Sand `N Sea Properties and COVID-19

For more details about check-in/out changes and other new office policies, visit our COVID-19/coronavirus webpage.

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 at info@sandnsea.com with any questions. Our limited staff is working remotely from home, but we will do our best to respond to you as quickly as possible.

March 23, 7:00 p.m.

Galveston County has issued notice of a shelter-in-place order. This countywide order will go into effect beginning at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, March 24 and remain in effect until April 3.

We have not yet heard from City of Galveston officials regarding any other specifics that will impact Galveston Island.

Please know, our Reservations & Property Services teams are working remotely from home. We are committed to returning phone calls & emails from all of our guests just as quickly as we can with our limited staff.

We sincerely appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through the options available to you on a case-by-case basis. Where possible, we are helping guests adjust reservation dates. In other cases, we are processing refunds. (Please remember, it can take several days for your credit card company to apply your credit to your account, regardless of when we process it.)

We continue to encourage guests to contact us via email at info@sandnsea.com. Include your reservation number, leaseholder name and the best contact phone number.

We are not accepting any reservations for arrivals before April 4.

Our team will be back at their (remote) desks again at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, March 24, and we will continue to work diligently to reach all of our valued guests.


March 21, 11:00 a.m.

Our reservations team is responding to all guest inquiries as quickly as possible. Our primary focus at this time is guests with arrival dates through April 25.

We encourage guests with questions to email us at info@sandnsea.com. Please include your reservation number, leaseholder name and the best contact phone number.

Due to the high volume of calls, you may reach our answering service when you reach out via phone. Guests with imminent arrival dates will receive priority in the queue. Please know that we are doing our best to get back to everyone as soon as we can.

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to reach out to every one of our guests.


March 18, 2020 3:45 p.m.

Yesterday’s orders closing all Galveston Island’s entertainment venues and restaurant dining rooms for 7 days has certainly added a challenge for day-to-day operations for our local chefs and restaurateurs.

Several local restaurants have moved their operations to carry-out or delivery services. Some great options currently offering meals to-go include:

If you aren’t in town, we encourage you to purchase a gift card for use during your next visit to Galveston. We know our guests all have their favorite spots to eat while vacationing. If we all work together to continue to support them through these uncertain times it will help ensure your favorites will be here for your next visit, too!


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


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.

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!

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!

1Salt 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!

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• Be sure to have plenty of fresh water available for your pup to drink – at least 2x as much as usual. It’s hot at the beach and your dog will drink more than normal.
• Don’t let your dog drink salt water. It can cause him/her to get sick.
• Remember the leash laws. Galveston Island City ordinances require dogs to be on leashes at all times.
• 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!)
• If you leave your dog leashed in the shade, be sure to leave plenty of water nearby.
• Pets get sunburned too! Use sunscreen on exposed areas, like on noses and ears.
• If the sand is too hot for your feet, it is probably too hot for your dog’s foot pads.
• Don’t 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’s edge.
• 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!)
• Watch for heat stroke and over exposure on sunny days, especially from noon to four o’clock-the hottest part of the day.
• Snakes! Do not leave your dog unattended in the yard. There have been snake sightings.
• Galveston has several restaurants that welcome pets. We’ll give you the list at check-in.
• 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!

Free Night on Galveston Island this Holiday!

night at the beach galveston beach

We made our list and checked it twice and found out that all of our guests are definitely nice! Come celebrate the holiday season with us on Galveston Island and get a FREE* night in one of our vacation homes!

Galveston Weather

A beach break is the perfect gift when the forecast for this winter weekend looks like this… guess we’ll be wearing flip flops with our ugly Christmas sweaters – or t-shirts. 😉

Wondering what there is to do in the off season? The surf’s been up, so beachcombing has been particularly excellent lately. The shops along The Strand are decked out in their finest garland and tinsel and have a unique selection of gifts, and you can’t beat a dinner out at one of our local restaurants after a long day of shopping or strolling the beach. Plus, there’s a great selection of holiday activities!

*Valid for new stays only. Stays must be completed by January 2, 2018. Minimum 3 paid nights. Not valid with other promotional offers. Not all properties are eligible for this promotion.

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 – 22, 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! 😉 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!)

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’s 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)

Fall Birding on Galveston Island

October is the perfect time to catch some of your favorite feathered friends frolicking on Galveston’s shores!

