What Texas City Name Means “Wind in the Face?”

A bit of History

In 1898, Kipp and Bradford families who own most of the land, which they divided the land into town lots to form the township Evergreen. Located on the south side of Clear Creek Channel and Galveston Bay, where they joined together.

Once was there were shells 20 feet to 30 feet, the town nickname was Shell Siding for the oyster shell middens, which lined the bay. Shells were sold in the 1890s by Mr. James Bradford off of the shoreline on his property. The shells sold were hauled by Texas and New Orleans Railroad out of the area, the railroad even built a spur track from Dickinson to the bay. Indian burial grounds were found in the shell reef.

Mr. John Henry Kipp, Sr. applied for a Post Office but was denied due to the fact there was a town named Evergreen, which was already established. He was told to pick a new name.

Kemah Was Formed

In 1907, Mr. John Henry Kipp, Sr. asked the summer visitors to choose a new name. They picked Kemah the Karankawa Indian word, which means “wind in the face,” this was the year they were approved for a Post Office.

There were thirty businesses in 1965, which prospered from oil as well as the shipbuilding Industry. Between the 1920s to the 1950s, Kemah became a large tourist area resulted from the two casinos along the boardwalk Chili Bowl and the Kemah Den. During the 1950s, the Kemah’s casinos closed, which caused tourism to drastically decline.

A major commercial shrimp fishing fleet was established in the 1950s on the Clear Creek Channel. This helped the community survive.

The establishment of the Johnson Space Center in the 1970s allowed tourism to re-emerge back to the area.

In the late 1990s, Kemah began to be known as a tourist hot spot. This came about when Landry’s Restaurant opened the Kemah Boardwalk. It is the third-largest fleet of recreational boats in the United States.

Kemah Today

The old schoolhouse is now the Welcome Center this where you can get all the information, brochures, and booklets about not only Kemah but all of Texas. There is no short variety of restaurants/bars to choose from see the list below:


• Voodoo Hut
• Skallywags Suds & Grub
• Bakkhus Taverna
• Monkey Bar
• Palapa Bar
• 504 Zone
• Hubcap Grill
• T-Bone Tom’s
• Eculent
• Hoagie Ranch
• Joe Lee’s Seafood Kitchen
• Jackie’s Brickhouse
• Skipper’s Cafe
• Aquarium Restaurant
• Kemah Cafe
• Flying Dutchman
• Cici’s Pizza
• Chili’s Grill & Bar
• Stuttongarden Traven
• Sundance Grill II
• Crazy Alan’s Swamp Shack
• Opus Ocean Grille
• Tookies Burgers
• Landry Seafood House
• Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
• Taco Cabana
• Molly’s Pub
• Sidelines Bar & Grill (Holiday Inn)
• Saltgrass Steak House
• Aspens
• Nam Thai Restaurant & Bar
• Lighthouse Buffett
• Playa Maya By Habanero’s
• Bill’s Bar & Burgers
• Pizza Here Brick Oven Pizza
• Whataburger
• Ancora
• Aloha Bar
• Gulf Coast Daiquiri Hut
• The Great Kanakas Atomic Tiki Bar
• Tropical Wine Tasting Bar
• Madeleines
• Kemah Shot Bar
• Hannah Bay Cigar Bar
sing of the Fleet.
Also, you may have heard Kemah called by its nickname “Gateway to the Bay.”

Kemah Courtyard

Must See Shops

 Art of Coffee

Once you open the door, you can feel the warmth of the homey atmosphere, which makes you feel most welcome. The staff is amiable, making the experience one you won’t forget. This exceptional coffee shop has been in several reality shows.

The food and drinks are quite delicious. They have the following things on their menus:

• Smoothies
• Hot Coffee
• Ice Coffee
• Muffins
• Banana Cake
• Chocolate Cake
• Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Cookies
• Tuna Salad Sandwich & Chips
• Chicken Salad Sandwich & Chips
• Soup of the Day

This coffee shop is unique, it is also an art gallery for the local artist. Pictures line the walls on display likes the one above.

It also has a flower shop to the left of the coffee shop. The fish tank makes you want to sit on the comfortable couch to lounge while watching the fish swim. All while enjoying the fantastic smells of the different flowers. The light tree in the middle of the room makes for great lighting.

Out front of the coffee shop is a small sitting area where one could watch the activities while being in the shade.

Want a more secluded place to sit while you enjoy the serenity, there is a courtyard with lots of trees, as well as plants. The tables, benches make for plenty of sitting areas. With the beautiful brick walkway. Located in the back of the coffee shop.

This is by far my favorite shop to grab a bite to eat while I make myself comfortable on the couch in the back as I do some of my writing.

Gypsy Pearl Boutique

Want to make sure that you have the right survivor from your journey to Kemah well look no further. This shop great for those loved ones that are difficult to buy. With a special gift in hand, you will be adored by its receiver. This shop is located in the Toucan Alley which leads to the courtyard.

The following to choose from, you will have a hard time making up your mind:

• Apparel
• Purses
• Shoes
• Beach Bags
• Beach Towels
• Jewelry
• Jams
• Pancake & Waffle Batter Mix
• Other Items

The staff is polite as well as helpful in choosing the right gift for the one person who is extremely difficult to buy for.

Ultimate Challenge

The Kemah Escape Room is the place. You heard that right escape, you have to band together with others to be able to figure out the clues to allow you to escape the room. This can be a thrill of a night. You need to call to make reservations ahead of time.

 Need A Place To Stay

Don’t sweat, there are several places within Kemah in which to stay:


• Palace Inn Blue
• Boardwalk Inn
• Scottish Inn & Suites
• South Shore Habour Resort
• Days Inn
• Holiday Inn

Bed & Breakfast

• The Clipper House Inn
• Seaside Inn
• The Pelican’s Nest
• Captain’s Quarters
• A White Texas Pelican
• Kemah Escape
• Sail Inn B & B

Clear Creek Winery is an excellent place to check out the local wine. You must call to make reservations for the tour of this facility.

With all this to look forward to, what are you waiting for? Kemah is just thirty minutes southeast of Houston.

“I have to say my favorite part is stopping at the Daiquiri shop before I watch as my granddaughter navigates the pirate ship around with the fellow Captains of the other vessels. Not to mention to sit on the Bayside to watch the ships sail about the Bay.

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