32 In Texas/ Travel

Fun at Kemah Boardwalk, Texas

I’ve been to the Houston area several times. I spent some time volunteering there as a teen, passed through on vacations and now I have in-laws who live in the Houston area. At least once a year now, we make a trip to the area to spend some time with Matt’s family, but I have to say this recent trip for New Years has been my favorite so far.

Typically, we make quick trips over the weekend that require a rushed visit, 24 hours in the car in a 3 day period and we hate that we don’t get as much time as we’d like. This time, though, we had five days to get to relax and even take some fun day trips! The first of these was a day trip to, you guessed it, Kemah Boardwalk!

I’ve not been to many boardwalks, but upon arriving at Kemah Boardwalk I instantly thought of a sort-of “high class fair” and I mean that in the best way. There are still the little skills games, but rides are permanent, and while they still have the food stall with corn dogs, funnel cakes and daiquiris, there are also nice restaurants with bay views. We ate at Bubba Gump where, I’m pleased to tell you, I dominated the Gump trivia! (I think my in-laws got an awakening insight into how much I love Forrest Gump. Ha!)

After lunch, we strolled around the boardwalk and looked at the shops. Although a lot of them weren’t open while we were there (it was a Monday early afternoon), you can tell that on the weekends and during the summer it would be fun to pop in and out of them to cool off and maybe buy some goodies.

The main attraction for us was getting to ride the rides. You can purchase individual tickets for specific rides (which is nice if you’re limited on time, limited on money or your stomach is limited on how many rides it can handle) or you can buy the wristband like Blake (my brother-in-law) did if you’re all about the rides!

Monica and Dale (my in-laws), Blake, Matt and I all wanted to ride the train. So we piled in and took the adorable turquoise train around Kemah Boardwalk. It’s one of those corny kid rides that continues to be enjoyable at any age. It takes you by all the shops and restaurants (it’s a great way to scope out your lunch options), through tunnels where you wave your arms and yell (I’m still not positive if this is a Kemah tradition or a Wunder tradition) and at the end you go through a random Western shoot-out that leaves you simultaneously confused and entertained.

Our stomachs had settled enough for the “kids” to ride the Boardwalk Bullet, Kemah’s beautifully constructed wooden coaster. Although the super twisty coasters don’t sit well with Matt’s stomach, he loves the rides that don’t go upside down and catch a lot of airtime, like this one! Luckily for us there was no line and we were able to walk right on.

  

I’m a roller-coaster lover, but it had been a while since I rode an older wooden one and I forgot how jerky they can be! This one was a lot rougher on my neck than I was expecting (does this post make me sound old? Ha!). It’s definitely an exhilarating ride that has you twisting and turning, dipping and floating up in your seat for just under two minutes! The first big drop is 92 feet and the coaster reaches over 50 mph. It was definitely a hoot and I’m glad that Blake is also a roller coaster screamer, even if his is just to be funny, it makes me feel like I’m not alone.

Our next stop was the Drop Zone. It’s one of those free-fall rides where it takes you to the top and then drops you suddenly. The drop zone is different than others I’ve ridden because it only drops once and the moment you reach the top it just drops, there’s not suspense, except the ride up.

Blake rode this back to back to back (5x actually) while I got in line to get one more ticket to ride Flare. I was unsure of this ride at first because it’s just a 73 foot circle that takes you upside down about 7 times in both directions, but after watching Blake ride it, it didn’t seem quite so scary. I can’t emphasize enough how fun it was to have some to ride rides with – Thanks again, Blake!

    

There are many other rides at Kemah Boardwalk, and the thing I definitely want to do when we go back is visit the Stingray Reef. I don’t know a lot about it, but I know you can feed stingrays. I love getting to see animals up close, but I’d definitely want to learn more about how they acquire the rays and such before visiting.

Kemah Boardwalk is fun for adults + kids with plenty to do and see for all ages! I highly recommend making a day trip here and letting your inner-child loose at the boardwalk! Thanks, again, to Blake for riding the rides with me and to Monica + Dale for setting up the day trip and driving us there!

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32 Comments

  • Reply
    Laura Beth
    January 9, 2017 at 9:53 am

    What a fun post! I love roller coasters. My dream is to visit Cedar Point in Ohio soon!

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      January 12, 2017 at 8:39 pm

      You will LOVE it! I went as a teenager and it was just so much fun! I would love to make another trip back myself!

  • Reply
    Megan Indoe
    January 9, 2017 at 11:58 am

    What a cute boardwalk! This is a great place to take family or hang out with friends. I love how many rides they have! That wooden rollercoaster is calling my name.

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      January 12, 2017 at 8:37 pm

      Absolutely! It’s a lot of fun, really long, but super rough too! Be ready for it! 😉

  • Reply
    Claire Summers
    January 9, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    This looks like such a great place to visit. Those old wooden roller coasters really remind me of my childhood. I used to live close to a seaside funfare which looked just like this.

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      January 12, 2017 at 8:37 pm

      It was a lot of fun. I’ve never heard of a seaside fanfare – where did you grow up?

  • Reply
    Cori Carl
    January 9, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    Having grown up in the Jersey Shore, I’m a sucker for local amusement parks. I’ll have to make a detour next time I’m in Houston — with the number of conferences there and the cheap flights, it’s inevitable!

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      January 12, 2017 at 7:48 pm

      I went to the Seaside Boardwalk a few years ago and it was so much fun! I hope when you’re out there you have a great time! Cheers!