Galveston ornithologist Jim Stevenson recently sent us these great images, and we just had to share!shore birds in water in galveston island texas

Here’s what Jim had to say:

“the rains of Harvey created a lot of freshwater pools for shorebirds to feed, as the Gulf’s shores were well under water. From left to right above, there are Western Willets, a Great-tailed Grackle, Black-bellied Plover w/ a Black-necked Stilt behind it, a Short-billed Dowitcher bending over, a Long-billed Curlew flying right to left, a Laughing Gull already in winter plumage with a Marbled Godwit right behind it, two more Willets & another black-belly and a Spotted Sandpiper (hard to make out) flitting at the right edge of the picture.

Long-billed Curlew in galveston island texas

During the height of Hurricane Harvey’s winds, birds like this Long-billed Curlew were hunkering down, of course facing the wind. You can see the nearby Marbled Godwit was also low. This female (see the long bill?) also still has much of her breeding (alternate) plumage, as shorebirds molt a great deal in August and April.”

Galveston Island is a great birding location all year round, but it gets even better in the spring! Check out FeatherFest – Galveston’s annual birding and nature photo festival!

Galveston Updates: Harvey 2017

September 6, Wednesday, 9:00 a.m.

We wanted to take a minute to reassure all of our guests that we are continuing to reach out to all reservations impacted by Harvey.

Our limited staff is reaching out by phone and email to the leaseholder for each reservation, but in many cases are not able to leave messages because voicemail inboxes are full. We are anxious to talk to each of our guests to address any concerns you may have.

If you have been displaced due to Harvey, or have contact information different than what you provided at the time of your reservation, please let us know. Our phone lines are back to normal – 409.797.5500 – and you can always reach us at info@sandnsea.com.

If you sent an email or left a voicemail and we missed it we are very sorry. With our systems up & down because of the storm it is distinctly possible that it was lost or accidentally overlooked. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us again! We want to ensure that you are taken care of!

 

September 5, Tuesday, 1:45 p.m.

Our phone system is back up and running! We can be reached normally at 409.797.5500. Thank you for your patience!

 

September 5, Tuesday, 9:00 a.m.

Our phone system is completely down again, but the office is open! Please email us at info@sandnsea.com if you need to reach us. We will respond as quickly as possible, and appreciate your patience as we wait for technicians and equipment.

We are continuing to contact guests with upcoming reservations. Thank you for your patience & understanding during this process!

 

September 2, Saturday, 1:15 p.m.

Our limited staff continues to work through contacting and responding to guests from over 150 reservations impacted by the effects of Harvey.

We are coordinating with guests & homeowners on a case-by-case basis and are happy to discuss existing reservations for any impacted guests.

Our phone system is still not fully operational, but we can be reached directly at 409.797.5533 or by email at info@sandnsea.com.

We understand the devastating impacts of hurricanes and their aftermath all too well and know the recovery process is just beginning for many people. Our thoughts continue to be with our friends and neighbors who were impacted by Harvey.

We’re here to help and appreciate your patience!

 

August 31, Thursday, 9:30 a.m.

Yes! Our office is open! Many of our staff are back, and we are busy checking houses and calling each of our Labor Day guests.

Once we have reached all incoming Labor Day guests we will begin contacting next week’s guests.

Our phone system is still recovering, so if you need to reach us immediately, please call 409.797.5533 or email info@sandnsea.com. We promise to respond to every call and email as quickly as possible, as we get the information you need.

Much of Galveston is open for business as usual, including a great selection of restaurants. Arriving guest? Look for a prearrival email with more details coming to you soon!

We appreciate your patience & understanding as we get back up to full speed. We look forward to welcoming you to the beach soon!

 

August 30, Wednesday, 2:00 p.m.

Our office is open today with limited staff.

Our phone system is working intermittently and we are told the interruptions could last indefinitely.

The best way to reach us is by email, and please use info@sandnsea.com if you need to contact us.

Labor Day Reservations: Today, staff is contacting all guests with Labor Day reservations. Please rest assured that we will be in touch with every guest with an existing Labor Day reservation.

Reservations arriving after September 4th: We will contact guests with future reservations via email or phone call as soon as we are able.

Thank you for your continued patience as we work through the recovery process from this historic storm.

Our thoughts continue to be with our friends & neighbors on the mainland and in the Houston area.


August 30, Wednesday, 7:15 a.m.

Our office will be open today with limited staff. With the prolonged power outage, our phone & computer systems will need time to come back online. We anticipate the phone system will be the last piece to come back, so please use info@sandnsea.com if you need to contact us.

