Exterior of the Tremont House with a car in front of the entrance
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Read All About the Island

Make the most of your stay on Galveston Island with our insiders guide to exploring the area. Our monthly Staff Picks highlight all of the historic places, interactive tours, and family-friendly attractions that make our beachfront city so special. Read more to learn about our favorite places to drink, dine, shop, and explore.

  • yellow and blue macaws
    01 Mar

    Three Fabulous Places for Family Fun in Galveston

    Those seeking the ultimate in family-friendly fun need look no further than right here in Galveston. We offer an abundance of fabulously fun attractions, three of which are listed below.

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    Pier 21  

    Located in the historic harbor area, this is home to three museums, including the 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA and the Texas Seaport Museum. You can also ride alongside the dolphins on a Baywatch Tour, or zoom through the harbor on a high-speed boat ride.

    Moody Gardens  

    Penguins, sharks, and more await you at the Aquarium Pyramid, along with Saki Monkeys, Giant Amazon River Otters, and tropical birds at the Rainforest Pyramid. Thrill to an amazing film experience at the 4D Special FX Theater, or test your mettle on the Ropes Courses and the Zip Line.

    Schlitterbahn Waterpark Galveston

    This exhilarating collection of water rides includes four slides, raft rides, and a kid’s area, along with excellent picnic pavilions and a swim-up bar.

    Where to Stay:

    Enhance your visit to Pier 21 with an outstanding view of the harbor when you stay at the Harbor House Hotel & Marina at Pier 21. Or, check out the scenic beachfront location of the Hotel Galvez & Spa. For exquisite downtown accommodations, make your reservations for The Tremont House.

  • beach photographer
    01 Mar

    Five Fabulous Free Tours

    Galveston’s rich heritage and stunning beauty make it an ideal setting for tours of all types. Whether you’re here for a quick getaway or a full-fledged vacation, you’ll find a number of tours available, including many that are free. To get you started, we’ve listed five of our favorites below.

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    Project S.I.T. (Seawall Interpretive Trail)

    Rent a surrey or bicycle and discover this impressive display of 70 seawall benches transformed by area artists.

    Tree Sculpture Tour

    Thousands of trees were lost or damaged in 2008 due to Hurricane Ike, but creativity saved the day when local artisans made sculptures of the remnants. Most of these are located in the East End Historic District, ideal for bicycle tours.

    Galveston Ferry, SH 87

    Park your car and climb aboard to enjoy a breezy ferry ride to Bolivar Peninsula and back. 

    Hotel Galvez App

    A fun, free app that includes historic photographs, a 25-minute history, and a 20-minute ghost-narrated audio tour.

    “Make History” App

    A free app from the Galveston Historical Foundation available for Android and iPhone; pre-loaded with a free Strand walking tour.

    Where to Stay:

    For exquisite beachfront views, make reservations at Hotel Galvez & Spa. Use your tour app and explore the Hall of History on the lower level. For a delightful downtown stay, check into The Tremont House, and take advantage of your free Strand walking tour. Prefer stunning harbor views? You’ll love the Harbor House Hotel & Marina at Pier 21.

  • cheers with red wine
    01 Mar

    Winning Wines, Exquisite Eats, and Fabulous Fun

    Want to join thousands of wine and food aficionados tasting hundreds of drinks from dozens of vineyards? Then, head over to Galveston’s historic Strand District on April 26th and April 27th for the Galveston Island Wine Festival.

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    A Premium Tasting and a Grand Tasting will be offered, all accompanied by tasty tidbits prepared by some of the area’s most renowned chefs and culinary artists. Considered the denouement of the festival, the Grand Tasting in Saengerfest Park will allow wine-lovers to indulge in endless samples from more than 100 vineyards from around the globe and small bites, along with a souvenir wine glass and an event program with a complete list of wines. Most attendees purchase a VIP package so they can attend both tastings! 

    Where to Stay:

    For the finest in downtown accommodations, check into The Tremont House. For breathtaking beachfront views, make your reservation at Hotel Galvez & Spa. If you prefer a delightful harbor view, be sure to stay at the Harbor House Hotel & Marina at Pier 21.

  • railroad train set
    01 Mar

    Five Family-Friendly Adventures under $15

    Family vacations are ideal for making lifetime memories, but they can often turn into a budget-buster if you don’t plan ahead. With this in mind, we are suggesting some fun activities that will thrill the family that won’t break the bank.

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    Galveston Children’s Museum

    A splendid destination for ages 2 to 6. General admission is $7, and a combination ticket is available with Moody Mansion. 

    Harbor Tours at Pier 21

    Select from two dolphin tours or board the Seagull II at the Texas Seaport Museum. Tours range from $10-$12 for adults, with reduced or free prices for children, depending on age.

    Galveston Railroad Museum

    All aboard for Saturday train rides and railroad aficionados of all ages. Free for active military, $10/adults, $8/seniors, and $5/children aged two and up.

    PIRATES! Legends of the Gulf Coast

    Come learn about a pirate’s life and admire our gift shop booty. $10 for adults, with reduced or free prices for children, depending on age. A combo ticket is available for Haunted Mayfield Manor. 

    The Bryan Museum

    Browse one of the world’s largest collections of Southwestern United States art and historic artifacts. $14 for adults, $12 for seniors and active military, $10 students with valid ID, and reduced or free prices for children, depending on age.

    Where to Stay:

    Enjoy a stunning view of the harbor when you check in at the Harbor House Hotel & Marina at Pier 21. Prefer the beachfront? Make your reservation at Hotel Galvez & Spa. Or pamper yourself with deluxe downtown accommodations at The Tremont House.

