Sand `N Sea Properties and COVID-19

As is the case throughout the country, things are continuously changing here on Galveston Island. We want to make sure our guests, homeowners and staff have the information they need and we are updating this page regularly. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly with any questions – 409.797.5500 or info@sandnsea.com.

March 17, 2020 4:00 p.m.

CITY PRESS RELEASE

GALVESTON, TX – March 17, 2020 – Mayor Jim Yarbrough on Tuesday enacted two orders closing public amusement venues, including bars, and limiting restaurants to take-out, delivery and drive-thru services, following federal guidelines regarding Coronavirus and public gatherings.

The order requires the closure of public amusement venues operating within the City of Galveston, effective 4 p.m. today. The second order limits restaurants to take-out, delivery and drive-thru only, effective 5 a.m. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. Hotel restaurants will still be able to serve guests only. The order also closes bars, effective at 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

This includes museums and theme parks, such as the Pleasure Pier, and other large attractions, such as Moody Gardens. The orders were signed into effect by the Galveston Mayor on Tuesday, as permitted under the emergency declaration enacted Monday, as authorized by the Texas Government Code Chapter 418.

This decision is intended to reduce the risk of community spread and protect the health of our residents. The decision is prompted by the first confirmed case of community spread in Galveston County. By state law, the order will be in effect for seven days, effective immediately.


March 17, 2020 1:00 p.m.

Many local attractions have closed public operations for the next few weeks in an effort to support social distancing efforts aimed at keeping our friends and neighbors as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While your favorite museum might not be open, there are still plenty of things to do around the Island during your visit. Local restaurants are adjusting schedules, rearranging dining rooms & offering new curbside pickup services. Other small businesses are getting creative with the way they offer their services.

As we all know, modified schedules and plans for closings are changing rapidly. Please be sure to check social media accounts or call ahead for current hours before jumping in your car. As of today, you can make plans check out these great local options on your visit to Galveston Island:


Self-Guided Tours, perfect for stretching your legs and getting some fresh air:


Museums & Attractions

  • The Bryan Museum (no guided tours or special events)
  • Moody Gardens
    • Aquarium Pyramid
    • Rainforest Pyramid
    • Discovery Museum
    • The current Skeletown exhibit is perfect for home learning curriculum!
    • Golf Course
  • Galveston Historical Foundation Sites:
    • Texas Seaport Museum (no audio tours available)
    • Tall Ship ELISSA
    • Historic Harbor Tour & Dolphin Watch
    • 1892 Bishop’s Palace (no audio tours available)


Other Activities

  • Clay Cup Studios – “To Go” kits for pick-up or studio time by appointment for groups under 10 people.


Other Island Updates:

  • Pointe West announced that their community pools will be closed as of 9:00 a.m., Thursday, March 19, until further notice.
  • City of Galveston suspended rubber wheel trolley service through March 31. Fixed-route service will continue to operate as normal, with modifications to keep passengers at least six feet apart.


March 16, 2020 7:00 p.m.

In the last few days, we have seen even more area schools extend their Spring Break closures to multiple weeks, as well as an increase to the number of businesses restructuring their workflow to accommodate remote offices for their employees.

As the need for social distancing increases, we continue to work hard to welcome guests from Houston and other nearby areas to their private beach house reservations, as scheduled.

Here at the Sand `N Sea office, we continue to refine our “best practices” daily. The focus remains on mitigating risk for our guests, their families, and our vacation rental and real estate teams.

In addition to the efforts that we began last week, we are working on several procedural changes for low/no-contact check-in, etc. We will share those once they roll out live for our guests. For now:

At check-out:

We encourage guests to use our Express Check-out lockbox located in the parking lot on the east side of our office (towards 12 Mile Road). Just drop your keys in the box and go!

Other Island updates:

As of 6:00 p.m. the City of Galveston informed the Galveston Restaurant Association that Galveston restaurants can still operate dining rooms within appropriate guidelines.

• No more than 50 people at one time in a dining room.
• No tables larger than parties of 10.
• 6-foot social distancing between tables.
• Curbside pick-up, take-out, drive-thru, & delivery options are allowed, and will continue to be allowed even if a federal mandate closes dining rooms.


March 13, 2020 2:00 CST

With the unprecedented events of the last week and the unknown impact timeline of COVID-19, we wanted to keep our readers up-to-date about what is currently happening within the Sand `N Sea office and our community.

Our guests’ health is important to us and, here in Galveston, our community is committed to best practices and procedures when it comes to the health & safety of all visitors to our Island. We continue to closely monitor statements regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) and remain in close communication with state & local tourism officials and other business owners. Like the majority of businesses, we are following guidance from federal, state and local agencies, including the CDC and WHO.

