Galveston is a very family-friendly location to spend a family vacation. Visitors will find a lot of different things to do with a variety of attractions and places to eat.
Galveston, Texas is a beautiful place to take a family vacation. It is a cute, small island that is very close to big city life. You can do a large variety of activities in just one trip.
Last spring was a VERY snowy year for us. It was the longest winter of my memory here and by late March, we were DONE with snow.
It was Brayden’s last spring break while living at home (he was a senior in high school) and he had previously shared that he wanted to just stay home for spring break.
But one snowy day in March we decided to get out and find some sun. After some consideration, we decided to visit Galveston. And we loved it! As April came and it was still snowing, we were very glad to be heading to the Gulf Coast.
- Things To Do In Galveston
- Galveston Naval Museum
- Bishop’s Palace
- Strand Historic District
- Blue Bell Ice Cream
- Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier
- Moody Gardens
- Moody Mansion
- Galveston Railroad Museum
- Galveston Island State Park
- Places To Eat In Galveston
- The Spot
- Mario’s Seawall
- Things To Do In Houston
- Take a Cruise
- Best Time of Year to Visit Galveston
- Where to Stay
- Related Posts
Things To Do In Galveston
Galveston is a wonderful beach town destination that is worth visiting. Here are some ideas of things to do on a trip to Galveston, Texas.
If you are going to Galveston, you should visit the beach. Island time should have beach time. We spent a lot of time walking along the beach and just sitting on the beach.
Something really neat at the beach on the Gulf side of the island is the Seawall Boulevard. It is 10 miles long and 17 feet high. It is a continuous sidewalk. The purpose is to protect the island from storms and water and was constructed after the Great Storm of 1900. As a bonus, you can walk, bike, rollerblade, etc. along the sidewalk.
Steward Beach is along the Seawall and is a family-friendly beach. Here they have volleyball, cornhole, Jenga, and a playground. You can also Boogie Board.
You can also surf along the Gulf Coast!
Nate, Brayden, and I all love history. We really enjoyed the Naval Museum. This is located on Galveston’s Pelican Island at SeaWolf Park. You can get tickets there.
Seawolf Park is also famous for its fishing and it has some fun playgrounds. It has lots of grass and you can watch ferries and boats out in the ocean. This would be a great spot to spend the day and bring a picnic. It can be a fun and relaxing day with kids!
We really enjoyed touring Bishop’s Palace. This is in the Historic District where you can see many beautiful old buildings. This Victorian house was built in 1892. There is a self-guided audio tour. It is a beautiful home.
Strand Historic District
Historic downtown is a really cute place to hit some shops and visit Pier 21. Pier 21 has a few museums including the Tall Ship Elissa and the Texas Seaport Museum. Parking can be hard to find, so plan time to find parking into your trip. Be sure to check closing times, also, before planning your day there. They close earlier than you might expect. This area is very close to the cruise terminal.
One of my favorite things we did was ride the free ferry. The Galveston-Bolivar ferry is a free ferry that travels between Galveston and Bolivar Peninsula. You do not have to take a vehicle onto it. You can just walk on.
Brayden was very doubtful of this activity when I told him about it. But as we completed it, he conceded that it was a lot of fun. There are countless pelicans that travel with you. There are also many dolphins that swim along with you as you travel the ferry route.
It only takes about 20ish minutes each way. This can be a commuter path, so be aware of your timing if you want to avoid crowds and lines.
It was so simple, and free!
Blue Bell Ice Cream
If you go to Texas, you should get some Blue Bell Ice cream. My favorite is vanilla. It might sound boring, but it has a different flavor than your typical vanilla.
Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier
There are 16 attractions on the pier, including a ferris wheel. It is such a cute spot and stands out as you drive along the Seawall Boulevard. It is like a carnival on a pier.
Moody Gardens has an aquarium, a rainforest, waterpark, and a museum!
This mansion was built in 1895. It is another beautiful mansion with beautiful architecture. It is a wonder any mansions have survived the area with all of the hurricanes over the years!
Galveston Railroad Museum
If you have a train lover, you will find the Galveston Railroad Museum interesting and fun.
Galveston Island State Park
If you love to look at nature, this is a fun spot to visit. Here you can swim, fish, see wildlife, hike, kayak, and more!
Places To Eat In Galveston
Here are some of the places we ate in Galveston. Being on the coast, it is a great place to get fresh seafood.
This was our very favorite place we ate. They have really good burgers, salads, seafood, and tacos. See the menu here.
This was a tasty Italian restaurant with lots of seafood available. See the website here.
Things To Do In Houston
Galveston is only about an hour drive from Houston, Texas. We flew into Houston and then drove to Galveston. Because it is so close, it is very easy to spend at least one day in Houston if you would like to and just take a day trip there.
Houston is a large city, so you can visit lots of museums, a zoo, and an aquarium. In fact, Houston is well known for its museum district where there are 19 museums in walkable zones. Houston also has a NASA Space Center.
There are a lot of professional sports teams so no matter the time of year, you could catch a game.
You might also be able to catch a rodeo. Houston also has several different theme parks.
And if you are in Texas, you should take the opportunity to get some Texas barbeque. It isn’t my very favorite BBQ in the United States (*cough* Kansas City), but it is still delicious. We went to the Pit Room and it was really good!
Take a Cruise
A lot of cruises leave from Galveston, TX. If you want to take a cruise, this can be a fun place to leave from because of how much there is to do in just a day or two on either end of your trip!
Best Time of Year to Visit Galveston
The best time of year can really vary depending on your wants and what you enjoy. The climate is nice year round. If you want to avoid the most crowded season, avoid June-August. May or September can still have summer vibes with fewer crowds.
The water is warmest June-November, so if you want to spend time in Gulf of Mexico, you might consider water temperature when choosing your date.
We were there the first week of April. Crowds were low. The weather was often rainy, but it was a warm rain so we didn’t mind.
Due to the sediment in the water, the ocean is not typically blue in Galveston. If you want a blue water experience, you will need to aim for late summer or the autumn months. Otherwise, it often looks gray or brown.
Where to Stay
There are a lot of different places to stay in Galveston. There are a lot of hotels and VRBO spots. We rented an Airbnb right on Seawall Blvd. That road is quite busy, so it isn’t a super quiet beach spot, but it is pretty and you have fast and easy beach access.
If you didn’t mind being further away from the town, you can look at options southwest on the island. There are quiet neighborhoods.
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