Where to Watch Galveston Sunsets

Every great vacation includes time to slow down and enjoy the sunset. We think the best place to enjoy it is sitting on the deck of your vacation rental, but there are other great Galveston sunset spots too – including “meals with a view” options!

Galveston Island is no more than 3 miles across at its widest point, so vibrant sunset views can be had just about anywhere on the West End of the island. Beach or bay, it’s as easy as walking onto your rental’s deck to watch the sun sink slowly over the water.

Fishing Pier and Sunset on Galveston Bay

Sunset Dining on Galveston’s West End

If you decide to venture away from dining al fresco on your beach or bay house’s deck, there are two great options for a delicious West End meal. Savor some local flavor while overlooking the bay at either place!

Waterman’s Restaurant (14302 Stewart Road) offers an outdoor bar and patio area with a stunning sunset view. The restaurant is adjacent to Waterman’s Marina, so if you travel by boat, it’s a great stop during a sunset cruise. As you’d expect, the restaurant specializes in fresh Gulf seafood. But, if you’re craving steak, they offer certified Angus beef too.

West End Marina & Restaurants (21706 Burnet Drive) is located in the Sea Isle Neighborhood. West End Marina offers two dining options: eating upstairs under their palapa or downstairs in their Sandbar. And, look for a new Margarita Bar coming soon. This restaurant specializes in seafood with a Cajun and Latin flair – the perfect sides to your Galveston sunset!

Two people fishing at sunset, overlooking the bay

Other Superb Galveston Sunset Spots

Looking to get out and explore the Island? Here are a few places that are perfect for end-of-day wanderings or a personal picnic:

Galveston Island State Park (14901 FM 3005, Galveston, TX) offers a day pass that’s good through 10 p.m. The cost is $5 per person for guests age 13 and over. Children under 13 are free. On the Galveston Island State Park’s bay side, you’ll find hiking trails, interpretive trails, a kayak launch, fishing spots, and an observation tower. The park also offers convenient parking.

Sportsman Road is located just off of Stewart Road. To find this spot, turn north on 8 Mile Road and head west on Sportsman Road. You can park in the gravel area at the end of 8 Mile Road. This area is residential, so pack your blanket or chairs and some dinner snacks!

Surfside Jetty County Park (101 Parkview Road) is located in Surfside, just past the toll bridge on the far west end of the island far west end of the island. Surfside Jetty County Park is a 15-acre park with paved parking and a picnic area. You’ll have a view of the harbor channel, jetty, and the beach. If you want to grab dinner to-go before or after the sunset, check out the Red Snapper Inn (402 Bluewater Highway) in Freeport.

Man Kayaking at Sunset on Galveston Bay

One thing’s for sure, when you book your West End getaway in a Sand `N Sea vacation home, you’ll be in the perfect position to soak in the gorgeous colors as another day on the island draws to a close.

Sand ‘N Sea Properties offers an excellent selection of West End vacation rentals in Galveston. Options include beachfront, beachside, canal, or bayfront homes. We also offer pet-friendly vacation homes and homes with elevators.

Sand ‘N Sea Properties is locally owned and operated and has been helping guests make vacation memories on the West End of Galveston since 1974. Book your next Galveston vacation, workcation, or staycation with us!

Outdoor Activities in Galveston TX

Galveston is a popular beach destination for a reason. It’s an ideal escape for fishing and birding enthusiasts. Plus, the 32 miles of beach prove perfect for kite flying and a wide variety of other activities that outdoor enthusiasts love. 

We tried to keep this list to the Top 5 – but there are just too many great options to choose from! Regardless of your age or energy level, you’ll never find a shortage of things to do in Galveston!

11 BEST OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES IDEAS

Fishing

Surrounded by nutrient-rich waters that wash west across our shores, Galveston is full of excellent places to throw a line in (including right from the deck of your bayfront vacation rental!). Take the time to learn patience and a new skill, or get back to the hobby you love while fishing in Galveston. The island provides a wide array of underwater habitats perfect for a great catch of the day!

Fishing at sunset in Galveston tx

Boating

Who can resist a boating excursion? With a variety of Galveston boat rental options and easy access to the bay from your West End vacation rental, you can be out on the water in no time! Bring your fishing poles and life jackets and prepare for a relaxing day on the water.

