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!

 

Galveston Island Beaches are Bigger & Better Than Ever!

Phase III is almost complete! Begin world beach domination!  But seriously, we are SO excited about the gorgeous new stretch of beach along the Seawall!

Take a minute (01:24 to be exact!) to learn a little more about what you’ll see next time you’re on the Island!

Some quick facts:

  • Phase III covers 12th Street to 61st Street
  • More than 1 million cubic yards of sand in Phase III alone
  • Sand comes from the Galveston Ship Channel & is pumped on to shore
  • Nourishment project began in December 2014

We can’t wait to share it with you!

Spring Break on Galveston Island!

stock photo 1 (12)

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

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!

 

Galveston’s a Winter Wonder Island!

Galveston is full of fun holiday events this winter – and there are some you definitely shouldn’t miss!  A few of our favorites are coming up this week:

Dec. 2 – 4:  Dickens on the Strand
This family-friendly Victorian holiday festival is an annual favorite full of period costumes, parades, live music, themed food & drink vendors, a great selection of Victorian-inspired shopping stops, and more! Check out the newly expanded Oliver’s Alley hosted by the Galveston Children’s Museum.

Dec. 2 & 3: Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol
Performed at the historic The Grand 1894 Opera House, this fresh adaptation includes stunning sets, traditional carols, and a timeless message. Tickets available now.

festival-of-lightsThrough Jan. 8:  Festival of Lights
Enjoy more than one million lights within 100 sound enhanced animated displays, plus nightly live entertainment! Don’t miss the ice rink (skate rentals available), the Arctic Slide, or photo ops with Santa.  Full schedule and ticket information available here.

We hope to see you out enjoying all that our Winter Wonder Island has to offer during your Sand `N Sea vacation!

 

 

FALL in Love with Galveston Island This Weekend!

We’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating: October might be our favorite time to be on the Island! With a huge offering of free or low-cost family-friendly events, warm sunny days, and a jam-packed festival schedule you need to be here! This weekend is no exception!

blog-october-festivals

ARToberFEST
October 15 – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
October 16 – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

33rd Annual Greek Festival
October 15 – 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
October 16 – 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

FREE Admission Day at 1892 Bishop’s Palace
October 16 – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

p.s. Don’t forget about our October Rental Special! Get a FREE night at the beach with your new minimum two-night reservation, through October 30. Check out the details and book your weekend getaway now!