The most popular fun things to do in League City Texas revolve around fun water activities on and near Clear Lake and Galveston Bay, excellent restaurants, superb parks, honky tonk nightlife, historical interests, and much more.
While Houston and Galveston receive a lot of attention, the towns between them have their own merits and reasons to visit. When NASA opened the space center in the early 1960s, League City and other supporting communities became very important. These Bay Area Houston towns all celebrated their 60th anniversary in 2021 or 2022.
Where is League City Texas?
League City is the largest of the four cities in Bay Area Houston—their fun tagline is Baycations are Better. The other Bay Area Houston cities are Seabrook, Kemah, and Nassau Bay. League City and the Bay Area Houston area are located on Clear Lake and Galveston Bay and only 30 minutes from both the big city (Houston) and the Gulf Coast (Galveston).
Getting to League City Texas is easy and convenient. Downtown League City is only 17 miles from Houston Hobby airport, 47 miles from IAH airport, and 25 miles from I-10 (27 miles from the Baytown Buc-ee’s).
Best Place to Stay in League City, Texas
Our favorite League City hotel is South Shore Resort and Conference Center. With a setting on Clear Lake, South Shore Resort has convenient access to the Freedom Boat Club for boat rentals and party boat excursions. Onsite at South Shore Resort are a sit-down restaurant and a swim-up bar.
We love the South Shore Resort executive level rooms (floor 8 and higher) with balconies, offering splendid views of sunset over the lake and sunrise in the other direction. Check here for South Shore Resort and Conference Center rates and to book rooms.
South Shore Resort is only five miles from NASA Johnson Space Center and three miles from downtown League City and Kemah Boardwalk.
There are also some chain hotel properties in League City and in Bay Area Houston. Two we prefer are Hampton Inn and Fairfield Inn.
Johnson Space Center
NASA’s Johnson Space Center is headquarters for most of its space missions. Astronauts train here and, since they live here in the area, it is common to see astronauts at the center. Our favorite highlight at Johnson Space Center was walking inside one of the space shuttles.
Baseline admission includes access to the displays and exhibits, a tram tour of the center, and scheduled or impromptu talks or meetings. Different tram options operate during peak periods like Easter and year-end holidays. During the popular Holiday Lights, the center is open for extended hours into the evening.
Add-on experiences at Johnson Space Center include Level 9 tour (floor access), Space Expert tour, and other VIP opportunities. Consider becoming a JSC member for insider access and information.
If you visit Johnson Space Center, next month, between June 9-12, 2022, enjoy the Moon to Mars Festival. It will celebrate space technology especially Project Artemis and the return to the moon, with the first female and person of color lunar astronauts. The festival will include indoor and outdoor programming, music, and food. Celebrating.
Check the Johnson Space Center website for prices and discount options. While it is technically in Houston, JSC is only four miles from downtown League City.
To better assist with planning, allow three hours to tour Johnson Space Center. Even better is to spend most of a day or several days—it is worth it.
Clear Lake and Galveston Bay
Bay Area Houston has the third most personal anchorage in the United States. That means that people here love being on the water. If you do not have a friend or associate with a boat, you can easily rent one or hop on a tour.
Houston Pedal Barge offers super fun and lively night tours. It is BYOB only and participants can choose whether to pedal or not. Their excursions depart from Cabo Bar and Grill and head into Clear Lake, past Kemah Boardwalk, and turn back at the Galveston Bay entrance.
Clear Creek Paddling Trail
The Clear Creek Paddle Trail meanders about 6.5 miles along tree-lined Clear Creek through League City to Clear Lake and eventually Galveston Bay. Look for gators and birds along this wonderful Texas Gulf Coast Paddling Trail.
Within a few minutes of starting out, I saw a soaring bald eagle, who circled in the distance for several minutes. Flocks of swallows flying from and into the Highway 3 bridge are reminiscent of the Austin bat colony.
Three Clear Creek Paddle Trail launch areas are—from east to west—Heritage Park, Walter Hall Park, and Countryside Park—all League City parks.
If you do not have your own kayak or SUP, rent or join a guided liquid road trip tour from Rich at Clear Creek Kayaks.
See more 15 Fun Texas Gulf Coast Paddling Trails
Fun Things to Do in League City: Restaurants
Our favorite League City restaurants and nearby places to eat in Bay Area Houston include:
- Craft 96 Draught House + Kitchen has 64 craft beers on tap and most of them are local to the Houston-Galveston corridor. A couple of favorites on my recent visit were Hammer Smashed Face by Brash Brewing and Tasty AF by Saloon Door Brewing. But their food is pretty darn good also. Try the shrimp po’ boy.
