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.

  • 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! 

  • colorful mardi gras float
    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.

  • colorful mardi gras mask streamers and confetti
    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.

  • side view of sandhill crane head and neck
    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.

    More Details


    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.

    More Details

    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.

    More Details

    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:

  • a couple sitting on the beach watching the sunset
    01 Dec

    February Is Creative Romance Month

    Did you know that February is Creative Romance Month? During the month of February, you are encouraged to find creative ways to put a little romance into your life. The nice thing about February is that the crowds are a bit smaller offering more privacy on those walks on the beach or dinner out. Here are some local favorites for the top five romantic spots in Galveston.

    More Details

    1. The Rooftop Bar at The Tremont House. This spot is definitely a local favorite for couples. The Rooftop Bar is open evenings Tuesday through Sunday (weather permitting). Take advantage of the “Friday Social Club” at The Rooftop Bar. Every Friday, patrons enjoy $3 off cocktails and $2 off beer and wine from 5 to 7 p.m. It’s a nice spot for a pre-dinner cocktail and a romantic view of Galveston. Surprise your significant other with a room at The Tremont House to top off the evening.


    2. The patio at Olympia Grill at Pier 21. On a nice day, the patio at Olympia Grill is a great choice to watch the sunset and enjoy dinner. You might even catch a glimpse of one of the huge cruise ships docked nearby. There are benches on the grassy area just east of Harbor House Hotel, pay attention while you relax and you may see some of the dolphins playing near the ships.

    3. Vargas.

    4. Dinner and a show at The Grand 1894 Opera House. One local describes Rudy & Paco’s this way, “Even if it’s a full house at a table for 2 it still feels like you’re in your own world.” Looking for something else? Saltwater Grill, is located right across the street from the theater. We recommend advance reservations on a show night. 

    5. Coffee or ice cream on Post Office Street. If you are planning a coffee date, then venture to MOD Coffeehouse. Snag a seat outside and enjoy the smell of jasmine under their pergola. They often have a musician playing outside for added ambiance. Just next door, you’ll find Hey Mikey’s Ice Cream. They are known for their creative flavors and offer both indoor and outdoor seating.

    If you are looking for a romantic historic beachfront hotel, book a room at Hotel Galvez & Spa. The hotel celebrates 105 years in 2016. There’s a romantic and private outdoor nook just past the gift shop overlooking the pool.

    For couples with a preference to stay downtown, you’ll love The Tremont House. The hotel offers live jazz on weekends in its 1888 Toujouse Bar and is home to Galveston’s only Rooftop Bar.

    Harbor House Hotel & Marina at Pier 21 is a great choice for couples who prefer to stay off the beaten path but still close the fun. There are four restaurants within steps of the hotel including the aforementioned Olympia Grill.

  • a men and women's choir in Christmas costumes singing outside a building
    19 Nov

    Five Things Not To Miss At Dickens On The Strand

    Growing up in Galveston, I've been lucky to experience the evolution of Dickens on The Strand as a child, teenager and adult. It never gets old to dress in Victorian style garb and enjoy the theme of this holiday festival. Plus, you'll love the smell of festival food, the sound of holiday music and browsing through the booths of all the wonderful vendors. I'm certain you and your family will, too.

    More Details

    Dickens on The Strand is always the first weekend of December and this year falls on Nov 30-Dec. 2, 2018. Following are our picks on five things not to miss at Dickens on The Strand:

    1. For the kids - It's always a treat to see Santa Claus, Queen Victoria and other Charles Dickens characters in costume and a stop to Oliver's Alley Children's Area is a "must do." This year Oliver's Alley, presented by the Galveston Children's Museum, will offer hands-on activities for children, a petting zoo and a stage with children's programming.

    2. Quirky holiday fun - If you are looking for some quirky entertainment during Dickens check out the Whimsical Whisker Revue facial hair contest. You'll see some crazy long beards and mustaches and the emcees for the contest add to the fun. And, find a good spot to watch the Dickens Victorian Bed Races.

    3. Victorian food - In addition to the tasty festival food, like the popular Scotch Eggs, the Galveston Historical Foundation offers a "Dickens Soiree" on Friday, Nov. 30 at Bishop's Palace and "Breakfast with Dickens" on Saturday, Dec. 1 and Sunday, Dec. 2 at Bishop's Palace. Both options will give you a taste of traditional English food as you are entertained by charming hosts who happen to be descendants of the great Charles Dickens. Advance tickets are required and are available online.

    4. Spirits and not the paranormal kind - On Friday, enjoy Mr. Fezziwig's Beer Hall from 5 to 9 p.m. Travel Tip: Admission to the festival is free on Friday. Craft beer fans can learn about the history of The Strand and enjoy Saint Arnold signature brews during a Saint Arnold's Strand Walking Tours offered Friday through Sunday. Advance tickets are recommended. This tour fills up quick and it's a ton of fun.

