The city of Kemah, Texas, started as a quaint fishing town but has since grown to become a tourist attraction known for the famous Kemah Entertainment District. This tiny town offers a rich history, beautiful views, and a great culture.
Kemah, Texas, has become a popular tourist attraction because of the numerous restaurants and carnival atmosphere of its Kemah Entertainment District. The shipping industry is the primary source of income.
About Kemah Texas?
Kemah is derived from the Indian word “Karankawa,” which means “wind in my face.” The city finally got its present name of Kemah in 1907 when the town established its first post office. The city had to be renamed as another town was already named Evergreen.
Kemah’s earliest roots date back to 1824, when Michael Gouldrich, one of the first colonists, was granted the 72-hectare piece of land. He received the ground as part of a Mexican land grant. Gouldrich was a farmer and stockbreeder by trade but mysteriously disappeared, after which William Vince acquired the land near Clear Creek and Galveston Bay.
John Flanders bought the land and named the land Flanders Grove. After Flanders’ death at only 36, the land was sold to one Jonathon D Waters at only $2 an acre. Waters sold the land to the Bradford and Kipp families in 1850. After the Galveston hurricane of 1900 destroyed the town, these two families rebuilt the town naming it “Evergreen.”
The small city formed part of Galveston County and was later renamed Kemah. It is located Southeast of Houston and shares its South and Western borders with League City. Its Southeast and Northern borders are shared with Bacliff and Sea Brook.
Facts About Kemah Texas
- Average Summer Temperatures: 86 degrees Fahrenheit
- Average Winter Temperatures: 63 degrees Fahrenheit
- Number of Universities: 1 (University of Houston)
- Median Income: $42, 162
- Population: 1803 (2021)
- Zip Codes: 77565
- Land Area: 1.91 sq miles
- Median Age of Residents: 41.2
- Best Hotels: The best hotel is the Boardwalk Inn which allows patrons easy access to the Kemah Boardwalk and Marina.
- Best Restaurants: Popular restaurants include T-Bone Tom’s Meat Market, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., and the Aquarium Restaurant.
What’s Kemah Texas Known For?
Kemah is known for its famous Kemah Entertainment District, which hosts excellent restaurants, great retail shops, and an aquarium, all with a playful carnival atmosphere.
This entertainment district is an idyllic place to spend time with family for locals and is the most prominent tourist attraction for visitors.
- The Kemah Lighthouse District
- The Kemah Boardwalk
- Boardwalk Bullet Rollercoaster
- Kemah Boardwalk Tower
- The Shipping Industry: the primary industry for this town is shipping. The city started as a fishing community that has blossomed into a robust shipping industry.
People From Kemah Texas
While the greater Texas region is home to many influential people in entertainment, tech, and politics, the small city of Kemah is not currently the home of choice for these folk. Austin, Houston, and Dallas have a whirlwind of famous people you have a good chance of bumping into in Kemah.
This list of famous people who either lived or were born in the greater Texas region may be spotted in Kemah:
- Matthew McConaughey (Austin)
- Sandra Bullock (Austin)
- George W. Bush (Dallas)
- Elijah Wood (Austin)
- Erykah Badu (Dallas)
Where Is Kemah Texas?
The small city of Kemah is part of Galveston County, specifically the Clear Lake Area. Its coordinates are 29°32’33” N 95° 1’13.08″ W.
It forms part of the North Eastern section of Galveston County and can be accessed via State Highway 146 (which runs straight through it) and State Highway 96.
Nearby Locations To Kemah Texas
If you follow Texas State Highway 146, you can drive right through the middle of Kemah. Keep moving north, and you will enter Baytown, which is 15 miles outside Kemah.
Drive in the opposite direction, and you will reach Texas City, roughly 12 miles outside Kemah.
- Houston -30miles
- Galveston-25 miles
- League City-5.9 miles
- Texas City-15.8 miles
- Baytown-24 miles
Areas In Kemah Texas
- Kemah Boardwalk
- The Lighthouse District
- Kemah Boardwalk Marina
- Kemah Oaks Park
Getting About In Kemah Texas
Traveling around Kemah is easy as the tiny city spans only 1.91 sq miles. The crime rate is reasonably low regarding violent crimes such as murder, rape, and assault. Be extra vigilant about your valuables, though, as Kemah has recorded high rates of misdemeanors such as burglary, auto theft, robbery, and property crimes.
|Types of Transport
|Travel by Foot
|Less than 10%
|More than 60%
|Taxis, Uber, Lyft, Moovit, etc.
|More than 25%
Traveling On Foot
Walking around Kemah on foot is not a bad idea. If you prefer to cycle, this may be better than traveling on foot if you plan to cover a longer distance. One would need to be cautious about one’s belongings, though, and make sure you are not traveling alone in isolated areas in case one is a target for robbery.