We know that you may have questions about your upcoming Galveston vacation, and we feel it’s important to be transparent with our policies. Here are a few of the things that we are doing to mitigate the risk for our guests and staff members:

In our office:
• Our entire office is disinfected daily, and check-in counters are cleaned frequently throughout the day.
• Check-in counters also have hand sanitizers for guest and staff use, and there are disinfectants for staff to use between guests.
• Hand sanitizers and disinfectant sprays are positioned throughout the office, in restrooms and in all areas which staff & guests use frequently.
• Property services requires all staff and maintenance vendors entering and departing to use the sanitizing stations located in their department.
• Vacation Rentals team members and Realtors are required to stay home if sick.
• Any staff members or Realtors traveling internationally or on cruises are required to self-quarantine at home for 14 days after arrival back in the US.

At your beach house:
• Our professionally trained housekeeping teams continue to use professional level disinfectants and cleaning supplies.
• Our commercial laundry washes towels and sheets professionally – at 160 degrees (your home washer typically reaches 100 degrees).
• Inspecting & Property Services staff that are entering houses have been extensively trained and are being super vigilant about disinfectants and cleanliness standards.

Your private vacation home is the perfect escape during this stressful time. Spacious living areas, private decks, and miles of beaches make it easy to avoid contact with other travelers. Many local restaurants offer delicious takeout options, and all are taking precautions above & beyond normal food safety practices.

A few things to note that will make your trip even easier:
• Hand sanitizer and other home supplies like toilet paper may only be available in limited quantities at local stores. We recommend bringing these items with you.
• The majority of our homes offer free WiFi for guest use. If you have questions about your home’s amenities just give us a call. Telecommute with confidence, but be aware that speeds can be slow here on the more rural side of Galveston. You are always welcome to use the WiFi, fax or printers at our office.
• If you aren’t feeling well, we encourage you to stay home. Even in the best of times, vacationing while sick is no fun. If you or your guests are ill and you elected to purchase travel insurance coverage please contact RedSky Travel Insurance (866.889.7409 or redsky@archinsurance.com).
• We understand that circumstances with your family may be changing daily. If you have concerns, please call us at 409.797.5500. We would be happy to go over your options with you.

We want you to be confident in your choice to vacation in Sand `N Sea beach houses. Please don’t hesitate to call us at 409.797.5500 with any questions.

We will continue to post updates as the COVID-19 situation evolves here on Galveston Island.

Save on Your Galveston Island Vacation – #bookdirect!

As winter weather drags on we know we aren’t the only ones dreaming of sunny days frolicking on Galveston Island beaches and relaxing on the deck in shorts & flip flops! Planning your summer vacation is sure to keep your spirits up – and you can save money (& aggravation) when you #bookdirect!

#bookdirect and save on vacation rentals in Galveston TX Vacation time is too precious to leave to chance! We’ve been helping families choose the best vacation rental homes for over 45 years now (in this case older really IS better!).

When it comes to planning your Galveston Island vacation, keep these Top 5 Reasons to book directly with a professional in mind:

Savings – The big travel websites (lookin’ at you HomeAway & VRBO), add significant fees to your reservation total. #bookdirect and you can save $100s. (that’s a lot of Gulf seafood!)

Communication – We are local, and we understand your special requests. We can answer all of your questions before you book. Plus, we’re here every step of the way, and our team is on call 24/7 during your vacation! Call us at 409.797.5500, email us at info@sandnsea.com, or stop by our office and see us!

Selection – No need to search multiple websites – we’ve already found the best West Galveston Island vacation rentals, and you’ll find them all on our website.

Local Knowledge – We know our beach houses, and we’re always happy to help you select the perfect vacation rental. We’ll also fill you in on the best restaurants, activities & attractions!

Specials – Our guests are the first to know about flash sales, discounts and they get to take advantage of our guest loyalty program, the Sand `N Sea Beach Club, to earn free nights at the beach!

Looking to vacation like a local? Our office is full of them! Our #1 goal is to find the perfect Galveston vacation rental for your family – and then we are always happy to help you fill in the details! Best seafood? We know where to find it! Best place to take the kids for a break from the sand & surf? We have a lot of experience with that too 😉

There are a lot of options when it comes to choosing your next vacation rental – but when you #bookdirect with Sand `N Sea you can rest easy knowing your beach vacation will be worry-free & wonderful!

Book My Vacation Rental Direct

Mardi Gras! Galveston – Get Ready for Another fun Night

galveston mardi gras knights of momusmummers

Heading to Galveston Island for our 109th Mardi Gras! Galveston celebration? We want to see you!

The party starts February 14, 2020 and continues through February 25, with plenty of festivities for all ages.  Our “Must Attends” for a true Mardi Gras! Galveston experience are:

February 14 @ 8:30 p.m.: Funky Uptown Umbrella Brigade Parade – This FREE event offers families, friends, and local businesses & organizations the chance to show off their moves! Check-in the night of the parade for a team number, grab your bedazzled umbrella and boogie on!

February 15 @ 1:00 p.m.: 9th Annual Zaniest Golf Cart Parade – register your beach cruiser today!