    5. Parades - You should plan your time at the festival so you are there to watch the Queen's Parade on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. and Pickwick's Lanternlight Parade on Saturday at 7 p.m. You'll be able to take some great photos of Queen Victoria and her Royal Court, various Dickens characters from A Christmas Carol and other guests in their amazing Victorian-style costumes.

    Other tips:

    • If you need a quick break from the cold, step inside The Tremont House, located inside the festival area at 2300 Mechanic. The hotel offers live holiday music from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday and has holiday choirs scheduled throughout the day on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. 
    • If you want to dress in Victorian costume you'll save on the ticket price and pay half price. Old bridesmaid dresses with a repurposed hat work well for the ladies. Several local resale shops are a great resource for last minute costumes, we recommend Le Chat Noir, 4301 Avenue S. 
    • Advance tickets are available online. Tickets are $13 for adults and $7 for ages 7-12 in advance and $15 and $9 at the gate.

    If you haven't experienced Dickens on The Strand then book your room early, put together a costume and plan on making your way to Galveston for one of the best holiday festivals in the United States.

    Where to Stay:

  • a large christmas tree and palm trees in front of a hotel lit up at night with christmas lights
    01 Nov

    Seven Reasons To Visit Galveston This Thanksgiving

    While Galveston Island is always a great choice for a family escape, Thanksgiving weekend offers plenty of options for creating new family traditions.

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    Here's our Seven Reasons to Visit Galveston This Thanksgiving:

    1. Hotel Galvez & Spa's Famous Thanksgiving Day Brunch - Are you one of lucky guests who called early for your seating? Thanksgiving Brunch is practically sold out as we post this blog. So plan ahead for next year or for Christmas Day Brunch. Hotel Galvez & Spa will begin taking Christmas Day Brunch reservations on Dec. 3. 
    2. Galveston Holiday Lighting Celebration at Hotel Galvez - After you've stuffed yourself silly on Thanksgiving, celebrate the holiday season on Friday with the Galveston Holiday Lighting Celebration at Hotel Galvez. The event begins at 6 p.m. Enjoy the official tree lighting for Galveston followed by live performances by local choirs as well as the Galveston Ballet along with special appearance by Santa Claus. Free. Remember to hashtag your photos #GalvezLighting
    3. EXPANDED Downtown Lanterns and Lights - Saengerfest Park, 23rd and Strand, is set to be illuminated with a huge version of Ebenezer Scrooge's accounting office (in honor of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol) beginning Saturday, Nov. 24. Plus, illuminated holiday decorations and artisan made pieces will guide shoppers from The Strand to Postoffice Street. As an added bonus on Saturday and Sunday, visitors can pose for family photos in an interactive photo frame and giant snow globe. Now, this will definitely be Instagram worthy. Bonus: You'll love browsing all the shops and businesses that are ready to welcome you this holiday season. 
    4. Hendley Green Holiday Kickoff and Tree Lighting - On Saturday Hendley Green, located at 2028 Strand, hosts its third annual tree lighting at this downtown park. Enjoy craft beer from 2 to 6 p.m.; a visit from Santa and his sleigh from 4 to 5 p.m., family friendly games throughout the afternoon and a special tree lighting of the Queen's Christmas tree at 5:30 p.m. Free.
    5. ArtWalk - This ArtWalk is Galveston's biggest and most popular ArtWalk of the year. Browse through Galveston's art galleries and "other walls" including The Tremont House from 6 to 9 p.m. Free.
    6. Moody Gardens Festival of Lights and Ice Land: Pole to Pole - This holiday attraction is definitely something to add to your weekend itinerary. Festival of Lights takes you through more than a million holiday lights while Ice Land provides an undersea journey made of two million pounds of ice. Yes, ice!
    7. Holiday Shows at The Grand - Everyone loves a Christmas show and you don't have to travel far to see one… Catch Asleep at The Wheel - Merry Texas Christmas Y'all on Saturday at 8 p.m. and The Priests - Live in Concert on Sunday at 7 p.m. and at The Grand 1894 Opera House.

    Book Your Hotel: 

    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.

  • a long row of motorcycles lined up near hotel galvez at night
    15 Oct

    Tips For Lone Star Rally In Galveston

    We are counting down for Lone Star Rally 2018. Polish up your chrome and pull out your favorite getup for the biggest motorcycle rally in Texas. Beginning Thursday, Nov. 1 through Sunday, Nov. 4, Galveston expects more than 400,000 motorcycle enthusiasts from across the country for one of the biggest motorcycle rallies in the country and the biggest in Texas - Lone Star Rally.

