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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