16 Best Things to Do in Galveston, TX
Galveston is a city in Galveston County with a rich and storied history.
The area was originally inhabited by members of the Karankawa tribe, who were known for their war-like behavior.
In 1785, the Spanish Colonial governor, Bernardo de Galvez, ordered an expedition to survey the Texas Gulf.
Although de Galvez had never been to the island during his lifetime, the surveyor Jose de Evia chose to name Galveston Bay after him, which later led to the actual name of the island.
Today, Galveston is well-known as a beautiful coastal town that offers plenty of things to do for locals and tourists alike.
From its sandy beaches to its historical district, there's something for everyone in Galveston.
Here are the best things to do in Galveston, Texas:
Explore the Trails at Galveston Island State Park
If you're looking for a beautiful and peaceful place to explore the natural wonders of Texas, look no further than Galveston Island State Park along FM3005.
The park is home to miles of nature trails that wind through the dense forest and offer stunning views of the bay.
The trails are well-maintained and provide a great opportunity to see wildlife in their natural habitat.
Some of the animals you may see on the trails include deer, raccoons, and armadillos.
The park is also home to various plants, including beautiful oak trees and native flowers.
Witness Galveston's Old-World Charm and Stroll Down The Strand
The Strand is a historic district in downtown Galveston that features a variety of shops, restaurants, and art galleries.
It was originally known as the "Wall Street of the Southwest" and was home to various businesses, including banks, law offices, and cotton brokers.
The district was also home to some of Galveston's most impressive architecture, including the Strand Theatre and the Grand 1894 Opera House.
Today, The Strand is a popular tourist destination and a great place to stroll and shop.
It's also home to a variety of restaurants and art galleries.
Discover Galveston's Marine Life and Check Out Moody Gardens
Moody Gardens is a world-renowned aquarium and theme park that offers a variety of marine and aquatic adventures.
The aquarium along Hope Boulevard is home to several exhibits, including the Aquarium Pyramid, one of the largest aquariums in the country.
The pyramid is home to marine life, including sharks, dolphins, and turtles.
The aquarium also features a variety of interactive exhibits, including a touch pool and a rainforest exhibit.
Moody Gardens is worth checking out if you're looking for a fun and educational experience for the whole family.
Relive Some of Galveston's History at the 1892 Bishop's Palace
The 1892 Bishop's Palace is a Galveston landmark located along Broadway Avenue J.
The palace was originally built in 1892 by Colonel Walter and Josephine Gresham.
It was designed in the Victorian style and is one of the city's most impressive examples of architecture.
The palace was home to various bishops over the years, including James Steptoe Johnston, who served as bishop of Texas from 1912 to 1934.
The palace was also used as a hospital during World War II and served as the regional headquarters for the Salvation Army from 1951 to 1974.
Today, the palace is open to the public and offers tours of its beautiful interior.
See Some Dolphins at Galveston Water Adventures
Located along Harborside Drive Pier 21, Galveston Water Adventures offers dolphin tours around Galveston Bay.
The tours are led by experienced guides who will take you to some of the bay's most beautiful and secluded areas.
You'll have an opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the area's most graceful creatures, and you may even swim with them.
In addition to dolphin tours, Galveston Water Adventures also offers a variety of other water-based activities, including jet boat thrill rides, sunset cruises, and private charters for custom events.
The jet boat thrill rides are perfect for families looking for some exhilarating adventure with their exciting right-angle turns and the famous "Hamilton Spin," where the boat spins against the water for 360 degrees.
Catch Some Amusement Park Rides on Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier
If you're looking for a fun day with the family, check out Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier on Seawall Boulevard.
Its scenic views and fun-filled activities make it the best location for a weekend getaway.
The pier offers a variety of amusement park rides, including roller coasters, Ferris wheels, and carousels.
In addition, Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier features several restaurants and bars, making it an ideal place to spend an afternoon or evening.
Visit the Texas Seaport Museum and Tour the 1877 Tall Ship Elissa
Texas Seaport Museum is a museum along Pier 22 that is dedicated to the maritime history of the Gulf Coast region.
In addition, the museum offers tours of the 1877 Tall Ship Elissa.
The Elissa is a historic ship built in Scotland in 1877.
She was later brought to Texas and has served as a cargo ship and training vessel over the years.
The Elissa has been featured in several films, including Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.
She was originally used as a three-masted sailing ship but later converted to a steam-powered vessel.
The Texas Seaport Museum is worth a visit for anyone interested in maritime history or shipbuilding.
Spend a Relaxing Day on East Beach
If you're looking for a relaxing day by the beach, East Beach is the place to go.