    More Details

    Here are our tips to make the best out of Lone Star Rally in Galveston:

    • Book your room early... The best location for rally is the heart of The Strand District and the only hotel located in this area is The Tremont House. You are just a block away from the Downtown Stage and the majority of vendors. If you missed out on booking your room, the good news is the second best location is just a mile away at Hotel Galvez & Spa. Hotel Galvez is directly across the street from the Beach Central Stage. Either hotel is a great choice for rally. 
    • Download the Lone Star Rally app for iPhone or Androids for the weekend. The app offers concert schedules, updates, maps and weather.
    • Lone Star Rally offers three event zones: The Seawall, The Strand and Pier 21. If you want a change of scenery in one location, just hop on your bike and take a short ride to another location. Both the Seawall and The Strand offer free concerts for all four days.
    • Choose between the Budweiser Stage at Saengerfest Park (Downtown Galveston) or Progressive Stage at Beach Central (Seawall) for four days of live music.
      • Budweiser Stage concerts begin at noon with the last band performing at 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday. Look for these headliners:
        • Nov. 1, 5 p.m. - ZZ-3
        • Nov. 1, 7:30 p.m.; Nov. 2, 7:30 p.m.; & Nov. 3, 7:30 p.m. - Bobby Friss
        • Nov. 1, 10 p.m.; Nov. 2, 10 p.m.; & Nov. 3, 10:30 p.m. - Hairball
        • Nov. 1, 2:30 p.m.; Nov. 2, 2:30 p.m.; & Nov. 3, 2:30 p.m. - Zack Tate
        • Nov. 2, 5 p.m. & Nov. 4, 4:45 p.m. - Miss Intent
        • Nov. 3, 5 p.m. - Highway to Hell AC/DC Tribute
        • Nov. 3, 12:30 p.m. & Nov. 4, 12 p.m. - Cold Hard Cash
        • Nov. 4, 2 p.m. - Count 77's
      • The Progressive Stage concerts also start at noon and the last band performs at 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Look for these headliners:
        • Nov. 1, 3 p.m. & Nov. 2, 2:30 p.m. - Cold Hard Cash
        • Nov. 1, 5 p.m. & Nov. 3, 5 p.m. - Miss Intent
        • Nov. 1, 8 p.m. - Vince Neil voice of Motley Crew
        • Nov. 2, 4:30 p.m.; and Nov. 3, 2:30 p.m. - ZZ-3
        • Nov. 2, 6:30 p.m. - Highway to Hell AC/DC Tribute
        • Nov. 2, 9 p.m. - Bret Michaels
        • Nov. 3, 10 p.m. - Whiskey Hangover
    • Look for these events - Ride in Custom Bike Show on Saturday at Beach Central. Free sign up from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Awards at 4:30 p.m. Best of Show gets full feature in Cycle Source Magazine. Perewitz Paint Show on Saturday at Hotel Galvez. Registration is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with Show Hours from 1 to 4 p.m. Check the website or app for details.
    • Enjoy the ride - Galveston is easy to navigate and truly scenic. You'll love the vista over the causeway as you arrive on the island. Plus, enjoy the beach view of the Gulf of Mexico as you cruise down the seawall and the cool historic buildings throughout downtown. There are designated motorcycle traffic areas on the Seawall and Downtown. If you are traveling down 25th Street, make sure to be cautious around the trolley tracks. There are also tracks in parts of downtown.
    • And, you'll want to come back… Galveston Island is thirty-two miles long and no more than three miles wide at its widest point. We have amazing restaurants, great history and plenty to keep you entertained.

    Stay current on Lone Star Rally information and special offers through the FREE, official Lone Star Rally smartphone App available in the Apple Store and Google Play.

    Book your room at these preferred rally hotels:

  • a pile of various shaped orange fall pumpkins
    03 Oct

    Ten Reasons To Visit Galveston In The Fall

    Can you believe the first day of fall is Sept. 22? One of the best things about fall in Galveston is, obviously, the weather. We love this time of year so we've updated our Ten Reasons to Visit Galveston in Fall - one of our most popular blogs.

    More Details

    Consider these ten reasons to visit Galveston in the fall.

    1. Last month of free movies and concerts downtown. October is the last month for the Movie Nite and Music Nite on The Strand series. The October 6 movie is "Hocus Pocus" so pack your chairs and pick up dinner for the last free outdoor movie of the season. This October, visitors can enjoy Bon Ton Mickey & the Zydeco Hot Steppers on (Zydeco) on Oct. 13. Music Nite and Movie Nite take place in the evenings at Saengerfest Park, 23rd & Strand. Dance floor and tables and chairs are provided.

    2. ARToberfest on Oct. 20 and 21. A portion of Galveston's Cultural Arts District is closed off for this juried fine art festival featuring more than 100 artists. ARToberfest is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday and it benefits The Grand 1894 Opera House.

    3. Island Oktoberfest on Oct. 26 and 27. Yes, Galveston has its own Oktoberfest hosted by First Lutheran Church at 24th & Winnie. Think food, German beer and music. The festival is free and from 5 p.m. to 11 a.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday. Plan on holiday shopping at their Arts and Crafts sale in the Lyceum.

    4. Sunset. Before the time change on November 4, take advantage of the catching the sunset during a reasonable hour. Restaurants at Pier 21 offer a nice vantage point to watch the sunset and The Rooftop Bar at The Tremont House is always a good option.