  • woman shopping for jewelry
    25 Feb

    Best New Businesses in Downtown Galveston

    Galveston is an idyllic place for a staycation, and many of our guests have such a fabulous time that they make return visits. With this in mind, we’re listing a few suggestions here for food, shopping, entertainment, and more that our new visitors and those who are returning may find helpful.

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    First, check out Hearsay on the Strand at 2410 Strand. Order craft cocktails and contemporary American cuisine for brunch, lunch, dinner, and happy hour. Or, head over to the Shark Shack. Located only a block away from the cruise ship terminal at 2402 Strand, this is a terrific venue for seafood, burgers, cocktails, surf videos, and weekend dance parties. For USDA Prime steaks and fresh seafood, a visit to Chef Paco Vargas’ Vargas Cut & Catch at 2102 Postoffice Street is just the thing. In the mood for bratwurst and beer? Stuttgarden Tavern on The Strand at 111 23rd Street offers a beer garden and full liquor bar, along with traditional German fare, pub food, and a Build Your Own Burger menu.

    Next, get your art on at the Galveston Arts Center at 2127 Strand and the Strand Gallery at 2418 Strand, featuring work by local and nationally known artists. You’ll be intrigued and dazzled by the specialty toys at Play on the Strand at 2119 Strand. Also, be sure to stop in at the Kitchen Chick at 2402 Market Street for cooking classes and camps, along with gourmet kitchen wares and accessories. And, for the best of unique, fair trade, and cause-oriented gifts, décor, jewelry, and accessories, a visit to Bel Pri at 2301 Strand is a must. Finally, don’t miss a check-in at Blu Boutique at 2425 Strand. You’ll find a charming and unusual selection of clothing, accessories, and jewelry, along with home décor, gifts, and more. And, if you are looking for Clay Cup Studios, you'll find them at their new location at 2219 Postoffice. Enhance your appreciation of the Strand District with a stay at The Tremont House in downtown Galveston. For a gorgeous view of the harbor, you’ll want to check into Harbor House Hotel & Marina at Pier 21. Or, for luxurious and historic beachfront accommodations, plan to stay at Hotel Galvez & Spa.

  • two kids playing in swimming pool
    18 Feb

    Your Ultimate Spring Break Destination

    Often referred to as the playground of the Southwest, the city of Galveston is the ideal spring break destination for all types and tastes. Galveston provides a wealth of events and attractions that appeal to everyone from toddlers to seniors, and every age in between.

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    Whether you’re looking for the constant party, a family getaway, or a peaceful beachfront holiday, Galveston remains a natural magnet for spring-breakers of all stripes. Those in search of adult refreshment will appreciate the view of Galveston from The Rooftop Bar at The Tremont House, as well as the five various vibes to be experienced at Island Famous. Other libation locations include Float on Seawall Boulevard, DTO (Daiquiri Time Out), in downtown, and the nearby The Wine Next Door. Also, we suggest you check out the following:

    • Moody Gardens: The famous pyramids (discovery, rainforest, and aquarium) make this ever-popular destination tops on the list for all ages, along with a five-tier steel ropes course, a 60-feet-high zip line, and more.
    • Schlitterbahn Waterpark Galveston brings the heat at their renowned indoor waterpark, with attractions and fun for all.
    • The Galveston Trolley – Hop aboard for a terrific way to sight-see and get around. Trolleys run from Stewart Beach to Moody Gardens, and downtown (with a transfer) seven days a week from 10:00 a.m. through 10:00 p.m.

    For a bit of historic charm combined with sophistication mere steps away from the Gulf, make your reservation at Hotel Galvez & Spa. For a lovely scenic view of the harbor, check into the Harbor House Hotel & Marina at Pier 21. Or, for the best in accommodations in Galveston’s glorious Strand District, you’ll find The Tremont House in downtown Galveston is just what you’re looking for.  

  • Small purple flowers on a bush
    13 Feb

    Spring and Summer Not to Miss Events on Galveston Island

    Who doesn’t love Galveston in the Spring and Summer? The weather is warmer and weekends are filled with special events, free movies, concerts and more.

     

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    Here is our “not to miss” event list for Spring and Summer:

     

    Mark your calendar and book your room in advance to coincide with these popular events.

    Where to Stay:

    • For a beach view with history, 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.

     

  • couple kissing on beach
    11 Feb

    Galveston’s Most Romantic Places to Pop the Question

    Galveston is chock-full of natural scenic beauty and charming attractions, all of which are ideal places for a memorable romantic proposal. However, before you reveal the ring of her dreams on bended knee, it’s important to set the scene by making sure your hotel selection offers the right ambiance and style.

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    For example, those who like it quick, easy, and deluxe, will appreciate the “Marry Me” package at The Tremont House. You’ll get dinner for two at the historic beachfront location of the Hotel Galvez & Spa, along with a 30-minute carriage ride, roses, chocolate-covered strawberries, champagne, and more. Or, reserve your romantic evening at Hotel Galvez & Spa, where personalized packages are available, including everything from couples spa services to a selection of candlelight-filled spaces that are just right for proposing.

    More romantic Galveston proposal sites include a box at The Grand 1894 Opera House, where the staff is happy to provide a box seat and arrange champagne and other romantic “extras.” For those with a passion for the unusual, consider popping the question on the deck of the 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA at Pier 21. Other locations include a beautifully restored dining railcar at the Galveston Island Railroad Museum, the Gallery at Moody Mansion, and the charming fountain at Kempner Park. Lastly, opt for a unique waterfront proposal with a stunning view of the harbor at one of the benches near the Harbor House Hotel & Marina at Pier 21.

