15 Best Things to Do in Texas City

Texas City
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A vibrant economy fueled by shipping, logistics, and oil companies boosted the attractions and facilities for the wonderful things to do in Texas City.

This urban hub of Galveston County, Texas, was founded in the early 1890s by three visiting Minnesota duck hunters—the Myers brothers.

The early development of this city was driven by its potent home ground on the southwestern shores of Galveston Bay.

The oil discovery in Texas in the 1890s likewise helped make Texas City a bustling deep-water port on Galveston Bay.

With over 100 years of history and a vibrant economic base, the city thus has amassed a wide selection of visitor offerings.

The points of interest in Texas City include museums that tell the city’s history and various leisure parks and commercial centers.

The city likewise offers plenty of water-based attractions, given its bayside location as well as its proximity to the coastal resorts of Galveston City.

Better prepare for more than a day’s visit in a trip to Texas City, as you can gather from the following list of things to do in this Galveston Bay destination.

Enjoy the Waters at the Texas City Dike

Aerial view of the Texas City Dike.
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This dike was built in the 1930s to protect the Texas City Channel from excessive silting and cross-currents of Galveston Bay.

This structure stretches for 5.3 miles into Galveston Bay and is considered the world’s longest man-made fishing pier.

Sunset at Texas City Dike.
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The Texas City Dike, however, has become a popular area for fishing and for launching boats to the bay.

Various amenities have been developed here, including the Dike Beach for swimming, picnic shelters, bike trails, fish-cleaning stations, and restrooms.

There is a large playground at the dike’s base, plus an 18-hole disc golf course and bike rentals.

Woman looking at the Texas City dike.
David Solce dlsolce, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Tour Heritage Square Park

Though small, this is a park on 3rd Avenue North tells much about the history and early development of Texas City.

The park doesn’t have recreational facilities, and its main draws are four historic homes.

The park’s centerpiece attraction is the Davison Home, a classic rendition of Victorian architecture.

Built in the mid-1890s during the foundation years of Texas City, this vintage dwelling has a foundation reinforced with railroad ties and rebar.

Cypress wood shipped from Louisiana was used in this home’s construction.

The home’s former owner, Frank B. Davison, was the general manager of the Texas City Improvement Company that pioneered the city’s development.

The other historic structures in Heritage Square Park include the Engineer's Cottage, the Lee Dick Home, and the Moore Home.

Visit the Texas City Museum

Located on 6th Street, this museum is housed in a 30,000-square-foot building formerly a J.C. Penney’s.

Here, you can muse upon pirate memorabilia, an authentic Civil War cannon, and a display on the 1st Aero Squadron organized in 1913 in Texas City.

The Texas City Museum also features an exhibit on USS Westfield, a steam ferryboat deployed in the Civil War.

You can ponder as well in this museum chronicles on famous residents and mementos on the disastrous 1947 Texas City industrial explosion, the largest in US history.

Aside from all these, the Galveston Country Model Railroad Club calls this museum home and displays on its second floor are one of the largest model train layouts in Texas.

Try Kiteboarding at Dike Beach

Beginners at kiteboarding typically turn up at the Dike Beach of Texas City, as it is easy to access.

The winds of the Dike Beach area are consistent, and the waters here are shallow.

Under these conditions, newbies at kiteboarding can practice more easily.

Also, there are kiteboarding lessons offered at Houston Kiteboarding, located at 9th Avenue in Texas City, where equipment and paraphernalia are also on sale.

Take a Pick from Palmer Highway’s Dining Treats

Searching for great restaurants while visiting Texas City would typically lead to the corridor of Palmer Highway.

One excellent pick on this stretch is Grand Prize BBQ, offering servings of pork ribs and lean brisket plus wine by the mug or your choice premium beer.

Consider also Gus’, a casual restaurant where the seafood menu shares billing with steaks and other American classics.

Another tempting choice is the Taqueria & Restaurant Vallarta, a casual and festive destination for those craving Mexican cuisine.