  • Reply
    Candy
    January 9, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    I have never heard of this place, but it looks like so much fun. I’m not a huge fan of roller coasters (terrified of heights), but it looks like there are plenty of other options for things to do. I love roaming around beautiful boardwalks 🙂

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      January 12, 2017 at 7:31 pm

      I hadn’t heard of it either! My husband was holding out on me 😉 There definitely are other options and the train ride was fun (no heights there) and a carousel, of course! Cheers!

  • Reply
    tourdelust
    January 9, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    This place looks so fun! I haven’t heard of this place but I love going to boardwalks! There are so many games and great food!

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      January 12, 2017 at 7:25 pm

      I had never heard of it before going. It was loads of fun and I would definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a fun experience in the Huston-area!

  • Reply
    Dale
    January 9, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    Your scream on the Drop Zone was the best!

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      January 12, 2017 at 7:20 pm

      Haha! I’m so glad that I was able to give you and Monica a good laugh! 😉

  • Reply
    TalesOfABackpacker (@clairesturz)
    January 10, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    I love old rollercoasters! I am getting to be more of a chicken though lately so I’m not sure I’d dare to go on – especially after a big meal at Bubba Gump 🙂 Sounds like a great family day out!

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      January 12, 2017 at 7:19 pm

      It really was! We definitely had to let our stomachs settle before I did the bigger rides – which was a good decision.

  • Reply
    lydia@lifeuntraveled
    January 10, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    This is so quintessentially American! Looks like a lot of fun but I would probably pass on those more daring rides – I think I’ve gotten too old for them! 😉

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      January 12, 2017 at 7:16 pm

      It is very American. We love our rides! I’m starting to get too old for certain rides myself, and I’m just a ripe 26. Makes me feel much older, though! Haha 😉

  • Reply
    abcdefghizzy
    January 10, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    Awww I love that you are bonding with Matt’s family! So sweet! I remember your snaps from that day and its nice to actually have some back story to it! I LOVELOVELOVE wooden roller coasters but freefall drops KILL me! That flare coaster looks so fun too! And I didn’t know you were a huge Forrest Gump fan?! So am I! What a strange but awesome thing to have in common!

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      January 12, 2017 at 7:15 pm

      I absolutely love them! His mom and I took a trip to Louisiana together this last August to take care of some family things during which I got REALLY close with her. It’s been really amazing having great in-laws! I’m surprised that free falls kill you. You’re just so fearless and amazing! I didn’t know that you were a huge fan of Forrest Gump! One day, we’ll have to watch it together! Can you believe it’s been almost 4 years?! I still consider your friendship one of the greatest things that has come from my travels! You’re truly so special! Xx

  • Reply
    Megan Claire (@mappingmegan)
    January 10, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    Sounds like a great day out! That’s one epic looking rollercoaster! Kemah Boardwalk sounds fab – the US seems to have a pretty big culture of boardwalks and amusement parks on the water – there were a lot in California like this when we took our roadtrip last year. Loved them! Stingray reef sounds super fun – hope you do have the chance to get back to check it out soon!

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      January 12, 2017 at 7:12 pm

      We do love our theme parks, boardwalks and rides! I’ve been to Santa Monica Pier in LA, but I haven’t ridden any boardwalk rides out there! I went to one of the Jersey Shore boardwalks, but it was just shops and snacks along the beach. There are so many varieties of them, aren’t there?

  • Reply
    Jo
    January 11, 2017 at 4:24 am

    Looks like an unmissable “high class affair” indeed. I would want to visit the stingray feeding too. Sounds nice… the rides look like so much fun!

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      January 12, 2017 at 7:10 pm

      Haha! I’m glad that “high class fair” was repeated! Haha. I just don’t know how else to describe it. I hope you make it there you get to feed the stingrays!

  • Reply
    Patricia Steffy (@PLSteffy)
    January 11, 2017 at 9:01 am

    I’m not great with thrill rides, but I still love boardwalks and parks like this — even if I’m just sticking to the train, sampling different tastes or seeing the stingrays. Kemah Boardwalk sounds like a great day out, and the next time I’m in the area, I’m definitely going to go!

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      January 12, 2017 at 7:08 pm

      The train is still a lot of fun, as is eating, watching other people ride rides and strolling through shops! I think it’ll be a great spot for you! Also, Houston Control for NASA is along the way! I want to make that stop next time!

  • Reply
    The Soul of Seoul
    January 11, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    That place looks like so much fun. I probably wouldn’t ride the roller coaster. I’m over those, but a good carousel ride is right up my alley! haha I’ve been to Dallas a few times but never Houston. I should definitely get there though clearly.

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      January 12, 2017 at 9:09 am

      Haha! I’m about to be over the wooden coasters! I love the new smooth rollercoasters still. There are a surprising amount of fun things to do in the Houston-area!

  • Reply
    nycgingeronthego
    January 12, 2017 at 12:04 am

    That roller coaster reminds me of the one in Coney Island. They can be bit hard on the aging body. I’ve never done a ride like the free fall but it sounds like fun. You seemed to really enjoy the boardwalk!

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      January 12, 2017 at 9:02 am

      I’ve never been to Coney Island, but it sounds so fun! I’m amazed at how much it really hurt my neck and back! I’m only 26 HAHA! It was a lot of fun!

  • Reply
    Veronica
    January 12, 2017 at 10:38 am

    No way I am going there hahaha! I am even afraid of looking at the images. I would never dare!

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      January 12, 2017 at 8:51 pm

      Haha! There are loads of other things to do aside from the rides.

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