  • ranunculus flowers
    04 Feb

    Discover the Romance of Galveston

    Are you looking for a romantic getaway for Valentine’s Day – somewhere with beautiful beaches and gulf breezes, where fascinating history and Victorian architecture merge seamlessly with the new, and a walkable downtown abounds with a thriving arts and culture scene?

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    Then, come to Galveston, a lovely and charming city where the weather is fine, the folks are friendly, and the fun is always happening. For a little inspiration, see our “insider” tips below.

    • For the best tour of downtown and one terrific time, join the Fantastic Galveston Race. Inspired by “The Amazing Race,” this fabulously fun event is held every Saturday and Sunday at 11: 00 a.m. or 1:30 p.m., and has been described as “part scavenger hunt, part sight-seeing tour, and part adventure.”
    • Take in a show at The Grand 1894 Opera House. A magnificent setting for shows and live performances, the Grand will feature Neil Berg’s Broadway-bound show, “50 Years of Rock & Roll” on Saturday, February 16 at 8:00 p.m., and the Galveston Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 “Titan” on Sunday, February 17, at 4:00 p.m. Tip: They also offer a summer season.
    • Three additional ways to make your Valentine’s Day even more special: One, top off a perfect romantic evening while enjoying one of the finest views of Galveston at The Rooftop Bar. Located atop The Tremont House in the Strand District, the bar is open daily, weather permitting. Also, enjoy fine spa services, along with a lovely Sunday brunch, at the historic beachfront location of the Hotel Galvez & Spa. And, treat yourselves to an outstanding view of the harbor with a stay at Harbor House Hotel & Marina at Pier 21. Don’t forget to inquire about the Wyndham Sweet Escape Packages at Hotel Galvez and The Tremont House! 

  • woman celebrating mardi gras
    28 Jan

    Mardi Gras, Weekend Two: Preserve the Party in Pictures

    From the beach to downtown, Galveston’s 2019 Mardi Gras celebration promises to be one huge party, with all of our favorite Krewes and parades, including the Funky Uptown Umbrella Brigade and the 8th Annual Zaniest Golf Cart Parade, Knights of Momus Grand Night Parade along with the Children’s Parade and Krewe of Barkus & Meoux pet parade cruising the streets of the Strand and the seawall during the second weekend.

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    The festivities include performances by renowned headliners, and concerts featuring every type of music will have hundreds of thousands of Mardi Gras merry-makers rocking out on balconies, beaches, and in the street. Millions of beads will be tossed to revelers, many of whom collect and save these trinkets year after year. That’s great, but we believe there’s nothing like photos to preserve the memories of your Mardi Gras fun. In addition to snaps of parades and parties, here are a few suggestions for some cool shots that will make you the envy of your Instagram feed.

    • The Mardi Gras Arch and The Tremont House, 2300 Ship’s Mechanic Row.
    • In front of any of Downtown Galveston’s beautiful murals.

    • Artist David Adickes’ 14-foot tall sculpture “The Stone Trumpet” at 23rd Street and The Strand, beside the Old Galveston Square building.

    Accommodations near these attractions and close to all the Mardi Gras festivities can be found at downtown Galveston’s The Tremont House, Harbor House Hotel & Marina at Pier 21, or Hotel Galvez & Spa on the beachfront.

  • mardi gras mask
    21 Jan

    Come Carnival with Us

    Brilliantly-colored beads, marvelous and mysterious masks, ornately-costumed riders on elegant and brightly-lit floats – these iconic symbols of Galveston’s Mardi Gras are ingrained in our history.

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    Since our first Mardi Gras parade in 1871, the festivities have grown every year in scope and style to become the town’s ultimate winter carnival celebration, as well as the third largest Mardi Gras celebration in the nation. The 108th Galveston Mardi Gras promises to be one of the finest ever; featuring hundreds of thousands of revelers, millions of beads, five luxurious masked balls, 22 parades, 20 balcony parties, and over 30 concerts. From the beachfront to downtown, it’s going to be an epic blowout!

    • February 22 begins the first weekend of Mardi Gras, and festivities will include four parades, including the 8th Annual Zaniest Golf Cart Parade, along with multiple concerts, and numerous balcony parties. 
    • The Jolly Jester Jaunt 5K contenders will race through Galveston’s entertainment district on Saturday, February 23 at 11:00 a.m.
    • Also, 2019 will include this year’s inaugural Fiesta Gras on Sunday, February 24. A celebration of Hispanic heritage, Fiesta Gras will feature a parade at 1:00 p.m. and another at 4:00 p.m., along with headliner entertainment, vendors, and more.

    For special rates on accommodations during Fiesta Gras and Mardi Gras, check out downtown Galveston’s The Tremont House, Harbor House Hotel & Marina at Pier 21, or the beachfront comfort of Hotel Galvez & Spa.

  • sandhill cranes
    14 Jan

    Three Great Ideas for Winter Fun in Galveston

    Galveston offers an abundant array of fun, family-friendly, and absolutely fabulous activities year-round.

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    From Dickens on the Strand and Mardi Gras to shrimp and gumbo festivals, there’s always fun to be found – sometimes where you least expect it. With that in mind, we suggest the following three activities for your consideration.

