A lot of people ask, what is there to do here or where do you go boating in this area.
There are many answers. We are fortunate that we have nearly a year round boating season. For your boating dollars spent, there is not an area in the US where you get the most use of your boat for the money spent. Not to mention we still have some of the least expensive dock space still left in the country and currently no shortage of slips.
Galveston Bay is totally protected from the gulf and is roughly 15 miles by 25 miles. There is a lot of water to boat in and lots of places to go. Most places to anchor are isolated and protected.
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The best source we have found for Cruising Galveston Bay and the Gulf Coast is the Texas Mariners Cruising Association (www.tmca.nu). On their site there is a destinations tab that features many places to cruise to and from in this area. They are also the most active boating association in our area with over 600 sailboat and powerboat owners who plan boating activities and cruises together. Definitely consider membership in this great association. We highly recommend it.
There are numerous destinations to go to in Galveston Bay and the surrounding area. Some of these you will find in the guide are:
Redfish Island: Recently rebuilt by the Corp of engineers this landmark destination is now built out of granite and is here to stay. There is over a 40-acre man made anchorage. Redfish is located near the tip of San Leon by the Ship Channel.
Double Bayou: Across the ship channel and a good afternoon sail or a few hours by motor, this is a river that is forked and offers secluded anchorages in one fork and a small town as a destination in another.
Smith Point: If you can’t quite make it to Double Bayou, Smith Point is a spit of land before you get to the entrance to Double Bayou that you can anchor behind the prevailing winds.
Cedar Bayou: A bit further north up the bay directly across from the Barbours Cut Shipping Terminal, Cedar Bayou is another river system that almost makes you feel like the African Queen as you move along the winding river system. Anchoring is easy. Just like Double Bayou, just pull up to the bank and tie up to a tree. If you can get under the bridge, you can motor all the way into the park at Baytown.
The South Shore of San Leon and Bacliff: If you’re short on time to get out to the bay and just need to get some R&R you can be anchored on the leeshore of San Leon from the Kemah Bridge in less than an hour even if you’re at sailing speeds. From our normal Southeast breeze the shore makes a natural protection from the wind built up waves that would be prominent on the Red Bluff side of the bay. 4th of July here is fabulous as you can see over 5 fireworks displays.
The Shore of Red Bluff: The same is true for anchoring off the north shore of the bay in a North Wind. This is also a nice protected anchorage.
Anahuac: All the way across the bay is the town of Anahuac. This is a neat destination if you’re looking for a long distance far away destination. They also have a yearly Alligator fest, which we hear is pretty outrageous.
The north shore of Houston Yacht Club: Around the tip of Red Bluff Point is Houston Yacht Club. Around the northern seawall of Houston Yacht club is a very protected area commonly called “wussy bay”. It’s extremely well protected and has a nice view of the old homes in La Porte and Morgan’s Point.
Galveston is a destination in it’s own right. The Harbor House Marina puts you within a block of The Strand and gives you a hotel if you have more guests than your boat can accommodate. Offatts Bayou is a terrific anchorage and you can tie up at the Moody Gardens Marina located there and visit the pyramid displays and use all the hotel facilities like the pool. Reservations are highly recommended for either Moody Gardens (888-388-8484) or the Harbor House (409-763-3321).
There is also a Light Boat Parade usually the first or second weekend of December on Clear Lake. Get out early before dark to get the best spot on the lake as boats make their way from South Shore Harbor all the way out to the entrance of the bay.
There is also the yearly fireworks display on Clear Lake. Here again, get out early to get the best anchorage. As mentioned above try anchoring off Bacliff and San Leon or just to the south side of the Kemah Channel if weather permits. From any of these anchorages you are sure to see more than one display.