For instance, taking a taxi or Uber to the Boardwalk and then exploring the area on foot is a safer option.
The public transport system is almost non-existent, but it is not necessary for such a small city. There are more than enough taxis available to get anywhere, and most travelers will opt for this convenient alternative.
Traveling by car is the preferred method for most residents and visitors to Kemar. The city has ample parking spaces available for vehicles, and if you visit the Boardwalk, parking is free for a limited time.
There are no airports in Kemah. The William P. Hobby Airport in Houston is the city’s closest airport. Hiring a rental car or taxi is the best way to travel from the airport into Kemah.
What To Do In Kemah Texas
Kemah is a fun place for families and couples to explore, as there are more than enough excellent places to eat, good entertainment, and great options for those who enjoy the outdoors.
Kemah is a beautiful city to explore if you enjoy sailing. Sailing schools and chartering services are all available at the Kemah Marina. The following options are available:
- Seabrook Sailing Club- learn how to sail and windsurf here. If you are an experienced sailor, join in their sail events, races, and social activities.
- Windward SeaVenture
- South Coast Sailing Adventures
- Bay Area Sailing School
Walk or Run
A loop trail on the Kemah Boardwalk is explicitly designed for avid runners, joggers, and their dogs. The 4.8 km trail is looped and, at a moderate pace, should take roughly 52 minutes to complete.
The Kemah Entertainment District
Browse and shop from a great selection of retail stores in the Kemah Entertainment District, and when you start to get hungry, take your pick from the list of excellent restaurants, coffee shops, and diners.
Boardwalk Bullet Rollercoaster
Enjoy a ride on the rollercoaster situated on the Kemah Boardwalk. This ride goes over 50 miles per hour and stands 18 miles high. Children will love the carnival atmosphere of the Kemah Entertainment District, and the giant rollercoaster will be a highlight of the trip.
An excellent outing for families is the Kemah Aquarium Restaurant. The animal exhibit includes being able to touch and feed stingrays. Afterward, the whole family can enjoy a meal at the Aquarium restaurant.
Kemah Lighthouse District
The Lighthouse District offers entertainment for the whole family every weekend. It is also home to various bars, restaurants, antique stores, fine art, clothing stores, and more. Take the opportunity to tour the city in horse-drawn carriages.
Where To Eat
There are plenty of great options to splurge on good food in Kemah. Higher budget options include:
- Aquarium Restaurant
- Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
- Landry’s Seafood House
- T-Bone Tom’s Meat Market
The Top budget-friendly places to eat include:
- Skippers Cafe’
- Kemah Café’
- Cool Cow Creamery
- Hoagie Ranch Emporium
Where To Stay
The best place to stay in Kemah is the Boardwalk Inn. This beautiful boutique hotel has the best views of the Galveston Bay and Kemah Boardwalk Waterfront. Direct access to all the top entertainment spots, retail stores, and restaurants makes the Boardwalk Inn a great choice to enjoy the best that Kemah offers.
Is It Worthwhile To Visit Kemah Texas?
Great food, a lovely atmosphere, and the availability of comfortable accommodations all make Kemah a great place to visit!
How Safe Is Kemah Texas?
The crime statistics for Kemah tend to be relatively high for property theft. Tourists should take care of their valuables and be alert at all times.
- Average Summer and Winter Temperatures: https://weatherspark.com/y/9255/Average-Weather-in-Kemah-Texas-United-States-Year-Round
- Where is Kemah, Texas:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kemah,_Texas
Christian Linden is a seasoned writer and contributor at Texas View, specializing in topics that resonate with the Texan community. With over a decade of experience in journalism, Christian brings a wealth of knowledge in local politics, culture, and lifestyle. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Texas. When he's not writing, Christian enjoys spending weekends traveling across Texas with his family, exploring everything from bustling cities to serene landscapes.