February 16 Fiesta Gras (all day): A celebration of Hispanic Heritage, children under 12 get in free with an adult for this day full of live music, food & parades. Bidi Bidi Banda and La Leyenda are headlining this year’s festivities!

February 22 @ 6:30 p.m.: Knights of Momus Grand Night Parade – Mardi Gras! Galveston’s largest parade, viewers will enjoy spectacular floats, marching bands, beads, and more!

galveston tx dog and cat mardi gras kreweofbarkus

February 23 @ 1:30 p.m.: Krewe of Barkus & Meow Parade* – The Galveston Island Humane Society hosts this a-meow-zing parade full of pets decked out in their Mardi Gras finest!  Registration details and forms can be found online – this is a great one to participate in!

February 23 @ 3:00 p.m.: Children’s Parade* – the Firefighters Local 571 hosts this parade with costumed kids and decorated floats.

*Family Friendly for All Ages

DON’T FORGET….we have a rental special going on!  Book a Mardi Gras getaway of a minimum stay of 2 nights (for stays through February 29, 2020) and get an extra night at the beach for FREE – call us at 409.797.5500 to book today!

Book Your Free Night

Now we just need to figure out what we’re going to do with all of these beads…

2020 Mardi Gras Parade Schedule from Galveston Monthly Magazine

Galveston Fishing Rodeo & Flounder Fishing Tourneys

Man and Woman holding a Kingfish caught at the Galveston Fishing RodeoGrab your gear and get ready to reel ’em in at the Galveston Fishing Rodeo in October or the Fall Flounder Classic this November & December!

Hosted and coordinated by the Galveston Professional Boatmen’s Association, these two tournaments cast light on the amazing surf & off-shore fishing we get to experience here on Galveston Island!

The 2019 Galveston Fishing Rodeo runs from September 27 at 6:30 p.m. to October 31 at 5:00 p.m in the Galveston Yacht Basin. With inshore & offshore divisions and over $10,000 in winnings and prizes, there’s something for everyone in the second year of this popular tournament that’s open to private boats as well as guided anglers.

Inshore: Bull redfish, Speckled Trout, Flounder, Spanish Mackerel & Gaftop Catfish.

Offshore: Kingfish, Ling (Cobia), Dorado (Mahi-Mahi), Greater Amberjack, & Mangrove Snapper

Man presenting several Speckled Trout on his back caught at the Galveston Bay Fishing RodeoThe entry fee for the Galveston Fishing Rodeo open angler (boat or shore fishing) is $30, while the guided division fee is $100. Weigh-ins happen at the Galveston Yacht Basin Bait & Tackle on North Holiday Drive.

The 2019 Fall Flounder Classic kicks off November 1 at 6:30 a.m. and runs through December 29, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. – that’s 8 weeks to find the most fabulous flounder out there, or just enjoy frying, roasting, or grilling all of your runner-ups! 😉 All anglers are welcome! Spend the day shore fishing along our 32 miles of beaches, hanging out on the pier or jetties along Seawall Blvd., or bring your boat and enjoy the open water! Giveaways & drawings in addition to the top prize are really just a bonus to the delicious reward of catching & cooking up this coastal favorite! (After weigh-ins, of course!)

Entry fees for the Fall Flounder Classic are $30 for open anglers & $100 for the guides division. Prizes for each category are different!

Two men holding large fish at the Galveston fishing rodeoAfter you get registered for your tournament-of-choice be sure to get your beach house booked! With plenty of room for storing your gear, multiple bedrooms, great space for grilling your fresh catch, and fully stocked kitchens, our beachfront, beachside & bayfront vacation rentals are a real catch!

Book a Bay or Canal Rental

Want to be the first to hear about our fall rental specials? Sign up for our emails!

Updated: 2019/09/05

3 Day Galveston Trip Planner

What’s the best way to spend 3 days on Galveston Island? Tour museums, try local eateries, stroll through canopied streets, peruse unique shops & antique galleries and more! As Galveston Island locals for over 40 years now, we have the inside track on where to go, what to eat and what to see during your long weekend or mid-week escape to this Gulf Coast treasure. Read on for our Galveston Trip Planner broken out for one, two, and three day trips.

What to do with 24 hours on Galveston?

After a refreshing night of sleep at your bay or beachfront vacation rental, wake up & enjoy a cup of coffee on the deck – the view is great no matter what time you start your day! Then, put on your walking shoes and get ready to see (& taste) the best that Galveston has to offer!

3 days on Galveston activities photo collage of Sunflower Bakery pancakes, Bishops Palace, The Bryant Museum and a boy with a tree sculpture on Galveston

9:00 a.m. – First, the most important meal of the day! Indulge at the charming Sunflower Bakery & Cafe (512 14th Street). Enjoy challah french toast, quiche, migas, or other brunch favorites. Don’t forget to grab a few baked goods from the case for tomorrow’s breakfast!

