Things To Do in Galveston

Galveston Island is a Gulf Coast treasure well known for its 32 miles of public beaches and beautiful vacation rentals. It’s home to an abundance of art galleries, antique stores, local restaurants & unique shops, and a full host of historical attractions & museums perfect for all ages. The Island is also a popular destination for fishing & birding all year long. There’s no shortage of fun things to do in Galveston!

What are the Best Things To Do In Galveston, TX? 

Enjoy the beautiful beaches, superb Gulf & bay fishing, amusement parks, gorgeous churches, live music, annual island events, and more that make Galveston Island unlike anywhere else in the world. 

Be sure to explore our Galveston events page to see what’s happening during your next visit, and read on to discover more about what the Island has to offer guests & locals alike!

 

Aerial image of Galveston, Texas coastline featuring beach homes, sand, and the ocean.

Area Info

Area Info
Man and woman looking at a colorful piece of art in an art studio.

Art Galleries

Art Galleries
Galveston Island pier at sunset with fair attractions light up.

Attractions & Entertainment

Attractions & Entertainment
White bird perched in a green tree.

Birding

Birding
Inside of church with a stained glass cross in the background.

Churches

Churches
Woman holding a large fish and smiling.

Fishing

Fishing
Man putting on a golf course at sunset.

Golfing, Fishing & More

Golfing, Fishing & More
Kemah Boardwalk sign in Galveston, Texas.

Historic Attractions

Historic Attractions
2 colorful beach chairs on a beach at sunset.

Island Itineraries

Island Itineraries
Nature scene with green grass, a tree, and a park bench.

Parks, Birding, & Nature

Parks, Birding, & Nature
Vet and golden retriever dog inside a vet's office.

Pets & Vets

Pets & Vets
Colorful blue plate of seafood.

Restaurants

Restaurants
Two women smiling with shopping bags.

Shopping & Services

Shopping & Services
Beach pier with colorful rides and attractions.

Tours

Tours

Turtles About Town

Turtles About Town
Candles with a woman receiving a massage in the background.

Weddings & Spas

Weddings & Spas
 

 location iconTour Famous Galveston Attractions

Galveston Island may have a small footprint, but it's definitely large on attractions! From Moody Gardens to Schlitterbahn-Galveston, and an international cruise port to the popular Historic Pleasure Pier, this Gulf island has something for everyone to enjoy! Other Galveston vacation points of interest include: 

  • Moody Gardens Aquarium & Rainforest Pyramids
  • Galveston Railroad Museum
  • Galveston Naval Museum at Seawolf Park
  • Seaport Museum & The 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA
  • The Bryan Museum
  • The Strand historic shopping district
  • The Grand 1894 Opera House
  • 1892 Bishop's Palace
  • Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum

beach icon Soak Up the Sun on Galveston Beaches

Visitors will find that, in addition to the miles of public beach available to Galveston vacation rental guests, Galveston has more than 7 distinct beach areas stretching over the 30+ miles of Gulf coastline, including:

fish iconEnjoy Galveston Fishing

What kind of fish will you catch during your vacation? Find great fishing in Galveston year-round thanks to nutrient-rich waters from the Mississippi delta region that flow around the island. This silty water creates a prime growing ground for:

  • Redfish, whiting, croaker, black drum, sheepshead
  • Red snapper, kingfish, amberjack
  • Crabs, shrimp

Galveston is perfect for surf & wade fishing, pier fishing, crabbing, shrimping and offers plenty of deep sea charter options:

  • Galveston Sea Ventures - Captain Shane Cantrell
  • 61st Street Fishing Pier
  • Galveston Fishing Pier - 6101 Seawall Blvd. 

historic homes iconExplore Historic Galveston

Galveston has the highest concentration of historical homes in the state of Texas. Make time to take a walking or interior tour of these highlights of architectural and cultural heritage: 

  • 1892 Bishop's Palace
  • The Grand 1894 Opera House
  • Strand-Mechanic Historic District
  • 1859 St. Joseph's Church
  • The 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA


What You Need to Know About Galveston

history icon History of Galveston

Named after Bernardo de Galvez, a Spanish colonial governor and general, Galveston Island has a long history with headline-worthy drama. This unique barrier island served as the base for Pirate Jean Lafitte in the 1800's before being purchased in 1836 by Micheal B. Menard. He and a team of nine other influential men formed the Galveston City Company and quickly built the city into a flourishing port full of merchants, wholesalers, cotten agents, and more.

Galveston enjoyed a booming economy, even becoming known as the "Wall Street of the South", until it became the site of the worst natural disaster in US history, The Great Storm of 1900. Reconstruction efforts - including raising the whole city's elevation and building the 17 foot high seawall - took over a decade, but it regained much of its former glory by the 1920s, when famous performers such as Duke Ellington, Peggy Lee & Frank Sinatra came to the island's booming nightclubs, the Balinese Room and Hollywood Dinner Club.

sun icon How's the Weather in Galveston?

Galveston is beautiful at any time of the year, but the most pleasant temperatures are usually found in the spring or late fall, when temperatures are typically in the mid-70s. The winter is brisk and full of Gulf Coast winds. Summer months easily top 85+ degrees, but with 32 miles of beaches, Schiltterbahn Galveston waterpark, and lots of Galveston vacation rentals with neighborhood pools, it's easy to stay cool!


How to Get Around Galveston

bicycle icon Take a Bike Ride

Galveston Island is the perfect place to explore on two wheels. Rent a traditional bike for a soothing solo adventure, book a surrey and make it a family affair as you pedal along Seawall Blvd. and take in the panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico, or go high-tech and easy with a Zipp E Bikes electric bike or Segway rental. Most rentals are available by the hour or the day.

flip flop icon Explore Galveston on Foot

There are lots of great Galveston walking tours to choose from, including guided and self-led tours like:

car icon Drive along the Coast

Seawall Blvd and FM 3005 stretch the entire length of the island, with great views of the Gulf. Take a leisurely drive, cruise along on your motorcycle, or rent a golf cart and just explore your neighborhood.

Lyft and Uber are both available in Galveston and nearby Houston, making it easy to get to the island and all of its points of interest.

 

 

Where to Stay in Galveston

beach house icon Can I rent a Galveston beach house?

Yes! Galveston vacation rentals are located throughout the Island, and they offer options for all budgets, seasons and groups! Sand `N Sea manages Galveston beach house rentals with large living spaces, fully equipped kitchens, private bedrooms, large decks, off-street parking, and amenities such as elevators and pools. Splitting the cost with your family and friends is a great way to make your vacation dollars stretch further without giving up any comfort!

compass icon What's the best area to stay in when visiting Galveston?

West End neighborhoods offer a chance to stay away from the noise, traffic & crowds of the Seawall and Strand entertainment districts, but remain within easy driving distance. 

Looking for quiet beaches away from it all? Book a Galveston vacation rental home in:

Have a large group that needs vacation houses that work together within 30 minutes of Downtown Galveston?

Want to be closer to town? These neighborhoods offer vacation rentals within 12 miles from the heart of Downtown Galveston and offer easy neighborhood beach access:

paw print icon Are there pet friendly Galveston vacation rental options?

Yes! Sand `N Sea offers over 50+ pet friendly vacation homes on the beach and bay, at all budgets and sizes. Check out the free guide to pet friendly Galveston.

 

 

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