Top 5 Reasons to Winter on Galveston Island

Summer has officially ended, but there is no shortage of great reasons to spend the fall or winter on Galveston Island! In no particular order, here are a few of our favorites:Girl holding fish on hook in Galveston Texas

Fishing – #1
Surf fishing, wade fishing, deep sea fishing, fishing from the dock, warm weather fishing, cool weather fishing…well, you get the idea ūüėČ Enjoy great fishing of every kind when you visit Galveston Island during the winter! This year, there are 2 inaugural fishing tournaments¬†(the Galveston Fishing Rodeo & Fall Flounder Classic,¬†with prizes!) to lure you in as well!

Birding – #2
Check out our previous post¬†for some hints about the best birds to look for at this time of year! We love the huge Sandhill Cranes that migrate to Galveston for the winter – you can find them strolling the pastures throughout the West End. Don’t miss the Holiday with the Cranes event put on the by GINTC (Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council), December 8 – 9 (more info coming soon to their webpage).

Beaches – #33 Texas Sandhill Cranes Walking in Grass By The Beach.
Galveston’s 32 miles of beaches are perfect no matter the weather, but beachcombing gets even better as short winter storms move through, and seasonal currents bring new creatures up from the depths of the Gulf. Plus, the weather can be beautiful & there are fewer people sharing the sand with you during winter on Galveston Island!

Festivals – #4
‘Tis the season – festival season that is! We’ve got something for everyone happening on the island at this time of year – and the perfect excuse for a Galveston weekend getaway!
ARToberFEST¬†— October 20 & 21
Galveston Island Oktoberfest¬†— October 26 & 27
–¬†Lone Star Rally — November 1-4
Dickens on The Strand —¬†December 1 &¬†2

The Grand 1894 Opera House – #5
Constructed¬†in – you guessed it! – 1894, “The Official Opera House of Texas”¬†plays an important role in supporting the arts, with¬†award-winning dramas, Broadway musicals, internationally-acclaimed musicians & the¬†Serious Fun Children’s Series¬†gracing the stage every season!

 

Book Your Winter Getaway

 

Need more ideas (aka excuses) for getting away to Galveston this winter? 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!

Galveston Fishing Rodeo & Fall Flounder Classic Fishing Tournaments

Kingfish - 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 inaugural tournaments cast light on the amazing surf & off-shore fishing we get to experience here on Galveston Island!

The¬†Galveston Fishing Rodeo runs from September 28 at 6:30 p.m. to October 28 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 this inaugural 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

Speckled Trout - 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 2018 Fall Flounder Classic kicks off November 2 at 6:30 a.m. and runs through December 30, 2018 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! ūüėČ 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!

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

 

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New Galveston Island Vacation Rentals

Beachfront vacations & fresh ocean breezes
Decks that face sunsets & fishing that pleases
Warm sandy afternoons spent like a king
…these are a few of our favorite things!

But our most favorite thing is adding¬†new Galveston vacation rental options for our guests! Or maybe it’s welcoming new guests…no, it’s welcoming your family each year and seeing it grow & change…or, maybe…well, we have LOTS of favorite things, but introducing new vacation rentals is definitely in the Top 5!

We’ve¬†had some gorgeous new Galveston Island vacation homes join our program in the last month, and we¬†are excited to show them to you!

Blutopia beachfront Galveston vacation rental
Blutopia
Carpe Diem texas bayfront vacation rental
Carpe Diem
Coastal Retreat bayfront Galveston texas vacation rental
Coastal Retreat
Panoramic beachfront Galveston vacation rental
Panorama
Salt Life bayfront Galveston vacation rental
Salt Life
Sea Eagle beachfront Galveston vacation rental
Sea Eagle
Don't Break It Galveston vacation rental
Don’t Break It

 

Find Your New Favorite

Has your family outgrown their favorite Galveston vacation rental? Or are you looking for the perfect place to start building lifelong vacation memories?These contemporary vacation homes are full of the amenities you’re looking for: pools, elevators, private piers, panoramic Gulf views, multiple decks & more!