    5. Walks on the beach. This is an ideal time of year to enjoy a quiet walk on the beach. Venture to spots off the beaten path, like the beach area in Beach Town and the newly expanded beaches along the Seawall.

    6. Cooler Weather and Smaller Crowds. In contrast to summer, the average high temperature in October and November is 80 and 70 degrees, respectively, while July and August average a high of 89 degrees. So, you actually might need a sweater or light jacket when visiting. Plus, summer is always the busiest time of year in Galveston so the fall offers a chance to explore with smaller crowds and shorter lines and waiting times at area attractions and popular restaurants.

    7. Dinner on the patio. Outdoor seating is available throughout the island including establishments on the Seawall, Strand, Postoffice Street and Pier 21. Downtown restaurants that come to mind include Taquilo's Tex-Mex Cantina, Little Daddy's Gumbo Bar, Shark Shack Beach Bar & Grill, Hearsay on The Strand, Riondo's Ristorante, Yaga's Café, and Stuttgarden Tavern on The Strand. At Pier 21, you'll find Olympia The Grill at Pier 21, Willie G's and Fisherman's Wharf and look for the new Katie's Seafood House at Pier 19. And, of course, there are many others.

    8. Drinks on The Rooftop. Named the "Most Romantic Bar" by Houstonia Magazine, The Rooftop Bar at The Tremont House is a "must do" during any visit to Galveston.

    9. Pub Crawls for Pumpkin Beer. Pumpkin flavors return with the fall. Local craft brewery, Galveston Island Brewing (GIB), will be offering their Oktoberfest this season. Plus, you can also find your fall favorites at other popular bars like Beerfoot Beach Bar, Brews Brothers Brew Pub, Stuttgarden Tavern, Molly's Irish Pub and Old Cellar Bar. You should also stop by Devil and the Deep Brewery. By the way, The Tremont House and Hotel Galvez & Spa both carry locally brewed GIB brews on tap.

    10. Shows at The Grand resume. The Grand 1894 Opera House resumes its 2018-2019 Season with Wynonna & The Big Noise on Sept. 29. October shows include The Choir of Man (Oct. 6), Aida Cuevas - Totalmente Juan Gabriel (Oct. 13), Phantom of the Opera - Silent Film with Rob Landes at the organ (Oct. 26) and The Doo Wop Project (Oct. 28). Read "Seven Reasons to See a Show at The Grand" Blog and get your tickets soon.

    Well, that's our ten reasons to visit Galveston in the fall so pick a few days or a weekend and enjoy some "Island Time."

    Where to Stay:

    • 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.
  • images of different theater show covers
    18 Sep

    Six Reasons To See A Show At The Grand 1894 Opera House During 2018-2019 Season

    Did you know that Galveston is home to “The Official Opera House of Texas”? The Grand received this designation by the 73rd Texas Legislature in 1993. This restored theatre is one of the few remaining theatres of its era in Texas and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It’s one of those amazing gems that can only be found in Galveston.

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    Six reasons to see a show at The Grand 1894 Opera House:

    1. No seat is further than 70 feet from the stage.
    2. The acoustics in this 1894 theatre are amazing.
    3. The close proximity to the stage allows you to see the facial expressions of the entertainers without binoculars.
    4. Even the seats that are considered “obstructed” view, making them less expensive, are good.
    5. You can purchase an adult beverage in one of their “sippy cups” and bring it in the theatre.
    6. You might actually run into the performers in downtown Galveston at one of the area restaurants or shopping.


    Make it a weekend getaway and book your tickets at www.thegrand.com. We promise that you’ll love it.

    Nearby hotels include:

    Ask the hotel about a courtesy shuttle to the theatre.

  • a red ornament hanging from a christmas tree
    17 Sep

    Five "Must Do" Holiday Events In Galveston

    Galveston is Texas' "Winter Wonder Island." and offers 50 days of holiday events. Holiday lights, ice sculptures, holiday shows and Santa are all on the calendar. Here are our top five picks for your "Must Do" for the holiday season in Galveston. Tip: Events like Downtown Lantern & Lights, Moody Gardens Festival of Lights and Magical Winter Lights are available daily.

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    1. Downtown Lantern & Lights, Downtown Galveston, Nov. 24 to Jan. 2. Downtown Galveston will sparkle for the holidays during Downtown Lanterns & Lights. Take pictures with a 30 foot replica of Mr. Marley's Accounting Office, AKA Scrooge, from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol at Saengerfest Park and enjoy holiday decorations throughout The Strand and Postoffice Streets. This is a "must see" during the holiday season and it's all free. 