    • Nature lovers, curious kids, and professional birders all will appreciate the winter birding opportunities provided by a jaunt to Galveston Island State Park. Not only will you see the magnificent Sandhill Cranes in their winter habitat, but also get closeup looks at hawks, ducks, gulls, sandpipers, plovers, curlews, and much more.
    • Bring along your sense of adventure and enjoy the ride on the Port Bolivar Ferry. You’ll see glorious sunrises or sunsets, while dolphins and seagulls swim alongside shrimp boats and giant oil tankers headed to and from the port. Don’t miss a visit to the Bolivar Peninsula for stunning views of both the Bolivar Lighthouse and Fort Travis. 
    • Experience a unique encounter with otters, penguins, and seals at Moody Gardens’ behind-the-scenes animal encounters. Private and public sessions are available with your choice of giant river otters, penguins, or penguins and seals. Learn about conservation and the care of the animals, and join the biologist on the training platform or watch a penguin create a work of art. All proceeds from animal encounters go toward conservation efforts.

    Looking to make your stay special? For the best in downtown Galveston accommodations, check into The Tremont House. Beachfront lovers will appreciate the historic comfort of Hotel Galvez & Spa, and Harbor House Hotel & Marina at Pier 21 offers lovely harbor views.

  • chillis
    07 Jan

    Five Things You’ll Love at Yaga’s Chili Quest & Beer Fest

    Chase away the chill this month with delicious bowls of red from some of the finest chili chefs; all washed down with an abundant array of craft beers at Yaga’s Chili Quest & Beer Fest on January 18 and 19.

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    This is the festival’s 10th annual event in Galveston’s historic Strand District and will begin with a kickoff party at Yaga’s on Friday, January 18, from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. The festival will continue all day on Saturday, January 19, from 6:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. In addition to tempting your taste buds with some of the nation’s most awesome chili and beer, here are three more reasons to come out and play.

    • Check out the wildly entertaining Beerfooter 5K Fun Run/Walk at 9:00 a.m. Outrageously-costumed contestants are encouraged, so run if you’re so inclined, or just cheer on your favorite Beerfooters.
    • Saengerfest Park will be transformed into Margaritaville at 12:00 p.m. with the Jackpot Margarita Contest, and live music beginning at 1:00 p.m. The park will also be the site of the official awards ceremony at 4:30 p.m.
    • Also, you’ll find hand-crafted goods, jewelry, and more from a variety of vendors, a washer-pitching tournament at 11:00 a.m., and the perennially popular Strand Merchant Walkabout from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    Make the most of your visit by staying at The Tremont House in downtown Galveston. For a stunning view of the harbor, you’ll want to check into Harbor House Hotel & Marina at Pier 21. If you prefer the best in historic beachfront accommodations, we recommend Hotel Galvez & Spa.

  • a colorful bench on a sidewalk in front of the beach
    04 Sep

    Five Free Tours To Enjoy In Galveston

    If you are spending the weekend or the week in Galveston make sure to enjoy free tours along with the paid attractions. A couple may require a bike rental and all are a great way to spend an afternoon or even enjoy during your downtime.

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    • Galveston Ferry, SH 87 – Take the 15-minute ferry ride to Bolivar Peninsula and enjoy the convenience of this free voyage. Tip: Park your car and ride it both ways for a quick excursion.
    • Project S.I.T. (Seawall Interpretive Trail) Benches, benches located on Seawall Blvd. – Artist Boat has enlisted area artists and schools to paint more than 60 benches with scenic and educational topics to beautify benches along the Seawall. Tip: Rent a bike or surrey and make stops at the ones that catch your eye.
    • Tree Sculpture Tour, throughout East End District and beyond – Galveston lost thousands of trees as a result of Hurricane Ike in 2008. Some of the remnants of these trees have been transformed into works of art and are primarily located in the East End Historic District. Download the tour or pick up a brochure from the Galveston Visitors Center for locations. Tip: This is another great tour by bike.
    • Galveston Historical Foundation’s “Make History” App – The free app is pre-loaded with a free Strand walking tour along with other features and is available for iPhone and Android. Search for Galveston Historical Foundation in your app store.
    • Hotel Galvez App – This free app offers a 25-minute history and 20-minute ghost narrated audio tours. Both tours are loaded with historic photos and are fun to use on property or at your leisure. Search your app store for Hotel Galvez. Tip: If you are at the hotel, make sure to venture to the lower level to tour the Hall of History.


    Where to Stay in Galveston:

    If you are looking for a hotel that’s away from the hubbub of the beachfront, try The Tremont House or Harbor House Hotel & Marina. And, if you prefer a historic beachfront hotel, then definitely book your room at Hotel Galvez & Spa.

    Have a great trip!

  • old time drawing of a seawall between the ocean and hotel galvez
    06 Aug

    Five Things You Didn't Know About Galveston's Seawall

    We asked Kimber Fountain, author of “Galveston Seawall Chronicles,” to share five things you didn’t know about Galveston’s Seawall.

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    Did you know...

    1. The American Society of Civil Engineers still considers Galveston’s seawall and grade-raising to be one of the most monumental feats of civil engineering ever accomplished in the history of the United States.


    2. Galveston did not become predominantly a tourist destination until after the seawall was constructed. It was built only as a protective measure, but it was received with such awe and admiration that slowly the city began to adopt this new reputation, especially after Galveston’s successful commercial port was usurped by the Port of Houston when it opened in 1914.


    3. The construction of the original, three-mile-long seawall was finished in just twenty-one months, between 1902 and 1904. The grade-raising, which elevated the grade of the island an average of thirteen feet, began almost immediately following the completion of the seawall and took seven years to complete.


