Setting: Seabrook hugs the western shore of Galveston Bayjust southeast of Houston. Clear Lake borders the city to thesouth.

Attractions: Water everywhere; the city has 11 miles ofwaterfront on Galveston Bay and Clear Lake. Strict zoning haspreserved the character of residential neighborhoods. The schoolsystem ranks among the state's best. The city contains 10 parkstotaling more than 100 acres, connected by hiking/biking trails.Subtropical weather means average high temperatures of 61 inJanuary and 93 in July.

Drawbacks: The nearest major shopping mall is about 20minutes away. Chemical plants and other industrial facilities crowdthe town's northern border. Hurricane season lasts from Junethrough November.

Housing Options: Away from the waterfront, mostly suburbanone-story brick houses. Most houses are new; Clear Lake Forest andEl Lago, which date from the mid- to late 1960s and early 1970s,are considered "older communities."

Your Next-door Neighbors: Rocket scientists; doctors,lawyers, and other professionals who commute to Houston (about 45minutes away); engineers and blue-collar workers employed at plantsin La Porte and Pasadena; fishermen. Population: approximately7,000.

What It Costs Small (1,400- to 1,700-square-foot) houses inMiramar start in the $70,000 range. Nicer, newer inlandsubdivisions run from $90,000 to $160,000-plus. Houses in Lake Coverun from $180,000 to nearly $400,000 for homes on canals connectedto Clear Lake. Galveston Bay waterfront residences go for $300,000up to more than $1 million.

Where You'd Spend Free Time: Boating; watching sailboatregattas on Clear Lake; fishing; birding; exploring the amenitiesof Houston; visiting the family attractions of the KemahBoardwalk.

(published 2001)

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