Los Aztecas Bar & Grill, also along Palmer Highway, offers competition with its grilled shrimp, ribeye, and tacos al carbon, among a wide array of Mexican dishes.

Stop and See What’s Up at Buc-ee’s

Exterior and name sign of Buc-ee’s.
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This charming retail hub is located on Gulf Freeway (Interstate Highway 45), a popular stop for motorists on a Texas road trip.

Buc-ee’s flaunts 60,000 square feet of commercial space, hosting a Texan boutique shop, a sporting goods store, a surf shop, a toy store, a deli, and a mini grocery store.

With a beaver as a mascot, it charms locals and visitors alike with its 24-hour, one-stop shopping.

Meat kiosk in Buc-ee’s.
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Buc-ee’s is a convenient retail center for a last-minute search for items needed for a leisure trip.

It is also a great option for picking up Texas-centric souvenirs, such as Texas-shaped waffle irons and Willie Nelson shirts.

Grab a packet of Buc-ee’s addictive sweet snack Beaver Nuggets to cap your visit to this quaint Texas City road stop.

Magazines and items for sale inside Buc-ee’s.
WKanadpon / Shutterstock.com

Explore the Texas City Preserve

This nature preserve, accessible from Highway 146 North, features a rare acreage of coastal prairie habitat.

The Texas City Preserve’s area is open to the public, which sprawls at 40 acres and an additional 2,000 acres are available for tours.

The conservation of the habitat supporting the wild and endangered Attwater's Prairie Chickens is among the primary objectives of this preserve.

Birdwatching is popular in the Texas City Preserve, where you can observe white-tailed hawk, brown pelicans, reddish egrets, and American peregrine falcon, among other local bird species.

In summer, the visitors of this preserve have the opportunity to see the release into the wild some captive-bred juvenile birds.

The Texas City Preserve has boardwalks and accommodates group camping.

Swing Woods and Irons at Bayou Golf Club

This public municipal golf course spreads over 200 acres on the southern banks of Moses Bayou.

It is an 18-hole championship layout with water hazards on 12 of its holes, plus 22 sand traps for a challenging play.

Accessible via Ted Dudley Drive, Bayou Golf Club plays at par 72 over 6,665 yards from the longest tees.

The golf course, which was opened in 1974 and fully renovated in 2014, has a 71 rating and 114 slope rating.

Bayou Golf Club also features a one-of-a-kind 5.5-acre Family Pitch & Putt golf course for walkers.

It also takes pride in its spacious clubhouse and a well-stocked pro shop, where Bayou Golf Club souvenir shirts and caps are available.

Enjoy Family Fun at the Nessler Park

This is a multi-purpose park sprawling over 55 acres along 5th Avenue near the City Hall grounds.

A lot of family-centered recreational activities can be enjoyed at Nessler Park, especially at its crown jewel—the Family Aquatic Center.

This aquatic facility offers fun for all ages in its waterslides, a beach-entry pool, a “lazy” river, and a water play structure for small kids.

For grown-ups, the Nessler Park provides basketball and tennis courts, outdoor fitness stations, and concrete paths and trails for walking, running, and biking.

The other amenities of this park include a skate facility, two covered pavilions, picnic tables, and restrooms.

Likewise, public art pieces grace Nessler Park, which is home to several bronze statues and wind sculpture, aside from its water fountains.

Go Boating on Galveston Bay

Sunset view at Galveston Bay.
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One way to best experience Texas City is to get out on the waters of Galveston Bay.

There are many boat ramps in the city’s waterfront areas where plenty of boat rentals are also available.

Sunset and body of water at Galveston Bay.
Olga Lyubochkina / Shutterstock.com

Visitors bringing in private boats by trailer can easily be accommodated in local marinas, like Waterman’s Harbor on the northern outskirts of Texas City.

This is a gated marina offering privacy to its boat slips, which are excellent jump-offs to cruising or fishing trips to Galveston Bay.

An option near Waterman’s Harbor is the Galveston Bay RV Resort and Marina on Dickinson Bayou.