    4. Initially, the wall was built in an “L” shape. It began at 8th Street and the harbor, curved over to 6th Street which it then followed across the eastern end of the island to the beach. It then hooked westward and traveled two miles down Galveston’s Gulf shoreline. In 1918 the seawall was extended eastward from 6th Street and the area behind it was filled in. The original eastern leg of the wall is now entombed under UTMB.


    5. In total the seawall was extended seven times over the 20th century to its current length of 10.1 miles, making it the longest continuous sidewalk in the world.

    The book is available for purchase in the Hotel Galvez gift shop as well as other businesses downtown.

    Where to Stay:

  • black and white image of a man and woman smiling outside a hotel
    17 Jul

    Ten Cool Facts On The Tremont House

    1. The Tremont House is in its third incarnation. The current hotel that bears this name opened on Feb. 16, 1985 in conjunction with the revival of Mardi Gras in Galveston.

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    2. The original Tremont House was built in the same year that Galveston was founded (1839). It was located at the corner of Postoffice and Tremont Streets, the sturdy two-story building was the largest and finest hotel in the Republic of Texas.

    3. General Sam Houston delivered his last public speech on the balcony of Tremont House on April 19, 1861. The building was destroyed by fire in June 1865.

    4. A second Tremont opened in 1872 and was designed by noted architect Nicholas Clayton. The hotel fell into ruin following the depression and was demolished in 1928.

    5. Cynthia and George Mitchell bought the 1879 Leon & H. Blum Building in 1981 and began its transformation into an elegant boutique-style hotel. The adjoining building, which houses the Belmont Suites, dates to 1873.

    6. When the current Tremont House opened in 1985, it was the first hotel to open in Downtown Galveston in more than sixty years.

    7. Recent celebrity guests who have stayed at The Tremont House include Liza Minnelli, Clint Black, Holland Taylor, Aaron Neville, Dr. John & The Night Trippers, Sinbad, Carol Burnett, Shirley MacLaine, David Cassidy, Robert Earl Keen, Shoji Tabuchi, James Earl Jones, B52s, Sally Struthers, Ronnie Milsap, Wilson Phillips, William Shatner and many others. The list continually grows.

    8. The hotel’s lobby features a hand-carved rosewood bar that dates to 1888. The bar is named for Henry Toujouse, an immigrant from France who worked at this bar and later owned it. The bar was originally located at the Opera House Saloon situated in the basement of The Tremont Opera House at Tremont and Market.

    9. The Tremont House is home to Galveston’s only rooftop bar.

    10. The Tremont House joined the elite ranks of Wyndham’s hotels in 1996.

    Like many of Galveston’s historic downtown buildings, The Tremont House is reportedly haunted. Dash Beardsley’s Ghosts Tours of Galveston finishes its tour at The Tremont House by sharing some of its stories.

    Book your stay, at www.TheTremontHouse.com

  • the words bride and groom sketched on wooden hearts
    05 Feb

    Romantic Wedding Proposal Ideas For Galveston

    So you are planning to pop the question and you have no idea what to do. That’s okay. We’ve asked some local experts on their suggestions on where to propose in Galveston.

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    First, make sure you book your room. And, according to TripstoDiscover.com, The Tremont House and Hotel Galvez & Spa are two of the most romantic hotels in Texas.

    The Tremont House

    If you really want to make it easy, The Tremont House offers a “Marry Me” Engagement Package. The package includes accommodations in one of the hotel’s gorgeous suites, a vase of six roses, champagne and chocolate covered strawberries, 30-minute carriage ride, and dinner for two at Galvez Bar and Grill. The staff will take care of all the details but it’s up to you to take care of the rest. After you pop the big question, you’ll return to your suite for a rose petal turndown. The following morning savor breakfast for two in your room. Plus, if you stay on a Friday or Saturday night, you can enjoy live jazz in the Toujouse Bar and grab a nightcap at The Rooftop Bar. Keep in mind that you must book at least a week in advance so all the arrangements can be made. Make sure to call 409.763.0300 to confirm the time for your dinner reservation and carriage ride.

    Hotel Galvez & Spa

    Hotel Galvez is a hugely popular spot for a surprise engagement because of its history and ambiance. The hotel’s Concierge Melissa Hall is happy to personalize the occasion to suit your vision. She mentioned that one of her most popular packages includes booking a four-hour “Gifts from the Sea” package for the bride-to-be which includes four spa services (massage, facial, manicure and pedicure) at The Spa at Hotel Galvez and adding a couples’ massage for added couple time. Following The Spa, take your future betrothed to dinner in the Galvez Bar and Grill with the added bonus of having dessert served in a private location, such as the hotel’s pool overlook. Melissa will fill the space with candles making it a romantic spot to pop the question. Popular proposal spots include the Oleander Garden, Meditation Garden and the Pool Overlook. Some prospective grooms opt to pop the question in the hotel’s Oleander Garden with the waterwall flowing in the background and while standing in a heart of rose petals. Then return to your room for a heart-shaped rose turndown, champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. Contact Melissa well in advance so she can plan out every detail to suit your preference for this auspicious occasion. Email Melissa at mhall@wyndham.com or call her direct at 409.515.2136.