    2. Holiday Shows at The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice. Did you know that no seat at The Grand 1894 Opera House is further than 70 feet from the stage? It is truly an intimate and elegant venue to see a show. This year's holiday shows are Asleep at The Wheel Merry Christmas Y'all (Nov. 24), The Priests (Nov. 25), Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol (Nov. 30 & Dec. 1), Jazz at Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis (Dec. 2), Jerry Jeff Walker (Dec. 8), All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 (Dec. 9), and A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage (Dec. 23). For tickets, visit www.thegrand.com

    3. Moody Gardens Festival of Lights, Open Daily Nov. 17 to Jan. 6, 6 to 10 p.m., One Hope Blvd. Wander through more than a million holiday lights while enjoying holiday music during this annual event. Tickets: $10.95/pp. And, don't miss Moody Gardens Ice Land: Ice Sculptures, Open Daily, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. & Christmas Day 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. One Hope Blvd. Moody Gardens is a definite "must do" during the holiday season. It doesn't matter how old you are; you'll be amazed. Nationally acclaimed ice carvers from China create an amazing experience visualized in 2 million pounds of ice. Tickets: $26.95 adults; $21.95 for seniors and children (4-12)

    4. Brunch with Santa... Hotel Galvez hosts its annual Sunday Brunch with Santa on Nov. 25, Dec. 2, 9, 16 & 23 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Children can visit with Santa, take pictures and leave with their own holiday gift. The hotel is also taking reservations for its amazing Christmas Day Brunch and Christmas Dinner. Reservations for Christmas are only available by calling 409.765.7721.

    5. Magical Winter Lights Houston at Gulf Greyhound Park, Nov 16 to Jan. 6, 5 to 10 p.m. Sun-Thu and 5 to 11 p.m. Fri-Sat, 1000 FM 2004 in LaMarque. The Festival features Chinese lanterns and holiday lights over 20 acres. Themes include Magical Wonderland, Mystical Forest, The Lone Star State, Santa's Christmas Village, Mystery of the East and Landmarks of the World. Guests will also be entertained with cultural performances, carnival rides and Chinese arts and crafts.

    Other suggestions for holiday fun:

    • Galveston Holiday Lighting Celebration at Hotel Galvez, 2024 Seawall Blvd., (Friday, Nov. 23)
    • 45th Annual Dickens on The Strand, Historic Strand District (Nov. 30 - Dec. 2)
    • 1895 Moody Mansion Victorian Christmas, 2618 Broadway
    • 1892 Bishop's Palace Tours, 1402 Broadway
    • Santa Train at the Galveston Railroad Museum (Saturday, Dec. 15), 25th & Strand
    • The Bryan Museum, 1315 21st Street

    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 and walk to the festival, consider Harbor House Hotel & Marina at Pier 21.

  • colorful fireworks in the night sky
    29 May

    Best Places To Watch The Fireworks In Galveston

    Did you know that Galveston Island has fireworks every weekend in the summer? You don’t have to wait till the Fourth of July to enjoy a free fireworks show on the beachfront. The Galveston Island Conventions & Visitors Bureau treats visitors and residents to a short fireworks show every Sunday at 9 p.m. from 37th and Seawall Blvd. The first show is Sunday, June 3 and last show of the season is Sunday, Sept. 2. We’ve asked some Galveston residents for their favorite vantage points and we have some recommendations of our own.

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    Most locals prefer watching the fireworks directly from the beach on the Seawall. Favorite spots mentioned include 37th and Seawall which is close to where the show originates. Restaurants with outdoor balcony areas, such as Nick’s Kitchen & Beach Bar, 3828 Seawall Blvd., and The Spot, 3204 Seawall, and Brick House Tavern, 3502 Seawall, are a good choice if you want to eat and enjoy the show. Visitors also enjoy watching the fireworks from The Rooftop Bar at The Tremont House (open to adults 21 and over) and Hotel Galvez & Spa guests can watch from the front lawn of the hotel.

    Bonus Tip: Since The Rooftop Bar seating was expanded patrons now have a vantage point to enjoy Moody Gardens’ fireworks on Fridays and Saturdays through Saturday, Aug. 11. The show begins at 9:30 p.m. and is part of its weekly Bands on the Sand Celebration at Palm Beach. Admission to Palm Beach is $15/pp and includes live music, a lazy river and other beach fun from 6 to 10 p.m. The fireworks show is visible from Offatts Bayou and other dockside restaurants in that area. Number 13, 7809 Broadway, is an amazing vantage point for the fireworks.

    Remember don’t reserve the weekends for your Galveston fun, more and more visitors are booking their summer getaways to begin on Sundays to take advantage of weekday rates and smaller crowds.

    Where to Stay:

  • a woman admiring colorful artwork on the wall at a gallery
    23 Apr

    Ten Tips For ArtWalk Galveston

    One of the most popular free events in Galveston is ArtWalk. ArtWalk is an evening of visual arts when galleries and other businesses open their doors on a Saturday night from 6 to 9 p.m. for an opening night reception to show off the works of local and regional as well as national artists.

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    Art enthusiasts have the opportunity to browse the walls of 20 to as many as 30 galleries and businesses during the evening. Since there are so many to cover, here are some quick tips.

