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Amusement Parks: The Kemah Boardwalk – a Potted History

Kennywood / Joyland Amusement Park / Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort / Clementon Park and Splash World 

The Kemah Boardwalk is set on a 35-acre site located in Kemah, Texas, not far from the city of Houston. 

It is not an amusement park in the typical sense in that, since it opened in 2001, it has become more famous as being a popular hotel and restaurant destination although it still features a small number of popular amusement park rides. In fact, the area on which it is sited was developed by Landry’s Restaurants which, not surprisingly, owns most of the restaurants on the boardwalk. 

The boardwalk’s fortunes were severely disrupted back in 2008 when devastation was wreaked upon it in the form of Hurricane Ike which swept through the entire area, destroying almost all of its entire amusement park rides with the exception of the Boardwalk Bullet Roller Coaster. In fact, the boardwalk is now the closest amusement park entertainment and recreational facility to Houston since the closure of Six Flags Astroworld. 

Although most of the boardwalk’s rides have since been repaired and have reopened since the hurricane struck, other attractions have been added too, most notably a 140 foot drop tower called the ‘Drop Zone’ and the Wipeout. 

The boardwalk’s location right on Galveston Bay, however, make it an ideal location for amusement park style rides and one of the most popular at Kemah Boardwalk is Joe’s Boardwalk Beast which is actually a 70 foot open-deck speedboat that propels you around Galveston Bay at speeds of up to 40mph for a 25 minute fun, wet ‘n’ wild experience, full of high speed twists and turns.

In addition to the thrilling rides on the boardwalk, there are also many popular carnival-style games to enjoy not forgetting the many lovely restaurants which include Joe’s Crab Shack, Red Sushi, Landry’s Seafood House, the Saltgrass Steakhouse and Babin’s Seafood House. Not surprisingly, it’s the magnificent setting for the diverse range of restaurants, predominantly, that make Kemah Boardwalk such a popular attraction for visitors.

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