10 Ways to Stay In Shape During Your Galveston Island Vacation

Everyone loves vacation, right? Getting away from your normal habits and off your hectic schedule gives you the freedom to laze about in the sun, float along the water, catch up on your reading…and enjoy vast horizons of local culinary options that include fried-and-maybe-stuffed-with-cheese-and-wrapped-in-bacon-if-you’re-lucky Gulf seafood.

Then, it’s time to check out, go home, and begin the difficult return to reality. It’s hard enough to say goodbye to vacation…no one wants to say hello to a few extra pounds at the same time!

Fear not! We have 10 great tips for staying in shape during your Galveston Island vacation that will still let you feel like you’re on vacation!

#1 – Morning Jog on the Beach
There is nothing more motivating than watching the sunrise over the Gulf and listening to the peaceful sounds of the waves washing ashore.  (Trust us, we’ve started many a Monday morning with this trick!) Start the day with your running shoes and then unashamedly trade them in for flip flops til it’s time to head to bed!

#2 – Take a Bike Ride
Riding a bike may seem simple when compared to your typical workout routine, but it’s a great activity for all ages and there’s some great local bike rental locations. Tour & exercise in one!

#3 – Swim a Few Laps
We all love floating in the ocean while the kids doggy paddle around, but next time you hit the water, try actively swimming before settling in to relax. It’s a great full body workout!

#4 – Go Surfing
This is an amazing full body workout and also lots of fun. If you don’t know how, try a surfing camp. Try it with your kids for a Galveston Island vacation to remember!

#5 – Paddle Board
SUPs (stand up paddleboards) have been gaining in popularity in the recent years, and SUP Gulf Coast has guided tours and rental options. This full body workout is low impact and perfect for nature-lovers.

#6 – Kayak
Whether you choose to kayak along the Gulf shoreline or in the bay or wetlands, it’s sure to be a fun and relaxing way to keep in shape on your Galveston Island vacation! Galveston Island State Park has a paddling trail, or book an eco-art paddling adventure with Artist Boat.

#7 – Beach Yoga
Looking to relax and get centered? Grab your mat and head onto the sand for some beachfront yoga! Need some guidance? The Yoga Haven offers sunrise yoga on the beach each Saturday morning.

#8 – Excursion
Plan an excursion! There’s some great tours to choose from: beach & bay explorations at the state park, the tree sculpture walking tour or a spooky cemetery tour are all great ways to stretch your legs and stay fit.

#9 – Throw a Frisbee
An oldie-but-goodie, throwing a frisbee is fun in- or out-of the water! Best yet, we have some great dog parks (Menard Park & Lindale Park) that would love to host your furry family members during a game too!

#10 – Portion Sizes
There’s no shame in indulging in vacation food – fried seafood, ice cream cones & other family favorite recipes – but it can be easy to over-do it! Keep cool, hydrating veggies & fruits or heart-healthy nuts on hand for snacks and, when you do go out to enjoy some local cuisine, don’t be afraid to ask for to-go containers! (Not having to battle with mini-fridges is a perk of staying in a beach house!)

We’d love to hear YOUR tips for staying fit on vacation – leave us a comment below!

 

10 Reasons To Get on Island Time!

2 Chairs on Galveston Beach

 

Outdoor Adventure
Beach Pocket Parks, dog parks, skate parks and more abound! Kayak through the marshes & bayous throughout the Island and in Galveston Island State Park.  Feeling adventurous? Feel the wind in your hair with Skydive Galveston!  (BONUS! They have a Groupon!)

 

Dashing Dolphins
If you’re lucky you can watch them from the deck of your vacation home! Boat tours abound as well – we love the free Galveston Ferry trip to Bolivar & back, or try a private or group tour with one of the local captains.

 

The World’s Tallest Water Coaster
Schlitterbahn Galveston Island‘s MASSIV starts at 81’ above the ground and isn’t for the faint of heart! If you’re looking for a break from the water try the tallest swing ride in Texas at the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier!

 

Amazing Architecture
Don’t miss the 1892 Bishop’s Palace special tours and be sure to make time for a driving or walking tour of the stunning array of other historical places on the East End.

 

Memorable Museums
Visit The Bryan Museum to browse the largest collection of southwestern artifacts in the world then step inside beautifully restored locomotives at the Galveston Railroad Museum. Tour a decommissioned oil rig at the Ocean Star Offshore Energy Center or climb aboard the USS Cavalla or USS Stewart at Seawolf Park.

 

Craft Beer Made on the Island
Galveston Island Brewing Company‘s tap room boasts the German-style kolsch, pale ales, porters and more, while Beerfoot Brewery augments its own small-batch brews with a selection craft beers from Texas and around the world.

 

Sensational Seafood
With a huge selection of restaurants, you won’t go hungry during your visit to Galveston Island! We love local spots like BLVD Seafood, Little Daddy’s Gumbo Bar and the always-delicious & casual Shrimp `N Stuff.

