Bay Area Houston Visitor Center

Maps, Brochures, Discounts & More

The Bay Area Houston Visitor Center is located in Kemah's famous Lighthouse Shopping District. It is based inside Kemah's first schoolhouse at the corner of Bradford and 6th Streets.

Bay Area Houston Visitor Center

Tourism History

Kemah is the Karankawa word that means: "wind in face," face wind," or "facing the wind." Its first official post office was granted in 1907; however, the origins of Kemah go back as far as 1898.

Decline of Tourism

Kemah started to become a tourist attraction back in the 1920s due to the rise of the casino district along the boardwalk. In the 1950s, the casino district was officially shut down by the Attorney General and the Texas Rangers causing a decline in tourism to the area.

Re-Emergence of Tourism & Boaters

With the rise in commercial shrimp fishing fleets and the establishment of the Johnson Space Center, Kemah began to enjoy the re-emergence of tourists and boaters sailing around the area.

Tourists to Kemah, Texas, now enjoy the pleasures of the Kemah Boardwalk and the Kemah Waterfront District with stores, restaurants, amusement rides, live entertainment, and night life. Kemah also boasts of being home to the 3rd largest fleet of recreational boats in America.