Posted on 10/18/2023

9 Best Parks to Explore in Galveston

While Galveston may be best known for its sandy beach parks on the Gulf of Mexico, the coastal Texas island also offers beautiful spots to enjoy nature away from the water . Whether you're looking for trails to hike and bike, a place to take the kids to play, or a spot to let the dogs run around, there's a Galveston park for every outdoor inclination. 

From the boardwalks and beachfront at Galveston Island State Park to splash pads in local neighborhoods to gardens in the middle of the historic district, we've rounded up a few of the best parks in Galveston to visit on your next vacation.

When you're ready to book your Galveston Island vacation rental, we can even help you find the perfect home with extra outdoor space for the kids to play or a dog friendly rental to accommodate your furry best friend!

Galveston Island State Park

The largest area of undeveloped land on the barrier island is preserved in Galveston Island State Park. The 2,000 acres here contain bayous, wetlands, and coastal prairies, along with access to the beach and bayside of Galveston.

With hiking paths, paddling trails, and spots to fish, this welcomingnature park isa  unique nature retreat that's open to locals and  vacationers alike. All of the outdoor activities are just a few miles from the bustling center of Galveston on the West End of the island.

The park charges a $5 per person entrance fee for ages 13 and up. On a day trip here, you can hike on designated trails along the marshes, rent a kayak to paddle on the gentle breakwater, or spend a peaceful day on the sand and enjoy the Gulf Coast views.

East End Lagoon Nature Preserve

Photo Credit: EEL

Located on the far eastern tip of the island, the East End Lagoon Nature Preserve sits between the east end of Seawall Blvd and popular East Beach. With a nearly 700-acre landscape of wetlands, tidal lagoons and marshes, sand dunes, and grasslands, this is the perfect spot to experience a breath of nature and bird-watching beachside. 

A half-mile ADA Nature Trail features three loops with interpretive signs, each showcasing a different view of the area. The Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council hosts free monthly nature walks to explore the flora and fauna. 

Schreiber Park

Schreiber Park in Midtown is an ideal spot to take the kids or dogs to run around. Conveniently located near popular tourist attractions like Moody Gardens and Babe's Beach, the city facility has a dog park, a large playground, picnic tables, sports fields, and easy access to restrooms. On a warm day, kids will love cooling off in the splash pad.

The park is free to use, and there is a parking lot adjacent to the play area.

Betty Head Oleander Garden Park 

  • Address: 2624 Sealy Ave, Galveston, TX 
  • Neighborhood: Central Island
  • Website: 

A beautiful spot to stop and smell the flowers, the Betty Head Oleander Garden Park is located just behind Moody Mansion in the historic part of Midtown near Broadway Avenue. Galveston is known as the Oleander City, and in this small garden, you can see the shrubs in full bloom. Galveston is actually thought to have the largest collection of Nerium oleander in the world.

The park is open to the public during the day and free to access. Special events and luncheons are also hosted here on occasion.

Lindale Dog Park

Need a place to take the pups to run off some energy? The Lindale Dog Park is the perfect spot for that. Located on the east side of the island, just a block off the Galveston Channel, the dog run is surrounded by a larger city park with tennis courts, a walking trail, softball fields, a playground, and picnic areas.

Lindale Park and the dog park are free for visitors to use. It is also very accessible, with an on-site parking lot and additional street parking. 

Kempner Park

Kempner Park is a beautiful spot to go for a walk or have a picnic in the central part of the island. Located in a historic neighborhood, the simple and peaceful grounds have picnic tables and a walking path under shady trees that front a picturesque 1880 event venue.

The park is open during daylight and free to the public. 

Seawolf Park 

When you're ready to take a little day trip off Galveston Island, Seawolf Park is the perfect place to go. Located on Pelican Island across the ship channel, the park is on the site of a former immigration station.

The Galveston Naval Museum and its historic ships and submarines are located here, but you can also just visit to check out the fishing pier, use the playground, walk along the waterfront, and picnic with a beautiful view of the Galveston Seaport.

There is a $6 per vehicle parking fee, which includes entry to the park. Visiting the museum is an extra fee.

Saengerfest Park

Photo Credit: GHF

A pocket park in the Strand Historic District, Saengerfest Park serves as a downtown gathering place. Created in the 1990s, the public square at the corner of The Strand and Tremont Street features a large, colorful "Greetings from Galveston" mural, a jumbo chess set, a small performing stage, and benches to sit on. 

While it's mostly a concrete park, there is a small grassy spot for dogs, as well as trees and greenery to add a touch of nature to the bustling town center. 

Fort Crockett Park

  • Address: 4550 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX 77551
  • Neighborhood: Seawall

A zone of the Galveston Seawall area once was part of Fort Crockett, built in the early 1900s and named after Davy Crockett. Today, some buildings of the Fort are used by local schools, and other parts have been built over. Fort Crockett Park on the Seawall is a nod to this piece of island history, located along an old battery area. 

With native plants, picnic tables, benches, and historic plaques, the park is just off the sand and the perfect spot to take a break in the shade during a beach day or bike ride along the Seawall.

The park is free and open to all, with beach access and paid parking available along the Seawall.

Explore the Green Side of Galveston

Whether you're looking for a playground for the kids or a spot to get outside for a hike, there is a park in Galveston for everyone. 

While Galveston has many beautiful beaches where you can enjoy the outdoors, there are just as many city parks, gardens, and nature trails to explore. When looking for things to do in Galveston during your next island vacation, you definitely don't want to miss these island parks!

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