3 Ways to Experience Galveston Island For All Types of People This Summer

No trip to Galveston is precisely the same. And why should it be?

With 32-miles of sparkling beaches as your starting point, you have the chance to enjoy the cool breezes of the Texas coast and create a vacation experience that is entirely your own – whether you are a family vacationer, history-buff, nature-lover or something in between.

Discovery pyramid moody gardens

pictured: The Discovery Pyramid at Moody Gardens

For the Family Vacationer

If you're traveling with kids, an excellent place to start is the magnificent pyramids of Moody Gardens. Here’s you’ll find one of the largest aquariums in the state, a living rainforest with free-roaming sloths and monkeys, a discovery museum, a kids splash park and the Moody Gardens Hotel, among other attractions. For a day on the sand, Stewart Beach offers free sandcastle building lessons and Family Beach Challenge events throughout the summer. For family-friendly eats, stop at The Spot to chow down on juicy burgers, gigantic seafood po-boys, fresh fish tacos and a plethora of other options.

Don’t leave the island without visiting the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier for classic thrill rides and boardwalk amusements over the Gulf of Mexico.
For the Nature Lover

For those looking for a quiet escape from the excitement of the busy seawall, head west and keep going. Galveston’s West End offers miles and miles of beautiful coastal scenery wedged narrowly between the Gulf of Mexico and Galveston Bay.

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The Galveston Island State Park covers a 2,000-acre area that provides access to both bodies of water and nature trails, picnic areas and campsites. This summer, the park will offer exploration hikes and turtle patrols led by a state park naturalist on select dates this summer. While at the park, go on an Artist Boat Kayak Adventure (which you can also do on the East End of the island at the scenic East End Lagoon that recently added a new nature trail).

Rest Up

Rest up at any of the island’s stunning beach house rentals, where you can take in a relaxing view or grill some fresh seafood from Galveston’s iconic Katie’s Seafood Market. Sand 'N Sea Properties is one of the top picks for vacation rentals as it manages about 150 homes on the island.

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For the Cultural Enthusiast

There aren't many places in Texas – or the United States – that provide as much historical and cultural richness as Galveston. Here, you can explore one of the largest collections of Victorian architecture in the country through the island's four nationally recognized historic neighborhoods.

Take a Ride

To get the best view of Galveston's historic homes, take a bicycle tour through the East End Historical District, where colorful houses line the streets in Victorian, Greek Revival, Queen Anne and other architectural styles.

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For a real treat, visit the must-see 1892 Bishop’s Palace (and stop by the nearby PattyCakes Bakery for good measure). Make your way downtown for shopping on The Strand, licks of hand-made ice cream at the old-fashioned La King’s Confectionery and a tour of The Grand 1894 Opera House.

You can also spot some of the island’s colorfully painted sea turtle statues, part of a new Turtles About Town public art and conservation awareness project, while art gallery perusing on Postoffice Street. And, do not dare leave town without visiting The Bryan Museum with its 70,000-piece rare collection of historical artifacts, documents and artwork relating to the American West. (Hotel tip: Stay at The Tremont House for easy walking and accessibility downtown plus stunning views from its 4th floor Rooftop Bar.

Where to Stay

For a beachfront experience, stay at the charming, 108-year-old Grand Galvez.

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Visit Galveston

Visit Galveston is the official destination marketing organization for Galveston Island, Texas.