 

Thriving Nightlife
Looking for something more than a quiet drink on the deck of your beach house? Take your pick of funky low key bars or thriving nightclubs.

 

Magnificent Moody Gardens
Penguins, sharks, river otters, macaws & more – all without leaving Galveston Island! From the newly renovated Aquarium & Rainforest Pyramids to the five-tier Sky Trail Ropes Course & zip line, kids of all ages will love this gem. Don’t miss a dinner tour on the replica 1800’s Colonel Paddlewheel boat.

 

Free, Family-Friendly Fun
Our coastal escape is full of FREE events throughout the year! From the monthly ArtWalk tours & Movie Nite on the Strand to free open air concerts and weekly fireworks during the summer, there’s something for everyone!

 

What do Portland, OR and Galveston Island have in common?

Loos!  No, really. Let’s talk toilets! (That’s a series of sentences we never thought we’d be writing!)

Image courtesy of City of Galveston

The first of five “Portland Loos” have been installed along Seawall  Blvd.! These free-standing restrooms are modular stainless steel units with a flushing toilet & hand sanitizer station inside, and a hand-washing station & shower on the exterior. Island visitors to the new beaches along the seawall rejoice!

Image courtesy of The City of Portland

Touted as virtually indestructible, these prefabricated units are named for and patented by the city of Portland, Oregon. Carefully considered features – not the least of which is an interior large enough for a family and an exterior sink & shower for walk-by traffic – make us excited to see this innovative solution implemented on Galveston Island.

The first unit was installed at 29th Street, and the others are slated for locations along Seawall Blvd. at 19th, 39th, 45th, and 61st Streets.

 

Free Summer Events on Galveston Island

Let’s be honest, everyone loves free stuff, right? Free music, free food, free movies (surely we aren’t the only ones that think theater prices are just a little outrageous – whew!)…anyway, if it’s free you can pretty much assume we’re going to at least try it!

Thankfully, our little gem of an island is jam-packed with awesome FREE events all summer long!

Movie Nite on The Strand  the first Saturday of every month brings a different cinematic adventure to the outdoor screen at Saengerfest Park. Films begin at dusk. Don’t forget your lawn chairs and movie snacks!
June 3Earth to Echo (2014)
July 1National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
August 5The Secret Life of Pets (2016)

Galveston Tree Sculpture Tour – take a walking tour and see all of the beautiful sculptures made from oak trees that fell victim to Hurricane Ike in 2008.

TrolleyRide the Trolley along Seawall Boulevard and into Downtown Galveston. This free transport is a great way to see the East End if this is your first time to Galveston! (There are also several stellar local tours  if you prefer sometimes-weird tales & quirky facts that you can then pull out at random times to share with unsuspecting friends & family! Rates are reasonable, but book your tour time in advance!)

Beachfront Fireworks Show – every Sunday night at 9 p.m. at the intersection of 37th Street & Seawall Blvd.  A great way to cap off an evening stroll along the Gulf!

Bucket Brigade Tours – hosted by Artist Boat, these 45 minute tours are offered at various locations and times along the new seawall beach. Check at the closest lifeguard station for daily tour times, or meander down any part of our 32 miles of beaches at your own pace with their Seek & Find Guide.

ArtWalk – happens every six weeks, and is a fabulous excuse to get out and mingle on Saturday night. Wander through Historic Downtown Galveston and stop by the unique galleries, coffee houses and “other walls” that showcase some of the regions best talent. Many venues offer light hors d’oeuvres too (score!). (June 3, July 15, August 26)

Hopefully you get to take advantage of some/all (for you vacation itinerary overachievers) of these great, family-friendly Galveston events!

Trolley Buses Roll into Galveston

Trolley

 

Ding! Ding! Free trolley bus service is rolling into Galveston for the summer!

Service starts June 2, with trolley buses servicing a downtown route that has seven stops through Historic Downtown, and a seawall route that makes frequent stops from Stewart Beach to Moody Gardens.

“This method of transportation … brings back a sense of nostalgia for many Galveston Island visitors,” Mayor Jim Yarbrough said, “…and we look forward to seeing people take advantage of the free service this summer.”

The three rail car trolleys that were damaged during Hurricane Ike in 2008 are making their way to Gomaco Trolley Co., where restorations are expected to take a year. We look forward to following their progress once work begins next month.

In the meantime, hop on a trolley bus for a free mini-tour of the Island, or (and let’s be honest, this is our plan) plan to hop on-and-off to get to all the shops, restaurants, and sites on your vacation itinerary – from Moody Gardens to past 10th Street and throughout the heart of Downtown Galveston!

 

Special Deals for Your June Galveston Island Vacation!

Who wants two free nights at the beach this summer??  (Is that really even a question that needs to be asked?!)

Get 7 nights for the price of 5 nights and save up to $890* when you reserve a 7-night stay at these select homes this June!

