Best Things To Do In Galveston Island, Texas

things to do in galveston island texas

Galveston is an island city located on the Gulf Coast of Texas. This lovely island on Gulf Coast has miles of wonderful white sandy beaches, a distinctly Southern charm and a port of cruise ships. If you are a nature lover, then this place will definitely attract you for its open spaces, manicured landscapes like Moody Gardens and the more rugged setting of Galveston’s excellent 51-kilometer (32-mile) long beach. Here is a list of some wonderful places where you can fully enjoy yourself:

1. Texas Seaport Museum & the Elissa

The Elissa
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Katzzam used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Texas Seaport Museum is the home to the tall ship, The Elissa. The Elissa was constructed in 1877 and is considered one of the finest reconstructed historical vessels in the U.S. This lovely old ship is regularly put to the sea and her fascinating stories are told in the museum on shore. You can also enjoy an excellent look at the history of the Port of Galveston which includes the names of more than 133,000 immigrants who passed through. You should also visit the Clifton Steamboat Museum which is an hour drive northeast of the town of Beaumont.

Texas Seaport Museum & the Elissa

Address: 2200 Harborside Drive, Galveston, TX

Website: Texas Seaport Museum & the Elissa

2. Galveston - Port Bolivar Ferry

Bolivar Ferry 20101010 010539
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user J.R.Ramos used under CC BY-SA 2.0

The only link between Galveston Island and the mainland until 1929 was the Tarpon, the Skiff and two bridges. Then the ferry started taking people back and forth. It was toll-free in the beginning but due to its popularity, a fee had to be imposed. Today it is free for the public and every year it takes more than eight million travelers between Galveston Island and the Bolivar Peninsula. There is one vessel which operates 24 hours but up to six ferries can be added if there is a need. Galveston-Port Bolivar Ferry is the only way for motorists to cross water between Galveston Island and Bolivar Peninsula.

Galveston - Port Bolivar Ferry

Address: 502 Ferry Road, Galveston, Galveston Island, TX

3. Bishop’s Palace

Bishop's Palace, Galveston
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Rwminix used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Built as a private residence, Bishop’s Palace took seven years of construction, which was completed in 1893. It is also known as Gresham’s Castle and is a riot of colored stone, rare woods, bronze dragons, stained glass and exquisitely carved decorations. Inside, the palace is 1,773 square meters (19,082 square feet) of Victorian opulence with immense fireplaces, sculptures of all kinds, luxury furniture and beautiful textiles. One highlight is the grand interior with its elaborated carved woodwork.

Bishop’s Palace is located in the East End of the Galveston’s Historic District and is considered one of the city’s dearest treasures. Bishop’s Palace is considered by the American Institute of Architecture as one of America’s most important buildings. Currently, it is a national historic landmark and museum open for guided tours.

Bishop's Palace

Address: 1402 Broadway Avenue J, 77550 Galveston, TX

Website: Bishop’s Palace

4. The Strand Historic District

The Strand Historic District
Source: Photo by user J R Gordon used under CC BY 2.0

The Strand Historic District is one of the most attractive downtown areas. It is also known as The Strand and is located in downtown Galveston, Texas. It is registered as a National Historic Landmark District, which consists of a number of beautiful Victorian buildings that today house many boutiques, restaurants, galleries, antique stores and cafes.

Many of the stores survived the storm of 1900 when a hurricane killed more than 6000 people in Galveston. It is the perfect place for a little sightseeing while you shop and take in the area’s unique ambiance. You can start your self-guided tour at the Galveston Island Railroad Museum corner of the 25th and strand. You should give at least half an hour in this beautiful museum. Encompassing around 60 buildings spread over five city blocks, the district stretches all the way to the busy wharf area with its old restored warehouse.

The Strand Historic District

Address: 2228 Mechanic St, 77550 Galveston, TX

5. Moody Gardens & Aquarium Pyramid

Moody Gardens Aquarium Pyramid HDR Galveston
Source: Photo by user Katie Haugland Bowen used under CC BY 2.0

This place is famous for its three pyramid-shaped attractions. Moody Gardens is more about having fun than it is about education. A highlight of visiting this place is the superb Aquarium Pyramid, one of the largest in Texas, and it showcases the marine life of the Pacific, the Great Barrier Reef, the Coral Sea, the Antarctic and the Caribbean.

