At 45 miles southeast of Houston, Galveston is at once close and a world apart. Walk, run or bike on the Historic Seawall, take in the renovated Victorian architecture of a 19th century dowager, boat tours, a world class aquarium and rain forest. Visit the hallowed site of the first Juneteenth festival or check out the 200,000-person strong Kappa Beach Party each year.
The beach occupies 32 miles of Galveston Island and all are accessible to the public. But you can only find facilities and concessions at the main beaches. The sand is fine, light-colored, and powdery when dry, but the tides coming into the beach produce a compacted wet surface, tan to light brown in color. This is ideal for strolling with bare feet and for building sandcastles. The wet sand supports automobile traffic at some sites — check the entry signs. Water can reach as low as the 60s during winter months. From May through September, beach water warms to nearly 80 degrees. Please observe that the sand dunes and other wildlife ecosystems are closed to all vehicles. Though there are a variety of sharks in the area, there are no historical records of shark bites involving beach swimming.
A town beach enjoyed by most residents and tourists alike. Galveston and the state of Texas recently spent millions of dollars restoring the East Beaches, so they’re in great shape. The sandbars slope at a small incline so that there is wading until quite far from shore, making this a excellent place to bring young children.
Begins at the southwestern end of the seawall, where Seawall Blvd name-changes to FM 3005. West Beach is particularly attractive for jogging and nature sightseeing that is undisturbed by development.
Leon’s Finest In & Out Barbecue
DESCRIPTION: Bareque joint
CUISINE: Barbeque; specialty is sausage made several varieties on the premises, chipped beef, briskets, links, and yard birds; sides include turnip greens, cole slaw, potato salad, Leon’s Rice Stepped Up, barbeque beans and pies
ADDRESS: 5427 Broadway
DESCRIPTION: Family-owned and operated Bareque jointfor over 25 years
CUISINE: hickory-smoked beef, ham, link sausage, and turkey are available; dinners come with cole slaw or beans and potato salad, and bread or home-made jalapeno roll; baked potatoes can be stuffed with any of the meats or trimmings
ADDRESS: 3428 Avenue South
DESCRIPTION: A full day of Family-fun under 3 pyramids: Palm Beach offers a white sand beach with a blue lagoon and lots of fun for kids; Discovery Pyramid features a host of interactive exhibits designed in conjunction with NASA. Visitors can learn about the wonders of space in the Science Theater, and take a fascinating adventure ride on the IMAX Ridefilm Theater; Rainforest Pyramid is 10-story venue where butterflies, birds and tropical fish share a lush environment with exotic plants from the rainforests of Africa, Asia and the Americas; Discovery Museum lets you sample the interactive International Space Station mock-up; Aquarium Pyramid invites you to dive into four oceans of the world; large touch tanks and jewel tanks will provide and a variety of unique viewing opportunities will submerse visitors in the vivid beauty of the ocean world and provide underwater classrooms and learning opportunities for people of all ages
ADMISSION: begins at $40 for adults; purchase separate tickets for Aquarium Pyramid, Discovery Pyramid, Rainforest Pyramid, IMAX Theater, Ridefilm Theater and Palm Beach
ADDRESS: One Hope Blvd
Lone Star Flight Museum
Features the most impressive collection of restored aircraf tin the Southwest, including a B-17, B-25, T-6 Texan, P-17 Stearman and P-47 within a large aircraft hangar home to 40 historically significant aircraft — these planes often perform in airshows; aviators can enjoy bomber and trainer flight experiences as well; for the those who prefer to stayon the ground, there’s a substantial collection of historical aircraft photos and artifacts as the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame; located next to Moody Gardens.
ADMISSION: $8 Adults, $5 Seniors and Students 5-17; Ages 4 and under enter Free
DAYS & HOURS: daily 9a-5p
ADDRESS: 2002 Terminal Drive at Galveston International Airport
PARKING: Free on premises
DESCRIPTION: A National Historic District, it also offers a wide variety of shops, antique stores, restaurants and art galleries; check out the Peanut Butter Warehouse at 102 20th Street for an eclectic assortment of collectibles plus a peanut butter pantry filled with homemade fudge; features high curbs, overhanging canopies, and horse drawn carriages; The Strand is the center of Mardi Gras celebrations, festivities, antiques, shopping, and art galleries
ADDRESS: extending from 20th to 25th Streets
Pier 21 Theater
DESCRIPTION: Features the Great Storm and The Pirate Island of Jean Laffite; the Great Storm movie runs 27 minutes and plays on the hour; it gives a glimpse of the devastating 1900 Storm, a Category 5 hurricane, through a fascinating multi-image documentary experience; $3.50 for adults; $2.50 for students; the Pirate Island of Jean Laffite is an 18-minute dramatic film chronicling the adventures of the pirate who made Galveston one of his homes
ADMISSION: Adults $5, Ages 7-18 $4, Ages 6 and under free; flight experiences have sperate fees
DAYS & HOURS: Sun-Thu 11a-5p, Fri and Sat 11a-7p
ADDRESS: Pier 21 on the Strand
Ocean Star Offshore Museum
DESCRIPTION: Step aboard and explore the offshore rig and learn how oil and gas are produced offshore; museum features interactive displays and models.
ADMISSION: $6 adults, $4 students, kids under 7 free
DAYS & HOURS: daily 10a-5p
ADDRESS: Harborside of Pier 19
Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark
DESCRIPTION: In the warm season, the park offers more than 32 water rides that range in speed and sophistication that satisfies all age groups; teens and older will enjoy the uphill water coasters, whitewater rapids, relaxing hot tubs, family raft rides, and the surf ride; from October through mid-April, the park features a dozen heated attractions in a tropical, heated indoor oasis as well – you can’t go wrong any time of the year
ADMISSION: Adults $38, Ages 3-11 $29, Age 2 and under free
DAYS & HOURS: Summer Hours opens 10a, closing varies from 6p-8p; Winter hours
ADDRESS: 2026 Lockheed Street
PARKING: Free on premises