What do you get when you combine historical attractions with outdoor activities that never seem to end? For many travelers, the answer is Bay Area Houston. Located in southeast Houston, the fourth largest city in the country, this scenic region is well known for the mission control room where NASA monitored the historic Apollo 11 trip to the moon, and is also home to countless activities, both on land and in the water. You can also sample some of the area’s best cuisine, relax and unwind at a pampering spa and shop at one-of-a-kind boutiques. Simply put, you’ll never run out of things to do.
Served by crystal clear waterways Clear Lake and Galveston Bay, the area is a nautical paradise. Bay Area Houston consists of four cities situated around Clear Lake and Galveston Bay – Kemah, League City, Nassau Bay & Seabrook. Ideally located about 45 minutes from Downtown Houston, Space Center Houston and the Kemah Boardwalk are the region’s two major attractions. Also, the region boasts the third largest pleasure boating fleet in the country – sailing, power boating, kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, and the newest water activity JetSurfing.
Bay Area Houston is also a huge birding destination and is located along the Texas Coastal Birding Trail, which is part of the state-designated system of trails, bird sanctuaries and nature preserves along the entire length of the Texas Gulf Coast. Observe vibrant migratory birds during spring and fall migration as well as over-wintering Whooping Cranes, all while enjoying year-round birding events.
Take a leisurely walk along the Kemah Boardwalk, named one of “America’s Most Awesome Boardwalks.” With something for everyone — including rides, waterfront restaurants and specialty shops — the boardwalk is the ideal location for romantic dates, family celebrations or weekend getaways. Quaint shops with one-of-a-kind finds, nautical gifts, handmade candles, decadent fudge and even sailboat lessons can all be found in the Kemah Lighthouse District. If you’re in the Houston area and fancy a unique day out shopping, perhaps the Houston flea market would be something that interests you with its many vendors and entertainment.
Experience League City where you can rent kayaks, paddleboards, deck boats or WaveRunners. League City Historic District features the League City Historic Shoppes, a collection of boutiques on and around Main Street. Visit the Butler Longhorn Museum which traces the history of the Texas Longhorn cattle breed with Western artifacts. Browse home accessories, gifts and European furniture at Se La Ve Antiques or the stacks of new, used, rare and collectible books at Book Haven.
In Nassau Bay, Space Center Houston is the only place on Earth that gives guests an out-of-this-world journey through human adventures in space and features a multitude of permanent exhibits, attractions and theatres. One of the great things about Nassau Bay is the beautiful parks and green spaces throughout the city. The parks have a variety of amenities and even have a natural wetland area on the Peninsula with a newly installed Nature Trail.
Seabrook has eleven miles of waterfront; both salt and fresh water. The Clear Lake area is the third largest boating center in the United States, with 1,250 boat slips in Seabrook. Seabrook is known for its quality and well maintained park system. With 18 parks covering over 200 acres there is something for everyone including a public swimming pool, disc golf and skate park.
No trip to Bay Area Houston is complete without sampling the delectable cuisine that abounds throughout the region. Straight-from-the-water seafood, spicy Thai, world-famous burgers and New York-worthy pizza — the Bay Area is a foodie’s dream destination.
Bay Area Houston awaits the intrepid traveler who wants to experience a vacation that checks all of the boxes. There’s no better time than the present to plan your trip.
For more articles visit Food & Travel magazine