Why Go To Galveston
Galveston, Texas, is a barrier island on the Texas Gulf Coast, about 50 miles southeast of Houston. This proximity to a city of about 2.3 million makes it a popular (and crowded) spot among Houstonians looking for a sea breeze to cut the heat of summer. It also contains a bustling port for cruisers traveling to Mexico or the Caribbean. But there's more to Galveston than its beaches and convenient cruise port. Galveston has quite a bit to offer visitors – from its Victorian architecture that hosts interesting shops on The Strand to its lineup of museums and its array of seafood-inspired dining establishments.
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Best of Galveston
Galveston Travel Tips
Best Months to Visit
The best time to visit Galveston is October to November or March to April when the weather is warm, but not sweltering, and accommodation prices are reasonable. Winter is the best time to score a deal on your accommodations, but it will likely be too chilly to enjoy Galveston's beach activities. The months that span May and September constitute Galveston's long summer season, where lodging rates, tourism and temps are at their peak.
Weather in Galveston
Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center
What You Need to Know
- It's historic The Port of Galveston was founded in 1825, giving it a rich history that can be viewed in its architecture, such as the Bishop's Palace, and museums, such as Moody Mansion. Take time to check them out.
- It's casual This beach town is laid-back. You'll find an easygoing attitude among locals and casual attire around town.
- It's got seaweed The beaches in Galveston are notorious for their seaweed, so make sure to watch your step.
How to Save Money in Galveston
- Book accommodations with a kitchen That way you can cook your own food, such as fresh seafood from Katie's Seafood Market or Sampson & Son's Seafood.
- Buy the Galveston Island Pass When you choose four or more participating attractions, such as the Moody Gardens and Moody Mansion, you will save 40 percent off the retail price with the pass.
- Enjoy the free attractions Spending a day strolling Seawall Boulevard, window-shopping along The Strand or riding the ferry are completely free.
What to Eat
With its island locale, seafood features heavily into Galveston's dining scene. Some of the most popular spots include Yamato Restaurant (try the sushi), Shrimp N Stuff (order the catfish po'boy), Gaido's Seafood Restaurant (get the grilled shrimp) and Gypsy Joynt (sample the "sleazy mac & cheese" made with crawfish, bacon, asparagus and avocado).
When it comes to watering holes, The Spot with its bloody mary menu is a favorite, as are Brews Brothers and the Poop Deck dive bar. If you want a fun foodie souvenir for yourself or friends and family, stop by Maceo Spice & Import Co. to stock up on interesting spices, sauces and teas or La King's Confectionary for some saltwater taffy.
Getting Around Galveston
The best way to get around Galveston is by car, as it offers the most freedom to reach places of interest on your own time. Galveston's Island Transit bus system is another option for getting around, but visitors will have to supplement their night travel with taxis since the bus halts service in the early evening.
Most travelers fly into Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), which is about 70 miles north, or the William P. Hobby Airport (HOU), about 40 miles northwest, and rent a car to drive the remaining hour or so it takes to reach Galveston Island. Alternatively, visitors can take shuttles, such as the Galveston Express, for $25 to $30 one-way or $50 to $60 round-trip to and from both airports.
Travelers can hop aboard a trolley bus to get around Galveston for just $1.
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