    1. Pick up a brochure so you can check the locations. They are available at all of the participating galleries or download from the Galveston Arts Center website at https://www.galvestonartscenter.org/artwalk/info/. Several local magazines will highlights some of the artists featured at ArtWalk which may give you an idea of what you want to see.

    2. Wear comfortable shoes. Heels can be a challenge when you walk on some of the bricked crosswalks on The Strand. Plus, you have a lot to cover.

    3. Dress cool. Galveston cools off in the evenings but it can be a little humid.

    4. If you are planning to have dinner before, after or during ArtWalk, make a reservation. The restaurants will be very busy.

    5. Try to park midway between The Strand and Postoffice Streets so you enjoy both districts.

    6. Start on The Strand, there is always an exhibit on the second floor of the Hutchings-Sealy Building, 2326 Strand. You’ll also find other businesses that host exhibits.

    7. Stop by The Tremont House, 2300 Mechanic. If time permits and the weather is good, make sure that you check out The Rooftop Bar at The Tremont House. It’s open from 4 to midnight (weather permitting) and offers a fantastic view of Galveston’s harbor and historic downtown.

    8. Make sure that you venture to the Galveston Arts Center, 2127 Strand (back to its original location since this was originally published), in route to Postoffice Arts and Entertainment District. You’ll also see other participating businesses on 25th street.

    9. A majority of the galleries are located on Postoffice Street. You’ll find plenty of galleries as well as antique stores and businesses that are hosting an artist. Sometimes there’s live music and there’s plenty of activity.

    10. Mark your calendar for future dates in 2018: April 21, June 2, July 14, August 25, October 13 and November 24. By the way, the Thanksgiving ArtWalk is usually the biggest of the year with the most stops and huge crowds.

    It’s nearly impossible to make a stop at every participating gallery and business but you’ll find your favorites for the next time.

    Where to Stay in Galveston:
    If you are looking for a hotel that’s walkable to Galveston's most popular spots for ArtWalk, 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.

  • a couple sitting on the beach watching the sunset
    01 Mar

    Ten Travel Tips For Spring Break In Galveston

    Spring Break is a popular time of year for families to visit Galveston Island. Galveston’s beaches and the variety of family friendly activities can easily pack a schedule if you want to stay busy during Spring Break.

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    Spring Break Top Ten for Galveston for Families

    1. 32 miles of beaches including the beachfront along the Seawall and beach parks, such as Stewart Beach, East Beach, Pocket Parks and the Galveston Island State Park

    • Tip: Register your car for Seawall parking at www.paybyphone.com

    2. Galveston Island Pleasure Pier offers 16 rides, a midway and more

    • Tip: It’s a five-minute walk from Hotel Galvez & Spa

    3. Schlitterbahn Waterpark Galveston, a fun alternative to the beach

    • Tip: Schlitterbahn is open weekends (Friday and Saturday in March) and daily from March 12-16, 2018 for Spring Break

    4. Pirates! Legends of the Gulf Coast

    • Tip: Visit the pirate museum and catch the movie at Pier 21

    5. Jet Boat Thrill Rides at Pier 21, operated by Galveston Water Adventures

    • Tip: Open daily in March.
    • Second tip: It’s likely you’ll get wet but it’s fun. 
    • Third tip: Galveston Water Adventures also offers a one hour dolphin sightseeing tour and two hour sunset cruise daily. 

    6. Fishing from rock groins, public fishing piers or charters

    • Tip: Galveston Island State Park offers a Tackle Loaner Program (rods, reels and stocked tackle boxes)

    7. Horse and carriage rides on The Strand

    • Tip: You’ll find carriages stations on The Strand

    8. Moody Gardens’ Rainforest Pyramid

    • Tip: Moody Gardens now offers a five-tier ropes course and zip line

    9. See a dolphin during a harbor tour

    • Tip: There are two harbor excursions at Pier 21, Baywatch Dolphin Tours and Galveston Harbor Tours at the Texas Seaport Museum

    10. Use clues to gain your escape from one of two Escape Rooms in Galveston.

    • Choose from Escape the Island, 910 21st Street, and Galveston Escape Room, 2614 Market Street. An escape room is an adventure game where players solve a series of puzzles and riddles to escape.


    After a long day of sightseeing, we always recommend a trip to The Historic Strand District for shopping, dining and maybe some ice cream at La King’s Confectionery or Hey Mikey’s. Nearby Pier 21 is also a popular spot for dining and offers a view of the harbor.

    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.

    We also recommend Hotel Galvez & Spa and the new Reconnected, A Grand Family Experience package. Families get the tools to disconnect so they can spend quality time reconnecting.

    Happy Spring Break!

  • colorful drawing of hotel galvez next to the ocean
    05 Oct

    Ten Quick Facts On The Hotel Galvez

    1. Hotel Galvez opened on June 10, 1911 and was built at a cost of $1 million as a symbol of recovery following the nation’s deadliest natural disaster, the Great Storm of 1900.

