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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.

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mardi gras
03 Feb

The Beads Are Back

February is an exciting time to visit Galveston solely for the return of Mardi Gras! From February 18th - March 1st, The 111th Celebration of Mardi Gras! Galveston will rock the streets with several parades, about 3 million beads, delicious traditional festival foods, and shows put on by popular bands/artists like 3 Doors Down, Matt Stell, and Siggno! For back-to-back weekends, whether you’re traveling with your family, best friends, or even solo, the excitement of Mardi Gras! Galveston is surely something to experience at least once. Weekend tickets can be purchased online now, and you can also purchase meet & greets or balcony spots to play as a spectator throwing beads.

New to this year’s fun, Yaga’s Entertainment is introducing “Beads for Needs.” Since November 2021, the Ball High School’s Life Skills program and their entrepreneurial program, Incubator, have come together for community “bead donation drives.” The groups’ intentions were to collect, clean and repackage the beads for sale, which you can now purchase online along with other fun props. The goal is to eventually open up a student-ran center, where the community can purchase Mardi Gras! Galveston beads, event merchandise, enjoy a cafe, or do laundry.

Aside from a musical lineup and entertainment, if you’re looking to run off some vacation calories, the Jolly Jester Jaunt 5k has slots open now! You might be trying to dodge any type of fitness while traveling, but this might be worth it! Scheduled for Saturday, February 19, you have between two race packages to pick from, with admission including some awesome perks; take home a new shirt, enjoy free libations, access the balcony, and attend all parades and private parties, just to name a few! Get all the official race details now.

If you’re looking to turn the fun up a notch with your group, rent a ride on one of the floats! The “Ticket to Ride” experience includes beads, a driver, and a private balcony party for you and the crew! Make sure to contact asap to sign up now. More details can be found online!

Right across Harborside street, and walking distance from the Strand and all the festivities, Harbor House Hotel at Pier 21 is the ideal place to book lodging! Rooms are filling up quickly so be sure and make your reservations today! Additional accommodations can also be found online for your best Mardi Gras! Galveston experience. The fun awaits!