Kemah Texas is located in Galveston County. The town is located about halfway between Downtown Houston and Galveston Island. However, the many Kemah attractions are virtually part of the larger city, as the Houston urban sprawl has reached its outskirts. Founded as Evergreen in 1898, it became Kemah Texas in 1907. The word comes from the Karankawa language, and means “wind in the face” or “facing the wind.” These indigenous people occupied this section of the Galveston Coast when conquistadors from Spain arrived in the sixteenth century. They had disappeared by 1850.
Its location as the dividing line between Galveston Bay and Clear Lake means that what to do in Kemah Texas often involves the water. Even the popular Kemah Boardwalk is set right on the water and features activities such as boating and sailing, among many others. Special events like weddings in Kemah are often held aboard charter yachts, and the annual May Blessing of the Fleet (when the shrimp fleets parades and is traditionally blessed by a priest) involve boats.
This was once a sleepy fishing town, and fishing is still important to the region. This is a major commercial fishing port, with shrimp, menhaden (a fish used as a protein additive in animal feed), and several varieties of finfish are the target of commercial fishermen. What to do in Kemah Texas if you are a recreational angler includes shore fishing, lake fishing, and deep sea fishing. Primary species include several varieties of snapper, dorado, grouper, and shark.
In addition to the many water activities available, Kemah Texas has become a popular destination both for tourists and visitors enjoying vacations because of the Kemah Boardwalk and the city’s entertainment district. Here are numerous dining spots and trendy restaurants as well as Kemah attractions including amusement park rides, great shopping, and a sizeable marina. There is also some lively nightlife, with numerous bars and music clubs. In this area, you will also find several Kemah hotels and bed and breakfast inns. Additionally, there are some vacation rentals available that are rented out by the Houston residents who own them.
Another of the popular and famous Kemah attractions is the Johnson Space Center, located on the shores of Clear Lake. This center of manned space flight contains more than 100 buildings, and tours are available to the public. Here, all members of the family will be fascinated by the Mission Control Center, the iconic room where scores of scientists, astronauts, and technicians direct the activities aboard the International Space Station. There are also several museums, and a number of farmers markets.
A bit to the north is the Armand Bayou Nature Center with its forests and marshes that protect more than 220 species of birds, mammals, and reptiles. This is the largest urban wilderness preserve in the United States. There is a magnificent butterfly park, and you can even see bison. If what to do in Kemah Texas for you includes special events, come in May for the Blessing of the Fleet or in September for the prestigious Gulf Coast Film Festival that showcases independent films from around the world.
Image: Greater Houston CVB