Downtown Galveston

Discover downtown Galveston, TX, and its historic architecture, family attractions, local restaurants, art galleries, performance venues, and more.

Home to official designations including the Strand Historic District, the Downtown Cultural Arts District and the Historic Strand Seaport area, the area contains historic architecture, family attractions, locally-owned restaurants, boutiques, art galleries, performance venues and more.

a trolley in downtown Galveston
The map of downtown Galveston, TX.
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History of Downtown Galveston

The Galveston Strand, in the late 1880s, was dubbed “The Wall Street of the South.” It was a street of opulent Victorian buildings, with five banks, wholesale houses, grocers, liquor and cigar dealers, cotton factors, commission merchants, insurance companies, printers and eight newspapers, dry goods companies, steam and sail ship agencies, auction houses, saloons, and sailor boarding houses.

At that time, Galveston was one of the richest cities in the world per capita. It boasted being the “third richest city in the United States in proportion to population” and efforts were being made to increase its seaport value. All major railroads served Galveston and 60% of the state’s cotton crop was exported through its port. Before the end of the century, The Galveston Strand was not only the financial center of Galveston and Texas but much of the South, as well.

a horse drawn carriage carries visitors through downtown Galveston, Texas
Downtown Galveston
The Strand

Historic Downtown Galveston's main shopping street, The Strand, draws visitors to its diverse collection of boutiques, gift shops, restaurants and attractions housed in majestic iron-front buildings that once made up the "Wall Street of the South." From the old-fashioned candy shop LaKing's Confectionary to the Galveston Railroad Museum and Saengerfest Park, which hosts Music and Movie Nites and other special events, the Strand and its surrounding streets serve as Galveston hub for activities and entertainment.

In this area is also the Tremont House, a one-of-a-kind luxury hotel whose southern historic charm and classic beauty never fail to delight its guests.

Street view of vendor tents set up at the ArtoberFest event in Galveston Texas
Downtown Galveston
Postoffice District

Marked by its beautiful Victorian architecture and colorfully painted storefronts, the Postoffice Street area is full of charm, offering an enchanting blend of art galleries, boutiques, antique shops, and lively entertainment, including The Grand 1894 Opera House, which is the premier performing arts theater in the Gulf Coast region. This area is also famous for its chic eateries and cozy coffeehouses, including MOD, which has been brewing up fresh coffee for Galvestonians for the past 15 years.

This area's artsy atmosphere has made it a fresh hangout for locals and the center of the island's popular ArtWalk held every six weeks.

The vibrant outdoor area of Maceo Spice and Import Co.
Downtown Galveston
West Market (WeMa)

This burgeoning area west of the downtown district boasts old-fashioned, fabled establishments with lots of room for new tenants. Area anchors include Maceo Spice and Import Company, where visitors can sit at a community table for an unforgettable meal; Daiquiri Time Out, which features fresh, classic cocktails in a sleek, urban setting; and much more!

An aerial shot of Pier 21 in Galveston.
Downtown Galveston
Pier 21

Nestled along Galveston Harbor, Pier 21 offers waterfront views, delicious dining options and a cluster of attractions that showcase the island's cultural and maritime heritage - from the Galveston Historic Seaport and 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA to the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig & Museum.

Several tour companies based at the pier offer wonderful tours of the bay, for those interested in getting out on the water.

  • Board the Seagull II for historic harbor tours and dolphin tours.
  • Baywatch offers dolphin tours on their open-air pontoon boats, which can seat 34 people
  • Galveston Water Adventures offers dolphin tours, exhilarating jet boat rides, and romantic sunset cruises

Pier 21 is located steps away from the Galveston Cruise Terminal.

Downtown & East End: Hotels

The Tremont House accommodations are elegant and inviting, paying homage to the fact that they're one of the most historic hotels in Galveston. The Tremont House is a warm slice of Southern charm, with historic features and classic beauty to delight and comfort weary travelers.

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Harbor House Hotel & Marina at Pier 21 is truly a unique place to stay because it's the only harbor front hotel in Galveston! When you stay with them, you get spectacular harbor views, beautifully decorated rooms, and an ideal location just steps away from the Strand Historic District.

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Things To Do

2217 Strand St., 217
Galveston, Texas 77550

Things To Do

2219 Postoffice St
Galveston, Texas 77550

Food & Drink

2127 The Strand
Galveston, Texas 77550


2215 Postoffice St
Galveston, Texas 77550

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Posted 2/15/2024
by Clayton Kolavo

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