10:00 a.m. – After fueling up, tour Historic Downtown Galveston. A host of tours with local experts highlight this former “playground of the south.” Choose from a variety of guided tours, including those by SegCity Galveston, Galveston Historic Tours, or Zipp E Bikes’ electric bike adventure tours.

Next, visit the 1892 Bishop’s Palace, listed on the National Register of Historic Places and lauded as one of the most significant Victorian residences in the country.

12:30 p.m. – On to lunch! Keep it light with local flavors from Farley Girls Cafe (800 Postoffice) or EATcetera (408 25th Street). Both offer delicious daily specials. Take a quick minute to book tomorrow’s dinner reservations & theater tickets.

1:30 p.m. – Next stop? The Bryan Museum. Located in the Galveston Orphans Home, it houses one of the largest collections of art & artifacts related to Texas and the American West in the country.

3:00 p.m. – Explore the East End’s self-guided Tree Sculpture Tour. Hurricane Ike devastated Galveston’s live oaks in 2008, but a group of homeowners saw an opportunity to create beauty from destruction and commissioned artists to create whimsical tree sculptures from the remnants of these once-majestic trees. Walk, bike, or drive to see over 15 unique creations.5:00 p.m. – After your day of tours, stop by Katie’s Seafood Market (star of National Geographic Channel’s Big Fish, Texas) and pick up some delicious ingredients for dinner. Then, stop in at The Wine Next Door (418 21st Street) to select the perfect pairing for your fresh Gulf seafood. After shopping, head back to your beach house to prepare a quick dinner in the full kitchen, then relax & dine on the deck while watching the sun set over the water.

48 Hours In Galveston – Day #2

What’s on the agenda for Day #2 on Galveston? Spend a leisurely morning on the beach sunning or surfing, shower off at your beach house and get ready for some great local lunch fare. Then shop in Historic Downtown, explore Pier 21 and enjoy a fine dining experience followed by a live show at one of 2 local theaters.

3 days on Galveston photo collage with pictures of children on beach, Tall Ship Elissa, The Strand Galveston and 1894 Opera House

9:00 a.m. – Wake up to the peaceful sounds of waves washing ashore. Then, toast the delicious baked goods you picked up downtown yesterday and enjoy a leisurely start to your second vacation day!

9:30 a.m. – Sun, sand & surf all morning! 3 days on Galveston isn’t complete without beach time. If you’re lucky enough to be at a beachfront vacation home then the fun is just outside of your door. Otherwise, take your pick from multiple public access points, two West End Pocket Parks, the crowds and entertainment of East Beach, or the centrally located Seawall beaches, near the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier.

12:00 p.m. – Rinse the salt & sand off at your beach house. Then, head into town for delicious salads, pastas & soups at Mosquito Cafe (628 14th Street); or swing into The Spot (3204 Seawall Blvd.) – Island famous for burgers, wings & milkshakes, with open-air deck seating and Gulf views.

1:30 p.m. – Make your way over to Historic Downtown Galveston for a tour of the Texas Seaport Museum and the 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA, where you will learn about Galveston’s rich immigration history as the “Ellis Island of the West” and view artifacts from the infamous Texas Navy.

3:00 p.m. – Browse the unique shops along The Strand. You’ll find an eclectic assortment of clothing boutiques, antique stores, art galleries, souvenir shops, and specialty goods. Stop by La King’s Confectionery & Ice Cream Parlour(2323 Strand) for handmade chocolates, freshly pulled saltwater taffy or a frozen treat made with their Purity ice cream, the first manufacturer of ice cream in Texas.

6:00 p.m. – Freshen up, then it’s time for your dinner reservation at Rudy & Paco’s (2028 Postoffice) – voted one of 2018’s 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America by Open Table. Featuring grilled seafood & steak with a South & Central American flavor, this island institution offers a fine dining experience with amazing cuisine. You’ll be tempted to linger, so make sure you allow time to make it to the theater!

Evening – Take in a live performance at one of Galveston’s two theatres – The Grand 1894 Opera House or Island ETC. The Grand features world-class musical performances, comedians, ballets and more, while Island ETC is a professional repertory theatre company that stages 5 -6 productions a year.

72 Hours In Galveston – Day #3

Your vacation might be winding to a close, but there’s plenty to do to extend your fun on day 3 of your Galveston vacation! Wake up with a trip to the local coffeehouse, take a tour of a decommissioned oil rig, lunch on the water, create the perfect souvenir, indulge in dinner & dessert on Postoffice Street in Historic Downtown and then wrap up your day with a sunset drink on the deck!

3 days in Galveston photo collage with MOD coffee, Seagull II boat tour, Turtles About Town Statue, Hey Mikey's Ice Cream and Ocean Star Drilling Rig Museum on Galveston Island TX

9:00 a.m. – Make the most of your 3 days on Galveston with another relaxing start to the morning at MOD Coffeehouse (2126 Postoffice), a local favorite for over 15 years that’s serving handcrafted tea & coffee beverages as well as sweet treats.

