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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop by our office and see us!
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!
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 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!
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.
The 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!
After 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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
#2 – High Tide Statue
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
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
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
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.
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.
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!
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!
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 reviewsfor 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!
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
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!
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!
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!
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!
‘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!
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.
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!
Want 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.
‘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 & Lights(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 Train 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!):
Picture 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!).
Well, we’ve made it through Halloween and, even though it was 78 degrees in Galveston today, we are gearing up for the “big” holiday season! Thanksgiving…Hanukkah…Kwanzaa…Christmas….there’s lots of great reasons coming up to gather the family. Here are some of our favorite Galveston Island holiday events:
Start by enjoying your turkey & trimmings at a Galveston Island beach house in November! Find the perfect beach house, then prepare your family favorites OR (here’s our pro-tip) let everyone relax and preorder a full dinner for pick-up at one of our local island eateries. Mosquito Cafe and ShyKatz Deli & Bakery are already taking preorders for full Thanksgiving feasts, and there’s a full list of holiday brunches & buffets to choose from!
Bring the whole family to the holiday tree lighting celebration at the Hotel Galvez on November 23, at 6:00 p.m. Featuring performances from The Nutcracker, area choirs & dance groups and the Galveston Community Band, this great community event is fun for all ages. FREE
Downtown Lanterns & Lights (November 24 – December 31) features light displays, an interactive photo frame, and a giant snow globe! Happening in the heart of the Downtown Historic District, displays will stretch from 20th to 25th streets on The Strand as well as along 23rd and Postoffice Streets. BONUS: you can finish up your holiday shopping in the district’s many boutiques, art galleries and antique shops! FREE
ArtWalk (November 24) encourages you to enjoy a leisurely stroll (work off some of that pie!) throughout downtown spaces while enjoying local & regional art and light refreshments. FREE
Galveston Historical Foundation special events, including Dickens on The Strand (November 30 – December 2) and the Full Moon Tour of the 1892 Bishop’s Palace (November 23, 7 p.m.) are local favorites.
For a unique Galveston Island holiday events experience, get your tickets today for Holiday with the Cranes (December 8 – 9), celebrating the return of the island’s wintering Sandhill Cranes. This weekend is fully feathered with a full flight of indoor and outdoor nature activities!
Thousands of Jolly old & young St. Nick’s are coming to Galveston for the Santa Hustle 5k & Half Marathon (December 16), benefiting the Galveston County Food Bank. Racers enjoy candy, cookies & Christmas music along the route!
Need more info on Galveston Island holiday events? Check out our full local events calendar and follow us on Facebook! Want to be the first to hear about our winter rental specials? Sign up for our emails!