    If you want to pop the question at a special location in Galveston other than a hotel, consider the following:

    • Fountain at Kempner Park, 2704 Avenue O. The park is open from dawn to dusk and operated by the City of Galveston. Remember this is a public park so make sure you scout it in advance to choose your spot. There is a lovely fountain which might make a good location for “the question.”
    • Box at The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice. Propose during one of the shows at The Grand or contact the staff in advance to provide a bottle of champagne in one of the box seats during a “tour” of the theater. The staff says they love… love and would be happy to help.
    • Deck of 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA, Pier 21. For mariners or those with a passion for the sea, the deck of the 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA at the Texas Seaport Museum is a fit. The Museum is located at Pier 21 and operated by the Galveston Historical Foundation.
    • Gallery at Moody Mansion, 2618 Broadway. One of Galveston’s most beautiful historic homes, Moody Mansion (Circa 1893-1895) offers a gorgeous gallery (veranda) to pop the question. The staff would be happy to help make arrangements.
    • Rail car at the Galveston Island Railroad Museum, 2602 Santa Fe Place. Imagine proposing in the City of Galveston Dining Railcar (Circa 1948 and refurbished by Amtrak in 1991). Picture an elegant railcar with a table cloth, roses and champagne at just one table and waiting for you and your love.
    • Bench on Seawall Blvd. Couples often have a favorite spot along the beach to enjoy a view and many are painted or tiled so you can remember to return every year and celebrate.
    • Carriage ride through The Strand Historic District. Galveston carriage companies are happy to oblige a nervous groom-to-be. Book in advance and you can make arrangement to have them pick you up from your hotel.
    • Bench at Pier 21. There are several benches that overlook the harbor at Pier 21, adjacent to Harbor House Hotel. Pick up a bottle of champagne and pop the question with a view of the harbor or better yet make arrangements with one of the harbor excursions. Both Galveston Harbor Tours and Baywatch Dolphin Tours operate out of Pier 21 complex. Galveston Water Adventures also offers a sunset cruise seasonally.

    Galveston Island provides a romantic backdrop to pop the question and with a little advance planning it will be a night to remember.

    • Book the Marry Me Package at The Tremont House
    • If you want a beachfront hotel with historic ambiance, stay at Hotel Galvez & Spa.
    • If you want to enjoy of view of the harbor, consider Harbor House Hotel & Marina at Pier 21.
  • a row of blue bicycles on a long sidewalk lined with bushes and palm trees in the distance
    18 Oct

    Best Bike Routes In Galveston

    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.

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    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:

  • two women sitting on a colorful bench surrounded by colorful buildings and paintings
    08 Sep

    Why We Love Galveston's Postoffice Street

    For many years, before the advent of the mall, Postoffice Street was the place locals went to shop. I have fond memories of clothes shopping at Eiband’s Department Store. While the big department stores have disappeared; this area is now filled with a variety of locally owned shops, galleries and restaurants and is definitely a “must do” for visitors. I love it because it offers a little bit of everything.

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    Dining:

    First off, there are plenty of restaurants including many with outdoor seating. For more of an upscale experience, look for Rudy and Paco’s, 2028 Postoffice, and Saltwater Grill, 2017 Postoffice. Other popular options include Taquilo’s Tex-Mex Cantina, 2101 Postoffice; Sky Bar Steak & Sushi, 2105 Postoffice; Little Daddy’s Gumbo Bar, 2107 Postoffice; and MOD Coffee House, 2106 Postoffice. If you are craving pub food, try O’Malley’s Stage Door, 2022 Postoffice and for pizza, I highly recommend Mama Theresa’s Flying Pizza, 416 21st Street. And, I have to mention a few other favorites nearby, Trattoria La Vigna, 412 20th Street, and Old Moon Deli and Pie, 408 23rd Street. For breakfast or lunch, check out Star Drug Store, 510 23rd Street. And, for your sweet tooth look for Hey Mikey’s Ice Cream, 2120 Postoffice and Ile Petite Bakery and Deli, 2108 Church.

    Boutiques:

    Fashionistas, antique lovers and collectors will love this area of Galveston. Popular boutiques include The Style Co, 2113 Postoffice, BLU – A Boutique by the Bay, 2118 Postoffice, HaBa’s, 2213 Postoffice, and Tangerine Boutique, 2218 Postoffice. These boutiques are all a bit different and offer a broad range of clothing and price. Even men can shop for a new Hawaiian shirt to add to their wardrobe at Cruz Cortez Clothiers, 2227 Postoffice. You’ll find my favorite jewelry store on the island, Fullen’s Harborside Jewelry at 2215 Postoffice. Another hidden gem is Vintage, 2125 Church, which specializes in… you guessed it vintage clothing. And, I recently discovered Outrageous Boutique, 405 22nd Street.

    Galleries and Shops:

    Postoffice Street offers a wonderful mix of fun shops and antique stores. Some favorites include Collectors Gallery, 2222 Postoffice; Affaire d’Art, 2227 Postoffice; KJR Creations, 2208 Postoffice; The Emporium at Eiband’s, 2207 Postoffice; Rene Wiley Gallery, 2128 Postoffice; Designworks Gallery, 2119 Postoffice; and Galveston Art League, 2117 Postoffice. Additionally, I highly recommend you check out The Naked Mermaid; 2113 Postoffice, The Witchery, 2116 Postoffice; and Modern Vintage, 2005 Postoffice. And, the good thing is there are plenty more to find. After a long day of shopping, make sure and unwind at the newly opened The Wine Next Door, 418 21st Street.

    Travel Tip: Most of the shops and galleries open at 11 a.m. and all are locally owned.

