Things to do in Galveston

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Click on the items below to see our choices for things like where to eat or places to rent motor sports.

 

Museum Day on the Island

Eats and Bars

Motors and Boards

For Kids of all ages

Jamaica Beach and the West End

Entertainment

Other Places to visit

Galveston 2024 Events

 

Museum Day on the Island

 

The Bryan Museum  See the history of Texas in the making.  Learn why there are 6 flags over Texas and what they are.  See old west art and weapons.

 

Texas Seaport Museum and 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA  Home of the celebrated 1877 tall ship ELISSA.

 

Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum  See what happens on those floating platforms you see out in the gulf as they provide your daily energy needs.

 

Seawolf Park  Located on Galveston's Pelican Island, on a former immigration station site. Go inside WWII submarine the USS Cavalla and one of only three destroyer escorts in the world, the USS Stewart. The remains of the tanker S.S. Selma, the largest concrete ship constructed, can be seen northwest of the park's fishing pier.

 

Bishop's Palace  Galveston's grandest and best-known building, the Bishop's Palace is an ornate delight of colored stone, intricately carved ornaments, rare woods, stained-glass windows, bronze dragons and other sculptures, luxury materials and furnishings, and impressive fireplaces from around the world (including one lined with pure silver!).  The Sacristy is a must see.

 

Galveston Railroad Museum  Take a ride on a caboose.  See historic trains.  Tour trains the way they used to travel the US. The very popular Polar Express in December leaves from the museum.

 

Moody Mansion and Children's Museum  Mary Moody Northen was an avid supporter of local Scouts. As chair of the Moody Foundation, she lead the effort to build the Galveston scouting headquarters, but beyond her philanthropy she and her husband, E.C. “Mike” Northen took personal interest in scouting as volunteers. Later in life she regularly attended Scout events and ceremonies, and frequently had scouts over for ice cream.

 

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Eats and Bars

 

These are some of Monica and Jom’s favorite places to eat or have a beer on the island.  It might be because of the food, might be because of the ambiance or maybe both.

 

Katies Seafood House at Pier 20 Seafood fresh caught this morning.  Katies has their own fleet of fishing trawlers that delivers direct from the Gulf to the restaurant. Get a coveted table on the deck for views of fishing boats and a variety of Gulf birds.

 

Huli Huli Hut  Hawaiian style eatery and bar that often has crawfish and crabs. Great option when craving burgers.

 

Mel's Blue Plate Diner Mel’s may be in a convenience store, but it still serves one of the better burgers on the Island

 

Shrimp and Stuff The Avenue O location is really popular.  Jom loves the fish tacos, but prefers the downtown location because it offers a blackened option for the tacos or the Po’Boys.

 

Gypsy Joynt One of the largest and most eclectic menus on the island. We have yet to try everything. Nothing has disappointed yet. The baked goods are always top shelf. Try the daily cake or pastry for dessert

 

Galveston Island Brewing  Home of Tiki Wheat. Great spot for a day of hanging out with friends and family trying local brews. There's a playground for the kiddos. Brewery tours. No food options.

 

Float Pool Bar  Good burgers and burritos.  Adults swimming pool.  Right on the seawall for great views of the beach, especially on the upper deck which looks over the beach and the pool.

 

Beerfoot Brew Pub 33 rotating beers on tap.  7 big screen TVs.  Great place to see the game.  No food options, but you can order burgers or burritos from the Float right next door.

 

The Press Box  Go where the locals go. Fabulous dive bar that serves a really good Reuben or Pastrami sandwich. Tuesdays are Prime Rib days.

 

Miller's Seawall Grill  The ever popular Miller’s serves seafood and an eclectic breakfast menu all day.  Be prepared for a wait.

 

Mario's Italian Seawall Grill  We LOVE the Baked Lobster Mac N' Cheese and the incredible Gulf view from the Italian style patio. The weekday buffet is excellent. Sunday brunch is offered. (Not to be confused with Mario's 61st Street. They are not associated).

 

LaVigna Tratoria  The BEST Calamari on the Island, 'nuff said.

 

Brewchachos on the Strand Always many, many beers on tap and a collection of very different tacos to choose from. One of favs is the Reuben Taco, when they have it.

 

Stuttgarden on the Strand German food and large beer selection. Perfect location for being in the midst of the Strand action. What more do we need to say?

 

Sunflower Cafe on 14th Street  Sunflower has it all.  Wonderful breakfast and great sandwiches for lunch. Expect a wait. 

 

Original Mexican Cafe on 14th  An island staple since 1916 with outstanding Mexican fare.  If you are a fan of Quesadillas, this is the place to be.