Need even more reasons to try one of these stunning new vacation rentals? We’ve got TWO!

1.¬†Salt Life and Coastal Retreat both have “7 Nights for the Price of 5rental specials running for the month of June! That’s over $290 in savings at Salt Life and over $160 savings in Coastal Retreat – and¬†that¬†could get you¬†a lot of fresh Gulf seafood to enjoy while at the beach!

2. Don’t forget – each stay in ANY of our new vacation rentals could be earning you points towards a FREE 2-night stay when you’re a member of the Sand `N Sea Beach Club!

Catch a Galveston Bay Getaway!

See how the other half (of the Island) lives Рspend time fishing, birding or boating on Galveston Bay!

Causeway View Galveston Texas Vacation Rental

We know our beaches are¬†the prime draw to our slice of coastal paradise – who can resist sitting in the surf with a cool drink in your hand? The stuff dreams are made of we tell ya! – but, head north from FM 3005 and you’ll discover another side¬†to Galveston Island that’s well worth your time.

Mother & Daughters with Fish on Galveston IslandGalveston Bay is home to wildlife and marine animals as diverse as the bay & canal homes that border them! Red drum, sheepshead, flounder, sea trout and more are found in the bay.

Bring your boat or schedule a charter with a local fishing guide who knows all of the best spots! Or, just fish right from the deck of your canal front vacation rental. Grab bait from Sea Isle Bait Camp at the West End Marina, or stop by the Rusty Hook down towards Bay Harbor.

 

Looking for a truly unique casting experience?¬†West End-based equipment lender¬†Rick’s Beach Rentals offer fishing kayaks for 1 or 2 people by the day or week.¬†Perfect for a paddle around the marshes or inlets!

Is the promise of excellent fishing not enough to convince your family to give the bay side a try? Reel them in with the promise of a private pool!¬†We’ve got the perfect bait – three different canal front vacation rental homes with private pools: Aloha Paradise,¬†Bay Escape, , and Isla del Sol.

 

Catch Your Bay Getaway

 

Last but not least, check the weather forecast & read the fishing report to see what’s running. Who knows! Maybe you’ll join the ranks of the Texas Park & Wildlife’s Angler Recognition Program! Examing the current weight records and get ready to catch a big ‘un!

 

Pet Friendly Galveston Island

Dog Puppy Pet with a Beach View - Dog Friendly Galveston IslandSo, you’re planning your Galveston Island vacation, scrolling through options on your tablet…and you find it! The perfect beach house for your summer escape!

You check the bedrooms – yes! teens in a loft for the win! – then glance over to show it to your partner and, it happens. You catch the eye of your loyal canine companion. (The one you slip pieces of bacon to when no one’s watching.) Aaaand, there it is- those killer puppy dog eyes! The ones that say¬†“you’re leaving me, aren’t you? To go frolick in the waves, sniff the sea air and chase the seagulls…”

Frantically, you scroll back up…searching…searching…ah HA!¬†

You’re out of the dog house! With over over 50 pet friendly¬†vacation rental options¬†here at Sand `N Sea, we’re sure to have a pet friendly beach house your whole family will love!

Now that you’ve eased your conscience (and added “dog treats” to your packing list),¬†we have a few tips to help you and your dog have a great time at the beach:

Dog with Beach Towel - Pet Friendly Vacation Rental on Galveston Island‚ÄĘ Be sure to have plenty of fresh water available for your pup to drink – at least 2x as much as usual. It‚Äôs hot at the beach and your dog will drink more than normal.
‚ÄĘ Don‚Äôt let your dog drink salt water. It can cause him/her to get sick.
‚ÄĘ Remember the leash laws. Galveston Island City ordinances require dogs to be on leashes at all times.
‚ÄĘ Arrange for a shady, protected place for your dog to rest after a romp in the sun and surf. (Beach canopies, umbrellas, or just a towel draped over 2 chairs to make a little pup tent work perfectly for this!)
‚ÄĘ If you leave your dog leashed in the shade, be sure to leave plenty of water nearby.
‚ÄĘ Pets get sunburned too! Use sunscreen on exposed areas, like on noses and ears.
‚ÄĘ If the sand is too hot for your feet, it is probably too hot for your dog‚Äôs foot pads.
‚ÄĘ Don‚Äôt throw sticks or Frisbees far out into the water and expect your pup to retrieve them. The undertow can be strong and unpredictable, capable of carrying your dog out to sea before you know it. So play on the sand and near the water‚Äôs edge.
‚ÄĘ Each day, rinse the salt water off your pup with fresh water. (The outdoor shower at your pet friendly vacation rental is perfect for this!)
‚ÄĘ Watch for heat stroke and over exposure on sunny days, especially from noon to four o‚Äôclock-the hottest part of the day.
‚ÄĘ Snakes! Do not leave your dog unattended in the yard. There have been snake sightings.
‚ÄĘ Galveston has several restaurants that welcome pets. We‚Äôll give you the list at check-in.
‚ÄĘ In case you need help while on the island, Sand `N Sea has a list of recommended vets.

Be sure to ask about our special swag for your beach-going pet at check-in! We look forward to seeing you and your V.I.P. (very important pet) at a pet friendly vacation home on Galveston Island soon!

Galveston: The Winter Wonder-ISLAND

Galveston Island for the holidays? We couldn’t agree more! From the City of Galveston Holiday Parade (Dec. 16th) to the Santa Hustle 5k (Dec. 17th), there’s a lot going on here on the island –¬†not¬†to mention the¬†abundance of unique¬†shops that are sure to have the perfect gift for hard-buy-for-Uncle-Phil!

ICE LAND at Moody Gardens (our hands down favorite local holiday attraction) returned for its fourth year, and we think the Rainforest Holiday theme might be the best yet! Over 2 million pounds of ice were used by a skilled team of master ice carvers Рresulting in an interactive 28,000 square foot ice sculpture complete with an ice slide!

Ice Land - Rainforest 2017 Snow in Galveston

New this year is Downtown Lanterns & Lights at Saengerfest Park in the heart of Galveston’s Historic District. This unique display is the perfect place for holiday pictures, and is a great place to stop and take a break from holiday shopping (T-minus 10 days people!). As if these festive light sculptures aren’t enough – there’s a giant snowglobe for visitors to step into on December 16 & 23. We…ahem…our KIDS think this is awesome!

Lanterns & Lights in Saengerfest Park Christmas in Galveston

Still working on your list and checking it twice? Don’t worry, the shops in Downtown Galveston are bound to have that unique gift you’re looking for! Browse an abundant selection of art galleries¬†or check out to specialty shops like Strand Brass, Galveston Historical Foundation’s Eighteen Seventy One or The Kitchen Chick for the perfect present!

 

Sandhill Cranes have landed on Galveston Island!

Galveston Island Sunset and Birds

And what better way to celebrate this annual migration than Holiday with the Cranes, a fun experience hosted by the Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council (GINTC)!

Attendees flock to various special programs – from the Dawn Patrol to an East End Winter Coastal Birding exploration over the course of the weekend.

This unique program is just one of the annual events that the nature-minded team at GINTC presents each year.  Their 16th annual Featherfest celebration is coming April 17 Р22, 2018, bringing birders of all ages and experience levels from around the globe to our corner of the Gulf coast!

Sandhill Cranes on Galveston Island

(You know what they say about the early bird – they get the best vacation home nest!…or something like that! ūüėČ We’ve got great Galveston Island vacation rental homes available for flocks of all sizes. We would love to welcome you to one for Featherfest!)

 

Dickens on The Strand – A Galveston Island Tradition!