10:00 a.m. – Visit the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig & Museum. This decommissioned rig features three floors of models & interactive displays illustrating the story of the offshore oil and gas industry. Open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily.

11:30 a.m. – Book a seat aboard the Seagull II Harbor Tour, a 50-foot twin-engine boat with a covered main deck as well as an open upper deck seating that’s perfect for watching the resident dolphins frolicking in the wake. Operated by the Texas Seaport Museum, this narrated tour highlights the historic Port of Galveston.

1:00 p.m. – Get off the tour boat and then lunch right on the water at Fisherman’s Wharf (2200 Harborside) or walk a few blocks and enjoy dining in the courtyard of Shrimp `N Stuff Downtown (216 23rd Street), another longtime local eatery featuring broiled and fried seafood.

2:30 p.m. – Work off some of that delicious seafood by checking out the Turtles About Town! Galveston has 19 turtle statues dotting the island as part of a campaign towards awareness & conservation of the Kemp’s ridley sea turtles who nest here each year. Started by the Turtle Island Restoration Network & Clay Cup Studios, with the support of local businesses who sponsored a statue, these unique art installations were all designed & decorated by local artists and make the perfect photo opp to remember your Island visit by!

5:00 p.m. – Finish your night on Postoffice Street (where you’ll find several Turtles About Town statues). Grab dinner at Little Daddy’s Gumbo Bar or Taquilo’s TexMex Cantina and be sure to save room for dessert at Hey Mikey’s Ice Cream (we highly recommend the ice cream nachos – perfect to share!).

6:00 p.m. – Not ready to head back to your beach house yet? Stop into Clay Cup Studio where you can paint your own pottery, take a glass fusion class, or create a canvas. This walk-in art studio also offers great classes, so be sure to check their schedule before you head to the Island.

Finish your 3 days on Galveston with drinks on the deck of your beach house and start planning your return trip!

Top 5 Instagram Spots on Galveston Island

Where are the perfect places to snap your #GalvestonVacation pics?

We’ve found the best spots to highlight your Instagram Story during your Galveston Island vacation! Let’s face it, is it truly a vacation if you don’t share make-you-jealous pics with family & friends? 😉

There are tons of places on Galveston Island to capture #insta-worthy pics to remember your Island vacation. Our Social Media & Marketing Coordinator, Jessica, recently spent some time with her family hunting down some ideal spots for your #gramworthy #familyvacay photos.


#1 – The McGuire-Dent Recreation Center

This community rec center offers a variety of activities for local adults & children. Features include an indoor basketball gym & racquetball court, large outdoor playground, splash pad & tennis courts. When it opened its renovated doors in 2014 it was the only building in the city to pursue and receive a certification of the U.S. Green Building council.

Our favorite part is clearly visible from Seawall Blvd and takes the form of a full length sea turtle mural. Painted by island local Gabriel Prusmack & unveiled in 2017 by the Turtle Island Restoration Network and NOAA’a Flower Garden Bank National Marine Sanctuary, this 3D mural is something to behold!

Mural of Sea Turtles at the McGuire Dent Rec Center
McGuire Dent Recreation Center – 2222 28th Street, Galveston, TX

#2 – High Tide Statue

Pier 21 Statue Galveston, TX
Pier 21, Galveston, TX

Installed in 1992, the High Tide bronze statue is the third casting of a 1985 work by Charles Parks. This iconic statue is located on Pier 21, a waterfront entertainment and dining area in Galveston’s Historic District. This channel-side location is the perfect place to enjoy a leisurely evening stroll, watch cruise ships, or get your #history on with a visit to the Texas Seaport Museum & Tall Ship ELISSA.

Kids of all ages will love a visit to the nearby Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum. This decommissioned oil rig that has interactive exhibits, machinery & more. Feeling adventurous? Take a boat tour of the bay and surrounding port – keep your eyes open for dolphins!


#3 = Big Beach Chair

Oversized beach chair with girl posing on it
Saengerfest Park, 2302 Strand Street, Galveston, TX

The #giantchair in Saengerfest Park gets a laugh out of all ages. Pile all the kids together, pose with your girlfriends or stand back and pretend to balance your favorite mini guy pals on the palm of your giant hand.

You’ll also find giant chess and an iconic red telephone booth, as well as Pirates! Legends of the Gulf Coast and the Haunted Mayfield Manor here. Check the calendar of events for free community favorites like Movie or Music Nites on The Strand.

Be sure to #lovegalveston and check out what other spots people have found #gramworthy on their Galveston Island vacations!


#4 – Greetings from Galveston

Greetings from Galveston Mural
Saengerfest Park, 2302 Strand Street, Galveston, TX

This nostalgic postcard-style mural outside has become the quintessential spot for vacation rental guests, day-trippers and locals to snap a pic! With bold colors & graphics, this one is sure to make your feed pop, and each letter highlights a local attraction that’s sure to inspire your vacation #ToDoList.

