Waterford Harbor – Kemah, TX

It's all about the water in beautiful Waterford Harbor -- a bayside neighborhood with palm trees and small, winding lanes. Many of the homes and apartments in Waterford Harbor are located along the canals that lead into the open bay. Here, you'll find boats as frequently as cars parked in driveways. The heart of the neighborhood is the Waterford Harbor Marina, which features luxury floating docks as well as several restaurants, a multi-level swimming pool, and a lighted tennis court. Waterford Harbor feels like a idyllic vacation destination, but it is just 20 miles southeast of Downtown Houston and 25 miles to the beaches of Galveston.

Restaurants & Nightlife

Residents of the Waterford Harbor community don't have far to go to enjoy a tasty meal or a fun night out, as they can simply walk over to the Waterford Harbor Marina or hop in their boats and take a trip across Clear Lake to dine at many of the establishments along the NASA Parkway. For authentic Italian fare or fresh seafood coupled with gorgeous views, local residents recommend Villa Capri on the NASA Parkway, a lovely eatery in a garden setting with incredible views of Clear Lake. If you're in the mood for Italian, you can't go wrong with the spaghetti with clam sauce or the three-cheese ravioli. Alternatively, seafood lovers rave about the seafood saute, a dreamy blend of shrimp, scallops and gulf crab meat sauteed to perfection with white wine. For a tasty and convenient lunch, Waterford Harbor residents take a short walk, drive or boat ride over to the Waterford Harbor Marina and dine at the Sundance Grill II, a popular local establishment serving seafood, sandwiches and more to happy patrons enjoying the lovely lakeside views. Local menu favorites include the Sundance Po-Boy, a fresh grilled or fried shrimp sandwich smothered in red pepper mayo and served with crispy fries. For an elegant dining experience, fully stocked bar, and seafood dishes prepared by chef Christopher Simon, visit the Opus Bistro on Aspen Road. To assure a spot any day of the week, the locals suggest making reservations. Enjoy a table with beautiful views of the docks from upstairs or sit down by the bar and admire the artwork showcased on the walls. Head to Marina Bay Drive if you crave breakfast and brunch options. Skipper's Cafe offers typical breakfast favorites, including biscuits and gravy and omelettes filled with fresh ingredients. Prices at Skipper's remain especially favorable and the seating areas provide great views of the marina. If you're in the mood to socialize with like-minded individuals over drinks and amazing music, check out Jackie's Brickhouse on Marina Bay Drive. With nightly drink specials, live local music and a full-service game room, Jackie's Brickhouse guarantees a great time.

History & Culture

The Waterford Harbor community is an exclusive subdivision of Houston's Clear Lake region, an area that straddles parts of Harris and Galveston Counties, with a history dating back to the the late 19th century when large portions of the area were utilized as cattle ranges. In 1901, the land was occupied by fishing and farming communities. When the Texas Oil Boom occurred in the same year, well-to-do oil investors arrived in the area, overseeing the construction of expensive recreational retreats and casino districts. In the 1950s, the casino districts were shut down, however the region continued to grow and expand. The Arts Alliance at Clear Lake promotes various art programs within the community and hosts ongoing exhibits featuring work of local artists. The Bay Area Museum on NASA Road hosts events such as Music at the Museum and Toyland Fantasy, a family-friendly event where guests enjoy breakfast with Santa Claus.

Transportation

Common modes of transportation within the Waterford Harbor community include walking, biking, driving and boating. Cyclists and walkers can also utilize bike and walking paths in the neighborhood's nearby parks. Outside the area, the city of Houston provides over 300 miles of biking paths and bike lanes. Taxis do not circulate the area on a regular basis, so hailing a cab isn't an option; however, those in need of a lift can utilize ride services such as Uber or taxi services such as Clear Lake Cab and Transportation. Local residents and visitors to the area can park on certain residential streets, but must adhere to the specific time allowances posted on street parking signs throughout the neighborhood. Additionally, certain gated communities within the Clear Lake region only allow for limited street parking in which permits are required. The Interstate 45 Highway can be accessed via the East NASA Parkway. For individuals who utilize public transportation, the closest Metropolitan Transit Authority bus stops are located on Gemini Avenue and at the Bay Area Park and Ride station on Bay Area Boulevard.

Cost

The cost of living in the Waterford Harbor/Clear Lake region exceeds Houston's cost of living by approximately 20 percent. Renters in the area pay approximately $1,150 per month for one-bedroom rentals. Metro rides into the city center range between $1.25 and $3, with discounted fare rates for disabled individuals, seniors and students. The cost of beer at a local establishment typically ranges between $3.50 and $5.50. When compared to the national average, Houston residents pay approximately 10 percent less for a gallon of gas.

Shopping

When it comes to shopping for groceries and specialty merchandise, residents of the Waterford Harbor community have multiple options in the immediate area, with several grocers and specialty shops located along Marina Bay Drive and Farm to Market Road 518. Local shoppers often shop at Walmart Super Center on Farm to Market Road 518 for groceries and household items, as well as Target on Marina Bay Drive. If you're in need of fresh, locally grown fruits and veggies, locals suggest paying a visit to the Clear Lake Shores Farmers Market, also located on Marina Bay Drive. For affordable fashions and accessories, shoppers recommend Encore Resale Shop on Marina Bay Drive, a specialty resale boutique featuring hip and trendy clothing, jewelry, shoes and more. If you're planning a home improvement project or remodel, One Stop Interior Shop on Vivian Street features a wide selection of custom flooring materials such as specialty tiles and carpeting, as well as plantation shutters and custom counter top materials. When shopping for high-end, high value merchandise, locals often visit the Baybrook Mall on Bay Area Boulevard. Popular retailers within the mall include Coach, specializing in exclusive handbags and accessories, famed designer Michael Kors, and everyone's favorite, Godiva Chocolatiers.

Parks

Residents of the Waterford Harbor community live in close proximity to several parks in the Clear Lake division that provide a wide variety of amenities such as fishing areas, boat launches,walking trails and more. Deep Hole Park on East Shore Drive features a fishing area, picnic tables and playground facilities, making it the perfect spot for a day with family and friends. Dogs and their owners enjoy the Bay Area Dog Park on Bay Area Boulevard, as it provides a long dog run, drinking water and lots of open space for off-leash dogs to roam. Individuals who enjoy outdoor exercise and sports frequent Clear Lake Park on East NASA Parkway, as this spacious park provides multiple amenities such as tennis courts, ball fields, jogging trails and hiking trails. Waterford Harbor residents enjoy attending multiple annual events and celebrations in the Clear Lake region that bring the community together and celebrate the area's history. Popular events include the Blessing of the Fleet Boat Parade and the Annual Shore Dockside Food & Wine Festival.