Smack-dab between Houston and Galveston — just 30 minutes from both — is League City, an idyllic setting where towering oak trees line historic streets, hibiscus flowers bloom brightly, and the sparkling Clear Creek lives up to its name.
It’s a little tropical haven with a sweet Southern vibe, and here’s your short list of how to chart your course across its coastal charms.
Enjoy time on the water
As part of Bay Area Houston, “water” is League City’s middle name. Rent a kayak, paddle board, or canoe and set off on the Clear Creek Paddle Trail, which meanders 5.5 tree-lined miles through Clear Creek, starting at Lynn Gripon Park and ending at Heritage Park.
As the country’s third largest boating destination, Clear Lake also has plenty of water activities to enjoy. Zip your way across the water on a jet ski, take in the sunset on a dinner cruise, charter a sailboat, or go on a professionally guided private fishing trip and reel in redfish, flounder, sea trout, and bay snapper.
Or just wander around South Shore Harbour Marina; it’s tucked into the natural clay inlet on Clear Lake’s south side and boasts more than 1,200 boat slips and a landmark lighthouse.
Take a tour of historic homes
Drive or stroll through the Historic District and view dozens of examples of Victorian architecture, all beneath the sprawling canopies of majestic, century-old live oak trees.
Be on the lookout for Butler’s Courtyard, too. First built in 1909 and located in the heart of the district, it was once the town’s first bank — in fact, you can still step inside the original vault. Now, the building’s antique appeal serves as a venue for weddings and other events.
Visit a museum double feature
The West Bay Common Schoolchildren’s Museum is a historic schoolhouse that shows what a one-room school was like for local children in the late 19th century.
Next door is the Barn Museum, which once housed the city’s first fire station. The original fire hose is displayed outside, and inside you’ll find an eclectic collection of artifacts.
Get a peek inside some of those beautiful century-old homes — and shop, too, — at The Shoppes at Founder’s Square, which includes five locally owned boutiques and a tearoom. Each shop has its own charm, from Victorian architecture on the outside to the whimsical treasures on the inside.
There are dozens of other boutiques and specialty shops in town, including Glass Mermaids, which is a treasure trove of nautical-themed home decor and gifts.
Also look for clothing boutiques like Adelaide’s, Ivory Boutique, Brave Boutique, Sweet Mia's Boutique, and the Salted Hippie, and discover a little bit of everything at Texas Artisan, including home decor, designer jewelry, seasonal pieces, and plenty of Texas-made items.
See the park and garden
One of the town’s crowning jewels is the historic League Park, which was gifted to the city by its namesake, J.C. League.
The park has been a local gathering place for events like concerts, festivals, and parties for more than 100 years and has recently been renovated to restore its 19th-century aesthetic.
And don’t miss one of the most photographed places in the city: Helen’s Garden, where the picturesque setting includes a waterfall and lots of floral blooms.
Practice your golf game
For a good round of golf, head to South Shore Harbour Country Club, a 27-hole championship course, or Beacon Lakes Golf Club, an 18-hole lighted championship facility that offers night golf.
Indulge in the food scene
Gulf-fresh seafood and global culinary experiences collide in League City. For a modern twist on French and Hispanic cooking combined with Creole flair, Main Street Bistro is your place in the historic district.
Do yourself a favor and order Craft 96's specialty: the Smoked Gouda Mac + Philly Cheesesteak. They have plenty of other creatively indulgent concoctions, too, in addition to 63 craft beers on tap.
At Bonnie’s Donut, you can order a five-pound cinnamon roll (yes, five pounds!). Esteban’s Cafe & Cantina is a local favorite and serves authentic Mexican-style food from scratch.
Grab a seat at one of Red Oak Cafe’s picnic-style tables for down-home Texas fare like cowboy white chicken chili, or head to Red River Barbeque Company for their pulled pork, tender brisket, and more.
For upscale waterfront dining, Opus Bistro & Steakhouse dishes up signature entrees like Red Snapper Charlie Brown, Shrimp and Scallop Victoria, and filet au poivre.
Learn more about this waterside gem in Bay Area Houston at Visit League City.