After you grab the perfect cover image for your digital or traditional photo album, stop in at nearby Yaga’s Cafe for lunch or a drink & a Yagatizer (we highly recommend the seafood flautas!). This local favorite offers hand tossed pizzas, seafood specials, a kids menu and more.


#5 – I ❤️ Galveston

I-heart-Galveston-mural-instagram
24th & Strand Streets, Galveston, TX

This one says it all! Head on over to the corner of Strand Street and 24th Street (aka Mitchell) to check out this cool building-long tropical mural, perfect for group shots!

These frolicking dolphins, schools of rainbow-colored fish & people-sized corals are another example of local artist Gabriel Prusmack’s magnificent murals.

This funky wall art is right next to Shark Shack Beach Bar & Grill. If you time it correctly, it’s a great way to finish out your #gramworthy #galveston day.


Bonus Spots!

Historic Downtown Galveston offers a plethora of great #architecture and unique merchandise, so be sure to allow time to wander along The Strand and soak it all in. Keep an eye up to see the unique facades and architectural accents this area is known for.

Other top photo spots include:

  • Murdoch’s (2215 Seawall Blvd.) – the pilings and Gulf backdrop are the the quintessential coastal vacation image, but be prepared to work around professional photographers, as it’s a popular engagement shoot spot
  • Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier (2501 Seawall Blvd.) – the hardest part about this stop is taking time out from the rides! From carousels to ferris wheels to rollercoasters, there are plenty of #gramworthy options!
  • Tall Ship ELISSA (Pier 21) – try your hand at the helm of this working 1877 tall ship. Or at least look like it! This piece of #islandhistory is one of our favorite #mustdotours to recommend to our vacation rental guests.
  • Try one of the Top Tours of Galveston for some unique perspectives and insider shots of the most iconic place on Galveston.

Photo-friendly Accommodations

Your Instagram Story isn’t complete without shots of your Galveston Island vacation rental! Sand ‘N Sea beach houses are perfectly appointed for great photos, and have plenty of space to relax in after a long day of Instagram-ing. Book yours today!

Photo-Ready Vacation Rentals

Choosing the Best Galveston Island Vacation Rental

Looking for Alternatives to AirBNB & VRBO?

Is your vacation time too precious to leave to chance? Of course it is! Ease the worry of renting a vacation home sight unseen by choosing a local, professionally managed vacation rental company. There are lots of great reasons to book direct and choose an alternative to VRBO or other listing sites! Keep reading to ensure you find the Best Galveston Island has to offer you.

Rental listing sites similar to Airbnb, Homeaway & VRBO are more interested in their booking volume than the guest experience. A professionally managed vacation rental company will be there for you every step of the way, from helping you find the best home for your group, to ensuring that your stay is worry-free.

Booking directly with a local company has measurable benefits too – namely in the money you save on booking fees! Choosing alternatives to HomeAway and Airbnb let you avoid paying service fees & upcharges on your short term rental reservation.

There are plenty of options other than online listing sites, and establishing a relationship with a local rental company can pay off in other ways too, like returning renter discounts or reward programs that earn you free time at the beach!

Vacation experiences are better with alternatives to Airbnb

How Sand `N Sea Compares to Other Rental Sites:

Sand `N Sea is more than just a property management company – we’ve been helping families choose the perfect vacation rental home for over 40 years! Our entire team is 100% committed to 5-star customer service that provides the best homes & the best vacation rental experience for your Galveston Island vacation.

We believe in pricing transparency – no hidden fees here! – and we offer real-time rental calendars & rate calculators on our website for every home we manage. No need to worry about “real”date availability or additional costs after you book your reservation!

We make selecting the ideal vacation home easy! Our website boasts current pictures, floor plans, amenity lists, and maps to guide you through the process of choosing a home. Or, pick up a phone and call us! Our team of reservationists would love to talk with you about your vacation and see how we can help make it the best one ever!

Our guests love us as much as we love them! View guest reviews for Sand `N Sea or see what previous renters have to say about each vacation home on our website, Facebook, Google & more!

Why Sand `N Sea has the Best Vacation Rentals in Galveston:

Here at Sand `N Sea, we are driven every day to provide the best experience possible to the guests that walk in our doors and to the homeowners whose beach houses we manage. We have a full-time staff of local Islanders in our office and available by phone 7 days a week. We know the island, we know the neighborhoods, and we know our homes – because we live locally and are in the vacation homes we manage every day!

Our Property Services staff is ON-CALL 24/7. Having trouble with the AC at midnight? We can help. Can’t figure out how to make the hot tub work? Call us!

Our LOCAL KNOWLEDGE is top notch! Need a recommendation for a seafood restaurant for lunch? We’ve got the insider secrets for local favorites! (or check out our list of great options).

We offer great PERKS for our guests! Beach Club members earn free nights at the beach & we offer rental specials throughout the year – including flash sales! – that help you save big on your Galveston vacation rental!

