Galveston Island is located on the coast of Texas, just 50 miles south of Houston. From the lively historic Strand area on the east end to the recreational complex at Moody Gardens on the west end, Galveston has an assortment of attractions and leisure time activities you would expect in a resort destination. The island is also home to some of the best festivals in the country. And when you're ready to relax and unwind, pull up a chair and umbrella and enjoy one of Galveston's best attractions - the beach. With 32 miles of coastline, you always have a front row seat to the best sunrises in Texas!
Historical Homes and Museums
is one of Galveston's most popular family attractions, with an aquarium, private beach, IMAX theater, hotel, spa and more. While you're there, book an afternoon cruise on the Colonel Paddle Wheel Boat
. Ready to soar over the Gulf of Mexico? Then you'll want to check out the rides and amusements at the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier
. There's nothing like a water park on a hot summer day, so head out the pools and water slides at Schlitterbaun
. Magic Carpet Golf offers putt-putt golf, batting cages, video games and other kid-friendly amusements. Seawolf Park
, built on a former immigration site, is perfect for picnics and fishing, all next to a retired submarine and destroyer escort. Ocean Star Oil Rig and Museum
provides a glimpse into the world of offshore drilling, and while you're in the area, book a dolphin tour with Galveston Harbor Tours
. Check out the Pirates! Legends of the Gulf Coast
for a little history on these elusive characters. Go back in time to the aftermath of the Great Storm of 1900 at Haunted Mayfield Manor
and meet some of the ghosts who may still be lurking on the island!
Events and Festivals
In nearly every month of the year, the island plays host to a festival, event, or seasonal celebration. One of the biggest is Mardi Gras
, a 12-day celebration featuring parades, parties, and plenty of revelry. Just in time for spring, FeatherFest
is a salute to the island's winged population and popular among birding enthusiasts of all ages. Take a trip to the island's Victorian-era on the Historical Homes Tour
in May. Several times a year, enjoy a glass of wine and a stroll through "Gallery Row" during Artwalk
, spotlighting the island's talented local artists. You'll want to claim your spot on the Seawall early for the best view of 4th of July fireworks over the Gulf of Mexico. It wouldn't be autumn without Oktoberfest
sponsored by the First Lutheran Church downtown. And the cooler temperatures provide the perfect climate for a walk through the Strand area to check out the latest in loft living on the Downtown Lofts Tour. It's leather and do-rags at the Lone Star Biker Rally
, one of the biggest (and loudest) bike rallies in the country. And finally, kick off the holiday season Victorian-style with Dickens on the Strand
Galveston Island State Park
offers nature trails, bird-watching, kayaking and canoeing. The park also has beach campsites available. Planning to bring your boat along for the trip? You'll want to check out the Galveston Island Yacht Basin
. Fishing enthusiasts have a variety of places to drop a line, and there are plenty of fishing charters
available to take you to Galveston Bay or offshore. If you're feeling a little more adventurous, try catching a few waves. Need lessons? Ohana Surf and Skate
offers private and group sessions. Galveston's newly renovated municipal golf course
is sure to please with 18 holes nestled among the natural wetlands overlooking beautiful Sydnor Bayou. And if you happen to rise with the sun, beachcombing is best in the morning. You might even be lucky enough to find a whole sanddollar, especially during the winter months.
Dining and Nightlife
From seafood to italian, Galveston has a variety of restaurants to suit every palate. There are many options from Seawall Blvd to the downtown Strand area. After dinner, catch a performance of the Galveston Symphony or a host of other performers at the Grand 1894 Opera House
. Or take in a play at the East-End Theater Company
, a small theater featuring live stage performances. For movie buffs, Premiere Cinema
has several screens with all the latest releases. And for those wanting to check out the local music scene, the Strand area has several bars and nightclubs so you can dance the night away!