- Things to Do
- Food & Drink
- Where to Stay
- Plan Your Trip
If the rain has interrupted your plans in Galveston, don't fret. Instead, try some of these fun, indoor attractions.
We've all been there. You finally plan the perfect getaway – looking forward to soaking up the sun – only to arrive to cloudy skies and rain. In Galveston, that may make a day at the beach less than ideal, but it won't ruin your trip thanks to the many water-proof activities the island has to offer.
pictured: Rainbow over Galveston beach
Honestly, you should visit Moody Gardens when you come to Galveston regardless of whether it is raining or not. But, it truly is the perfect place to be if it is. This 242-acre property is home to numerous attractions, including three glass pyramids that house an aquarium, a living rainforest with free-roaming sloths, birds and monkeys, and a discovery museum.
Additional things to do indoors include watching outstanding films at the 3-D and 4-D theaters. Come back when the weather is nicer to experience the Moody Gardens Zipline & Ropes Course, Palm Beach water park, the Moody Gardens Golf Course, and the Colonel Paddlewheel Boat, which offers one hour cruises on Offats Bayou nestled along the Moody Gardens property.
Boasting the largest collection of art and artifacts related to the American Southwest, The Bryan Museum is one of the state's premier historical and cultural museums. Assembled over a lifetime by Mary Jon and J.P. Bryan, the collection spans more than 2,500 years of history and features 70,000 items, ranging from ancient Native American cultural artifacts to modern 21st-century pieces. The exhibits include rare documents in German, French, Spanish and English, exquisite saddles and spurs, antique firearms, rare books, fine art, religious art, folk art, portraits and rare maps.
In the island's historic downtown district, the Galveston Railroad Museum is the perfect place to spend a couple of hours getting dry. After all, who doesn't love trains? The museum is housed at the site of the 1932 Santa Fe depot and railyard and features more than 40 pieces of locomotives and rolling stock. Here you can check out restored trains, engaging exhibits and even take a 20-minute ride on the "Harborside Express" if you're visiting on a day where this is offered.
Touring Bishop's Palace will take you back to Galveston's Golden Era when the island served as the "Wall Street of the South" and one of the country's wealthiest cities. This stunning Victorian mansion was built from 1886 to 1892 and features an ornate delight of colored stone, intricately carved ornaments, rare woods, stained-glass windows, luxury materials, furnishings, and impressive fireplaces from around the world (including one lined with pure silver). Bishop's Palace is so remarkable that the American Institute of Architects cited it as one of America's 100 most important buildings.
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass... It's about learning to dance in the rain. Vivian Greene
Founded in 1871, the Rosenberg Library is the oldest, continuously operated public library in Texas. The library is home to a free museum that includes early Galveston and Texas artifacts, paintings of Galveston subjects and a sizable collection of Russian and Greek icons. The Fox Rare Book Room contains rare books, first editions, and examples of fine printing. (By the way, access to the library is free).
Located at Pier 21 along Galveston Harbor, the Pier 21 Theater offers three films related to the island's rich history. The films play on a rotating schedule daily, including The Great Storm, which tells the story of the 1900 hurricane in Galveston (still the deadliest storm in U.S. history). The other films include The Pirate Island of Jean Lafitte about the legendary pirate who settled in Galveston in the 1800s and Galveston-Gateway on the Gulf, which chronicles Galveston's history as the second-largest immigration port in the United States.
Voted ‘Best Indoor Waterpark’ by Theme Park Enthusiasts for eight straight years, Schlitterbahn indoor waterpark is a perfect way to enjoy island time even if the weather is not cooperating. Enjoy the 70,000 square-foot indoor waterpark with the state’s longest indoor river, offering more than a dozen heated water adventures including four tube slides, three-speed slides, three kids’ activity areas containing a variety of children’s water elements and pint-sized slides, a secluded beach, a heated pool, a man-made surfing wave, and the Torrent tidal wave river.
Pirates! Legends of The Gulf Coast is a pirate-themed family experience where visitors can learn about the legends, myths and stories of the last buccaneers. The interactive entertainment venue features the deck of a pirate ship, a captain's cabin and actors portraying the notorious Jean Laffite and his brother Pierre, as well as the life that all pirates led.
Step inside La King’s and the poor weather will leave your mind immediately. This old-fashioned confectionery features a 1920’s soda fountain, serving malts, shakes, ice cream sodas, sundaes, splits, floats and your favorite fountain drinks. They also proudly make and serve "Purity" ice cream, Texas' first ice cream manufacturer, since 1889 founded on Galveston Island. But let us not forget the homemade candy! La King's master candy maker will delight you with his old-time specialties - peanut brittle, divinity, pecan pralines, hand dipped chocolates, fudges, and our famous saltwater taffy made right before your eyes on antique equipment. They make more than 40 candies from traditional recipes, just waiting for you!
Hop on Galveston Ghost Tour Bus on any given rainy day for an experience you won’t forget. This interactive tour offers audio and video of Galveston history. Hear from eyewitnesses as they recount their ghost encounters. The bus holds up to 20 passengers and is handicap accessible.
Where the Texas Coast begins.
by Visit Galveston
by Mary Beth Bassett