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GalvestonUnited States of America

Enjoy the quaint old downtown architecture, explore historic mansions, and visit the museums and galleries of Texas’s foremost port city. 

Galveston charms with its glimpse into the colorful history of Texas through architecture and museums. The city sits on an island 32 miles long and 2.5 miles wide.

Walk the Strand and gaze at beautiful historic buildings preserved by local authorities for well over a century. Here you can browse souvenir shops, dine in excellent restaurants, or ride in a horse-drawn carriage. Continue exploring architectural treasures with a tour through the East End District. You’ll see classic Victorian buildings from the city’s days as a leading cotton exporter and extravagant old homes such as the Moody Mansion or Bishop’s Palace.

Galveston was officially incorporated in the 1830s. It soon grew into one of the most successful and prosperous cities in the region and even served as the capital of the Republic of Texas. Its economy was devastated by a hurricane in 1900, but throughout the 20th century it evolved into a historical and cultural vacation destination. It boasts some of the best old architecture in the country and is home to dozens of museums and art galleries.

Soak up some more history at the Texas Seaport Museum, where you’ll find the 1877 Tall Ship Elissa. Visit a real offshore oil rig and learn about the industry at the Ocean Star Drilling Rig and Museum. Aircraft lovers will want to explore the Lone Star Flight Museum. It has dozens of restored aircraft from World War II; you can even organize to have a ride in one.

History buffs will also love the story behind the Pleasure Pier, built during World War II as a recreational facility for the U.S. military. Nowadays families flock here to ride the roller coasters and enjoy the games. For more fun, hit the Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Water Park. Check out the Moody Gardens to explore the aquarium, zoo, and 3-D theater. Beachgoers won’t find sparkling waters and white sand at Galveston, but for a relaxing morning or evening stroll, drop by the Seawall or East Beach.

Galveston is a historic island destination with plenty to offer history buffs and leisure seekers alike. It’s 50 miles southeast of Houston.

Where to stay in Galveston

One of our favorite little weekend getaways is a quick 45 minute drive from Houston. The Hotel Galvez and Spa has been the grand hotel of the Galveston sea wall since 1911. Originally built to help Galveston tourism recover from the devastation of the great hurricane of 1900 that almost ended the life of this island city. Charming architecture, beautiful pool, great bars and amenities. Given its age and history it has more than a few ghost stories as well. The Hotel is a member of Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

San Jacinto

4.5/5Wonderful!(87 area reviews)

While visiting San Jacinto, you might make a stop by sights like Galveston Seawall and San Jacinto Park.

San Jacinto
If find yourself in Galveston and you want to get away from the Seawall crowds then this is a great beach to visit. Most days you’ll find that it isn’t crowded at all, only a few people around. Follow the picturesque white boardwalk to a trail that will lead you to the beach. Be sure to stop and smell the many flowers along the way—just remember to keep off the dunes and watch out for rattlesnakes.

Beachtown

While Beachtown might not have many sights to explore, venturing just a little farther will lead you to top things to see and do like Stewart Beach Park and East Beach.

Beachtown
WWII  submarine dry docked

Pelican Island

Pelican Island might not have many top sights, but Port of Galveston Cruise Terminal and Port of Galveston (Galveston Wharves) are two attractions nearby that you can check out.

Pelican Island

Top Hotels in Galveston

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Hotel Galvez & Spa, A Wyndham Grand Hotel
Hotel Galvez & Spa, A Wyndham Grand Hotel
4 out of 5
2024 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX
The price is ¥20,434 per night

Located in San Jacinto, this beach hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Porretto 27th Street and Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier. Port of Galveston Cruise ...

4.3/5Excellent! (4,610 reviews)

"Beautiful hotel near the beach - friendly staff and easy parking"…"

Reviewed on Jun 3, 2020

Hotel Galvez & Spa, A Wyndham Grand Hotel
Four Points by Sheraton Galveston
Four Points by Sheraton Galveston
3 out of 5
2300 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX
The price is ¥10,423 per night

Nestled on the beach, this Galveston hotel is just steps from Porretto 27th Street and Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier. Port of Galveston (Galveston ...