As soon as we are able, staff will continue to contact guests with Labor Day reservations. Please be patient and rest assured that we will be in contact with every guest with an existing reservation.

We will notify guests with future reservations via email or call when our secure GuestWeb portal is available again.

Thank you for your continued patience as we work through the recovery process from this historic storm. Our thoughts continue to be with our friends & neighbors on the mainland.

 

August 29, Tuesday, 7:45 a.m.

Our office is currently closed as significant rain and wind from Harvey move through our area. Significant flooding across the Island has made roads impassable, including FM 3005 on the West End.

Once power is restored and we are able to return to the office we will continue to contact all of our incoming guests with updates about their reservations.

If you need to contact us before the office reopens, email us at snsgalvestontx@gmail.com. We will respond as quickly as possible.

 

August 28, Monday, 3:00 p.m.

We are open in a limited capacity today and, from what we have been able to assess, the West End of Galveston appears to have fared well. We’ve had about 8” of rain and minimal winds, but more bands are expected to move through tonight & tomorrow.

Once Harvey moves completely out of the area, our teams will begin inspecting each of our vacation homes.

In the meantime, we are working to contact each of our guests whose upcoming stays may be impacted, including Labor Day Weekend stays. Please rest assured that everyone will receive a call from us as promptly as possible.

We continue to keep everyone who has been affected by Hurricane Harvey’s historic flooding in our thoughts and prayers.

 

August 27, Sunday, 12:15 p.m.

Right now, Galveston Island is experiencing a respite from the rain. Officials predict another 4 – 8″ by 7 p.m., adding to the 20 – 25″ that has fallen so far.

There continue to be widespread electrical outages on the West End, including the Sand `N Sea office. Per the City, roads are passable, but there is standing water.

We are still monitoring the storm and will continue to post updates here daily. We will also continue to share important local updates on Facebook and Twitter.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all Texans affected by this monumental storm.

 

August 26, Saturday, 2:40 p.m.

Afternoon update:
–  Impassable roads throughout the City (list here)
–  Significant power outages (as of 11 a.m., 4,900 without power)
–  Minimal structural damage
–  All beaches are closed
–  Galveston Ferry & San Luis Pass Road are closed

Forecasts call for another 15 – 30″ of rain and 4′ tides into Thursday. galveston weather

hurricane harvey galveston tx

 

August 25, Friday, 9:45 a.m.OFFICE CLOSED. Now that all of our guests have safely departed, SNS staff has turned towards the final stages of securing our office. Phones are off, and we will continue to post any significant updates here on our blog, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

As of now, we are planning to welcome our Labor Day Weekend guests as scheduled. Once the storm moves through and we are able to return to the office we will contact all of our incoming guests.

If you are interested in making a future reservation, we will be happy to help you when we are back in the office.

If you need to contact us before the office reopens, email us at snsgalvestontx@gmail.com and we will respond as quickly as possible.

 

August 25, Friday, 7:45 a.m. – Hurricane Harvey has continued to intensify overnight and is moving rapidly toward making landfall southwest of Galveston, near Corpus Christi. Our goal is to have our staff out the door and on their way to safe places with their families by 10:00 a.m. today. We will update here once our office has been closed.

We will continue to post updates here, as possible, but also highly recommend:

– NOAA National Weather Service National Hurricane Center
 – National Weather Service Houston-Galveston Texas
City of Galveston Emergency Management

harvey satellite on galveston

When most people went to bed Wednesday night, Harvey was still a tropical depression headed for points well south of here. By the time the sun rose Thursday, it was a tropical storm. By late morning it was a hurricane predicted to be at Category 3 strength by the time it makes landfall sometime today or early Saturday somewhere around Corpus Christi. – Galveston Daily News

 

August 24, Thursday, 6:00 p.m. – The US National Weather Service Houston-Galveston Texas issued updated projections, centered around the extreme rainfall (15 – 25 inches) expected in our area:

  

 

August 24, Thursday, 4:00 p.m. – We would like to thank all of our guests for their patience today, as well as for their understanding of the unpredictability & serious nature of Hurricane Harvey. We know having your vacation interrupted or postponed is stressful, and we appreciate your help in making sure everyone stays safe in the coming days.

Currently, we plan to be open in the morning, to care for the last of our guests checking out and finish storm preparations for our vacation homes and our office. We plan to close early afternoon tomorrow, and will post updates here on the SNS blog when we know what time that will be. Our office will remain closed until conditions are deemed safe for staff to return.

