Galveston Island Kicks off Tourism Season with New Amenities, Upgraded Attractions

Memorial Day Weekend Signals Start of Summer Season

As thousands of visitors flock to Galveston this Memorial Day weekend, the island’s tourism industry will celebrate the kickoff of what is expected to be a successful summer vacation season.

The resurgence of the desire for travel hasn’t abated after the pandemic. The American Automobile Association (AAA) of Texas projects 3.5 million Texans will travel 50 miles or more from home this Memorial Day weekend, a 7% increase over 2022.

Thirty-two miles of beaches, plus family-friendly attractions, upgraded beach park amenities and a growing interest in Galveston’s tourism offerings, are just a few reasons Visit Galveston is reporting a positive outlook for 2023.

2023 Galveston Tourism Outlook

The travel and hospitality industries are expected to continue their upward post-pandemic trend. After a successful spring break holiday, Galveston plans to greet more than 500,000 visitors to the island during Memorial Day weekend. According to a recently released economic impact report, hotel occupancy tax collections set records during the 2022 fiscal year. This is due in part to the increased interest in vacation rental units on the island, which now number more than 5,000. Visitors to Galveston last year contributed more than $1.2 billion in economic impact and supported more than 11,000 jobs, representing approximately one third of all jobs on the island.

Galveston Beach Parks Welcome Visitors with Amenities and Activities

Galveston is home to several beach parks along the island’s coastline – East Beach, Stewart Beach, Seawall Urban Park and Dellanera R.V. Park. These parks offer guests amenities that include restrooms, showers, beach chair rentals, volleyball courts, snack bars and concessions. A significant improvement at family-friendly Stewart Beach includes a $1.4 million flood mitigation initiative aimed at improving parking in the area. Additionally, new mobile amenities -- showers, changing rooms, and bathrooms -- will be placed at the beach park. At Dellanera R.V. Park on Galveston’s west end, beachgoers can take advantage of a newly remodeled pavilion and decks with expansive Gulf views. For details on the beach parks, head to

Beach safety is of utmost importance to Galveston’s Beach Patrol. Visitors are urged to learn about and obey warning flags. Information can be found here:

Galveston Naval Museum to Host Memorial Day Event

The Galveston Naval Museum will host a Memorial Day Ceremony featuring Galveston Mayor Craig Brown as the keynote speaker. The event will take place May 30 at 11 a.m. at Seawolf Park, 100 Seawolf Parkway. Those attending may park for free from 9-11 a.m.

Free Beach Park Activities in Galveston

Returning to East Beach this season is the Galveston Family Beach Challenge. The Challenge is an obstacle course allowing families to compete at 14 stations including limbo, giant Jenga, beach soccer, sack races and more. Winners stand to receive valuable gift certificates. The competitions take place June 11 and July 9 and begin at 11 a.m. Registration can be found at

Budding beach architects can take sandcastle lessons from professionals on Sunday during Memorial Day weekend and Saturdays through Labor Day weekend at East Beach. Some materials are provided, but students are encouraged to bring their own equipment. Lessons take place at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. along the water near the pavilion. No registration is required.

Learn about Galveston’s coastal environment and its creatures and features. Artist Boat’s Bucket Brigade provides hands-on tours at East Beach that are educational and fun for ocean lovers of all ages. The tours investigate topics including Galveston’s water, its ecology, and the importance of keeping the beaches clean. Tours take place on Saturdays and Sundays from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend at 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Galveston Island State Park Open After Years Long Improvements

The 2,000-acre Galveston Island State Park on the island’s west end spans the beach and the bay. For the last three years, the beachside portion has been closed and has undergone a $10 million renovation project. This summer, visitors to the park will see new multi-use campsites with water and electrical hookups, a new hiking trail, a beach-accessible boardwalk, shelters for group activities, gear rentals, a new headquarters, plus a remodeled Nature Center on the bay. The park offers opportunities for guests to fish, camp, hike and birdwatch.

For more information on Galveston tourism, go to

About Galveston Island

Galveston Island is a historic beach town located on the Gulf of Mexico just 50 miles from Houston. The island is best known as a vacation destination, offering 32 miles of beaches, a variety of family attractions, Texas’ premier cruise port and one of the largest and well-preserved concentrations of Victorian architecture in the country, including several National Historic Landmarks. Galveston Island is the birthplace of Juneteenth and home to popular amusements such as Moody Gardens and Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark, as well as a variety of museums and recreational activities from surfing to birding. For more information on Galveston Island go or call 1-888-GAL-ISLE.