3.7/5Good! (2,083 reviews)

"Great location right off the beach at Pleasure Pier. Clean, comfortable rooms."…"

Reviewed on Jun 1, 2020

Four Points by Sheraton Galveston
Commodore on the Beach
Commodore on the Beach
2 out of 5
3618 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX
The price is ¥8,582 per night

Nestled on the beach, this Galveston hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Seawall Beach and Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier. Port of Galveston (Galveston Wharves) ...

3.2/5 (2,809 reviews)

"Arrived early was told my room would be ready by 3 room wasn’t ready until 5 had a water dripping from the ceiling by the bathroom"…"

Reviewed on Jun 2, 2020

Commodore on the Beach

Popular places to visit in Galveston

Moody Gardens
Image for Moody Gardens

Moody Gardens

4.5/5(709 reviews)

More than just a theme park: an aquarium, zoo, museums and rides on beautiful Galveston Bay.

Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier
Image for Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier

Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier

4/5(716 reviews)

Ride the thrilling swings over the Gulf of Mexico and browse the shops and restaurants on this fun and scenic pier.

Galveston Schlitterbahn Waterpark
Image for Galveston Schlitterbahn Waterpark

Galveston Schlitterbahn Waterpark

4/5(162 reviews)

Enjoy a day twisting and turning on water slides or just relax in a pool with a swim-up bar at this popular water park.

Galveston Seawall
Image for Galveston Seawall

Galveston Seawall

4.5/5(2,331 reviews)

You can learn about the local history of Galveston during your trip to a well-known site like Galveston Seawall. Wander the beautiful beaches and seaside in the area.

Strand Historic District
Image for Strand Historic District

Strand Historic District

4.5/5(159 reviews)

Find out about the history of Galveston with a stop at Strand Historic District. Amble around this family-friendly area's waterfront and enjoy its lively bars.

Bolivar Peninsula
Image for Bolivar Peninsula

Bolivar Peninsula

4.5/5(200 reviews)

Explore the great outdoors at Bolivar Peninsula, a popular spot to commune with nature in Port Bolivar. Stroll along the beaches in this relaxing area, or seek out the golf courses.

Top things to do in Galveston

Great! Galveston Ghost Tour
Image for Great! Galveston Ghost Tour

Great! Galveston Ghost Tour

76% of travellers recommend
¥2,141
Per adult
Segway Galveston Magical History Tour
Image for Segway Galveston Magical History Tour

Segway Galveston Magical History Tour

100% of travellers recommend
¥8,029
Per adult
Storm on the Strand Ghost Tour
Image for Storm on the Strand Ghost Tour

Storm on the Strand Ghost Tour

¥1,071
Per adult
Historic Galveston Ghost Tour
Image for Historic Galveston Ghost Tour

Historic Galveston Ghost Tour

100% of travellers recommend
¥1,071
Per adult
Galveston Red Light District Tour
Image for Galveston Red Light District Tour

Galveston Red Light District Tour

¥2,676
Per adult
Galveston Island Ghost Tour
Image for Galveston Island Ghost Tour

Galveston Island Ghost Tour

¥1,067
Per adult

Reviews of Galveston

4.4

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
1841
5 - Excellent 47.31431508609612%
4 - Good
1694
4 - Good 43.53636597275764%
3 - Okay
297
3 - Okay 7.632999228989977%
2 - Disappointing
39
2 - Disappointing 1.002313030069391%
1 - Terrible
20
1 - Terrible 0.5140066820868672%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jun 4, 2020

Try Williams Party Boats for some fishing! Staff is always excellent. That Captain has always found is some great spots.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jun 4, 2020

Going and by myself. Then next trip take my son his wonderful wife and youngest grandchildren

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jun 2, 2020

Over all our experience in Galveston was good, but our hotel visit was very disappointing. No breakfast and 4pm is way to late of a check in

4/5 - Good

Cynthia

Jun 2, 2020

The beaches were very clean, water was very warm. Lifeguards were present. Disappointed in the Hilton but it was in a great location. We ate at Landry's next door; so good, great service. Also, those Texans are so friendly!!

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jun 1, 2020

Galveston is always a fun little get away trip for us. So much to do, see & eat!! We are already planning our next trip down!!

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jun 1, 2020

We like to visit Galveston for the Beaches. Florida Gulf beaches are prettier, but Galveston is closer for us ... 12 hour drive :(

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