Boat at sunset in Galveston TX

Birding

Galveston is a prime birding destination thanks to its location along the Central Flyway. Thousands of birds stop by on their annual migration each spring and fall. Join us during the off season for peak birding opportunities, and don’t miss the annual Featherfest celebration in April. Discover your new favorite outdoor activity in Galveston, TX!

Birds flying over Galveston TX

Kite Flying

The constant Gulf breeze is perfect for kite flying! Whether your piloting a line or simply watch those around you, this is a perfect way to get outdoors and enjoy time with others. Bring your own favorite flyer or check out the local Kites Unlimited shop on Seawall Blvd. Kids of all ages will love this perfect beach activity!

family flying a kite on the beach

Parks

Galveston Island offers visitors a variety of different local parks for exploration. Stop by the playground, carve up the skate park, or let your pup off the leash at the local dog park. Visiting Galveston parks is a perfect way to enjoy nature and experience many of the outdoor activities in Galveston, TX.

Galveston Bay

Paddle Boarding

No matter your skill level, a few hours of paddle boarding the local waters is exactly what your next trip to Galveston Island needs! Plan your equipment rental and private lesson, then hit the Gulf or bay! (#protip – Ask your vendor about delivery & pick-up options for your beach house.) When the day is over, we are sure you’ll have a few impressive pictures to look back on as well.

Man paddle boarding with dog

Beachcombing

A long day of combing the beach for hidden treasures is extremely rewarding! Whether you are looking for sea glass, shark teeth, arrowheads, or maybe a unique shell for the kids, Galveston offers a variety of hidden surprise that will make your beachcombing plans worth it!

Shells on beach in Galveston TX

Kayaking

Immerse yourself in Galveston’s unique marine habitat no matter the water temp – enjoy the view from the seat of a kayak. Explore the coast’s splendor and reignite your connection with nature by taking a personal excursion or booking a guided kayak tour.

kayaking in Galveston TX

Jet Skiing

Every vacation or getaway needs some kind of high intensity adventure! Quicken the pace of your day by hopping on a jet ski while in Galveston. These small watercraft are perfect for exploring the canals and inlets along the northern coast of the island. Delivery & pick-up to your beach house is available from local vendors.

Man on jet ski in Galveston TX

Sand Castle Building

We take sand castle building seriously here in Galveston! Many locals say this is one of their favorite outdoor activities. This recreational activity is sure to provide hours of family fun for all ages and is a great past time to keep the kiddos entertained while their sunblock soaks in!

Family standing in front of sand castle in Galveston tx

Sitting and Relaxing

Take advantage of the serenity of the island while watching the waves roll in. Enjoy a simple stroll or just sit back and relax in your beach chair. Read a book, listen to a podcast, or watch the pelicans and shorebirds. Nothing’s better than the sand under your feet and your favorite drink in your hand while relaxing on a Galveston beach.

Woman relaxing on the beach in Galveston TX.

PLAN YOUR GETAWAY TO GALVESTON, TX TODAY

Galveston Island provides the perfect destination for sun, sand, and fun! Sand ‘N Sea offers 155+ of the best vacation rentals on Galveston’s West End. From open floor plans with multiple decks to elevators and swimming pools, these homes have the amenities you want for a perfect beach trip.

There is no shortage of outdoor activities in Galveston, TX! Contact our team and start planning your perfect outdoor getaway today.

Your Summer 2020 Galveston Vacation

Wondering what’s new for your Sand `N Sea Galveston vacation rental experience this year? Check out our Summer 2020 Resource Page for all of the COVID-19-related updates – from our new contact-free check-in details to the most up-to-date information about our cancellation policy.

Already booked your Island getaway? Keep reading for the best insider tips on how to have a stress-free vacation!

NEW Contact-Free Check-in & Check-out

Guests no longer check in at our Pirates Beach office. We have moved to a contact-free, express check-in process!

You’ll digitally sign & submit your check-in paperwork the day before arrival. On your check-in day you’ll receive a text with the code to the key lock box at the home as soon as it’s ready for arrival. (Make sure you’ve provide your cell phone number when you book your reservation!)

No more worries about being stuck in traffic! Arrive any time after 5:00 p.m.

On departure day, return the keys to the lock box at the home by 10:00 a.m. It’s that simple!

Please know that we deeply miss personally welcoming each of you to Galveston. Don’t worry – we are still only a phone call away! Email us at info@sandnsea.com or leave us a message at 409.797.5500 if there is anything we can do to help during your stay.

