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

Hotel Galvez & Spa
Hotel Galvez & Spa
4 out of 5
2024 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX
The price is $125 per night from Sep 29 to Sep 29
Nestled on the beach, this Galveston hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Seawall Beach and Galveston Seawall. Strand Historic District and Grand 1894 Opera House ...
4.3/5Excellent! (2,053 reviews)
"History"

Reviewed on Sep 21, 2021

Hotel Galvez & Spa
Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa and Convention Center
Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa and Convention Center
4 out of 5
7 Hope Blvd, Galveston, TX
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $159 per night from Sep 26 to Sep 26
This family-friendly Galveston resort is located near the bay, within a 10-minute walk of Moody Gardens, Galveston Schlitterbahn Waterpark, and Lone Star Fire ...
4.3/5Excellent! (1,913 reviews)
"Even though the first night stay there was a hurricane and everything wasn’t open due to the time of year, we had a fun time and would like to come back earlier in the season to enjoy the other seasonal attractions."

Reviewed on Sep 16, 2021

Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa and Convention Center
The Tremont House
The Tremont House
3.5 out of 5
2300 Ship's Mechanic Row, Galveston, TX
The price is $149 per night from Oct 6 to Oct 6
Situated in the historical district, this hotel is steps from Strand Theatre and Strand Historic District. Port of Galveston Cruise Terminal and Port of Galveston ...
4.6/5Wonderful! (1,285 reviews)
"The Tremont House was beautiful and impeccably clean. The staff was friendly and helpful. The bedding and mattresses were great - which is a huge plus in my book! We loved the décor and the beauty of the historic building. We will definitely stay again."

Reviewed on Sep 20, 2021

The Tremont House
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.
Homewood Suites by Hilton Galveston
Homewood Suites by Hilton Galveston
3 out of 5
110 Seawall Boulevard, Galveston, TX
The price is $93 per night from Sep 29 to Sep 29
Situated near the beach, this aparthotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Stewart Beach and Galveston Seawall. Strand Historic District and Grand 1894 Opera House are ...
4.3/5Excellent! (702 reviews)
"The staff was wonderful and readily available if needed! We were there for a surprise birthday celebration for my grandfather 80th birthday and they were amazing at helping and coordinating the special event!! The front desk made things happen even when we didn’t think it was possible! The staff ..."

Reviewed on Aug 31, 2021

Homewood Suites by Hilton Galveston
TownePlace Suites by Marriott Galveston Island
TownePlace Suites by Marriott Galveston Island
2.5 out of 5
9540 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX
The price is $118 per night from Oct 4 to Oct 4
Situated by the ocean, this aparthotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Galveston Schlitterbahn Waterpark, Moody Gardens, and Galveston Island Convention Center.
4.2/5Very Good! (775 reviews)
"Robert was amazing! Since we called for a question and once we arrived to the hotel! He was very attentive to us and even spoke Spanish for me to make it easier. He was very nice and we impressed with his service. My daughter and I enjoyed the breakfast as well, there was a lot of variety and everything ..."

Reviewed on Aug 19, 2021

TownePlace Suites by Marriott Galveston Island
Seawall Escape at the Victorian
Seawall Escape at the Victorian
Galveston, TX
This family-friendly Galveston condo building is located on the beach, within a 5-minute walk of Seawall Beach and 61st Street Fishing Pier. Galveston Seawall ...
4.3/5Excellent! (43 reviews)
Nice place for weekend stay
"Reached out to property manager asking about parking pass. Listing stated permit was provided. To me, that meant no fee. After I asked they stated that there was a $30 fee. This is the only way you can get thru the gates with code. Please make sure you get code for pools as they are different than ..."

Reviewed on Sep 13, 2021

Seawall Escape at the Victorian
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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