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Stay-cation options abound in Clear Lake, Galveston areas

by FLORI MEEKS , CHRONICLE CORRESPONDENT

There’s no need to let rising gas prices get in the way of fun this summer.

Consider a staycation and explore the attractions close to home.

The Clear Lake and Galveston areas are packed with destinations ideal for adults and for families looking for a break, from Armand Bayou Nature Center to Galveston harbor tours, from Moody Gardens to the Kemah Boardwalk.

One of the newer attractions in the area is Kemah Ghost Tours, founded by Seabrook resident Lauren Kirby in August 2010.

“I started falling in love with Kemah,” Kirby said. “If you move away from the boardwalk, you realize there are a lot of charming houses and businesses there.”

Kirby, who has attended ghost tours in other towns, was inspired to launch one in Kemah after hearing about a local haunted house.

Today, she averages 20 to 25 people per weekend tour.

Kirby leads the participants to several homes and businesses, including Kemah’s Lighthouse District, where Spanish explorers in the region were greeted centuries ago by the Karankawas, native Americans known for eating their enemies.

“I think what makes my ghost tour unique is we try to focus on a dramatic storytelling approach,” Kirby said.

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