Galveston Travel Guide

USA  
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Courtesy of DHuss/Getty Images

Best Things To Do in Galveston

Soaking up the sun on shorelines like Stewart Beach or taking the free ferry over to Port Bolivar are some of the best ways to take advantage of Galveston's seaside locale. On rainy days, step back in time to the Victorian era along The Strand to window-shop or tour historic properties, such as Bishop's Palace. Throwing up your hands on an amusement park ride at Pleasure Pier is another popular thing to do in Galveston. 

How we rank Things to Do

Updated December 22, 2017

  • #1
    Things to do in Galveston
    View all Photos
    #1 in Galveston
    Beaches
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Stewart Beach is one of the most popular strips of sand in Galveston, and with its host of beachside amenities, it's no wonder. There are lifeguards, restrooms, showers, concession stands, chair and umbrella rentals – and even a playground for kids. Recent visitors appreciated this beach's large parking lot and

    ...Read More »
  • #2
    The Strand
    View all Photos
    #2 in Galveston
    Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    The Strand is a five-block, National Historic Landmark District featuring shops, galleries, bars and restaurants housed in 19th-century buildings in downtown Galveston. As you walk along its strip, you'll get an idea of what Galveston was like back in its heyday. Look for placards highlighting the district's historical must-sees, such

    ...Read More »
  • #3
    Bishop's Palace
    View all Photos
    #3 in Galveston
    Castles/Palaces, Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Castles/Palaces, Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Bishop's Palace – also known as Gresham's Castle – was commissioned by Colonel Walter Gresham, an attorney and entrepreneur, and designed by one of Galveston's famous architects, Nicholas Clayton, at the turn of the 19th century. In 1923, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Galveston bought the building, using it as

    ...Read More »
  • #4
    Galveston Island State Park
    View all Photos
    #4 in Galveston
    Parks and Gardens, Recreation
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens, Recreation
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    For a dose of natural beauty, visitors should make some time for Galveston Island State Park. Located about 15-some miles down the coast fromThe Strand, the park offers plenty of outdoorsy activities, such as swimming, fishing, hiking and bird-watching, among others. Plus, its campsites are also an affordable way to

    ...Read More »
  • #5
    Galveston-Port Bolivar Ferry
    View all Photos
    #5 in Galveston
    Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    To travel from Galveston Island to the Port Bolivar peninsula – or to simply see the sights along the way, which is what most visitors seem to do – the ferry is the way to go. One of the greatest things about the ferry, which is operated by the Texas

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  • #6
    Moody Mansion
    View all Photos
    #6 in Galveston
    Historic Homes/Mansions, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Historic Homes/Mansions, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Moody Mansion is a 28,000-square-foot estate, which was home to the Moody family, one of the Lone Star State's most eminent entrepreneurs. Visitors can tour 20 rooms across the four-floor home, which are filled with the furniture and curios collected by the family over their 86 years of living there.

    ...Read More »
  • #7
    Moody Gardens
    View all Photos
    #7 in Galveston
    Amusement Parks, Swimming/Pools, Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Amusement Parks, Swimming/Pools, Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Moody Gardens is a 242-acre theme park, complete with nine attractions and a hotel and convention center. The complex also houses a wave pool, a beach and a lazy river, which is open seasonally. The gardens also contain a zip line and ropes course, an aquarium, a rainforest zoo and

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  • #8
    Pleasure Pier
    View all Photos
    #8 in Galveston
    Amusement Parks, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Amusement Parks, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Pleasure Pier is a wharf that juts out from the Texas Gulf Coast. Here you'll find amusement park rides, shops and eateries. Pleasure Pier is also a study in resilience: It was originally built in the 1940s, but in 1961 Hurricane Carla completely destroyed it; later in 2008, Hurricane Ike

    ...Read More »

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