View the Step-by-Step process here.

Please note: We are not able to accommodate requests for early arrivals or late departures. We need to ensure our professional housekeeping teams have the time necessary to accommodate our full cleaning, disinfecting & sanitizing protocols before every new arrival.

TOP 5 THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU ARRIVE

#1 – Bring Supplies

Just like in your own home town, some supplies are still difficult to find on the Island (paper products, hand sanitizer, cleaning products, shelf stable groceries, medications, etc.). Shop ahead and bring essential supplies with you.

Don’t forget – less time in line at the grocery means more time on the beach!

Use our Starter List of Things to Bring to get your packing list started!

#2 – Beach Rules

All 32 miles of Galveston’s public beaches are open. We encourage you to keep a few things in mind:

Leave at least 6 feet between you and your neighbors. (Beach breezes carry water droplets!)

Respect the guidelines and keep your group at 10 or less.

Leave No Trace – dispose of all of your waste items in the bright blue trash cans provided by the City & be sure to bring your beach equipment in each night.

As of May 15, there are six West End beach access points that are closed to vehicular traffic on the weekends. Pedestrian traffic is welcome. Click here for details.

#3 – Where to Eat

Galveston restaurants are slowly shifting back to dine-in service in a limited way (primarily outdoor dining, at 25% capacity).

Just interested in grabbing your favorite dishes and lounging on the deck of your private beach house? The majority of our local eateries continue to offer curbside pick-up service.

Find a current list of open Galveston Restaurants here – and don’t be afraid to call ahead to your favorite if it’s not on the list!

#4 – What to Do

Looking for a little more than just relaxing and soaking in the sun?

BONUS FREE download: Historic Galveston Island coloring book! Full of fun facts about some of the most interesting spots on the Island!

#5 – Housekeeping

Our Property Services managers have been hard at work educating & training our professional housekeepers on our updated protocols. The key points:

Hospital-grade disinfectants continue to be used before every new arrival. (Rated to kill COVID-19.) All of the chemicals we use are EPA-approved. Our teams use ROOM SENSE 200 on all hard surfaces and Champions Aerosol Disinfectant on all soft surfaces.

Housekeepers & Inspectors follow all CDC guidelines and wear fresh masks & gloves as they clean each home. They pay special attention to high-touch areas including, but not limited to:

  • light switches, outlets, lamps, fan pull chains, elevator controls
  • cabinet knobs, drawer pulls & other handles including faucets & toilets
  • controls for large & small appliances, including TV remotes
  • stair railings & outdoor deck railings

Our commercial laundry sanitizes all towels and sheets at 160 degrees between guests. (Most home machines only reach 100 degrees.)

Galveston Concierge Services & Beach Equipment Rentals

Need grocery delivery? Beach chairs, umbrellas or tents? Dreaming of a campfire on the beach complete with s’mores? The professionals at Sea La Vie Concierge Services can take care of it all! 409.457.9544

Interested in renting a golf cart? Rick’s Rentals is located out here on the West End and will deliver & pick up directly from your beach house. 409.632.0256

Enjoy all 32 miles of sandy coastline during your stay: add to your seashell collection, ride the waves, work on perfecting your sandcastle technique, catch fresh Gulf seafood for dinner, and more! Get ready to kick back, relax, and enjoy your vacation on historic Galveston Island!

We look forward to seeing you at the beach!

Galveston Tours 2021: What you need to know

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 2021 can offer 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

What do Portland and Galveston have in common?

Loos!  No, really. Let’s talk toilets! (That’s a series of sentences we never thought we’d be writing!)

Portland Loo Galveston Beach
Image courtesy of City of Galveston

The first of five “Portland Loos” have been installed along Seawall Blvd.! These free-standing restrooms are modular stainless steel units with a flushing toilet & hand sanitizer station inside, and a hand-washing station & shower on the exterior. Island visitors to the new beaches along the seawall rejoice!

portland loo diagram on galveston beach
Image courtesy of The City of Portland

Touted as virtually indestructible, these prefabricated units are named for and patented by the city of Portland, Oregon. Carefully considered features – not the least of which is an interior large enough for a family and an exterior sink & shower for walk-by traffic – make us excited to see this innovative solution implemented on Galveston Island.

The first unit was installed at 29th Street, and the others are slated for locations along Seawall Blvd. at 19th, 39th, 45th, and 61st Streets.