Kemah Boardwalk

The name Kemah, a Native American word meaning “wind in the face,” proved an apt choice for a town facing directly into gusty Galveston Bay. Just 28 miles northeast of Galveston near the intersection of state highways 146 and 96, Kemah is ideal for those seeking entertainment, relaxation, cultural stimulation and more.

The town’s centerpiece is the Kemah Boardwalk, a theme park with enough thrilling rides to make Disneyland nervous. But the heart of the Boardwalk is its waterfront dining. Indulge at Joe’s Crab Shack, Landry’s Seafood House, Bayside Grille, Lighthouse Buffet, Cadillac Bar, The Flying Dutchman, Saltgrass Steak House, Red Sushi or The Pizza Oven. The Aquarium Restaurant lets diners view floor-to-ceiling aquarium tanks while enjoying delicious entrées.

Don’t make evening plans, since there are events all year long at the Boardwalk. In October, visitors get their fright on with a haunted house and pumpkin decorating at Boo on the Boardwalk. November sizzles with the annual Beat the Heat, a display of police dragsters and other high-performance vehicles. During the holidays, the annual Christmas Boat Lane Parade is a spectacular sight; the Crawfish & Zydeco Festival rules in April, and Rock the Dock in May kicks off a concert series of blues, country, rock and more all summer long, culminating with the the annual Jazz Festival in late September.