Bishop's Palace#3 in Best Things To Do in Galveston
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 a bishop's residence until 1963 (hence the name, Bishop's Palace). The Victorian home – a National Historic Landmark – is now open to the public for tours and is filled with architectural treasures, such as an all-silver fireplace, bronze dragons and stained-glass windows.
Recent visitors described the house as "fascinating" and "grand" and were especially complimentary of the attraction's gift shop, which is housed within several rooms of the palace's basement. Most said a visit here is worth every penny of the $12 admission price. However, some cautioned that children may not find this attraction interesting.
You'll find the house in Galveston's East End Historic District. Admission to Bishop's Palace costs $12 for adults and $9 for kids ages 6 through 18; kids 5 and younger can enter for free. A self-guided audio tour is included in the admission price. If you're interested in an in-depth look at the house, consider signing up for one of the Basement to Attic tours, which take place select Saturdays and cost $30 per person. The Victorian home is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, visit the Galveston Historical Foundation website.
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#1 Stewart Beach
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 loads of amenities, as well as the beach's proximity to Pleasure Pier.
Stewart Beach sits where Broadway Avenue and the Seawall intersect. From March through May and during September and October, parking costs $10 between Monday and Friday and $12 on the weekends. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, parking costs $12 between Monday and Friday and $15 on the weekends. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, the beach welcomes visitors from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the week and from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the weekends. From March to May and September to October, beach bums are welcome to visit between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the week and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the weekends. Keep in mind that this family-friendly beach prohibits alcohol. For more information, visit Galveston's convention and tourism website.
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