A boat sailing at Galveston Bay.
Paul S. Wolf / Shutterstock.com

Relax at Bay Street Park

Texas City charms visitors with its 45-acre Bay Street Park that features several themed sections.

On the north side of this public recreation area, you can relax at Sundance Park, a dedicated habitat for butterflies and hummingbirds.

Bay Street Park likewise offers the 35-acre Thomas Mackey Nature Center, featuring nature trails and totem poles carved by area Boy Scouts.

The Nature Center also has observation areas for visitors to appreciate sights of flora and fauna.

Yet another feature of Bay Street Park is the Wings of Heritage, with elevated displays of a pre-World War I replica biplane and a Korean War-era jet fighter.

The area around these planes also features some soccer fields, basketball courts, and a recreation center.

On the southernmost side of the park comes the Bay Family Park, which has a gazebo, park benches, party spots, and an amphitheater.

It also offers Rainbow Park with a playground for children with special needs.

Escape the Rooms of Terror Isle Adventures

This fun and entertainment venue combines the features of escape rooms and a haunted house.

Opened in 2020, Terror Isle Adventures is located on 6th Street and offers three escape rooms all with a pirate theme.

One is called the Mystic Voyage, wherein players must prevent a ghost ship from attacking Terror Isle and take the ship’s treasure as well.

Players can also test the riddle-solving skills tackling the spells of a wicked witch in Terror Isle’s Nefarious Offering.

Another game option is plotting an escape from the flood in the Dungeon of the Drowned before time runs out.

Catch Trout or Redfish at Moses Lake

Moses Lake, two miles wide and four miles long, is on the northeastern edge of Texas City.

The city annexed this lake to its territory in 1954, and in 1966, a floodgate was constructed here, which has become a great fishing spot.

Accessible via Beach Drive, the Moses Lake floodgate is but one spot where anglers can catch trout, summer flounder, redfish, and black drum that inhabit the lake.

The railroad bridge is another popular place for shore fishing in Moses Lake.

Wade fishing and kayak fishing on the marshlands right off Highway 146 can also be productive for anglers.

They can also take a boat to the deeper portion of the lake near the floodgate.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Hang Loose at Apffel Beach Park

A woman playing beach volleyball at Apffel Beach Park.
Mark Taylor Cunningham / Shutterstock.com

Also known as East Beach, this park is a peaceful coastal attraction in Galveston City, only 10 miles south of Texas City.

Accessible via Boddeker Road, the Apffel Beach Park offers superb views of the Gulf of Mexico, the East End Lagoon Nature Preserve, Big Reef, and the Galveston Bay Shipping Channel.

A man and a woman playing beach volleyball at Apffel Beach Park.
Mark Taylor Cunningham / Shutterstock.com

This park’s amenities include a pavilion, boardwalk, and entertainment stage, as well as chair and umbrella rentals, children's playground, restrooms, showers, and concessions.

Apffel Beach Park also features the Pink Dolphin Monument statue dedicated to gender and sexual minorities in the southern US.

A man striking the volleyball at Apffel Beach Park.
Mark Taylor Cunningham / Shutterstock.com

Visit the Betty Head Oleander Garden Park

This is a small pocket park worth a visit in the island city of Galveston, just some 8 miles south of Texas City.

Galveston City dubbed itself “Oleander City” after this ornamental plant was planted all over the island after a devastating 1900 hurricane stripped the island of vegetation.

The Betty Head Oleander Garden Park celebrates the revitalization of Galveston.

The park features a walkway, a fountain, and benches for visitors to enjoy its rejuvenating ambiance.

Two other Galveston points of interest are notably just across this park: the interactive Galveston Children’s Museum and the restored 1895 Moody Mansion.

Final Thoughts

Despite the strong industrial character of Texas City, it remains a charming place to visit with the life and leisure attractions that it has managed to develop as well.

It is indeed amazing how this city has kept so many parks and recreational facilities even as it also serves as a host to heavy industries.

Combined with other points of interest near this city, the selection of things to do in Texas City can truly be fun and exciting.

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