As the City of Galveston Emergency Management team continues to track and prepare Galveston Island for the effects of Hurricane Harvey, we wanted to make you aware of several closings, including:

– Galveston Island State Park (closed Thurs – Mon)
– Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig & Museum (closed Fri – Sun)
– Galveston Trolley Service (service suspended Fri – Mon)
– ArtWalk (rescheduled for Sept. 9)
– “Dixie’s Tupperware Party” at The Grand 1894 Opera House (Sat. night cancelled, rescheduled for Nov. 10)
– Galveston Historical Foundation (ALL attractions closed Fri – Sun)
– Moody Mansion (closed Fri – Sun)
– Schlitterbahn Galveston (closed Fri – Sun)
– Galveston Fishing Pier (closed 3 p.m. Thurs – Sun)
– Galveston Arts Center (closed Fri – Mon)
– Galveston Chamber of Commerce (closed until further notice)
– Fireworks at Seawall Blvd. on Sunday (cancelled)
– Seawolf Park, East Beach, Stewart Beach & Beach Pocket Parks (closed 5pm Thurs through Tues)
– Friends of Galveston Island State Park annual meeting (will reschedule)

Image of the Gulf, taken by SNS staff as we prepare vacation homes for the effects of Hurricane Harvey.

August 24, Thursday, 12:15 p.m.  – Our staff is still busy calling guests with check-ins scheduled for this weekend. If you haven’t heard from us, rest assured, you are on our list! Need to talk with us sooner? Please feel free to call us at 409.797.5500 to discuss your options.

Per the National Hurricane Center, Harvey has intensified to a hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph. Landfall is expected closer to Corpus Christi, but life-threatening storm surge, rainfall, and wind hazards are expected throughout the Texas coast. Per advisories, preparations to protect life and property should be completed by tonight, as tropical-storm-force winds will first arrive in the hurricane and storm surge warning areas on Friday.

 

 

August 24, Thursday, 9:00 a.m. – Due to the projected severity of Tropical Storm Harvey, we are exercising an abundance of caution and reaching out to all of our incoming guests (check-in dates of 8/24, 8/25, 8/26) to delay arrival or reschedule your vacation. If we haven’t been able to reach you yet, please call our office at 409.797.5500 as soon as possible.

We know how precious vacation time with family & friends is, and we also know how quickly conditions can deteriorate with an incoming, unpredictable storm the size of Harvey.  We don’t want any of our guests or staff to be caught in a dangerous situation, and we want you to get the most out of your visit to Galveston Island!

Our staff is dedicated to ensuring that you have the best vacation possible. We look forward to helping you reschedule your trip.

For questions about your travel insurance policy, please call Red Sky Travel Insurance directly at 866-889-7409. If you purchased coverage, claims can be filed online.

August 24, Thursday, 7:45 a.m. – Per the National Weather Service, Tropical Storm Harvey is expected to intensify as it continues its northwestward projection towards the Texas coast.

 

August 23, Wednesday, 1:45 p.m. – There is still a significant amount of uncertainty regarding the impact TD Harvey will have on Galveston Island. We are currently under a storm surge watch and a tropical storm watch, as issued by the National Hurricane Center. Some of the latest models predict Galveston could receive 15″ or more of rain with this system, with heavy wind gusts starting as early as Thursday evening. We will post another update if there are any changes, or as more definite predictions are available.

 

August 23, Wednesday, 10:15 a.m. – The weather system has been updated to tropical depression Harvey. At the present time, weather officials and Galveston City officials are not sure where or when it will come ashore; they are simply saying that it will be somewhere on the Texas Coast. Also, at this time, officials expect this storm to be, primarily, a flood event.

We are tracking all updates and we will contact – via email, phone call and/or text – all of this weekend’s guests on Thursday, August 24 to let you know whether or not check-in will continue as normal.

If you are an arriving guest who has purchased travel insurance, call Red Sky Travel Insurance at 866-889-7409 with specific questions about your coverage.

August 23, Wednesday, 8:10 a.m. – We are keeping a close eye on the “Remnant of Hurricane Harvey” which is entering the Gulf of Mexico today and is currently predicted to make landfall between Freeport and Matagorda Bay. However, the weather service states that the location and timing of landfall is highly uncertain.

We are in touch with City and County officials and will continually post updates to this blog page.

To all our guests currently in houses, and all those who are checking in over the next few days, you will hear from us. We are reaching out to you via email, phone and text.

We are committed to keeping you up to date with the most current information. If you have specific questions, please email us at info@sandnsea.com.