Things To Do in Galveston

Looking for what to do in Galveston, Texas? 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 Galveston 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 and even free things to do in Galveston! Make sure to also check out our "For Guests" page for useful Galveston resources to help with planning your perfect beach vacation.

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

There are so many fun things to do in Galveston, TX! Enjoy Galveston, TX attractions such as the beautiful beaches, superb Gulf & bay fishing, amusement parks, gorgeous churches, live music, annual island events, and more. The unique geography and wide variety of things to do in Galveston make this 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!

Tour 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

Soak Up the Sun on Galveston Beaches

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

Enjoy 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

    • 61st Street Fishing Pier
    • Galveston Fishing Pier - 6101 Seawall Blvd.
Explore Historic Galveston

Galveston has the highest concentration of historical homes in the state of Texas. Don’t miss this unique aspect of Galveston in your list of Galveston things to do! 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 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.

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

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.

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.

Explore Galveston on Foot

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

  • Galveston Cemetery Tours

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
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 Properties 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!

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:

Are there pet friendly Galveston vacation rental options?

Yes! Sand `N Sea Properties offers over 70+ pet friendly vacation homes on the beach and bay, for all budgets and sizes.