Galveston Island operates on “Island Time” and offers bike enthusiasts enjoyable routes along its famed Seawall Boulevard historic districts and harbor. While the city continues to add bike lanes across town, below are some recommended routes for visitors who want to pedal through Galveston.
Did you know that Galveston has the longest continuous sidewalk in the United States? Galveston’s Seawall Blvd. is 10.3 miles and was built to protect the island from future hurricanes. In addition to protecting the island, it is Galveston’s most popular spot for bike riders. Use the crosswalk and venture east or west along Galveston’s beachfront. Make sure to watch for beach goers.
If you travel east, past Stewart Beach and toward East Beach consider taking a ride to Beach Town and look for Porch Café, 1625 East Beach Drive. It’s a good spot for a quick-stop for a meal. They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner on weekends.
If you travel west, eventually you’ll make it to Jimmy’s on the Pier, 9001 Seawall Blvd. Park your bike and enjoy a burger and the view. Other popular stops on the beachfront include Murdoch’s, 2215 Seawall Blvd., where you can do some shopping and have a beverage. Of course, there are plenty of restaurants along the Seawall which offer a great respite. Look for the nearest crosswalk and enjoy.
If you are interested in exploring Galveston’s Lost Bayou, East End Historic District or Strand District, we recommend you take 19th Street, which offers a designated bike lane. Future bike lanes are planned on 8th and 27th streets. The good news is Galveston is pretty slow paced and most drivers are pretty courteous.
On the east side of town, consider ShyKatz, 1528 Avenue L, Mosquito Café, 628 14th Street, Sunflower Bakery, 512 14th Street, and Farley Girls, 801 Postoffice, for a leisurely lunch. All offer convenient bike racks to secure your bicycle while dining. Downtown, you’ll also find plenty of places to secure your bike while shopping or dining. Pick up a map of the East End tree sculptures and bike through the historic East End neighborhood to see how many you can find.
Traveling south, from the beach front, and north consider:
• 19th Street
• 14th Street
• 12th Street
• 9th Street
You may want to avoid 25th, 23rd and 21st that tend to stay busy by island’s standards.
Traveling east and west take:
South of Broadway
• Seawall Blvd.
• Avenue O ½
• Avenue P ½
North of Broadway
• Sealy Street (East End)
• Ball Street (East End)
• Church (goes west only 21st to 25th)
• Postoffice (goes east only from 23rd to 9th)
You’ll want to avoid Avenue O, Avenue P and Broadway which are major thoroughfares for residents. If you are crossing Broadway, make sure to choose a block with a traffic light.
Always remember to travel with traffic, not against traffic, and follow traffic rules.
Guests at Hotel Galvez can take advantage of the hotel’s courtesy bicycles which are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Tremont House and Harbor House guests can also use the bikes at Hotel Galvez but if they are all taken there is a bike rental company nearby called Island Bicycle, 1808 Seawall Blvd.
And, guests at The Tremont House can now take advantage of the newly opened Zipp E-Bikes, 2311 Mechanic. Zipp E-Bikes opened just in time for summer and offers hour, two-hour, half-day and full-day rentals. Hourly rentals start at $20 per hour. They are also offering a guided Island Adventure Tour. The shop is located directly across the street from The Tremont House. The Tremont House also offers a Bike Package that includes a discounted half-day rental for two.
Enjoy your ride and welcome to Galveston.
Where to Stay:
• For a beach view with history and, of course, Sunday Brunch, stay at Hotel Galvez & Spa. The hotel provides a courtesy shuttle to transport hotel guests downtown.
• For a stay in The Historic Strand District, book your stay at The Tremont House.
• Or if you want to enjoy of view of the harbor, consider Harbor House Hotel & Marina at Pier 21.