 

ShyKatz Cafe and Bakery at 15th and L Breakfast and lunch in a very different environment. A locals favorite. There’s always something very interesting on the menu.

 

Sky Bar Steak and Sushi  Great venue for Sushi lovers. Located in the enchanting Post Office District.

 

Number 13 Prime Steak  Looking for that 5 star 4 $$$$ experience to cap off your vacation?  We splurge and go here at least once a year.

 

Nick's  The food is good here but a tad expensive.  We actually come here for the happy hour and for a great place to sit outside on the Seawall with a beer or glass of wine.

 

Mod Coffee Enjoy your specialty coffee sitting in an idealic area right in the heart of the Post Office District. Plenty of outdoor seating under the trees.

 

Rainforest Cafe and Adventure Ride Part adventure, part restaurant, and wholly entertaining. The Rainforest Cafe is a A WILD PLACE TO EAT® and an exciting thrill for all ages.

 

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Motors and Boards

 

Rent a Model T Golf Cart  Want an experience in your trip like no other with Replica Model-T Carts? Give Carriage Haus a holler and tour the island in a unique way.

 

Take a Helicopter Tour This is the big kahuna! Over 24 miles of spectacular scenery around Galveston Island. See everything from the air, from Moody Gardens and Schlitterbahn, through the port and harbor, around Pelican Island and Sea Wolf Park, and down the entire Galveston seawall.

 

SUP Rentals at 29th and the Beach Get your Stand Up Paddle Board rental right on the beach.

 

Slingshot Rentals Rent a Slingshot for the day.  Tour the island with class in your open air three wheeler.

 

Rent a Moke The car features an open body design with no doors or roof, which makes it perfect for warm weather and beach destinations.

 

Zipp E Bike  Rent an electric bicycle to get around the island.  All of the freedom of a 2 wheeler with none of the work.  What a great way to get around.

 

There are a plethora of Golf Cart and Surrey/bicycle rentals along the seawall.  We do not have a favorite and think they are all pretty comparably priced.  What a great way to spend the day on the Seawall!  NOTE: there are hefty fines for driving a golf cart west of 61st Street on the Seawall.  The Seawall is a state highway west past 61st Street. The fines are well posted.

 

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For Kids of all ages

 

Moody Gardens

Aquarium Pyramid

Rainforest Pyramid

Discovery Museum

Moody Gardens 3D and 4D Theaters

Colonel Paddle wheel Boat

Palm Beach

Moody Gardens Golf Course

 

Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Water park  Pack a picnic for water, fun, and family! Longer rides, more thrilling slides, free parking, and free tubes are just some of the reasons to make a visit to Schlitterbahn Galveston a tradition for your family.

 

Mini Golf  Located on the Seawall’s West End next door to Premiere Cinemas, Magic Carpet Golf has been wowing kids and families for years.  Featuring two colorful, fun-filled 18-hole courses for your enjoyment.

 

Go Karts Axe Throwing and Arcade Have a need for speed?  Want to show that you can throw an axe like a Viking?  Want to challenge your bestie to a dance competition?  The Galveston Fun Center has it all.

 

Pleasure Pier and 5D theater  The Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier features family-oriented attractions including rides, midway games, a wide selection of food venues and retail shops with the 5D theater across the Seawall.

 

Baywatch Dolphin Tours  BayWatch Dolphin Tours at Pier 21 brings you up close to view the dolphins in their natural habitat. U.S. Coast Guard certified for 36 passengers

 

Explore The Seawall On The Trolley  Galveston's beach activity takes place along the island's famous Seawall Boulevard. Tour the entire Seawall, all 10 miles of it for $1.  Get a transfer to the Strand for Shopping and more.

 

Haunted Mayfield Manor  Dr. Mayfield welcomes you to his home where you will meet ghosts and ghouls; you may encounter the strange shadow people that dwell in this attraction.

 

Baywatch Ghost Bus Tour  See the Historic and Haunted sites of Galveston Island by bus.

 

Ghost Tours of Galveston  Walking tour of Historic and Haunted Galveston.

 

Galveston's 61st Street Fishing Pier  Galveston's 61st Street Fishing Pier is the place to be for fun family friendly adventures over the beautiful Gulf of Mexico. Fishing, equipment rentals, snacks, and gifts. A great place to make memories with your friends and family.

 

LaKing's Confectionary and Ice Cream Parlour  Indulge yourself with gourmet chocolates, fudges, candies and ice cream. This olde style confectionary is a must see experience on the Strand.

