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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!(91 area reviews)

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

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 East Beach and Stewart Beach Park.

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
Four Points by Sheraton Galveston
Four Points by Sheraton Galveston
3 out of 5
2300 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX
The price is ¥9,236 per night

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

3.5/5Good! (1,133 reviews)

"It is an older property..But it is clean and in the best area to be in..Building shows very nice..Few things could be addressed but over all i think the best value on the island.."…"

Reviewed on Jul 29, 2020

Four Points by Sheraton Galveston
Commodore on the Beach
Commodore on the Beach
2 out of 5
3618 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is ¥8,370 per night

Nestled on the beach, this Galveston hotel is just steps from Seawall Beach and Galveston Seawall. Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier and Galveston Island ...

3/5 (1,765 reviews)

"Front desk young lady is rude AF, place is alright. Nothing special. Lots and lots of tweakers working on the property."…"

Reviewed on Aug 10, 2020

Commodore on the Beach
Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa and Convention Center
Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa and Convention Center
4 out of 5
7 Hope Blvd, Galveston, TX
The price is ¥16,735 per night

This family-friendly Galveston resort is located near the beach, within a 10-minute walk of Moody Gardens and Galveston Schlitterbahn Waterpark. Galveston Seawall ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (1,641 reviews)

"Everyone was very friendly and welcoming. It was the best location and everything I needed or wanted was accessible and my son had an amazing time."…"

Reviewed on Aug 8, 2020

Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa and Convention Center

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(717 reviews)

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

Galveston Seawall
Image for Galveston Seawall

Galveston Seawall

4.5/5(2,338 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.

Galveston Schlitterbahn Waterpark
Image for Galveston Schlitterbahn Waterpark

Galveston Schlitterbahn Waterpark

4/5(163 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.

Strand Historic District
Image for Strand Historic District

Strand Historic District

4.5/5(161 reviews)

You can learn more about the history of Galveston during your trip to a top site like 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(201 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

Authentic Galveston Ghost Historic Tour
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Authentic Galveston Ghost Historic Tour

¥1,923
Per adult
Segway Galveston Magical History Tour
Image for Segway Galveston Magical History Tour

Segway Galveston Magical History Tour

¥8,013
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
Storm on the Strand Ghost Tour
Image for Storm on the Strand Ghost Tour

Storm on the Strand Ghost Tour

¥1,069
Per adult
Segway Galveston Rat Pack Tour
Image for Segway Galveston Rat Pack Tour

Segway Galveston Rat Pack Tour

¥8,440
Per adult
Great! Galveston Ghost Tour
Image for Great! Galveston Ghost Tour

Great! Galveston Ghost Tour

¥2,137
Per adult
76% of travellers recommend
Book Black Car from Houston to Galveston, IAH Airport Houston to Galveston
Image for Book Black Car from Houston to Galveston, IAH Airport Houston to Galveston

Book Black Car from Houston to Galveston, IAH Airport Houston to Galveston

¥24,067
Per adult