Galveston Insider Tips

These insider tips curated by locals will ensure you're well-prepared to visit Galveston Island

Before you load up the car and head to Galveston Island, take a moment to explore these "Insider Tips" from those in the know! Guaranteed, follow these tips, and you're sure to have a wonderful, Island-style vacation you won't soon forget!

Galveston neighborhoods

pictured: Galveston's East End Historical District

25 Experiences Not to Miss:

1. Watch a sunrise or sunset over the Gulf of Mexico.

2. Explore historic downtown, making your way to The Strand and Postoffice Street.

3. Ride the 16 attractions at Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, including the Iron Shark Rollercoaster and Gulf Rider.

4. Visit the three glass pyramids - Aquarium, Rainforest and Discovery - at Moody Gardens.

5. Cool down at the family-friendly Stewart Beach and go boogie-boarding in the Gulf.

6. Tour Bishop’s Palace, named one of the top 100 outstanding buildings in the U.S. by the American Institute of Architects, and gorgeous Moody Mansion, whose ornate designs must be seen to be believed.

Brick and stone exterior of Moody Mansion, a Museum Days participant in Galveston, Texas
Moody Mansion

7. Dine at the iconic Gaido’s Seafood Restaurant - don’t leave without trying the grilled shrimp and blue cheese grits or famous pecan pie.

8. Rent a bike from Island Bicycle Company and discover 40 or more Galveston Tree Sculptures.

9. Wander Pier 21’s museums, including the Ocean Star Drilling Rig Museum, Galveston Historic Seaport and the 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA.

girls seaport museum
1877 Tall Ship ELISSA

10. Look for dolphins at Pier 21, then take a harbor tour.

11. Catch a live show and tour The Grand 1894 Opera House.

12. Watch candy makers pull old-fashioned saltwater taffy at La King’s Confectionery.

outside la kings
La King's Confectionery

13. Visit The Great Storm of 1900 Memorial.

14. Splash into Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark’s rivers, rides, slides and chutes.

15. Learn about locomotive history at the Galveston Railroad Museum or southwest history at The Bryan Museum.

a child sits on the front of a red and yellow train at the railroad museum
Galveston Railroad Museum

16. Take an African American Historic Places tour to see remarkable monuments including the African American Museum, Avenue L Missionary Baptist Church and Ashton Villa.

17. Take a haunted tour – any time of the year! Galveston is also home to the Historic Galveston Ghost Tours who offer Red Light District tours, Ghosts on The Strand tours and others year-round. The Galveston Experience Company also offers Ghost Bus Tours.

18. Visit Seawolf Park for some of the best fishing on the island, then journey inside its WWII submarine and Navy destroyer escort warship.

Seawolf Park
Seawolf Park

19. Kayak through Galveston Island State Park or join Artist Boat’s tours through the Coastal Heritage Preserve.

20. Bird-watch at East End Lagoon Nature Preserve or 8 Mile Road to see some of the 300 species that reside in the area.

21. Buy fresh seafood at Katie’s Seafood Market or Sampson & Son’s Seafood on Pier 20.

a man handles red fish at katies seafood market in galveston texas
Katie's Seafood Market

22. Play golf at Moody Gardens Golf Course or Galveston Country Club, and make a weekend of it with a stay at Moody Gardens Hotel, Grand Galvez or The San Luis Resort, all of which offer special golfing packages to guests.

23. Peruse the museum located on the fourth floor of the Rosenberg Library, the oldest public library in Texas.

24. Attend Mardi Gras! Galveston, the third largest celebration of its kind in the nation.

people celebrate mardi gras on balcony's as a mardi gras parade float travels down the street in Galveston
Mardi Gras! Galveston

25. Save Up To 40% on Island Attractions

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.

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