 

 

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Jamaica Beach and the West End

 

City of Jamaica Beach Get information on the city's private marina, the community pool and the beach and parking ordinances.

 

Galveston Island State Park  Bay side or beach side. Camping and RV spots newly renovated! 

 

Watermans Restaurant and Marina  Nice seafood and steak restaurant.  It’s closer to Jamaica Beach than the in-town venues.

 

Nate's Seafood and Steak Restaurant Just a mile west of Jamaica Beach. Always a favorite of visitors.

 

West End Marina and Restaurants In Sea Isle, just a few miles west of Jamaica Beach.  Great place for some ceviche and a beer overlooking the marina.

 

Ocean's Food Mart and Convenience Store Right at the corner of Buccaneer and FM 3005.  We really like the breakfast burritos on those mornings when we want to get to the beach and not take time to cook.

 

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Entertainment

 

Post Office District  Shopping, art galleries, chic eateries and many special events.

 

The Grand  The Grand survived the storms of 1900 and 1915, and Hurricanes Carla, Alicia and Ike, as well as years of neglect at various times throughout its history. The Grand is one of the few remaining theatres of its era in Texas and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. "The Official Opera House of Texas."

 

Galveston Strand  Shopping, restaurants, art Galleries, more!

 

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Other Places to visit

 

Tree Sculptures  The lush canopy of trees shading Galveston’s Victorian homes is gone, claimed by the saltwater storm surge of Hurricane Ike But the barrier island’s citizens have led a grass-roots effort to preserve the memory of the trees by carving more than 35 sculptures from the remaining stumps.

 

Galveston - Port Bolivar Ferry  The Galveston-Port Bolivar ferry takes travelers between Galveston Island and the Bolivar Peninsula. One vessel is in operation 24 hours per day. A second ferry is added early morning for the day.  Up to five vessels may be operating for summer and holiday traffic.

 

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Galveston Events in 2024

 

Galveston Restaurant Week Jan 8 to 28  Galveston Restaurant Week brings the island’s vibrant food scene to life at unbeatable prices!  See the list of restaurants that are participating where you can get a taste of their cuisine.

 

Mardi Gras Galveston Feb 2 to 13  A 2-weekend event that includes live entertainment, parades, balcony parties, and more.

 

Galveston Art Walk Mar 2  Downtown galleries, artist studios, nonprofits, and local businesses, ArtWalk takes place inside existing art spaces. Get maps and more.

 

Ironman 70.3 April 7  Your IRONMAN 70.3 finish line beckons, with its crowds, bright lights, and music. 

 

Feather Fest Birding April 18 to 21  Birding and Nature Photography Festival and Photography contest. 

 

"The Grand" Kids Festival Apr 20  The goal of the Grand Kids Festival is to provide participatory access to the fine arts for all children.

 

Galveston Art Walk Apr 27  Downtown galleries, artist studios, nonprofits, and local businesses, ArtWalk takes place inside existing art spaces. Get maps and more.

 

Historic Home Tour May 4, 5, 11 & 12  The 50th Anniversary of the Galveston Historic Homes Tour returns! 

 

Flamingo Fest May 18  Flamingo Fest Golf Cart Parade and Pub Crawl. 

 

Galveston Art Walk Jun 1 Downtown galleries, artist studios, nonprofits, and local businesses, ArtWalk takes place inside existing art spaces. Get maps and more.

 

Galveston Wine Festival Aug 31 to Sep 1  Galveston Island Wine Festival will return to Moody Gardens in 2024

 

AIA Sandcastle Sept 21  Annual sandcastle building event, competition and fundraiser.  Sandcastle building classes, more.  East Beach Galveston.

 

Galveston Shrimp and Gumbo Fest Sept 27 & 28  Featuring some of the best shrimp gumbo the Gulf Coast has to offer, the Shrimp Gumbo Cook-Off will be held in the Historic Strand District beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 28, 2024.

 

ARToberfest Galveston Oct 19th & 20th  ARToberFest is a Juried Fine Arts Festival presented by The Grand 1894 Opera House Galveston Island, TX.

 

Oktoberfest Galveston Island Oct 25th & 26th  Island Oktoberfest will be held on the grounds of and streets adjacent to First Lutheran Church, 24th and Winnie – in historic downtown Galveston.

 

Lone Star Rally Oct 31 to Nov 3  Largest Motorcycle rally in Texas.

 

Dickens on the Strand Dec 6th to 8th  Brush off your bowlers and prepare your petticoats as Galveston Historical Foundation presents the 51st annual Dickens on The Strand.

 

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