Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Kemah Boardwalk, TX

  • Published 2023/03/06

Thrilling rides, ocean views, and specialty restaurants are just a few of the things you can experience at Kemah Boardwalk, Texas.

Opened in 1988, this 60-acre boardwalk hosts diverse amusement venues, from extreme rides like roller coasters to light attractions like carousels.

It’s close to the shores of the stunning Galveston Bay, offering endless sights and boating opportunities on the waterscape.

You can also enter the boardwalk for free.

You’ll need to pay for the thrill rides and other attractions, but you can freely walk along the path and see the picturesque sceneries.

Here are the best things to do in Kemah Boardwalk, TX:

Try the Rides at Kemah Waterfront

The rides at Kemah Waterfront

Ritu Manoj Jethani /

You’ll find most of the amusement rides located along Kemah Waterfront.

Get an up-close look at the Galveston Bay!

The high ascending rides will give you great vantage points for panoramic views of Kemah and nearby surroundings.

High swing carousel tower ride at Kemah Waterfront

Philip Lange /

The rides include two Ferris wheels, carousels, a boardwalk tower, and a few elevated rides where you can soar through the air.

Try the Boardwalk Bullet, a specially made wooden roller from southern yellow pines with a vertical drop of 92 feet, just five feet away from Galveston Bay.

It’s the ultimate ride for a heart-racing experience.

Visit Kemah Waterfront and explore all the rides on Kemah Boardwalk.

Bullet rollercoaster ride at Kemah Waterfront

Mark Taylor Cunningham /

Ride a Cruise with Boardwalk FantaSea

Don’t miss an opportunity to tour the gorgeous waters of Galveston Bay.

Boardwalk Fantasea is a premium cruise attraction with its base along Boardwalk Suite.

The cruise takes you around to stunning natural sights across the vast Gulf Coast, including Galveston Bay and Clear Lake.

They offer both public and private charters, depending on your preference.

Their public cruises are leisure trips along calm waves and vibrant nightlife parties with live music and DJs.

Choose the tour that best suits your mood.

Check out Boardwalk FantaSea if you ever visit Kemah Boardwalk!

Visit the Aquarium Restaurant

Name sign of the Aquarium Restaurant

BFS Man from Webster, TX, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Aquarium Restaurant offers much more than just your standard delicious meal.

The surprising charm of this restaurant lies in its immersive decor, such as aquariums filled with healthy and colorful marine life.

While waiting for your meal, tour the area and check out the sea creatures inside well-maintained tanks.

This ocean-themed restaurant also features an interactive stingray reef exhibit where you can feed the stingrays.

This restaurant is perfect for families; your kids will surely enjoy this place.

Check out the Aquarium Restaurant and explore their impressive collection of marine wildlife!

Feast with a View in the Flying Dutchman

Building sign of the Flying Dutchman

Brian Gallegos /

The Flying Dutchman is one of the top seafood restaurants on the Kemah Boardwalk.

With fresh ingredients and a classic ambiance, this restaurant provides an excellent dining experience to all guests.

Besides the local cuisine, the Flying Dutchman offers clear waterfront views on an outdoor patio.

Its wooden seats circle a warm, functioning fireplace.

Sip some of their refreshing cocktails, feast on their seafood specialties, and huddle around the calming atmosphere of the restaurant.

Get Drenched with Boardwalk Beast

Do you feel the need–the need for speed?

The Boardwalk Beast will satisfy your need for that thrilling adrenaline rush.

The experience involves a 25-minute speedboat ride along the waters of Galveston Bay, moving at a speed of up to 40 miles per hour.

With that kind of speed, you’ll feel strong winds and jets of water spraying you.

During the ride, you can also enjoy matching music and live entertainment.

Explore the Dungeon of Doom Haunted House

Try a spooky immersive adventure in the Dungeon of Doom Haunted House.

Nestled at Kipp Boardwalk Avenue, this haunted house takes scary encounters to another level.

With strobe lights, artificial fog, eerie music, and trained actors, the Dungeon of Doom will scare the pants right off you.

The scary décor, the dark lights, creative masks, and costumes also add to the haunted house’s fear factor.

If it gets too terrifying for you, you can reach out to their friendly staff, who will direct you to an early exit.