    Things to Do:

    If you are looking for more of an activity, you’ll love Clay Cup Studios, 409 22nd Street and The Kitchen Chick, 528 23rd Street. The Kitchen Chick offers a full calendar of cooking classes. Bonus: next door pick out your new favorite coffee blend at Galveston Coffee Roasters, 532 23rd Street. By the way, if you forgot your running gear stop in at Fit Tri Run, 518 23rd Street. And, if you are a yogi you’ll be thrilled to find Island Salt Air Yoga, 415 22nd Street. Most importantly, 2020 Postoffice Street is the home of The Grand 1894 Opera House. See our blog for “Six Reasons to See a Show at The Grand.”

    Don’t forget to take photos in front of the murals on 22nd Street. They were painted by local artists and are a ton of fun.

    Where to Stay:

    • For a beach view with history, stay at Hotel Galvez & Spa. The hotel provides a courtesy shuttle to transport hotel guests downtown and is a block away from a Seawall Trolley stop.
    • For a stay in The Historic Strand District, book your stay at The Tremont House. The city trolley stops on the same block as the hotel. The hotel is just two blocks from Postoffice Street.
    • Or if you want to enjoy of view of the harbor, consider Harbor House Hotel & Marina at Pier 21. This hotel is also a short walk to Postoffice Street.
  • view of the pier at sunrise
    10 Aug

    Five Activities Under $15 In Galveston

    Galveston Island provides a wide variety of activities to suit any budget. Here’s a quick list of activities that are less than $15.

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    1. Galveston Children’s Museum, 2618 Broadway, ideal for young children ages 2 to 6. General admission is $7. A combination ticket is available with Moody Mansion.

    2. Harbor Tours at Pier 21. There are three harbor excursions that allow guests to learn about Galveston’s port and, more than likely, see a dolphin. All depart from Pier 21. You’ll find the Seagull II docked at the Texas Seaport Museum.

    • Seagull II Harbor Tour is $10 for adults, $8 for students (6-13) and free for children under 5.
    • Baywatch Dolphin Tours is $10 for adults and $5 for children (12 and under). 
    • Cruise-N-Time Dolphin Tour is $12 for adults, $8 for children (12 and under).


    3. Galveston Railroad Museum, 2602 Santa Fe Place, is a joy for train buffs and children. Check their schedule for their Saturday train rides. Admission to the museum is $10 for adults (13 and up), $8 for seniors, $5 for children (4-12) and children under 3 are free.

    4. Pirates Legends of the Gulf Coast, 2313 Harborside Drive (entrance faces Saengerfest Park), is an interesting and entertaining museum focusing on the stories and life of pirates. The kids will love the gift shop. Admission is $10 for adults, $6.75 for children (5-13) and free for children under 5. There is also a combo ticket available for Haunted Mayfield Manor.

    5. The Bryan Museum, 1315 21st Street, a wonderful way to spend an afternoon experiencing this amazing collection of Southwestern United States art and historic artifacts. Admission prices are $14 for adults, $10 for seniors and students with valid ID, $4 for children (6-12) and free for children under 6.

    See our Free Tours blog for more suggestions and enjoy your visit.

    Where to Stay in Galveston:

    If you are looking for a hotel that’s away from the hubbub of the beachfront, try The Tremont House or Harbor House Hotel & Marina. And, if you prefer a historic beachfront hotel, then definitely book your room at Hotel Galvez & Spa.

    Have a great trip!

  • 10 May

    Millennial Travel Guide For Galveston

    Are you planning a quick getaway with friends? Here’s a list of ideas to keep you entertained during your visit to Galveston.

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    For drinks:

    Downtown:

    • The Rooftop Bar at The Tremont House, 2300 Mechanic, is open daily (weather permitting) and is Galveston’s only rooftop bar.
    • Brews Brothers, 2404 Strand, has a huge selection of craft beer, a private cigar room and amazing burgers.
    • Stuttgarden Tavern, 2110 Strand, has German food, burgers and beer all set in a great beer garden.
    • Murphy’s Pub, 213 22nd Street, offers a variety of beer on tap, wine, pizza and specialty sandwiches all in an Irish pub atmosphere.
    • DTO (Daiquri Time Out), 2701 Market, is a "go-to" for craft cocktail fans. 
    • BuckShot Saloon, 2409 Market, offers a dance floor, cold beer and fun.


    Seawall:

    • Hemingways, 904 Avenue M, offers live music Saturday evenings and shuffleboard on Sunday afternoons and 26 craft beer choices.
    • Beerfoot Brewing, 2816 Avenue R ½, features more than 100 craft and mainstream beer including a locally brewed “Beer of the Month.”
    • Float Pool & Patio Bar, 2828 Seawall, is a great spot for people watching and offers a pool to stay cool.
    • Nick’s Kitchen & Beach Bar, 3828 Seawall, has outdoor, covered seating with TVs and pool side fun.
    • Galveston Island Brewing Company, 8423 Stewart Road, offers free tours on Saturdays at 1 p.m. and offers ten different craft beers all brewed locally.


    For active vacationers:

    • Running: Galveston’s Seawall offers ten miles of continuous sidewalk for runners or run on the beach for more of a challenge. Check calendars for upcoming 5k, 10, half marathons and marathons as well as triathlons.
      • Tip: Fit Tri Run, 523 23rd Street, hosts group runs on Saturday mornings and Thursday evenings.
    • Standup Paddleboard and Kayak rentals: Check with the Galveston Paddleboard Center, 1723 61st Street, for rental information.
      • Tip: They offer lessons and a three-day camp
    • Surfing: Rent a surfboard at Ohana Surf and Skate, 2814 Avenue R ½.
      • Tip: They offer group and private surf lessons
    • Bike & Surrey rentals: Island Bicycle Company, 1808 Seawall Blvd., rents surreys, tandem bikes, cruisers and the popular three-wheel bullet bikes
      • Tip: If you are guest at Hotel Galvez, take advantage of their courtesy bicycles but check them out early if it’s a pretty day
    • Beach Hike: Go on guided beach hike at the Galveston Island State Park, 14901 FM 3005.
    • If you can’t skip your CrossFit workout, Galveston has four CrossFit gyms.


