Kemah Boardwalk: A Visitor's Guide

Learn the Ins and Outs of a Day at the Kemah Boardwalk

Kemah Boardwalk
••• Mark Brennan/Flickr

 

Kemah Boardwalk, a restaurant and amusement center overlooking Galveston Bay, is located just 20 miles south of Houston and is one of the area's greatest attractions. The 42-acre megaplex not only boasts some of the finest seafood and shopping, but it also offers live musical entertainment. Read below to find out all the exciting ways to spend the day (or weekend) on the Kemah Boardwalk.

 

Activities

Kemah's amusement park has a wide variety of rides, ranging from a tame, child-friendly Ferris wheel to a gravity-defying rollercoaster.

Younger kids will love the double-decker carousel and slow-moving train, while older, thrill-loving kids and adults might find the Drop Zone's 140-foot freefall more their speed. 

Some of the special exhibits and rides include: 

Boardwalk Beast
Spend 25 exciting minutes on this huge speedboat as it cruises through the Galveston Bay at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. Adult tickets are $20 and children 12 and under are $15. Riders must be at least 36" tall.

Stingray Reef & Rainforest Exhibit
At Stingray Reef, guests can get dive right in (hands only) and touch these fascinating sea creatures as they swim around their habitat. A nearby exhibit features snakes, scorpions, piranhas and tarantulas — though you might not want to pet these guys. 

Boardwalk Bullet
If you're missing the Texas Cyclone that native Houstonians feared and loved for decades, the Texas Bullet may offer some consolation.

This wooden coaster is 96' high with a 92' vertical fall. Overlooking the Galveston Bay, the Texas Bullet goes as fast as 51 miles per hour.

Prices*

All-Day Ride Passes can be purchased anytime and include all rides except the Boardwalk Beast, Stingray Reef, Midway Games and Arcade.

Prices for the All-Day Ride Passes are: 

  • Under 48 inches tall: $18.99
  • 48 inches and over: $24.99

Military veterans and active duty military personnel are also eligible for a discount with a valid military ID. Ask at the ticket counter to find out more. 

Prices for individual rides range from $4 to $20, though most rides are in the $4-5 range. 

*Note: Prices listed here are accurate as of May 2017, but may be subject to change. 

Food Options

There are a number of great places to eat along the boardwalk, including: 

  • Aquarium (seafood)
  • Cadillac Bar (Tex-Mex)
  • Lighthouse (buffet)
  • Landry's (seafood)
  • Saltgrass (steakhouse)
  • Bayside Grille (coffee and deli)
  • The Flying Dutchman (seafood)
  • Bubba Gump Shrimp (seafood) 
  • The Pizza Oven (pizza, Italian)
  • Red (sushi)
  • Sweet Scoops (ice cream)
  • Starbucks (coffee)

Parking

If you don't mind parking a little further away from the boardwalk, shuttle boat parking lots off of Texas Avenue are free. Closer lots and parking garage on-site cost $8. 

Birthday Parties

If you want to celebrate a special birthday at Kemah, there are a number of options available. 

  • The Classic ($19.99/person) includes a 1-topping pizza, drinks, cake, three ride tickets, one Midway game token, five arcade tokens, goodie bags and balloons. 
  • The Deluxe ($25.99/person) includes a 1-topping pizza, drinks, cake, all-day ride passes, five arcade tokens and balloons. 
  • The Works! ($39.99/person) includes three slices of pizza per person, drinks, cake, all-day ride passes, Boardwalk Beast ticket, Stingray Reed & Rainforest exhibit, 10 arcade tokens, and two Midway game tokens. 

What to Wear

While places to cool down or warm up are sprinkled throughout the boardwalk, most of the action happens outside. Dress for the temperature, and be sure to wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. 

What NOT to Bring

Kemah is all about fun, but some things just aren't allowed. This includes:

  • Outside food, beverages or coolers
  • Pets
  • Fishing poles or equipment (fishing is prohibited)
  • Bicycles