- Things to Do
- Food & Drink
- Where to Stay
- Plan Your Trip
In case you’re looking for a little extra motivation to get on Island Time, here are 10 excuses to head to Galveston Island this summer.
While you don’t need a real reason to head to the coast during the Texas summer – the cool breezes and sparkling Gulf waters are usually enticements enough. But if you need a little guidance, we're here to tell you why Galveston Island is the place to be this summer.
pictured: Pleasure Pier
Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark is your go-to island attraction for a wet and wild time. In 2022, the park underwent nearly $3M in off-season enhancements.
The waterpark is home to the award-winning World’s Tallest Water Coaster, MASSIV, and the next generation, award-winning Transportainment® river system that combines three unique rivers into one endless floating adventure.
While Seawall beaches are open year-round, the island’s largest public beach parks – Stewart Beach and East Beach – open seasonally. The annual beach season kicks off in March, offering a variety of special amenities. Visitors to the beach parks can take advantage of restrooms, showers, beach chair rentals, volleyball courts, snack bars and other concessions.
Attention budding builders – sandcastle builders, that is. Galveston is hosting a free, family-friendly event to help beachgoers create spectacular sandcastles with guidance from a pro. Locations and days vary. See our events calendar to find the next upcoming event.
This challenge transforms a portion of the beach into a gigantic obstacle course, allowing families to compete in life-size versions of classic favorites like giant Jenga and dominoes, sack races, and more. Don't forget the monetary incentives for winning!
With thousands of beach houses and vacation rentals available on Galveston’s 32-mile coast, booking a remote stay may be closer than you think.
If you’re looking for a vacation rental, the island offers everything from beachfront mansions and waterfront condos to historic cottages and luxury high rises. For information, visit our Galveston vacation rental page.
If you’re more of the resort sort, you can choose among seaside, bayside or downtown hotels (from historic to modern) to make your summer getaway special.
The Birthplace of Juneteenth, Galveston Island holds a special place in the United States and African American history.
The richness of this island's history goes well beyond celebrating Emancipation. From being home to the first African American high school and public library in Texas to being the hometown of World Heavyweight Champ Jack Johnson, Galveston has long fought to preserve the knowledge of African American accomplishments and heritage on the island, holding dear the many historic sites and monuments that live on to tell the story.
The Galveston Downtown Cultural Arts District, an official cultural district designated by the Texas Commission on the Arts, offers an intriguing selection of theaters, shops, restaurants, and museums that are well worth visiting.
The Victorian architecture of Strand Street, widely known as The Strand, makes for a charming stroll as you shop for unique finds or grab sweets at LaKing’s Confectionery. Saengerfest Park at 23rd and Strand is a free family park home to a life-size chessboard, Insta-worthy selfies in front of an iconic Galveston mural and regular live entertainment.
Be sure to also check out the district’s 20-plus art galleries, displaying fine art, sculpture and photography in beautifully restored historic buildings. Many can be found on Postoffice Street.
Sometimes you just want to hop in the car and head to the beach, right? Hauling your chairs, canopies, umbrellas and other beach items can seem like a hassle. Here along Galveston Island's 32-miles of coastline, you can find ample vendors ready to make your beach experience as relaxing as possible!
East Beach Cantina and Rentals offers beach fare food and drink as well as beach-side food and beverage service, chair, umbrella and cabana rentals. They also have all of your beach must-haves like sunscreen, boogie boards and more available for purchase.
Galveston Island provides visitors with a special passport to adventure and savings with the Galveston Island Pass. The pass allows visitors to experience multiple Galveston attractions on one ticket and save 40% off regular admission prices.
Where the Texas Coast begins.
by Galveston Historical Foundation
by Visit Galveston