The Rainforest Pyramid is home to flora and fauna from the tropics, including free roaming monkeys and sloths. The Discovery Pyramid includes science focused displays. After going through this wonderful place, don’t forget to walk along the splendid white sands of the Palm Beach waterpark where you will have lots of fun with slides, a lazy river and replica paddle steamer.

Moody Gardens & Aquarium Pyramid

Address: 1 Hope Blvd, Galveston

Website: Moody Gardens & Aquarium Pyramid

6. Lone Star Flight Museum

Lone Star Flight Museum hangar 2
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Pi3.124 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

You will have an exhilarating experience and in-depth understanding of Texas’ extraordinary aviation history when you visit this place. Tour this museum and experience some of America’s legendary military aircraft and aviation artifacts. Lone Star Flight Museum is home to the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame, which is an exhibition providing an overview of the history of flight, from gliders to modern jet aircraft. For a truly amazing experience, I recommend considering taking a ride in one of the museum’s classic planes.

Lone Star Flight Museum

Address: 2002 Terminal Drive, 77554 Galveston, TX

7. Galveston Railroad Museum

Shunting rolling stock, Galveston Railroad Museum
Source: Photo by Flickr user Roy Luck used under CC BY 2.0

Galveston Railroad Museum is a fun attraction for young and old alike. It is a complex of historic facilities and unique attractions. The museum features a large collection of steam and diesel engines, passenger and freight cars, cabooses and related artifacts.

The big Railroad Museum includes one of the largest restored railway collections in the Southwest and one of the five largest in the country with a number of railroad memorabilia and exhibits. The highlight of this place is the famous streamlined “Texas Limited Passenger train” along with a large HO model train layout. The museum offers rides aboard the “Harborside Express” train on Saturdays between 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Galveston Railroad Museum

Address: 2602 Santa Fe Place, Galveston, TX

Website: Galveston Railroad Museum

8. The Grand 1894 Opera House

Grand 1894 Opera House 1
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Allen Sheffield used under CC BY 2.0

The Grand 1894 Opera House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Grand Opera House is another of Galveston’s fine old structures which were built in 1894. The 1894 opera house is a splendidly restored Victorian theater that still hosts musical and theatrical performances.

Visitors can enjoy events throughout the year, from musicals to food to wine festivals and everything in between. If you are looking for the best things to do during a romantic date in Galveston, then you must attend an event at the 1894 opera house. If you love this opera house, then you can create memories by renting it for lavish meetings, parties and receptions.

The Grand 1894 Opera House

Address: 2020 Postoffice Street, 77550 Galveston, TX

Website: The Grand 1894 Opera House

9. Moody Mansion

William Lewis Moody Mansion
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user i_am_jim used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Moody Mansion is the former home of W.L. Moody Jr., who was recognized by Time Magazine’s top 10 wealthiest Americans in 1950. The interior of the Victoria Moody Mansion was built in 1895 and features stained glass, custom carved woodwork, plasterwork and decorative tiles.

Visitors are always welcome to tour the 2,600 square meter (28,000 square foot) four-story structure, which was home to the Moody family. Tours include a description of the history of the Moody family, who started in cotton industries and branched out to banking, ranching and hotels. Each of its rooms is decorated in different style and has a taste of the 80s.

Moody Mansion

Address: 2618 Broadway, 77550 Galveston, TX

Website: Moody Mansion

A perfect journey on a beautiful island

There is virtually no end to the attractions to explore and visit in Galveston Island. Galveston Island offers many events which will add value to your beautiful journey. Galveston’s social calendar is full throughout the year with some cool events. Children of all ages will love this island as there are many special places for kids.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Originally from India, and currently exploring the world by information and people's like/dislike. Believes beauty in each and every place. Storyteller, expressive writer, loves traveling and...Read more

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