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!
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!