This beautiful public beach is home to various activities, including swimming, sunbathing, fishing, and jogging.
In addition, the beach features a pavilion, boardwalk, and entertainment stage.
The pavilion is a beautiful structure that's also home to many concession stands, making it the perfect place to spend an afternoon or evening.
The boardwalk is a great place to walk or bike and offers stunning views of the Gulf Coast.
The entertainment stage hosts various events throughout the year, including concerts and festivals.
Take a Stroll by the Beach and Visit Seawall Urban Park
Seawall Urban Park is a beautiful public park that offers a variety of things to do.
The park on Seawall Boulevard features a variety of activities, including swimming, sunbathing, fishing, and jogging.
It's home to several restaurants and bars, making it the perfect place to spend an afternoon or evening.
In addition, Seawall Urban Park features many sculptures and art installations worth checking out.
It's also located right on the beach, providing stunning views of the Gulf Coast.
Book a Stay at the Luxurious Tremont House
The Tremont House is a luxurious hotel located on Ship Mechanic Row Street.
It offers a variety of amenities and services that are perfect for anyone looking for a relaxing stay.
Its highlights include an on-site restaurant, spa, and pool.
The spa offers a variety of treatments that are perfect for anyone looking to relax, and the pool is the perfect place to cool off after a day out in the sun.
The Tremont House is also within walking distance of some of Galveston's best tourist attractions, including Moody Gardens and Historic Pleasure Pier.
Attend a Show at The Grand 1894 Opera House
The Grand 1894 Opera House is a beautiful theater on Postoffice Street.
It was built in 1894 and is one of the oldest opera houses in Texas.
The theater has hosted various events over the years, including concerts, plays, and operas.
It's also home to the Galveston Symphony Orchestra and offers a variety of educational programs for students.
The Grand 1894 Opera House is worth a visit for anyone interested in history or theater.
Discover Galveston's Rich History at the Moody Mansion
The Moody Mansion is a beautiful historic home along Broadway Avenue J.
Commissioned by Galveston socialite Narcissa Willis in 1893, the mansion has served as a Texas Historic Landmark since 1967.
In 1994, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
It was named after William Lewis Moody, Jr., an American entrepreneur who made his name in the cotton business and eventually bought the home from the Willis Family.
The Moody Mansion also features several historical artifacts and art pieces worth checking out.
Play a Round of Golf at Moody Gardens Golf Course
Moody Gardens Golf Course is a beautiful 18-hole golf course on Sydnor Lane.
The golf course offers a challenging and enjoyable experience for golfers of all skill levels.
It's perfect for anyone looking for a fun day out on the green.
Apart from its stunning setting and challenging layout, Moody Gardens Golf Course also offers several amenities, including a pro shop, restaurant, and bar.
The course is open to the public, making it the perfect place to spend an afternoon or evening.
Go Fishing at Galveston Fishing Pier
Galveston Fishing Pier is a great place to go fishing.
It is located along Seawall Boulevard and offers stunning views of the water and Galveston Island.
The pier is also home to wildlife like dolphins, pelicans, and sea turtles.
In addition, it offers several amenities, including restrooms, a bait shop, and a restaurant.
Galveston Fishing Pier is open 24 hours a day and is worth a visit for anyone interested in fishing or wildlife.
Soak up Some Sun at Stewart Beach
Stewart Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Galveston.
Well-known for being a family-friendly beach park, it was named one of the list the "10 Best Beaches for Families."
The beach is home to various activities, including swimming, sunbathing, fishing, and jogging.
In addition, the beach features a bunch of family-friendly amenities like beach volleyball, cornhole, giant Jenga, and even a playground for children.
Stewart Beach is manned by highly trained lifeguards, so parents have less to worry about when their children are frolicking around the beach.
Tour the Majestic 1859 Ashton Villa
Located along Broadway Avenue J, 1859 Ashton Villa is a beautiful historic home that history buffs will enjoy visiting.
It was the first private brick residence constructed on the island and one of the first buildings built by prominent businessman James M. Brown in 1859.
Brown moved to Galveston in 1843 from New York, and this is where he made a name for himself as a successful builder and contractor.
He was responsible for constructing several notable buildings in Galveston, including 1859 Ashton Villa, the Tremont House, and the Bishop's Palace.
The historic residence also features many historical artifacts and artworks by Brown's daughter, Betty.
If you're looking for things to do in Galveston, Texas, check out some of the best tourist attractions the island has to offer!
From beaches and fishing piers to historic homes and theaters, there's something for everyone in this city.
In addition, many of these attractions are within walking distance of each other, so you can easily visit a few different places in one day.