Discover how the Gulf Coast makes the most of summertime and sunshine. The Midwest has its camping and New Englanders escape to the Hamptons. The people of the West take to the surf and Northerners retreat to hiking havens. The barrier island of Galveston, Texas, makes the Gulf Coast proud with its take on warm-weather celebrations, treating guests to Southern hospitality amid a sandy playground.
Just an hour southeast of Houston on the Texas Gulf Coast is your escape from it all. Ditch the mainland and download the visitors’ guide to celebrate the season in true Gulf Coast fashion.
Good Food | The island is small but full of big surprises. From its culinary gems to its thriving nightlife, the island combines a laidback beach-town atmosphere with the culture of a world-class city. Ever since it was established in 1825, the Port of Galveston has embraced a diverse culture that is reflected in its cuisine. A stroll through the streets will have you smelling wafts of Czech dishes, German sandwiches, Filipino bites, foreign spices and, of course, the sweet hint of Texas barbecue. The real must-try item, though, is just-caught, fresh-cooked Gulf Coast cuisine.
In search of drinks with a view? Whether you're after a twinkling city skyline or a sweeping vista of the Gulf, Galveston's watering holes and glittering nightclubs offer plenty of scenery to sip by. If you’re more into a well-crafted lager than a sweet cocktail, Galveston has joined the ranks of the burgeoning craft-beer scene. Raise a pint at one of the three local lager houses and find out why island-brewed beer is better.
Fun in the Sun | More than 30 miles of unspoiled coastline makes it difficult to choose where to set down your towel for a day of sunbathing and sandcastle-making on Galveston Island. Explore nearly 10 beach parks along the signature Gulf of Mexico seawall walkway, and look for rare water and shore birds – part of one of the largest spring migrations in North America.
Historic Charms | The best ways to connect to Galveston's past are by an excursion through one of its historic districts or a tour of one of the historic homes. There’s something for every taste along Galveston’s 70-block storied downtown, a veritable treasure chest of culture that includes 19th-century architecture, museums, galleries and theaters.
Whether you fancy land, sea, or air, there’s a museum for you. The art-deco Railroad Museum at the foot of The Strand, the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig and Museum on Pier 20, the Lone Star Flight Museum and the Texas Seaport Museum on Pier 21, featuring the tall ship Elissa, round out the Island's collection.
Amusement Park Adventure | Other than the beach, the top destination for Galveston visitors is the Moody Gardens. Part theme park, part educational and rehabilitative facility, part pleasure garden, Moody Gardens makes for a great vacation all by itself. Upon entering Moody Gardens, you are instantly wowed by the lush and other-worldly environment created by the Moody family.
Amid the profusion of tropical plants gleam three glass pyramids – pink, blue and white – housing a 10-story rainforest, one of the world’s largest aquariums and an educational Discovery Museum. With naturalists on staff, Moody Gardens lovingly conserves a vast wonderland for the knowledge-thirsty visitor.
For a cool time in hot Texas, a trip to the Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark is in order. The park features uphill water coasters, waterslides, playgrounds, whitewater rapids, a wave pool, hot tubs and the Boogie Bahn surf ride.
It’s island time. Request your Galveston Visitors’ Guide today.
Sponsored content provided by Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau.