Galveston Travel & Transportation

Galveston may be an island, but it is more accessible than you think.

Galveston may be 32-miles long, but it's only a few miles wide. With a handful of neighborhoods and top points of interest, finding your perfect locations won't be difficult.

a horse drawn carriage carries visitors through downtown Galveston, Texas

Proximity to Houston

Located about an hour south of Houston and connected to the mainland by a causeway, Galveston is as easy to get to as an island can be. Some of the ways to travel to, from, or on the island include Uber or Lyft, shuttle, limousine, rental car or personal vehicle.

Arrival by Air

The closest international airport to Galveston is William P Hobby Airport. Located on the southern side of Houston, it’s only about 40 miles – and less than an hour if traffic cooperates – from the terminal to the beach.

George Bush Intercontinental Airport is the largest airport in Houston. It’s about 70 miles and 80+ minutes from Galveston.

Don't forget about Scholes International Airport (GLS) right here on Galveston Island! As a general aviation reliever airport, GLS serves as a valuable asset in meeting the needs of businesses, private pilots, and aviation enthusiasts. Great attractions such as Moody Gardens Theme Park, Schlitterbahn Water Park, and Moody Gardens Golf Course are all located within the airport complex, few steps away from the ramp, making Scholes Airport your one-stop Galveston Island adventure.

Once you’re on the ground, you have many options for getting from the airport to your lodging or cruise port.

  • Limo or luxury car: Rates vary from around $150 each way for a luxury car from Houston Hobby up to $400 each way for a stretch limo from Bush International.
  • Shuttle: Round-trip rates range from around $40 to $100 per person.
  • Uber and Lyft: Rates range from about $100+ round trip per car from Houston Hobby to $165+ round trip from Bush International. Fares increase during busy times.
  • Rental car: Rates vary.
Getting Here & Transportation
Parking on The Island

If you don’t mind walking a few blocks, you can find free parking on much of the island. However, there are some places you need to pay for parking and some that require resident permits. Paid parking is required along The Seawall from 10AM-6PM and in Historic Downtown from 9AM-6PM.

The best way to pay for parking along The Seawall and the Historic Downtown District is through PayByPhone. You can call 1-866-234-7275, visit, or download the PayByPhone app on your smartphone. PayByPhone goes by your license plate number, so you can park anywhere within the same location code.

Downtown Galveston Location Code: 5689

Galveston Seawall Location Code: 5004

Beach Parking Passes

Annual beach parking passes can be purchased at the Beach Parks or at The Park Board Plaza. Monday-Friday 8:30AM - 5PM. Call (409) 797-5151 for more information.

Annual Seawall Parking passes can be purchased by calling (866) 234-7275, looking for a Beach Parking Ambassador along the seawall, online at, on the PayByPhone mobile app or in-person at Ohana Surf & Skate.

BEST VALUE – Ultimate Pass $95

An entire year of unlimited Seawall parking PLUS entry to the beach parks for the entire season (March to October) – East Beach (R.A. Apffel Beach Park), Stewart Beach Park, Dellanera RV Park and West End Pocket Parks.

Annual Seawall Parking Pass $45

An entire year of unlimited parking along Seawall Blvd.

Seasonal Beach Park Pass $50

Entry to the beach parks for the entire season (March to October) – East Beach (R.A. Apffel Beach Park), Stewart Beach Park, Dellanera RV Park and West End Pocket Parks.

Passes are issued as a window decal per vehicle. Seawall parking is monitored per vehicle by the license plate.

To purchase the Ultimate Pass and Seasonal Park Pass, visit a beach park to be issued your window decal. Annual Seawall Parking Passes can be purchased at

Fun Ways to Travel Around the Island
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