Our SELECTION of beach houses is top notch! Choose from over 150+ vacation rentals – beachfront, beachside, canal & bay, we’ve got them all! Plus, we love welcoming your furry BFFs to our pet friendly homes!

3 houses that are alternatives to VRBO

Browse 150+ Vacation Homes

We are lucky enough to call Galveston Island home, and we love sharing our Gulf Coast paradise with our guests – whether it’s your 1st or 31st time visiting!

What are the Best Galveston Tours?

Galveston offers a variety of tours, perfect for visitors of all ages. Dolphin tours in Galveston Bay, architectural tours in the East End historic district, ghost tours in century-old graveyards, family-friendly ride-along tours… Galveston Island has all of those and more! Read on to find the best Galveston Tours for your upcoming beach visit.

As locals, we have our favorite tours to take our family & friends on when they visit us here on the Gulf Coast. These personal favorites are also the tours we recommend to our guests when they stay in one of our beachfront, beachside or bayfront Galveston vacation rental homes!

Galveston’s Historic Tours

1892 Bishop's Palace Historic Galveston Tour

Galveston is steeped in significant cultural, architectural & maritime history. The Galveston Historical Foundation offers a unique variety of tours throughout the year.

Our #1 favorite is the 1892 Bishop’s Palace (a.k.a Gresham House), which offers audio tours 7 days a week, and Basement to Attic tours monthly. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this outstanding home was designed by Nicholas Clayton. It boasts a unique blend of Victorian architecture and restored interior spaces,and survived the Great Storm of 1900 virtually unscathed. Be sure to check out the octagonal mahogany stairwell with stained glass artwork on five sides!

Other not-to-be-missed sites include the charming Galveston Garten Verein building in Kempner Park and the wooden gothic revival 1859 St. Joseph’s Church. Neither site is open for regular interior tours, but the exterior architecture is beautiful. Both are definitely #instagramworthy! 😉

Galveston Dolphin Tours & More!

Artist Boat Galveston Tour

Ready to be on the water? Check out one of several Galveston boat tours!

Artist Boat Kayaking Tours focuses on preserving and restoring our unique coastal heritage. Take a Galveston eco-tour offering the unique opportunity to visit the secluded inlets and salt marshes around our Island. Artist Boat offers guided tours throughout the year &exciting youth-focused camps during summer break!

Seagull II Harbor Tour & Dolphin Watch – this 50-foot twin-engine vessel was specifically built for sight-seeing excursions, with a covered main deck and an upper deck open to the sky. Local guides narrate your 1-hour-long tour. Explore the wide variety of birds & marine life that call Galveston Bay home & meet our local pod of dolphins!

Ride-along Tours of Galveston

Ride the trolley! At only $1/person (minors ride free with an adult), the Galveston Trolley Tour is a great way to get a feel for our slice of coastal paradisen! Ride the loop through Downtown (feel free to hop off for restaurants & shopping!). Then, take a free transfer to the second route along the Seawall, between Stewart Beach & Moody Gardens.

Segway Tours Galveston gives you a chance take a break from the walking and let your day just glide along (see what we did there?). Tour options include: The Haunted Legends Ghost Tour, Magical History Tour, Rat Pack Tour & more! 48-hour advanced booking is recommended, and riders must be over 14 years of age.

Galveston Duck Tours drive down Seawall Blvd. and then keep right on going into the water of Offatt’s Bayou! Tours span more than 15 miles of Galveston Island. Advanced ticket purchase is recommended, especially during the busier summer months.

Discover Galveston on a Budget

Budget friendly options abound here too! Spend your vacay money on fun stuff – like kites, Gulf seafood, or the perfect bizarre shell sculpture souvenir!

Join the Friends of Galveston Island State Park each weekend (March – October) for their Beach & Bay Explorations. These family-friendly Galveston tours are FREE after park admission. Take the chance to get up-close-and-personal with ghost & fiddler crabs, migrating birds, and whatever else is gathered in the seine net!

Galveston Tour - Tree Sculptures

Take a leisurely walk through Galveston’s East End and explore the gorgeous Tree Sculpture Tour, showcasing the artwork made from oak trees that fell victim to Hurricane Ike in 2008. Follow the link for a complete map of locations so you don’t miss any!

Be sure to check out our Budget Friendly Galveston post for other great ideas for doing Galveston on a budget!

Where to Stay?

The best base for your trip to Galveston Island is a West End vacation rental home! Sand ‘N Sea beach houses have plenty of room to spread out after a long day relaxing on the beach or a busy day of touring Galveston. Book yours today!

Find the Perfect Vacation Home

Planning Your 2019 Galveston Vacation?

Picture of girl with fish on Galveston Island‘Tis the season to start planning your 2019 Galveston vacation! Our Vacation Planners will be hitting mailboxes starting January 7 but, in the meantime, here are some of our new Galveston Island favorites!

