- Things to Do
- Food & Drink
- Where to Stay
- Plan Your Trip
Warmer weather, sea breezes and fun activities for the family are beckoning visitors to Galveston Island this spring.
The historic beach town is bringing back its most popular festivals – many of which take place outdoors – with safety in mind. So, jump in the car and head down to the beach for a long weekend and take in one of these fun special events. Think of it as a summer vacay pre-planning mission!
pictured: Galveston's expansive beaches.
Like most island destinations, spring break is all about sunshine, beaches, and family-friendly fun, which is why you'll love Galveston as your pick for a spring getaway.
East Beach, Stewart Beach, Seawall Beach Urban Park, Beach Pocket Parks, and the Galveston Island State Park offer plenty of options for beachgoers. And, there's also beach access on the west end of the island. You'll find a beach chair and umbrella rentals scattered along the beaches at the beach parks or bring your gear. Remember, if you're planning to play in the surf, always choose a location near a lifeguard and take note of the flags on the lifeguard stands for tips on the surf. Galveston Beach Patrol stations lifeguards at East Beach, Stewart Beach, and the Seawall while other areas have a roving patrol.
Galveston can always rekindle the kid in you, but no event will be more exciting for kids of all ages than The Grand Kids Festival hosted by The Grand 1894 Opera House. Designed to introduce children and families to the arts, this year’s festival marks its 25th anniversary and will take place May 1. The event features three blocks of activities, entertainment areas and vendor booths. Attendees will be able to enjoy live performances, storytellers, arts and crafts, face painting and more.
Rich in history and standing as a testament to survival, the Galveston Historic Homes Tour will return for its 47th year the first two weekends in May. The tour features numerous historical and architecturally significant homes located throughout the island’s vibrant historic neighborhoods. Organized by the Galveston Historical Foundation, the event gives the public a chance to tour the insides of private residences and homes that are not open to the public during the year. Dates: May 1-2 & 8-9, 2021
Galveston is calling all backyard chefs, sportsmen and women, and outdoor enthusiasts to show off their culinary skills May 8-9 at the 25th annual Yaga’s Wild Game BBQ Cook-off. The event will feature a wild game cook-off, live entertainment, silent auction, “Run Wild 5K” and children’s activities. This event benefits the Yaga’s Children’s Fund.
Retro swimwear that is chic and vintage is king at the Galveston Island Beach Revue, which will take place for its 13th year on May 15. Contestants from across the country will catwalk across Galveston’s historic Seawall shoreline modeling vintage and vintage-inspired swimwear that echoes the “good ole days” of Galveston's summertime history. Contestants will compete for cash prizes and top honors.
Galveston and High Island are the first pieces of land the birds encounter after departing the Yucatan Peninsula and flying nonstop across the Gulf of Mexico. We recommend birding at Lafitte’s Cove Nature Preserve. Texas Parks & Wildlife offers a Galveston Loop with suggested stops as part of the Upper Texas Coast - Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. Remember to bring your binoculars and keep your voice down, so you don't spook the birds.
Spring is crawfish season on the Gulf Coast, so make sure you add this to your dining itinerary. Local picks for boiled crawfish include these locally-owned stops: Benno’s Cajun Seafood Restaurant on Seawall, Cajun Greek on 61st Street and Huli Huli Hut on 19th Street.
Click this card to be see the best crawfish spots in Galveston Island.
The Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier is a must during spring break. Choose from 16 rides, a midway filled with games and food, and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Our favorite rides include the Galaxy Ferris Wheel and the Iron Shark. The Iron Shark takes you on a slow one-hundred-foot climb that pauses briefly then drops you at fifty-two miles per hour into loops and more. Check their website for special events like outdoor movies on the pier.
Keep in mind, the interior temperature and humidity are set to reflect that of a Rainforest, which is why we recommend this as your first stop. It's an incredible experience. You'll see the plants and animals of Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Then cool off at the MG 3D Theater. The theater features 2D and 3D movies on one of the largest screens in Texas. Next up, make your way to the Aquarium Pyramid and explore the Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, North Pacific, South Pacific, and the Caribbean. Allocate a little extra time to watch the seals and the penguins. Check the schedule for feeding times.
Tip: Moody Gardens offers special private animal encounters for an additional ticket. Make sure to schedule these encounters in advance.
These suggestions are just a sampling of things to do during your visit to Galveston Island. Make sure you include time to explore Galveston’s historic downtown for shopping and dining.
See the latest stories from our blog, and start dreaming of your perfect Galveston travel experience.
by Visit Galveston
by Mary Beth Bassett