Stay at Boardwalk Inn

Exterior of the Kemah Boardwalk Inn

Dean Dyess /

The Boardwalk Inn is the center of entertainment on Kemah Boardwalk.

It’s the only hotel on the boardwalk, a quiet space for travelers to take a break after a day of thrilling rides and activities.

Relax in their refined rooms or lay down on one of the seats by the scenic outdoor pool.

They also have an entertainment stage and lively dancing water fountains.

If you book a room here, you’ll also get priority seating in all the restaurants on Kemah Boardwalk.

See the Future at Kemah Psychic

Whether you’re a believer in the supernatural or not, visit Kemah Psychic for an encounter with the occult.

This building is home to a local psychic with over 43 years of experience as a third-generation child from a family of mystics.

Inside, the place features various occult decor like specially designed candles, sparkling crystals, and colorful stones.

Get a palm or tarot card reading and see whether the psychic’s understanding of you is accurate.

Who knows? Maybe her predictions might come true.

You could also ask for a crystal to take home as a souvenir of your mystical venture.

You never know; you might get helpful information.

Ride a Yacht in Kemah Boardwalk Marina

Boats docked on Kemah Boardwalk Marina

jimthompson, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Kemah Boardwalk Marina is primarily a boating dock.

You can leave your boat there or lounge on the ship with friends and family.

A decorated yacht on the waters of Kemah Boardwalk

JSvideos /

The staff can check on it from time to time and ensure that everything’s normal.

If you’re interested in renting a yacht, the staff of Kemah Boardwalk Marina can introduce you to one of the independent yacht charters within their marina.

Party at the VooDoo Hut

The VooDoo Hut is Kemah’s quintessential destination for a night on the town.

This bar and nightclub give you a spirited night of partying with friends, family, and even random strangers.

There are TV screens, live music concerts, games, peculiar artworks from local artists, and a diverse selection of food and drinks.

It’s a combination of various experiences you can only understand once you visit the place!

Take note that you need to be 21 years old to enter the spot.

Dance to the music, sip some cocktails, or just watch the live performances.

Get your party fix from the colorful Voodoo Hut!

Stroll along the Kemah Lighthouse District

Aerial view of Kemah Lighthouse District

Trong Nguyen /

If you want to explore Kemah like the locals, head to Kemah Lighthouse District.

Find several retail shops, restaurants, bars, etc.

Most of the establishments there also give you a peek into the local lifestyle; Kemah residents regularly visit this place.

Many businesses are also locally owned, so shopping in this area supports small businesses.

Whether you’re in the mood for fine arts, antiques, modern products, food, and drinks, Kemah Lighthouse District has a store to cater to your needs and interests.

Test Your Wits in Escape Kemah

Those who have never tried an escape room should play Escape Kemah.

The family-owned establishment opened in 2016.

Piece together clues, look for hints, and find the hidden key or code to get out of the room within 60 minutes.

Room difficulties range from easy to medium; choose the level you’re comfortable with.

There’s also a total of three distinct escape rooms to explore—the Bomb Room, Studio 99 Room, and the Vault—so you can visit this place multiple times to try them all.

Challenge your problem-solving skills and test your minds with Escape Kemah.

Get a Sugar Rush at Cool Cow Creamery

The Cool Cow Creamery is a humble local ice cream shop along Bradford Avenue.

This quaint shop is memorable because they craft ice creams from scratch instead of using automatic machinery at a factory.

They also have an impressive selection of flavors available upon request, from staples like banana and cookies and cream to unique ones like eggnog, gingerbread man, and pumpkin cheesecake.

They have more than 40 flavors in their arsenal, changing each day, so ask the staff about their more unique ice creams.

Even if you visit this place every day, you’ll likely find a new flavor since they have so much variation.

They also frequently experiment with new flavors to keep locals and travelers interested.

Travelers with a sweet tooth should take a chance on the Cool Cow Creamery!

Relax at Clipper House Inn

Just a few minutes away from the lively, spirited boardwalk, the Clipper House Inn offers a small piece of tranquil paradise.

They have two cottages available for rent.

Both feature a quaint and cozy aesthetic with vintage, classic wall décor, tasteful furniture, and a homey fireplace.