Galveston Restaurants

We’ve had some delicious new restaurants open in Galveston, including Pennie’s Tex Mex Take Out and Lolo Kai Smoothies & Wraps. Pennie’s offers tamales and bbq, including brisket, link sausage and their amazing weekends-only barbacoa & seasonal menudo. Lolo Kai serves up lighter fare, with a full wrap & smoothie menu in addition to their unique acai bowls.

Looking for something to liven up your weekend away? Check out Vintage Crown Boutique & Bar for their famous micheladas (the perfect accompaniment on a hot island day) or head over to Seawall Blvd. and tour the Texas Tail Distillery, offering a variety of locally-produced vodka, whiskey & moonshine.

Skydive GalvestonActivities & Attractions 

Feeling a little adventurous? Book a flight with Skydive Galveston and see the island from a totally different angle! Soar in the sky and view all 23 miles of Galveston beaches with this family-friendly tandem skydive service.

Not into heights? Keep your feet closer to the ground and book a tour with SegCity Segway Tours Galveston. From Haunted Legends to the Tree Carvings Tour, guests 14 years old+ can see the city in a new & fun way!

Pottery on Galveston IslandWant the perfect souvenir to remember your 2019 Galveston Beach Vacation? Stop by Clay Cup Studios with your whole family and paint your own pottery or canvas, create a glass fusion masterpiece or try their new silk painting!

Need some artistic inspiration before heading over to Clay Cup? Head on over to The Bryan Museum in the historic Galveston Orphans Home. Featuring one of the world’s largest collections of art related to Texas & the American West, this local gem offers stellar permanent galleries as well as rotating special exhibits, a library & an archive.

Houses along Beach in KahalaPlaces to Stay

From beachfront vacation rentals to bay & canal retreats, pet friendly to houses that work together for large groups, Sand `N Sea Properties vacation rentals are the perfect place to call home during your 2019 Galveston Island vacation. Local & trusted for over 40 years, we love welcoming generations of guests to our slice of Gulf Coast paradise! With 24/7 direct booking, on-site maintenance staff & a rental team of island locals, we’re here to help you through every step of planning and enjoying your best Galveston Island getaway! Plus, our great rewards program earns you free time at the beach!

A December to Remember on Galveston Island

‘Tis the season for fun and relaxation! With a calendar stuffed full of local Galveston December events PLUS a great vacation rental special to unwrap, there’s no reason to miss celebrating the holidays on Galveston Island this year!

“But wait!” you say.  “It’s the beach!” you say. “Isn’t it too cold?” you question.  While we absolutely live for summer on Galveston Island, we also love the onset of sweater weather (notice we didn’t say parkas 😉 ). If you’re wondering what there is to do on our Winter Wonder Island when it’s too chilly to sunbathe, the answer is: a lot!  Some of our favorite Galveston December events are:

Downtown Lanterns & LightsLanterns and Lights Galveston Lit Arch (through Jan. 1) – Featuring a magical display of lights, an interactive photo frame (#selfie #decembertoremember #familyfun) and a giant snowglobe on designated weekends, Saengerfest Park & the heart of The Strand District in Historic Downtown Galveston are dressed in their holiday best for the season. Be sure to get some holiday shopping done while you’re Downtown!

The Grand 1894 Opera House Holiday Season – This stunning local gem is hosting a fun variety of performances in December. Enjoy the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol (Nov. 30 & Dec. 1) or the smooth big band holiday sounds of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis (Dec. 2). The kids will love A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage (Dec. 23).

Santa TrainSanta Train with Elves Galveston TX at the Galveston Railroad Museum (Dec. 15) – Santa’s train arrives at noon so get those cameras handy! Protip: the Railroad Museum participates in the Galveston Island Pass, a great way to save up to 40% on local attractions.

Holiday Splash at Schlitterbahn Indoor Waterpark (through Dec. 30) – Open weekends and select holidays through the end of the year, your whole family will love the special indoor season at Schlitterbahn Galveston! Enjoy the Snow Globe Float, Bahn Borealis Light Show, Surf with Santa & more! Protip #2: Buy your tickets online & save.

Now that we’ve covered some of our favorite things to DO, let’s talk about where there is to STAY (hint: the best holiday island vacations happen at beach houses!):

Galveston Vacation Rental Kitchen and Dining Room at BeachsidePicture it – the relaxing Gulf waves…the sounds of laughter & cheer…and plenty of room in the kitchen for ALL of the family chefs to prepare your their favorite holiday snacks. Dreaming of a house with two living spaces so the kids can work off the out-of-school crazies while the adults catch up on all the family gossip? We have larger vacation homes perfect for appeasing those sugar plums of stress dancing in your head.

Need a low key escape from the holiday insanity? #wegotyou. Pick a cozy vacation home and bring your favorite traditions with you to a quiet beach or bay vacation rental. Whip up some quick & easy seafood recipes in a fully stocked kitchen, or stop by one of the delicious Galveston restaurants the locals love (we’re always happy to recommend a must-eat, just ask!).

BOOK YOUR HOLIDAY GETAWAY