- Merlion Thai Restaurant in Seabrook has amazing Thai food. A spicy panang shrimp is my favorite dish and not too many places do it well. Merlion, though, not only did a superb job but they made it a seafood dish with crawfish, Gulf shrimp, and scallops. Yummy!
- Ohana Roots Hawaiian Fusion in Seabrook serves excellent Hawaiian plate lunches. It is really hard to pass up their Kahlua pork but I prefer local seafood and order the Gulf shrimp platter. Find this food truck in the small shopping center with Americano Cafe, Iguana Ranas Cantina, and Wongs Chef.
- See the Kemah Boardwalk section below for our favorite place for sweet treats!
Some other places we want to try or heard positive things about include:
- All in Seabrook: The Backyard, Tookie’s Seafood, Seabrook Waffle House, The Boldthouse, Seabrook Classic Cafe
- Tookie’s and T-Boone Tom’s along the highway near Kemah Boardwalk
- League City restaurants: Red Oak Cafe, Main Street Bistro, Ocean Sushi, Fuji Ramen, Kabuki, Red River
- In Webster: Nob Public House, Noon & Mirch, Cookshack
Things to Do in League City at Night
Experiencing League City nightlife is one of the most fun things to do in League City Texas.
Jackie’s Brickhouse and Okie’s Yardhouse are two popular honky tonk places and both serve excellent food. But the live music and dancing are primary reasons to head to either on most nights.
Houston Pedal Barge covered above is an excellent way to be on the water at night. Their tours leave from Cabo Bar and Grill in Seabrook. Very near to Cabo is Barge 295, another popular place to be seen on most nights.
See the Kemah Boardwalk section below; it is one of the most popular nightspot locations in the area.
League City Historic Downtown
Four dozen places are covered on the historic guide to downtown League City Texas. You can grab a brochure from the League City Historical Society (in the children’s museum), the visitor center, in other spots, or online. Included on the tour are historic homes, buildings, parks, churches, and farms.
Most of the historic structures are located along and north of Main Street and east of the railroad tracks. Also covered are historic oak trees, which I really appreciate (as I love live oaks!). For a quick and enticing view of majestic oaks, stroll Main Street along Helen’s Garden.
Some fun League City history spots:
- Butler’s Courtyard is in the first brick building in League City and Galveston county mainland. Built in 1909, bricks were sourced from Clear Lake. The walls are three bricks deep and have no wood and no insulation. It is a fantastic event space and popular for weddings.
- West Bay Common School Children’s Museum (in a one room schoolhouse)
- Founder’s Square features shopping, eateries, and boutiques housed in some of League City’s oldest historic buildings.
- League Park hosts festivals, events, concerts, and more. Look for the murals in the park depicting League City history, including the saving of the Texas longhorn cattle.
- Helen’s Garden park is a gorgeous setting for family and event photos.
One of the most fun things to do in League City Texas is to pop over to Kemah Boardwalk. Take time to visit Stingray Reef, where you can feed and touch dozens of rays.
Besides Stingray Reef, retro amusement rides and plenty of restaurants are the main draws. Boardwalk Bullet is an intense compact roller coaster that crosses over itself 42 times (a world record). It was designed for double the space but city approval did not happen so it was forced into a single lot. On the Boardwalk Beast, you WILL get wet. It is different than jet boats but still so much fun. There are 13 total rides and the Iron Eagle zip line.
Kemah Boardwalk restaurants include Saltgrass Steakhouse, Joe’s Crab Shack, The Flying Dutchman (seafood), Landry’s Seafood House, and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Plenty of other casual food stands will satisfy pretty much any hunger pang. We particularly like Cool Cow Creamery in Toucan Alley in the Lighthouse Shops with their exceptional homemade ice cream and ice cream flights.
Watch fireworks four times a year at Kemah Boardwalk: summer kick off, July 4, Labor Day, and New Year’s Eve.
More Fun Things to Do in League City Texas
One of the most fun things to do in League City is to go to Buc-ee’s. If you have never been to a Buc-ee’s then visit the one in nearby Texas City first. It will overwhelm your senses!
The League City Buc-ee’s is one of the smallest, with only a dozen fuel pumps. Yes, that is one of the smallest. The Texas City location has over 100 fuel pumps.
Glass Mermaids is a kitschy, quirky, and super fun store for shopping or browsing.
What are your favorite things to do in League City Texas and Bay Area Houston?