It also includes an open-air porch with a scenic view of their charming courtyard gardens.

Located along Kipp Avenue, this inn is a great place to refresh your mind and enjoy the waning day.

If you’re nearby on the third Saturday of the month, head to the inn and browse their farmers’ markets.

Grab fresh local goods and products at affordable prices.

Visit the Clipper House Inn; unwind at Kemah within the comfort of this pleasant abode.

Sample the Wine at Clear Creek Vineyards

Award-winning wines and a behind-the-scenes tour of an authentic wine distillery await you in Clear Creek Vineyards.

This winery is less than five minutes away from the Kemah Boardwalk.

They have operated since 2007, creating a wide selection of premium wines, from classic red and white wines to fascinating fruit flavor blends.

Book a wine-tasting session to try their wines, pair it with complimentary snacks, and figure out which one you like best.

You could also purchase a tour package that includes a 30-minute guided tour around their facility.

Then, join a wine-tasting session for four different wines, and buy an engraved glass souvenir.

Explore the Amusement Park while Onboard the C.P. Huntington Train

Make your excursion along Kemah Boardwalk more exciting with a ride along the C.P. Huntington Train.

This attraction takes inspiration from the 1863 locomotive of the same name.

The historic train, now on display at the California State Railroad Museum, followed the Central Pacific Railroad route back in the day.

And though its fun counterpart in Kemah Boardwalk only runs around the perimeter of the site, it’s still an experience worth trying.

The C.P. Huntington Train is only one among many of the rides and attractions at the Kemoh Amusement Park.

So, keep your eyes peeled for the attractions you’ll see while aboard this replica train.

Cool Down by the Dancing Water Fountains

People at Dancing Water Fountains

Dean Dyess /

Have time for some idle lounging and sightseeing?

Then, make sure you come by the Dancing Water Fountains.

This classic splash pad is a massive hit among children visiting the area or even anticipating a visit to this place.

The grounds take the form of a sun with 15 rays set within a circular platform.

Keep your little one’s bathing suit ready for a splashing fun time amidst the summer heat.

You can find the Dancing Water Fountains in front of the Boardwalk Inn at the heart of the Plaza.

Throw a Fun Party at Galaxy Adventures Party Room

Kemah Boardwalk offers the best party venues for birthdays, team-building sessions, and other events.

And Galaxy Adventures Party Room is one of them.

This indoor venue features a space-themed hall and rooms that resemble rocket ships and take-off stations.

It also has an arcade center with a wide array of games and activities you can get lost in.

The venue’s party packages include a Classic and Deluxe one, but both offer a topping pizza and balloons.

Make sure your child’s special day is as memorable as possible at Galaxy Adventures Party Room.

Make Your Sunday Night Extra Special at Tejano Music Super Fest

Every November, Kemah Boardwalk shines with good live music.

This is because of the annual Tejano Music Super Fest.

This festival celebrates Tejano music with an amazing line-up of artists and bands.

There’s also an arts and crafts fair for the kids and line dancing lessons for those interested.

This event is free for everyone, so be sure to come by!

Tejano Music Festival spans three days and promises a good time for you and your family.

Watch Colorful Boats Line up in a Parade at the Yachty Gras

The Yachty Gras is the largest boat parade celebrating Mardi Gras in the country.

The Mardi Gras event pays homage to the end of the Pre-Lenten season and features parades and floats.

And this is what Yachty Gras brings to the public.

This boat parade showcases a variety of colorful and creative boats.

The parade route runs along Clear Lake Channel and even rides past the boardwalk, offering beads to watching revelers.

The sight you’ll see in the waters during this one-of-a-kind is worth it.

So, mark your February calendars in advance!

Though the Yachty Gras festivities pass by Kemah Boardwalk, its office is in Seabrook if you need more information on boat registration.

Final Thoughts

There’s no doubt that Kemah Boardwalk is a prime destination for exciting amusement park rides and heart-racing ventures.

Add in the scenic waterfront views of the Galveston Bay, peaceful rest areas, unique establishments, and excellent nearby destinations, and you have the recipe for a memorable vacation.

Take a shot on the Kemah Boardwalk!

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