugh’s Boutique ‘By KellyAnnette

Image Source: Alspaugh’s Boutique ‘By KellyAnnette Website

Address: 2100 E NASA Pkwy Suite 201, Seabrook, TX 77586, United States

Phone Number: +1 832-802-3389



  • Tuesday to Friday – 10 am to 6 pm 
  • Saturday – 10 am to 5 pm 
  • Sunday and Monday – Closed

Alspaugh’s Boutique ‘By KellyAnnette specializes in unique and one of a kind items. This boutique in Seabrook has goods in almost all categories like men and women’s apparel, decorative items, and even barbeque grills and pits. 

They also have hardware like nuts and bolts, galvanized, chrome, and stainless steel metal products. On the opposite side, they also have candles and fragrances too!

Our favorite section of the shop to visit though, is the Candy counter with Lammes Candy from Austin and their famous Alspaugh’s Secret Seasoning!

Places to Stay

Clear Lake Shores - Hilton Houston NASA Clear Lake

Image Source: Hilton Houston NASA Clear Lake Website

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

Phone Number: +1 281-333-9300

Pricing: $$

Book Now

Next to the Johnson Space Center which houses the NASA Mission Control, the Hilton Houston NASA Clear Lake Hotel sits on the banks of Clear Lake and grants access to the Bay Area. 

One of the nearby attractions is the Kemah Boardwalk just 5 miles away. But even without venturing outside the hotel grounds, you’ll still get your fix of relaxations and entertainment with the outdoor pool on the rooftop. 

The stately rooms and the fully equipped on-site gym are the cherries on top to the enjoyable stay! 

League City - Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott

Image Source: Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Website

Address: 1144 Pinnacle Park Dr, League City, TX 77573, United States

Phone Number: +1 281-967-8490

Pricing: $$

Book Now

The Fairfield Inn & Suites Houston is the perfect place to stay when you’re in the League City, whether you’re there for a weekend trip or a quick one night getaway. The inn is the vicinity of the NASA Space Center as well as Galveston’s best beaches. 

The rooms are all well-designed, spacious, and equipped with Wi-Fi. The beds are comfortable, plus you can use the Keruig coffee makers for your caffeine kick the next day! The gas grills which are free to use are great if you want to bond over some BBQ! 

Nassau Bay - Extended Stay America

Image Source: Extended Stay America Website 

Address: 1410 NASA Road 1, Houston, TX 77058, United States

Phone Number: +1 281-333-9494

Pricing: $

Book Now

If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Nassau Bay for a trip to the Bay Area, Extended Stay America suites should be at the top of your priority list of places to check out or check into! 

This hotel offers rooms at affordable rates which is perfect if you’re looking to stay for more than just a week. Their rooms are still clean and comfortable despite the price. 

Plus, they’re pet friendly, so you don’t have to worry about leaving your fur babies behind! 

Seabrook - Captain Inn & Suites

Image Source: Captain Inn & Suites Website

Address: 2901 E NASA Pkwy, Seabrook, TX 77586, United States

Phone Number:  +1 281-326-3301

Pricing: $

Book Now

For a cozy place to stay in Seabrook, the Captain Inn & Suites won’t disappoint. Not only is the location just 20 minutes away from the nearest airport, the William P. Hobby Airport, which is a blessing in Houston traffic, but they also have a shuttle service! 

Every room comes with a refrigerator and microwave, not to mention the free breakfast in the morning. They also have an indoor pool with a fitness center on the grounds! 

After a day of fun, you can relax in their comfortable rooms and watch a show on the flat screen TVs!

Texas City - SpringHill Suites by Marriott

Image Source: SpringHill Suites by Marriott Website

Address: 13202 Outlets Blvd, Texas City, TX 77591, United States

Phone Number: +1 832-820-8750

Pricing: $$

Book Now

SpringHill Suites by Marriott in Texas City is one of our go to spots to stay at when we’re planning a trip to the Bay Area. 

The comfy rooms along with the wide amenities they have like computer stations and the convenience store always make for an easy and convenient stay.

You can burn off the calories you eat from their free continental breakfast served on weekday mornings at the 24-hour gym they have or at the temperature controlled outdoor pool to cool off during the summer or for a warm dip in winter. 


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