    For thrill seekers:

    • Jet Boat Thrill Rides at Pier 21 offers an exhilarating ride through Galveston’s harbor.
      • Tip: Yes, you may get wet
    • Flyboard flights are available through Extreme Watersports, 1723 61st Street.
      • Tip: You can be propelled up to 35 feet above the water. This is not for the faint of heart.
    • Fishing on the beach, on the bay or off one of the public fishing piers is always fun. There are plenty of private fishing charters available or take a trip on Galveston Party Boats at Pier 19.


    For fun:

    • Board Game Island, 213 23rd, offers hundreds of board games, food and beverages, and yes, they have “Cards Against Humanity.”
    • Galveston Island Pleasure Pier, 2501 Seawall Blvd., offers 16 rides, a midway and more.
      • Tip: It’s a five-minute walk from Hotel Galvez & Spa
    • Free movies and concerts: Saengerfest Park, 23rd & Strand, hosts free movies on the first Saturday of the month and free concerts on the second Saturday of the month.


    Where to Stay in Galveston:

    If you are looking for a hotel that’s away from the hubbub of the beachfront, try The Tremont House or Harbor House Hotel & Marina. And, if you prefer a historic beachfront hotel, then definitely book your room at Hotel Galvez & Spa.

  • image of a lifeguard stand on the beach, town sign on a street, and a large building tucked behind pink flower bushes
    16 Mar

    Tips For Three Day Galveston Itinerary

    First time visitors are always amazed at how much there is to see and do in Galveston. With a little planning you can easily enjoy a fun-filled three day itinerary.

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    Here are our suggestions for a three day Galveston itinerary for your first visit.

    Day One:

    4 p.m. - Check into your hotel. Take some time to get settled and explore the property.

    Dinner – For your first evening on the Island, you should venture to Downtown Galveston. You’ll find a variety of restaurants on and near Postoffice Street and located on The Strand. If you are looking for fine dining, try Rudy & Paco’s (dress code and reservations suggested). If you are looking for something casual try Little Daddy’s Gumbo Bar or The Black Pearl Oyster Bar. We also recommend Mama Theresa’s Flying Pizza, Trattoria La Vigna, Taquilo’s Tex Mex Cantina, and Saltwater Grill.

    On The Strand, you’ll find Riondo’s Ristorante, Yaga’s Cafe and Fuddrucker’s as well as other casual spots like Brews Brothers, Stuttgarden Tavern and Hubcap Grill. FYI, Brews Brothers and Stuttgarden have a great craft beer selection. And, keep your eye out for Devil and the Deep Brewery coming fall 2017.

    Day Two:

    Breakfast – Dine in at the hotel or venture to the East End Historic District to Mosquito Café, The Sunflower Bakery and Café or give ShyKatz Deli and Bakery in the Lost Bayou District a try. Like most Galveston restaurants, all are locally owned.

    Morning Activity – Well you are on an island, so we’d recommend some beach time or pool time. Rent some beach chairs and an umbrella and get some sand between your toes. Or check out a bike from the hotel (Hotel Galvez offers courtesy bikes) and take a ride along Seawall Blvd. Another idea is to rent a paddle board or take a surf lesson.

    Lunch – Enjoy a late lunch at one of the variety of Seawall restaurants. Some classics include Benno’s Cajun Seafood and Nick’s Kitchen and Beach Bar (Gaido’s casual option). Other suggestions include Mario’s Seawall Italian Restaurant, Miller’s Seawall Grill, The Gumbo Diner, Salsa’s Mexican Restaurant, and The Spot. If you are looking for familiar dining options, there’s Saltgrass Steakhouse, Rainforest Café, and Landry’s.

    Afternoon Activity – Take a trolley tour or see our blog for fun ways to see Galveston.

    Dinner – Catch the hotel shuttle or the downtown trolley to Pier 21 and enjoy the view and dinner at one of four restaurants. Your options are Nonno Tony’s Seafood Kitchen, Olympia The Grill at Pier 21, Willie G’s Seafood and Steaks and Fisherman’s Wharf. All offer a wonderful view of the harbor and ambiance. By the way, Pier 21 offers two museums, four harbor excursions and Pier 21 Theater.

    Day Three:

    Breakfast – Downtown Galveston breakfast options include the iconic Star Drug Store, MOD Coffee House, and Shrimp ‘N Stuff, or for Mexican food try El Jardin (413 24th) or Apache Mexican Cuisine (511 20th).

    Morning Activity – For your last activity we’d recommend you tour one of Galveston’s iconic historic homes: The Moody Mansion and Bishop’s Palace. Or if you are a huge history buff, you’ll want to make your last stop The Bryan Museum. It has an impressive collection of historic artifacts and art representing the Southwestern United States.

    Noon – Sorry folks it’s now time to check out of your hotel. We hope you enjoyed your hotel as much as you enjoyed all your sightseeing.

    Keep in mind, there’s still so much to see and do including Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, Moody Gardens, Schlitterbahn Waterpark, harbor tours at Pier 21 and more. Check back for future suggested itineraries.

    Where to Stay: