- Things to Do
- Food & Drink
- Where to Stay
- Plan Your Trip
Only 50 minutes from Houston, Galveston, Texas, is a pleasant escape from the daily grind.
While vacationers flock from around the world to enjoy the beautiful shorelines, attractions and laid-back beach lifestyle, Galveston also knows how to get down to business.
The 32-mile island has more than 5,000 guest rooms and world-class event spaces perfect for your next meeting, incentive trip or conference. Want to put on an event your attendees will never forget? Host it at one of these unique Galveston venues.
Texas is oil country. One of the best places to learn about the petroleum industry is on an oil rig. For years, the Ocean Star drilled for gas and oil from deep below the seafloor. It serves as a museum and educational facility — and one of the most unique places to meet in Galveston, if not all, of Texas.
Host your next event among the offshore drilling equipment and exhibits. Your attendees can wander through displays of drill bits, remote-operated vehicles and seismic monitors before the event. Afterward, they can walk along the skywalk and onto the drill floor to see what life was like aboard this massive rig.
For more high-seas adventures, take your guests aboard the ELISSA, an 1877 tall ship docked at the Texas Seaport Museum. For nearly a century, this three-masted, iron-hulled ship carried cargo to ports worldwide before it was abandoned in a Grecian scrap yard. After a meticulous restoration, the ship now serves as a testament to Galveston's maritime history. Your guests can walk the deck's exhibits, see photos of the ship's dramatic rescue and learn about the process of restoring ELISSA to her former glory. The ship and museum can accommodate up to 500 attendees. You can also host a dinner or awards night on the pier, which can seat up to 300.
Located at the head of the Strand, the Galveston Railroad Museum is home to one of the largest collections of restored rail cars in the country. There are more than 40 pieces of locomotives and rolling stock here, including dining cars where you can host an unforgettable happy hour, executive dinner or breakout session. The Southern Dinner & Silver Hours dining car can accommodate up to 40 people, while The City of Galveston dining car can seat up to 64. Need more room? The Depot event center can host up to 325 guests. Your attendees will love going back in time on the museum’s lavishly restored trains and feeling like a kid again aboard the Harborside Express open-air caboose.
In 2013 Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Awards recognized the pier as one of the world's top-five seaside parks. More than a dozen nostalgically themed rides line the 1,130-foot pier as it juts out into the Gulf of Mexico. If you want to host a memorable and fun event, consider booking the entire pier. Your attendees can meet and mingle among the midway games and talk shop while in line for the Iron Shark roller coaster or bumper car rides. The Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier also features famous restaurants like Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Texas's first one. After a fun day on the pier, treat your guests to shrimp scampi and slow-roasted ribs in Bubba Gump's restaurant and bar area. The pier has multiple meeting sites that can accommodate a variety of group sizes.
Another popular Galveston theme park and event venue is Moody Gardens. Your guests will love the park’s rainforest, aquarium and discovery zone. And when it’s time to get down to business, there are multiple meeting spaces where you can host groups of up to 500 people. Host a corporate dinner in the Aquarium Pyramid. Or invite your group to a working lunch on the Colonel Paddlewheel Boat, a replica of an 1800s paddlewheel boat. Enjoy views of the Offatts Bayou from the boat’s Texas Room, which can accommodate up to 240 people and includes a sound system and multiple microphones. The Colonel’s Galveston Room, which can accommodate up to 200, is also available for private parties.
Located in the East End Historic District, the Bishop's Palace (aka The Gresham House) is a U.S. National Historic Landmark. Architectural historians worldwide have listed this palatial home as one of the most significant of Victorian residences in America. Your guests will quickly understand why as they explore the lavish rooms, complete with soaring stained-glass windows, Sienna marble columns and decorative plaster ceilings. Give your guest a grand tour of the home to areas that are typically off-limits to visitors, including the builder's private studio. Of all of Galveston's architectural treasures, this one should be on the list.
The Grand’s sprawling stage regularly hosts the world’s most famous singers, dancers and performers. But in between Broadway shows, ballet recitals and comedy acts, the entire event space is all yours. Host a symposium in the 1,000-seat theater or treat your guests to an elegant onstage dinner. The opera house has 11,000 square feet of meeting space as well as on-site catering. The staff can also help you find the perfect performer to entertain your guests.
The opera house is located in the heart of Galveston’s historic downtown area and is within easy walking distance of the city’s most popular hotels, restaurants and shops.
Galveston is home to some of the best beaches along Texas' Gulf Coast. One of the city's most popular shorelines is East Beach, famous for its summer festivals and concerts, including the annual American Institute of Architects Sandcastle Competition. East Beach is fully equipped with restrooms, concessions and showers. Unlike other Galveston beaches, it's also the only one that allows alcohol. Consider hosting a daytime excursion to the bustling boardwalk or a kickoff event under the East Beach Pavilion shade. The pavilion can accommodate up to 150 people. You can also reserve beach chairs and umbrellas for guests.
Where the Texas Coast begins.
by Clayton Kolavo
by Kristen Vale