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    2. Hotel Galvez and the City of Galveston are both named for Bernardo de Galvez. De Galvez, who never set foot on the island, was a Spanish hero of the American Revolution.

    3. When the Hotel Galvez opened in 1911 it offered 275 rooms but the necessity of in-room bathrooms reduced the current number of rooms to 224.

    4. According to local legend, during the 1915 hurricane guests at the Hotel Galvez drank champagne and danced the night away while a woman gave birth to a baby boy in Room 231.

    5. The Pageant of Pulchritude, which began in 1920 and ended during the Great Depression, was held in front of the Hotel Galvez and later evolved into the Miss Universe contest. The event has been revived as the Galveston Island Beach Revue.

    6. The U.S. Coast Guard commandeered the Hotel Galvez for use as its wartime headquarters from 1942 until 1944.

    7. Presidential guests of the Hotel Galvez include President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1937); Dwight D. Eisenhower as a general (1949); Richard Nixon as vice president (1955); and Lyndon B. Johnson as a senator (1959).

    8. Noted celebrity guests rumored to have stayed at Hotel Galvez include Douglas “Wrong Way” Corrigan, Sammy Davis Jr., Jimmy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Phil Harris and Alice Faye, Jack Benny, Howard Hughes, Peggy Lee, Jerry Lewis, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Dean Martin, Freddy Martin, Frank Sinatra and Jimmy Stewart.

    9. The hotel’s lobby features a hand-carved bar purchased from the Old Galveston Club and added in the mid-1990s. The Old Galveston Club was known as the Island’s last speakeasy.

    10. Hotel Galvez is the only historic beachfront hotel on the Texas Gulf Coast.

    By the way, have you heard that the Hotel Galvez is reportedly haunted? The hotel offers guided ghost tours followed by dinner during the month of October.

    Book your stay, at www.HotelGalvez.com

  • industrial rigs in the water at the ocean star museum
    20 Jul

    Five Unique Tours You Can Only Do In Galveston

    Galveston has some unique touring opportunities that you can only experience on the island. Options range from pirates to oil rigs.

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    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.

    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.

    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 architecture 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.

    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.

    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.

  • a group of people with their hands in the air while on a jet boat ride in the water
    16 Apr

    See Eight Attractions In Downtown Galveston

    You don’t have to go far to find a tour, unique museum or another interesting site while in historic downtown Galveston - plus you might learn something, too.

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    If you are exploring Galveston’s historic harbor and have an interest in the oil industry, stop by the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum at Pier 19. The museum offers a unique opportunity to tour an actual jack-up drilling oil rig and learn about the oil industry. The Ocean Star was built in 1969 in Beaumont and drilled 200 wells in its working life along the Gulf Coast. Now it’s an operating museum with exhibits, models, and equipment interpreting the offshore industry and giving a glimpse of life offshore. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

    At Pier 21, you’ll find that you have two options for touring Galveston’s historic port. Baywatch Tours is docked at Pier 21 and departs on the hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Harbor Tours aboard the Seagull II is operated by the Galveston Historical Foundation and is affiliated with the Texas Seaport Museum. Currently, the Seagull II is at Pier 21 and tours depart at 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 4 p.m. During these tours there is always a good chance that you will snap a picture or video of a dolphin or dolphins.

    Nearby you will find the Texas Seaport Museum and 1877 Tall Ship Elissa. This museum and restored ship will give you some insight into the history of Galveston as a working port. The Elissa, which is temporarily docked at Pier 21, has nineteen sails covering over one-quarter of an acre in surface area. It is one of three authentic restored ships in the United States that still sails. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. A combination ticket is available for the Museum, Elissa and Harbor Tour.

    Pier 21 Theater now offers three films for visitors – The Great Storm, The Pirate Island of Jean Lafitte and Galveston – Gateway on the Gulf. The Great Storm, which is shown on the hour, is a 27-minute documentary that tells the incredible story of the deadliest natural disaster in United States history through personal letters, photos and articles. The 18-minute Pirate Island, which airs on the half hour, chronicles the adventures of the infamous Jean Laffite who called Galveston home for three years. Both films were directed by C. Grant Mitchell. Pier 21 Theater just added Galveston – Gateway on the Gulf, a PBS documentary on immigration to its schedule. This 56-minute documentary gives a history of Galveston as a port of entry for more than 133,000 immigrants and is shown at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

    Near Saengerfest Park, 2302 Strand, you will find Galveston’s newest attractions – Haunted Mayfield Manor and Pirates! Legends of the Gulf Coast. The year-round Haunted Mayfield Manor is themed around the fictional character Dr. Mayfield and the 1900 Storm. Pirates! is a family friendly attraction that addresses the fact and fiction of pirates and the infamous Jean Lafitte. For example, did you know that Blackbeard would scare off his opponents with crazy behavior, like taking pieces of rope and adding gun powder then lighting it like a fuse, all under his hat?

