Nestled off the coast of Houston lies Galveston, Texas, an island city full of rich history and tons of vacation activities. Beaches, restaurants, and amusement parks are just some of the things to do on Galveston Island. While there are plenty of reasons to visit the coastal resort city of Galveston, we’re rounding up the top ten reasons to visit the island.
Things to do in Galveston – Top 10 Reasons to Visit
1. Historic Architecture
Galveston’s history dates back 200 years, as it was an initial European settlement. The island has a storied past, and while most historic structures were destroyed during The Great Storm of 1900, the community leaders have done their best to conserve some original historical sites. Be sure to stop by the 1832 Michel B. Menard House and the 1859 Ashton Villa for some awe-inspiring architecture.
2. Enjoy Delicious Seafood
One of the perks of visiting the island is a variety of dining options, including amazing seafood. Miller’s Seawall Grill is a hot spot for calamari, oysters, and crab balls and is located right on the water. For a more upscale experience, visit Gaidos for everything from Mahi Mahi to yellowfin tuna dishes.
3. Surfing and Stand-up Paddle Boarding Adventures
You don’t have to be a pro to enjoy these activities. Galveston offers surf and paddleboard lessons that will teach you the proper technique and safety while showing you all of the spots to surf on the island. Spots like Ohana Surf and Skate feature lessons all summer long.
4. Moody Gardens
Named one of the top 10 attractions in Texas, Moody Gardens has everything you need for a weekend of fun with the family. From an aquarium to a discovery museum, 3D theaters, and a zip line, you and the family will be sure to find something that you’ll all agree on. Looking to buy a ticket? You’ll save $3 if you purchase online, and your kids under three are free! Pro tip: if you have good grades, bring your report card within 30 days (nothing less than a B!) and you’ll receive free admission into one educational attraction.
5. Visit Museums and Historic Sites
After “The Great Storm of 1900”, Galveston had to rebuild so much of the island. That said, there are still relics standing from pre-storm, like the 1892 Bishop’s Palace, one of the most popular mansions on the island. For train enthusiasts, the Galveston Railroad Museum offers a fascinating history of restored railroad collections. Be sure to also stop by Rosenberg Library, the oldest public library in Texas.
6. Soak Up the Sun with a Beach Day
With 32 miles of gorgeous Gulf beaches, you can’t go wrong with a Galveston Beach Day. For the partygoers, East Beach spots to set up camp for the day. You’ll even find live music and festivals during the summer parks.
7. Historic Pleasure Pier
One of the best things to do in Galveston is visit the Historic Pleasure Pier! Rides, dining, and a whole ‘lotta fun can be had at this iconic destination. With 16 rides for all ages, you’ll be able to ride the Texas Star Flyer high above the pier or go down Pirate’s Plunge.
8. Galveston Island State Park
This beautiful state park has easy access to walking areas near the beach. You’ll find birding trails and nature centers and you can even spend the night camping on the beach.
9. Shop Galveston Small Business
Spend the day shopping in Galveston. With dozens of boutique stores scattered along the island, make sure you stop at The Strand, Galveston’s main shopping street. The Strand is filled with restaurants and entertainment, but make sure you pop into LaKing’s Confectionary for some old-fashioned candy before you leave.
10. Galveston Duck Tour
One of the most unique things to do in Galveston is the Galveston Duck Tour! The duck tour will take you on the Seawall, then to the Offats Bayou, and of course, into the water! The tour covers everything you need to know about the island, with tours running daily.
Want more details?! Plan your next getaway to the island here!
Galveston truly offers a lot of options for everyone. If you are looking to enjoy on a budget, check out our article on Things to Do in Galveston this Weekend!
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