Isla del Sol - Save $740
Isla del Sol**, 4 BR, 3 BA, Sleeps 12
Decked Out - Save $390
Decked Out**, 3 BR, 2 BA, Sleeps 8
Salty Daze - Save $280
Salty Daze**, 3 BR, 2.5 BA, Sleeps 8
Sand Crab - Save $890
Sand Crab***, 3 BR, 3.5 BA, Sleeps 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halle Koa - Save $390
Halle Koa**, 3BR+Loft, 2BA, Sleeps 10

 

 

Luna Sea - Save $300
Luna Sea**, 4 BR, 3 BA, Sleeps 10
Shorter Summer Stays
Shorter Summer Stays – June, July & August

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

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*The quoted discount/savings are based on the all inclusive rates; travel insurance is optional and may be declined on your rental contract. Not valid with any other promotional offers. Valid for new stays only.

**Receive 7 nights for the price of 5 nights (Friday – Friday) when you reserve a 7-night stay arriving between June 2 – 30, 2017. Stays must be completed by June 30.

***Receive 7 nights for the price of 5 nights (Monday – Monday) when you reserve a 7-night stay arriving between May 29 – June 26, 2017. Stays must be completed by June 26.

 

Spring Break on Galveston Island!

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It’s FINALLY here!  Check out what’s going on this week:

March 11 – Family Day at the Ocean Star Drilling Rig & Museum
Children 18 years and younger are FREE with a paying adult! This month it’s “Derrick of Distinction”  – build your own oil derrick!

March 11 & 18- Beach Exploration Guided Tour
Get a close-up look at the many critters and birds that inhabit the sand, surf and seaweed. Tour activities include hands-on seining, searching for ghost crabs and beachcombing under the guidance of Friends of Galveston Island State Park (FoGISP) volunteers.

March 12 & 19 – Bay Exploration Guided Tour
Discover the wetlands with a close-up look at the critters, grasses and birds that inhabit the marshland and bay.   Tour activities include hands-on-seining, fiddler crab sightings and more under the guidance  of FoGISP volunteers.

Build-Your-Own Break!
Here are some of our favorite things to do!
– Artist Boat – Ecological Tours via kayak. Something for all skill levels!
– Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier – Fun for all ages! Rides, midway games & live music.
– The Grand 1894 Opera House – The Rob Landes Trio, 42nd Street, and more! Check out their schedule for the week

Loving February in Galveston

Are we the only ones still slightly shocked that January is already over? Whew!

Thankfully, February is jam-packed with Island fun!

::cough cough:: and a free night rental special* ::cough cough::

Valentine’s Day
February 14

couple-on-beach-love-wallpaper

Reserving a long weekend in a beach house is a given 😉

Going the traditional route? Local florists Knapp Flower Shop, J.Maisel’s, and Downtown Blooms are great options for custom floral arrangements.

Looking for the sweet stuff? La King’s Confectionery is a must-stop, followed by local bakeries like PattyCakes, Sunflower Bakery & Cafe or Shykatz.

On the hunt for a funky alternative? Try a private kayak adventure with Artist Boat or a cooking class at Kitchen Chick. Or, take a walk on the wild side and dine at the Rainforest Pyramid at Moody Gardens.

Mardi Gras
February 17 – 28

Mardi Gras

From parades to live performances, masked balls to balcony parties, there is definitely something for everyone at Mardi Gras! Galveston. This is the 106th celebration on the Island and it gets better every year!

A few of our favorites:
Mystic Krewe of Aquarius Parade – Feb. 18 @ Noon
Knights of Momus Grand Night Parade – Feb. 25 @ 6:30 p.m.
Family Events Day – Feb. 26  (3 parades, start @ Noon)

 

Next month brings us Spring Break, ArtWalk, Galveston Island State Park nature walks, and more!

Build Your Own 3-Day Galveston Weekend!

Free Night - through Feb 28 - TWITTER

It’s time for another rental special!  ::HAPPY DANCE::

We think Galveston has a lot to offer every month of the year (check out events here and here and don’t forget this) and we want you to experience it too!

Take advantage of Low Season rates AND enjoy a FREE* night at a beach house with a minimum 2-night stay from January 17 to February 28!

*Valid for new stays only, between January 17 & February 28, 2017. Stays must be completed by February 28. Minimum 2 paid nights. Not valid with any other promotional offers. Not all properties are eligible for this promotion.

Galveston Beaches Are Growing Again!

We are excited to see Phase III up and running!  (Because really, when does more beach ≠ a good idea??)

Sand Slurry Being Pumped Onto Beach
Image Credit: Galveston.com

The last phase of this multi-year sand nourishment project is taking place along the 4 mile stretch between 12th and 61st Streets and is expected to be done by May. The sand is sourced from the Galveston Ship Channel and is moved into place by pipes and pumps.

It’s mesmerizing to watch the sandy slurry shoot out from the 36″ wide pipe – not to mention the heavy construction equipment pushing it around!  Check out this live video from Galveston.com to see just what we mean!