    Just a couple of blocks away, you will find the Galveston Railroad Museum which was heavily damaged during Hurricane Ike. The good news is that much has been restored including the Union Station waiting room which is home to the museum’s “ghosts of travelers past” located on the first floor of Shearn Moody Plaza. Currently, four passenger cars are open for tours and guests can also explore several locomotives and cabooses. New locomotives and model displays will be in place this summer. The new F7 Santa Fe Super Chief Locomotive will be named for George P. Mitchell and the late Cynthia Mitchell in honor of their original donation of the Texas Limited in 1996.
    Downtown Galveston is a great spot for shopping, dining and seeing the sites.

    Quick Reference List of Downtown Attractions

    • Ocean Star Offshore Oil Rig Museum, Pier 19, 409-766-7827
    • BayWatch Tours, Pier 21, 832-859-4557
    • Texas Seaport Museum & 1877 Tall Ship Elissa, Pier 21, 409-763-1877
    • Harbor Tours, Pier 21, 409-763-1877
    • Pier 21 Theater, Pier 21, 409-763-8808
    • Haunted Mayfield Manor, 2309 Harborside (Entrance off Saengerfest Park, 23rd & Strand), 409-762-6677
    • Pirates! Legends of the Gulf Coast, 2309 Harborside (Entrance off Saengerfest Park, 23rd & Strand), 409-762-6677
    • Galveston Railroad Museum, 2602 Santa Fe Place, 409-765-5700


    Book your room at one of these Galveston hotels and plan your next vacation on the Texas Gulf Coast.

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

    Ten Things To Do At Pier 21

    Pier 21 is one of those surprising spots in Galveston that’s perfect for a romantic getaway, a fun and exciting day with the kids, or evening out with friends. Here are just a few of the attractions that you don’t want to miss:

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    1. Stay a Night Harbor Side at the Harbor House Hotel & Marina
    You never have to leave the Pier when you book a room at Harbor House Hotel and Marina. You’ll feel as though you’ve stepped into a design magazine with the stylish décor and pops of bold orange throughout the hotel. And a plus, guests have beach and poolside access at the Hotel Galvez & Spa with a free shuttle ride at your convenience.

    2. Step Aboard the 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA
    Experience a piece of history up close and personal as you step aboard the ELISSA. This beautiful three-masted, iron-hulled tall ship was built in 1877 in Aberdeen, Scotland. It is one of only three of her kind that still sail today. We recommend that you give the audio tour a listen. It’s fascinating.

    3. Tour The Texas Seaport Museum
    Located right next to the Elissa, The Texas Seaport Museum tells the story of a rich legacy of seaborne commerce and immigration. Look for ancestors with a one-of-a-kind computer database containing the names of more than 133,000 immigrants who entered the United States through Galveston, "The Ellis Island of the West."

    4. Watch a Movie!
    Pier 21 Theater is a family-friendly venue that offers three documentary films for history buffs and curious visitors alike. The movies highlight major events that occurred on Galveston Island including The Great Storm of 1900 that ravaged the island—killing 6,000 people, The Pirate Island of Jean Lafitte, and Galveston: Gateway to the Gulf which chronicles immigration through Galveston Island.

    5. Take an Exhilarating Ride on a Jet Boat
    Get the thrill of a lifetime on a high-speed jet boat ride through the harbor. SunTime Water Sports offers 20 minutes of adrenaline pumping fun complete with photo packages so you can remember the look on your face when the boat hit top speeds.

    6. Witness Authentic Belly Dancing
    Every Friday and Saturday night throughout the summer months, Olympia Grill at Pier 21 provides fantastic entertainment with authentic belly dancers. Plus, you’ll love the amazing Greek and Mediterranean cuisine.

    7. Relax to the Sound of Live Jazz
    Nonno Tony’s brings something special to the table with live jazz not once, but twice a week! Join them every Wednesday night starting at 5:30 p.m. and every Sunday beginning at 4:00 p.m.

    8. Dolphin Watching
    Take a trip on one of the Baywatch Dolphin Tours and see dolphins up close in their natural habitat. Each tour lasts approximately 45 minutes and is an activity enjoyed by all ages!

    9. Tour an Offshore Oil Rig
    Take a look into the world of the offshore oil and gas industry at The Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum and Education Center. Explore all three floors of the retired jack-up drilling rig and view a video about the offshore industry.

    10. Watch the Sunset Over the Harbor
    Galveston is home to breathtaking sunsets and what better place to soak in the natural beauty, than on the patio of Willie G’s Seafood & Steaks.

    Pier 21® is a waterfront entertainment and dining area located on Galveston’s historic harbor in The Historic Strand Seaport Area. Pier 21® offers diverse waterfront dining, a variety of attractions including harbor tours, a documentary theater, and museums as well as Harbor House, the only hotel and marina on Galveston’s harbor.