Texas Travel

City Spotlight: Galveston

By Kristy Alpert 6.20.16

Its shores have been settled by pirates, hit by hurricanes, and riddled with ancient epidemics, but our city in the spotlight this month, Galveston, has grown into a bustling port city with a vibrant culture to match its fascinating history.

Galveston was incorporated in 1839, just two years after Congress made the city an official port of entry. A short time later, it welcomed immigrants from around the globe and earned the nickname “Little Ellis Island.” Today, the ships that enter the port mainly bring tourists looking to soak in the sun.

Lone star flight museum

Lone star flight museum

With more than 32 miles of beaches and a temperate climate, Galveston is a year-round destination for outdoor enthusiasts. But there is so much more to do than combing the beach, kayaking in the coves, or fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. Keep your head up for the Lone Star Flight Museum and tasty dining options, as well as tons of places to stay, play, and shop.

The best way to start a day in Galveston is with a stroll along The Strand, a five-block downtown historic district. Visitors can mosey into any of the numerous antique shops and art galleries, like the Galveston Arts Center, or admire the historic mansions that line the street. The Strand also has plenty of entertainment options, such as The Grand 1894 Opera House and La King’s Confectionery, where guests can watch salt water taffy made the old-fashioned way.

King's candy store

King’s candy store

Dinner at Gaido’s Seafood Restaurant is a must for fresh seafood, and a trip to Galveston isn’t complete without splashing around the waters at year-round Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark or a visit to Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier.

Pleasure pier

Pleasure pier

This coastal city offers a Texas-sized collection of artistic and historical events, including the third largest Mardi Gras celebration in the country, a Victorian-themed Christmas festival in honor of Charles Dickens, and a recurring ArtWalk that celebrates regional artists.

Galveston is bursting with natural charm, making it one of the top visitor destinations in the Lone Star State. Find more Texas travel ideas to explore on our website.