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Neighborhood Guide: Clear Lake, Houston

By: Hannah Le
July 18, 2019

Living in Clear Lake, Houston

If you’re thinking about moving to Houston, Texas, you’ll likely be overwhelmed with the many neighborhoods in the city. Be sure to keep the Clear Lake neighborhood on your list of considerations. 

Located on the outskirts of the city and near the Galveston Bay waterfront, Clear Lake offers a friendly, inviting community. The area is booming with exciting family and cultural experiences just waiting to be explored. Just 20 miles southeast of Downtown Houston, Clear Lake is a spot for families to make memories and for empty-nesters to bond through diverse activities.

A True Suburban Home and Community

Clear Lake, Houston was designed for parents who want the best for their children’s futures. The neighborhood has attracted parents since the 1990s with its spectacular public education system. Many new low-rise apartment communities have popped up throughout Clear Lake. Most of them are quiet multifamily complexes offering pools and large floor plans for families. Parents here tend to be professionals working for nearby chemical refineries or NASA, given the neighborhood’s proximity to the Johnson Space Center.

A growing segment of the Clear Lake community is its retirees and empty-nesters. Clear Lake provides a tight-knit community for empty-nesters to try out new activities and meet new friends. They also offer resources on how to stay occupied and build the community together. Many of these families raised their children in Clear Lake together and find it pleasant to stay in the area even after retirement.

Family Activities for Life-long Memories

One thing Clear Lake is iconic for is its diverse attractions that are appropriate for all ages. This neighborhood is family-oriented at heart and believes in creating special moments together.

One popular destination is Kemah Boardwalk, a theme park featuring a plethora of restaurants, shops, and games. Right on the Gulf Coast waterfront, this boardwalk hosts reputable seafood restaurants and exciting water games. Additionally, families and friends frequently return to the boardwalk for the rides and special events hosted on holidays.

Another park that’s perfect for all ages in the family is the Bayou Wildlife Park. Here you can hop on a tram ride that takes you through nearly 100 acres of nature and wildlife. Animals are free to roam and coexist, and tram riders can observe them in real life. It’s the perfect spot to take your kids or just your loved one for a unique date night. 

However, the most popular Clear Lake attraction is Space Center Houston. Families can see a replica of the space shuttle Explorer at true scale and learn about NASA’s Mission Control and astronaut training programs. Exhibits at Space Center Houston are constantly changing, so many people return often to learn new things and renew their fascination for the cosmos.

Local Culture and Entertainment

Like many parts of Houston, Clear Lake also has an established art scene. The Arts Alliance at Clear Lake is composed of over 50 local art organizations, and members plan new art exhibits, musical performances, and festivals regularly. The Arts Alliance is one of Clear Lake’s most active groups contributing to the fine arts and recreational culture.

For live performances, the Bay Area Houston Ballet and Theatre group also plans brilliant events and performances for the community, showcasing the neighborhood’s talent and hard work. If you’re a fan of musical performances, the Clear Lake Symphony offers shows ranging from classical to pop. There is also a separate film community that plans the Gulf Coast Film Festival, an annual event to share independent films from local artists.

Things to Do in Clear Lake, Houston

New to the neighborhood and looking for some things to do? Here are the first things to check out in Clear Lake.

Embrace Your Inner Astronaut

Of course, you have to check out what this area is famous for. You can embrace your inner space nerd at Space Center Houston for a close-up look at the U.S. Space Program. With over 400 things to see and do, the space center houses the most extensive collection of spacesuits and moon rocks in the world. If you can’t get enough space fodder, tour the nearby Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center where human spaceflight training, research, and flight control are conducted. 

Sip Wine with a View

With over 100 hand-selected wines and 24 craft beers on tap, Chelsea Wine Bar offers a place for waterfront relaxation in a European style pub. Come with friends, or arrive solo, and grab a book from their eclectic collection and choose a song on the jukebox. Live music is available on Friday and Saturday with lakeside views. The wine and beer is the main attraction here, but you can also grab bites from Chelsea Wine Bar like baked pretzels, paninis, and specialties like a Tuscan mac and cheese trio.

Get Back to Nature

Situated between the Johnson Space Center and Bayport Industrial District, Armand Bayou Nature Center offers the largest urban wilderness preserve in the U.S. with something for everyone. Take a walk on the Discovery Loop boardwalk and keep an eye out for resident armadillo or roaming bison from the viewing platform. There's also a children's discovery area that transports young guests back to a 1800s farm site. The preserve encompasses 2,500 acres of natural wetlands forest, prairie, and marsh habitats.

Hear Live Music

Locals who love loud rock and cold beer hang-out at Scout Bar late into the night. General admission makes for affordable fun, and VIP tickets are regularly available for exclusive meet and greets with bands. Order beer and cocktails from the bars located on opposite ends of the building and enjoy the friendly vibe while you rock out to some of Houston’s best acts.

Learn about the History of Texas

Explore the gateway to Texas culture at the San Jacinto Museum of History. This Clear Lake, Houston attraction honors those who fought and won the Battle of San Jacinto that secured Texas' independence from Mexico. The museum is also a place to re-visualize the history of Texas and Spanish Southwest. Take a tour of the famous monument standing over 568 feet high with a 220-ton star, explore the, the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site, see the Battleship Texas, learn about the battle and history of Texas in the San Jacinto Museum of History, and end your day with a walk on the marsh trail and boardwalk.

Clear Lake Park

Nestled along the shores of Clear Lake, Houston, this park features panoramic views of Nassau Bay to Kemah Bridge. Bring a picnic, let the kids play on the playground, fish off the pier, or enjoy a game of tennis or baseball at the recreation area. Boaters can also access a public boat ramp and glide onto the water to enjoy a tranquil afternoon. 

Nobi Public House via Instagram

Where to Eat and Drink in Clear Lake, Houston

Looking for some of the best bites in the neighborhood? We’ve got you covered. Here are some of our favorite restaurants in Clear Lake, Houston

Mediterraneo Market and Café 

Walk into this Mediterranean restaurant and you’ll instantly feel the authentic, homey vibe that locals love. The walls are decorated with photos of rock stars, celebrities, and astronauts’ enjoying some of their classic dishes. You can’t go wrong with beef gyros, baklava, baba ganouj or their moussaka.

The restaurant is located in a beautiful Tudor-style strip mall and has a lovely patio covered in lush foliage. Savoring Mediterranean delicacies, you will feel like you are vacationing on the shores. Check out their market after you dine to pick up some ingredients for a Mediterranean dish to make at home.

Nobi Public House

Banh Mi sandwiches and beer. Is there really a better combination out there? This pub/beer hall inspired spot serves up some delicious Vietnamese comfort food. Butter garlic chicken, fried pork, and of course the incredible Banh Mis. Keep it classic or top them with a fried egg if you’re craving that runny yolk. Nobi also has an endless supply of beers on tap, which will keep you coming back over and over again.

Viola & Agnes’ Neo Soul Cafe

Lovers of Southern comfort food come together at Viola & Agnes’ cafe. This small cafe brings with it a ton of Southern charm, something that’s difficult to replicate. Pair mouthwatering entrees like chicken and waffles and fried catfish with classic sides like collard greens, black-eyed peas, and cornbread. Or keep it warm and comforting with a heaping bowl of their famous gumbo. 

Ready to make Clear Lake your new home? Check out our listings to find a home you’ll love in the neighborhood.

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Hannah M. Le: Le is a freelance marketer and entrepreneur who never gave up on her "save the world" mentality. Read More
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