A narrow strip of land along the Gulf Coast of Texas, Galveston Island is a holiday playground for all ages. With a vintage amusement pier, nature-filled state park and a fine collection of Greek Revival and Victorian architecture, Galveston cradles old-world nostalgia.
Things to do in Galveston
Preserved period architecture defines the cityscape of Galveston, including the Menard House, which holds a listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Tour the mansion to view Neoclassic antiques before heading over to Bishop’s Palace with its stained-glass windows and intricate carvings of mythological animals. For a look into the city’s history, visit Haunted Mayfield Manor and embark on a scavenger hunt at Pirates! Legends of the Coast.
The Moody Mansion Museum houses artefacts and hand-carved decor from the prominent Moody family, with guided tours held daily. After shopping for treasures at The Strand, book theatre tickets at The Grand, a magnificent performance venue from the 1800s.
Moody Gardens glistens with luminous glass pyramids housing monkeys, sharks and the 13-storey Rainforest Pyramid. You can also visit the Discovery Pyramid to see dozens of interactive exhibits or go all-out with a private glide on a replica of a paddlewheel boat from the 1800s.
Nostalgia permeates the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, home to a boardwalk with old-fashioned rides, games and live music. Take the kids to Schlitterbahn Galveston Island WaterPark for thrilling rides, such as the Dragon Blaster and Soaring Eagle. For a nature-filled day, go birdwatching, hiking, kayaking or surf fishing in Galveston Island State Park.
Getting around Galveston
Rental cars are available at Scholes International Airport in Galveston or in Houston, about a one-hour drive away. Trolleys, taxis, limousines and shuttles operate throughout the city. Bike shares offer alternative means of transportation, with many of the public buses providing bikes racks.