Top 5 Galveston Historical Sites to Visit for Homeschool Students

Galveston is a fun and educational destination for families. With a charm that reflects its Victorian history, the Island has grown into a modern town with lots of fun things to do! Galveston’s historical sites perfectly mesh the old world with the new. Students of all ages will enjoy immersion learning in one of the oldest, most storied cities in Texas. Before we jump into the top historical attractions, let’s take a brief look at Galveston’s history. 

What is Galveston famous for?

As one of Texas’ leading tourist destinations, Galveston is now famous for its history, beaches, amusement parks, and festivals. If you dig into Galveston’s past, you’ll discover that it is, historically, one of the most famous cities in America. From its roots as a base for Pirate Jean Lafitte in the 1800s to its time as the main port for the Texas Navy, then “Ellis Island of the West” and “Wall Street of the South”, Galveston Island has played a significant role in US history. 

What is the Oldest Building in Galveston?

The oldest building in Galveston is the Menard House. Galveston’s founder Michael B. Menard commissioned its construction in 1838 as his private residence. Although the original architecture has been restored, the furnishings and furniture date back to the early 1800s.

 

 

Galveston Historical Foundation has done a fantastic job preserving historic sites like the Menard House. The Foundation offers a wealth of resources to educate visitors and residents about the Island’s history. There is something for all ages to learn and enjoy. To help you narrow down your options, we’ve compiled a list of our top 5 historical sites to visit.

5. Moody Mansion and the Galveston Children’s Museum 

Moody Mansion is a popular historic attraction in Galveston. The home was completed in 1895 and William Lewis Moody purchased it as his family’s private residence in 1900. Members of the Moody family lived in the home until 1986. At that time, the home was turned into a museum in honor of the Moody Family. 

Three unique tours are available — two audio and one guided with behind-the-scenes access.  Tours are best suited for ages 7 & up, but younger learners can tag along. The Galveston Children’s Museum is located on the ground floor of the mansion. There are many exhibits in the Children’s Museum that give children as young as 2 a place to have fun while learning.
 

4. Tall Ship ELISSA 

The Tall Ship ELISSA is a nearly 100-foot-tall, iron-hulled barque that sits at the Texas Seaport Museum. She first visited Galveston in 1883, and, unlike similar ships, she is not a replica — the ELISSA is a survivor. The Texas Seaport Museum and Galveston Historical Foundation offer a variety of TEKS-aligned field trips focusing on history, math, and science. Guided tours begin with a short film and last for one hour. The museum targets students in grades 2 - 12. 

3. The Bryan Museum 

The Bryan Museum showcases Texas history and the American West. The engaging exhibits are exciting for kids and adults alike. The museum offers self-guided and guided educational tours. There are options to add hands-on activities for students from grades 4 - 12. 

Here, tour guides lead students through documents and artifacts for an extensive lesson in Texas history. Bryan Museum has also designed lessons in art techniques and creative writing. This is a great stop for homeschool parents. For a dynamic lesson, homeschooling parents can combine their homeschool curriculum with the Bryan Museum’s tours and lessons. 

2. 1892 Bishop’s Palace 

Also known as the Gresham House, the 1892 Bishop’s Palace sits in the East End Historic District. Architectural historians designate Bishop’s Palace as one of the most significant Victorian homes in the country. They offer private tours as well as group & school group tours. The tour guides give an in-depth look at the home, the Gresham history, and unique items throughout the home. If you choose a private tour, you can request a customized tour to meet your specific educational goals. In partnership with the Galveston Historical Foundation, the 1892 Bishop’s Palace offers TEKS-aligned field trips for school-aged children. 

1. East End Historical District - All Ages

The East End Historical District (EEHDA) is a historic neighborhood with over 50 blocks of Victorian nostalgia. The National Register of Historic Places lists the entire neighborhood as a national historic landmark. A walk through the streets of the EEHDA transports pedestrians to a time long ago. There is no age restriction for visitors touring the neighborhood. Families or educational groups of all grade and age levels may venture through the area. This is a piece of Texas history and a great place to meet TEKS goals. 

 

If you want to teach your students about Texas history, check out some of these great historic sites. Spend the night on the Island and mix learning with rest & relaxation. Sand `N Sea offers a gorgeous selection of vacation rentals for families and groups. Book yours online today!

 Boy and girl playing games on deck of Galveston Island vacation home.

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