Galveston, TX

Travel Guide
Galveston which includes street scenes, a city and a house
Enjoy the quaint old downtown architecture, explore historic mansions, and visit the museums and galleries of Texas’s foremost port city.

Galveston charms with its glimpse into the colorful history of Texas through architecture and museums. The city sits on an island 32 miles long and 2.5 miles wide.

Walk the Strand and gaze at beautiful historic buildings preserved by local authorities for well over a century. Here you can browse souvenir shops, dine in excellent restaurants, or ride in a horse-drawn carriage. Continue exploring architectural treasures with a tour through the East End District. You’ll see classic Victorian buildings from the city’s days as a leading cotton exporter and extravagant old homes such as the Moody Mansion or Bishop’s Palace.

Galveston was officially incorporated in the 1830s. It soon grew into one of the most successful and prosperous cities in the region and even served as the capital of the Republic of Texas. Its economy was devastated by a hurricane in 1900, but throughout the 20th century it evolved into a historical and cultural vacation destination. It boasts some of the best old architecture in the country and is home to dozens of museums and art galleries.

Soak up some more history at the Texas Seaport Museum, where you’ll find the 1877 Tall Ship Elissa. Visit a real offshore oil rig and learn about the industry at the Ocean Star Drilling Rig and Museum. Aircraft lovers will want to explore the Lone Star Flight Museum. It has dozens of restored aircraft from World War II you can even organize to have a ride in one.

History buffs will also love the story behind the Pleasure Pier, built during World War II as a recreational facility for the U.S. military. Nowadays families flock here to ride the roller coasters and enjoy the games. For more fun, hit the Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Water Park. Check out the Moody Gardens to explore the aquarium, zoo, and 3-D theater. Beachgoers won’t find sparkling waters and white sand at Galveston, but for a relaxing morning or evening stroll, drop by the Seawall or East Beach.

Galveston is a historic island destination with plenty to offer history buffs and leisure seekers alike. It’s 50 miles southeast of Houston.

Where to stay in Galveston

Beachfront Palms Hotel
Beachfront Palms Hotel
3 out of 5
5914 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX, 77551
The price is $41 per night from Dec 6 to Dec 7
$41
per night
Dec 6 - Dec 7
Stay at this 3-star beach hotel in Galveston. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi, and free parking. Our guests praise the pool and the helpful staff in our reviews. ...
3.2/5 (1,194 reviews)
"Easy to access any place on the Island!"

Reviewed on Nov 21, 2022

Beachfront Palms Hotel
Wingate by Wyndham Galveston East Beach
Wingate by Wyndham Galveston East Beach
2.5 out of 5
1402 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX, 77550
The price is $42 per night from Dec 20 to Dec 21
$42
per night
Dec 20 - Dec 21
Stay at this business-friendly motel in Galveston. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and a 24-hour front desk. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean ...
3/5 (1,080 reviews)
"Very comfortable and great location"

Reviewed on Nov 24, 2022

Wingate by Wyndham Galveston East Beach
Grand Galvez
Grand Galvez
4 out of 5
2024 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX, 77550
The price is $155 per night from Dec 20 to Dec 21
$155
per night
Dec 20 - Dec 21
Stay at this 4-star beach hotel in Galveston. Enjoy free WiFi, a beach locale, and a full-service spa. Our guests praise the breakfast and the restaurant in ...
4/5 Very Good! (2,203 reviews)
"Loved the historic charm!"

Reviewed on Nov 23, 2022

Grand Galvez
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Casa Del Mar Beachfront Suites Onsite Team
Casa Del Mar Beachfront Suites Onsite Team
3 out of 5
6102 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX, 77551
Stay at this 3-star beach condo in Galveston. Enjoy free WiFi, 2 outdoor pools, and onsite parking. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean rooms in ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (1,814 reviews)
Lovey place
"We enjoyed our stay at Casa Del Mar, we look forward to coming back and staying again."

Reviewed on Nov 21, 2022

Casa Del Mar Beachfront Suites Onsite Team
TownePlace Suites by Marriott Galveston Island
TownePlace Suites by Marriott Galveston Island
2.5 out of 5
9540 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX, 77554
Stay at this business-friendly aparthotel in Galveston. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi, and free parking. Our guests praise the breakfast and the pool in our ...
4.2/5 Very Good! (887 reviews)
My stay at the property
"The staff was very friendly and accommodating."

Reviewed on Nov 12, 2022

TownePlace Suites by Marriott Galveston Island
The Anchor on Galveston Island(1bdrm,1kitchen,1rr) Unit 2
The Anchor on Galveston Island(1bdrm,1kitchen,1rr) Unit 2
Galveston, TX
Stay at this vacation home in Galveston. Enjoy WiFi, onsite parking, and barbecue grills. Popular attractions Port of Galveston Cruise Terminal and Moody Gardens ...
4.6/5 Wonderful! (30 reviews)
Cute little place
"I had a good stay here. The place is a little small, but it was perfect for just me. I would have loved somewhere that I could put my clothes other then my suitcase, but the place was very clean. The mattress was a little squeaky, but I never had any problems with the internet or the AC. Overall ..."

Reviewed on Oct 6, 2022

The Anchor on Galveston Island(1bdrm,1kitchen,1rr) Unit 2
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Getting around Galveston

Jump on the Galveston Island Trolley to get around in serious vintage style, with a fleet of restored streetcars running around downtown and along the seawall. The historic center of Galveston is an atmospheric place to explore, while bike rental is another option. For ultimate freedom, and especially for trips further afield, consider renting a car from one of the many operators in town. Visit the Island Transit website.Browse Galveston rental cars.

Best time to visit

One of Galveston’s big draws is the beach, and you’ll want to visit between spring and fall to enjoy weather warm enough for sunbathing. Do note though that the height of summer brings big crowds and sometimes overbearing heat, not to mention higher prices. The weather is mild in winter, a pleasant time of year to tour the town’s museums, parks and waterfront pier.

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