Galveston has some unique touring opportunities that you can only experience on the island. Options range from pirates to oil rigs.
Pirates: Legends of the Gulf Coast: From 1817 to 1821, Galveston was home to pirate Jean Lafitte. Learn about Lafitte along with other pirates and privateers in this small museum located at 2313 Harborside Drive (entrance facing Saengerfest Park). And, as a bonus, you can buy a discounted ticket and venture through Haunted Mayfield Manor which shares the building. For details, visit www.piratesgulfcoast.com.
Ocean Star Offshore Oil Rig and Museum: You can actually step aboard a retired jack-up drilling offshore oil rig at the eastern end of Pier 21 complex and take a tour. See the equipment up close and learn the science behind it as well as all the different types of rigs and the industry. This is a great museum for those with an interest in science and engineering or a curiosity about “Texas Tea.” You should allocate 1 ½ to 2 hours to tour the rig and museum.
The Bryan Museum: This new gem, owned by J.P. Bryan, is located at 1315 21st Street, This restored mansion houses the largest collection of historic artifacts; documents and art related to Southwestern United States. Read our blog on five things you can only see at The Bryan Museum for more details.
1892 Bishop’s Palace: There are plenty of historic homes that you can tour around the country; however, there is only one Bishop’s Palace. Bishop’s Palace, located at 1402 Broadway, is considered one of the best examples of Victorian residential architechture in the country. Check their schedule for their monthly basement to attic tours.
USS Cavalla: You can take a self-guided tour aboard World War II submarine USS Cavalla on display at Seawolf Park on Pelican Island. This submarine sunk a Japanese aircraft carrier that took part in Pearl Harbor. You can also explore the USS Stewart, one of three remaining WWII destroyer escorts left in the world. www.americanunderseawarfarecenter.com/
Galveston Historic Tour offers general historic tours Sunday through Saturday at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. departing from the Galveston Visitors Center at Ashton Villa, 2328 Broadway (parking lot in rear). Offering monthly themed driving tours on various topics related to Galveston. In September, their monthly tour focused on the 1900 Storm. Upcoming topics are Ghosts (October), Holiday Lights (December), and Battle of Galveston (January) Arrangements can be made for pickup at The Tremont House and Harbor House. For information and reservations, visit their website at www.galvestonhistorictour.com/.
If you want to stay in the heart of The Historic Strand District, book your stay at The Tremont House.
If you want to enjoy of view of the harbor and be walkable The Strand and Postoffice Street, consider Harbor House Hotel & Marina at Pier 21.
If you want a beachfront hotel, stay at Hotel Galvez & Spa. The hotel provides a courtesy shuttle to transport hotel guests downtown.