Huzzah! Dickens on The Strand is parading through this weekend, December 1 – 3, 2017!

Dickens on the strand, galveston tx holiday tradition

Friday night’s FREE kick-off festival takes place from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Fezziwig’s Beer Hall features live entertainment, hearty ales and a specialty drink. According to the Galveston Historical Foundation, “Mr. Fezziwig was everything that Ebenezer wasn‚Äôt and this is sure to be a fun and lively start to the weekend‚Äôs activities.” – Count us in!

Saturday & Sunday bring costume contests, delicious food from period-themed vendors,¬†a screening of the Muppet’s Christmas Carol, Victorian Bed Races, The Queen’s Parade and a variety of live performances by local and regional artists and performers.

For the kiddos – don’t miss Oliver’s Alley! At 24th Street you’ll find specialty programs, events and more on Saturday & Sunday.¬†This fun area is presented by the Galveston Children’s Museum, so it’s sure to be a blast!

To download a full schedule of events, click here.

Thanksgiving Week Activities on Galveston Island

turkey in galvestonIf you’re anything like us, by now you’re on your 6th iteration of “The Holiday Menu” – complete with vegan options, too-many-pies-to-count, and a growing confusion about how “gluten free”stuffing could possibly be a thing.

Once the post-turkey/tofurkey fervor has died down next week, escape the confines of the kitchen and enjoy one of these fun, family-friendly activities happening here on Galveston Island:

Friday, November 24 –¬†Hotel Galvez Tree Lighting Celebration¬†festivities begin at 6 p.m. and include a special appearance by Santa Claus, live holiday entertainment including the Galveston Ballet, and the lighting of the hotel’s 35-foot Christmas Tree on the front lawn. During the event, the hotel collects donations for the Salvation Army of Galveston County.

artwalk fall in galveston txSaturday, November 25, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. – ArtWalk¬†takes place inside existing art galleries (both commercial and non-profit) and other spaces such as cafes and shops that showcase rotating art exhibits in the heart of Galveston’s historic district.

moody gardens festival of lights galveston txMoody Garden’s¬†Festival of Lights¬†is a mile-long walking trail with more than one million lights and lighted scenes. Enjoy the area‚Äôs only outdoor skating rink, concession areas with hot chocolate and festive food, holiday buffets, live entertainment and more. (Through January 7, 2018)

moody gardens ice slide galveston txICE LAND: Rainforest Holiday showcases the work of a skilled team of master ice carvers. Journey through the rainforests of the world to see monkeys, beautiful birds, incredible butterflies, colorful orchids and more!  A giant ice slide takes you from the tree tops through to the forest floor, ancient ruins and rivers edge. (Through January 7, 2018)

Thanksgiving Dining on Galveston Island

Is anyone else still struggling to believe it’s already November!?! Whew! 2017 has certainly flown by, and we are sure we aren’t the only ones ready for a day off with family, friends and an excuse for eating copious amounts of delicious food!

We are looking forward to welcoming all of our Thanksgiving holiday guests to the beach in a few weeks!¬†Holidays at the slower pace of Island life are ideal no matter your age and¬†you don’t¬†have to worry about¬†meeting that “in-law/grandmother clean” standard when everyone travels to a beach house instead – it’s a win-win!

Galveston has some great local dining options if you want to make it a TRUE holiday and let your family chef(s) relax too! Check out some great local¬†Thanksgiving dining options here. We’ve highlighted a few of our favorites below:

The San Luis Resort Champagne Brunch
10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
$65/adult, $30/children

Moody Gardens Thanksgiving Day Buffet
11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
$59/adult, $29/children

ShyKatz Deli & Bakery – Take & Bake
Preorder by 3:00 p.m. on Monday, 11/20
Pickup by 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, 11/22

Mosquito Cafe – Take & Bake
Preorder by 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, 11/21
Pickup 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, 11/22

thanksgiving dining on galveston island tx cornucopia