- Things to Do
- Food & Drink
- Where to Stay
- Plan Your Trip
New Year, New Adventures await.
If you step away from Galveston's 32 miles of sun-soaked shores, you’ll discover a place that balances the old and the new with captivating ease. With more than its fair share of surprises and plenty of things to see and do, the possibilities are endless. Read on to discover some fun, safe reasons to Coastal Distance in 2021:
pictured: Aerial View of Galveston Island's coast in front of the San Luis Resort
For over 200 years, Galveston Island has had an extensive changing history of European settlement. Pirates placed their flags on the ground, waves of refugees from Germany, Italy and Greece made their way to the island, deep roots were planted by wealthy merchants, all of which have shaped this fascinating barrier island.
Though most structures were destroyed as a result of The Great Storm of 1900, the community's leaders over the years have done an outstanding job of conserving the structures that still stand.
The Galveston Historical Foundation is one of these organizations, and below, you can see some of the treasures they maintain and you can visit:
To see a full list of historic buildings, click here.
Galveston’s myriad of vintage boutique stores and unique local shops makes shopping just as exciting as playing on the 32-miles of beaches over the summer. Galveston is a fantastic place to find gifts for everyone or for just a little something for yourself.
There’s no shortage of opportunities for seafood satisfaction on the island. One of the favorites to enjoy is what we locally call a “Boat to Table” day. This day can take many forms - and you don’t need a boat or a fishing pole to indulge! Visit a local seafood market and cook a meal at home or dine at one of Galveston's MANY seafood restaurants - you can't go wrong when it comes to this island's fresh options.
If you can work anywhere, why not work at the beach? That doesn't just apply to the adults. In a world that some students are still calling ZOOM their classrooms, consider bringing the laptop to a vacation rental (or hotel) for some experiential education paired with a little after school fun in the sun at your fingertips.
Many families have decided to carve out time and hit the road to be together and experience the world around them, choosing “road schooling” over homeschooling. Continue reading one of the articles below for more inspiration:
by Visit Galveston
by Visit Galveston
Galveston's entire southern coastline offers you and your family ample space to spread out and enjoy a little fun in the sun. From East Beach and Stewart Beach to the 10+ miles of Seawall beachfront PLUS the miles of beachfront vacation rentals on the west end - there's a spot somewhere waiting for you!
If you’re inkling for a delicious meal overlooking the beach, several island restaurants are ready to help you put distancing worries aside and serve you and your families outside in an open-air setting.
Unlock the past that lies inside Galveston at your own pace. Explore the nooks and crannies of the island on foot, by car or by any other fun mode of transportation (bike, golf cart, etc.).
To help you explore, here are some visitor favorites:
On September 13, 2008, Hurricane Ike led to the demise of thousands of island’s trees, but artists have breathed a second life into something Mother Nature attempted to destroy completely.
Whimsical tree sculptures have replaced the majestic Oaks that once lined many neighborhood streets and shaded homes.
The Galveston Experience Company offers a great way to learn about the Island, practice social distancing, and capture some of the many ghosts that haunt Galveston. See video of orbs, hear first-hand stories of hauntings, suited for Ghost Hunters of all ages!
Galveston Island is one of the top locations in the country for birding. It has a rich variety of habitats – beaches, wetlands, grasslands, woods, ponds, and bays – in a small area that are home to many common year-round species, as well as numerous others that visit briefly or for part of the year.
The tropical environment of Galveston encourages you to enjoy the magnificent outdoors all year long - we even tend to have comfortable weather in the winter months! This gives you more time to enjoy stunning beaches, golf, fishing, sailing, kayaking, cycling and so more.
Below are some of the island's visitors' favorite outdoor activities:
Pier 21 is home to several water adventures, all of which give you a good chance to spot a dolphin (or many!). Whether you choose Galveston Water Adventures, Baywatch Dolphin Tours (pictured) or Galveston Historical Foundation's Harbor Tours, you're almost guaranteed to see one of these friendly fish-like mammals.
If you’re looking to party East Beach is your ultimate destination! Located at the far eastern tip of the island, East Beach has tons of amenities including a bar with food and beverages.
Stewart Beach offers plenty of amenities for a day at the beach and is perfect for families.
Moody Gardens Golf Course is a first-class public course that will have you avoiding natural water hazards along with some spectacular wildlife.
Enjoy new turf grass, green complexes, elevations, irrigation, drainage, cart paths, greens, and a full clubhouse renovation.
Enjoy a guided and interpretive Eco-Art Kayak Adventure, paddling to places of natural significance on Galveston Bay with Artist Boat Kayak Adventures.
During your exploration of marshes, seagrass beds, and rookery islands, you'll stop to create your own plein-air watercolor painting of this special ecosystem.
Resiliency and a heart for preservation have helped make Galveston one of the most well-known historic towns on the Gulf Coast. The strength, ingenuity and progress of Galvestonians in the aftermath of The Great 1900 Storm are captured within the walls of numerous museums on the Island.
Galveston is a historic beach town offering a wealth of incredible history, including several of the best museums around.
Moody Gardens' 242-acre property is home to numerous family and educational attractions, including three glass pyramids that house an aquarium, a living rainforest with free-roaming sloths, birds and monkeys, and a discovery museum.
Other attractions you and your family can enjoy include 3D & 4D Theaters, an Audience Recognition Theater, a VR Experience, the Colonel Paddlewheel Boat, Ropes Course & Zipline and additional seasonal attractions.
If you need to get away – It’s island time! Facebook.com/VisitGalvestonIsland
With the Galveston Island Pass, you can select four or more participating attractions and save 40% off the retail price. Passes are valid 30 days after purchase.
If you haven’t been to Galveston lately, now is the perfect time to experience some of the island's unique attractions – at a price you can't refuse. The Galveston Island Pass is your key to adventure and savings while exploring the numerous attractions that make Galveston so special.
Where the Texas Coast begins.
by Clayton Kolavo
by Kristen Vale