Things to Do in Galveston – Travel Guide

Most people instantly think Galveston, Texas is only about beaches. But we are here to tell you that there are plenty of other things that you can do in Galveston, if you decide to book your next holiday here. From the “Old Strand” historic district for people who are passionate about history, to the Seaport Museum, the haunted Hotel Galvez, and many others, there are things to do in Galveston that can satisfy even the most demanding traveler. Let’s take a look at the most important and interesting ones, shall we?

things to do in galveston hotel galvez

Things to Do in Galveston, Texas

Visit the Moody Mansion Museum

The Moody Mansion was inhabited many years ago by one of the most affluent families in Texas. It was originally built in 1893 by Narcissa Willis, and then bought by the Moody family in 1899. In 1986 it was turned into a museum. The 28,000 square foot mansion can provide you with a clear idea of how the wealthiest Texas families used to live at the turn of the 20th century. The mansion is 4 stories high and it is open to the public that wants to admire its stained glass windows, coffered ceilings, and so on. If you are passionate about history and architecture and are looking for things to do in Galveston, you wouldn’t want to miss this experience.

Explore the Moody Gardens

The Moody Gardens is a full travel experience, that includes a botanical garden, an aquarium, playgrounds and pools, two state-of-the-art theaters, a hotel, a spa, a gold course, two impressive pyramids called the Rainforest Pyramid and the Discovery Pyramid, and many other attractions. If you are ever looking for things to do in Galveston, Texas, this is one of the first things you should check on your to-do list. You can easily spend an entire day here and not get bored. It is also perfect if you have children, since they can enjoy themselves at the playground and visiting the aquarium, for instance.

Check out The Elissa

No, this is not the name of some restaurant or pub. It is the name of a ship. And not just any ship, but a ship that was built in 1877. You can find it at the Texas Seaport Museum on Pier 21, being one of the most famous exhibits there. Even if there have been 135 years since the ship was first launched on sea, it is still usable today. It is a three-masted sailing ship, and the name The Elissa comes from the granddaughter of the man who built it. If you are passionate about ships and are looking for interesting things to do in Galveston, wouldn’t you like to see a ship that has been around for a while?

Visit the Lone Star Flight Museum

Maybe ships are not your thing and you would be more excited to visit some airplanes instead. There are things to do in Galveston for you too. If you visit the Lone Star Flight Museum, you can either walk around and check out some of their most impressive exhibits, or you can have your own flight experience, if you’re feeling adventurous.

things to do in galveston lone star museum

Get Spooked at Hotel Galvez

If you are looking for things to do in Galveston that involve adventure and thrill, we suggest you book a room at Hotel Galvez. Rumor has it that the “Lovelorn Lady” still lives on the fifth floor. Even though the entire Galveston island is well-known for tales that could make your skin crawl, Hotel Galvez is considered one of the epicenters of such ghost stories. And even if you don’t believe in ghosts, you can still book a room at this gorgeous hotel, since it was the place where stars such as Frank Sinatra and Jimmy Stewart also stayed at.

Get Entertained at The Grand

The Grand is a really old, yet fully functional theatre. It has survived many hurricanes, and it still delights tourists with local performances and touring shows. The theatre is an extremely beautiful venue, which provides amazing acoustics and great seats. You can buy a ticket and see a show, or just visit the theatre and look around. Whatever you choose, in terms of things to do in Galveston, we guarantee you will love this old and imposing venue.

Visit the Pleasure Pier

A rather new addition to the island, the Pleasure Pier is designed as a little amusement park at the heart of Galveston. You get 16 rides, which is great if you have kids that want to be entertained, but you also get shops, concessions, and plenty of space to walk around. If you are looking for things to do in Galveston after dark, this is a great place to go, since the lights make it really beautiful, and the live music that can sometimes be heard is sure to delight any traveler. If you want a gorgeous view of the island by night, try riding the carousel after it gets dark.

Walk on the Strand

The “Old Strand” is the name of downtown Galveston. If you are looking for something to do in Galveston, you will find plenty of options here. You will be able to choose from an impressive selection of shops, restaurants, museums, galleries, and self-guided tours. So if you want to explore a more urban area, and you are a fan of beautiful Victorian architecture, you must visit the “Old Strand” when you’re in Galveston. In the same area, you can find Saegnerfest Park, with a life-size chessboard and plenty of live entertainment.

Experience the Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark

If you are on vacation with your children, you must visit this award-winning adventure park. Explore the Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark, and experience everything it has to offer. Don’t worry, you can choose between more adventurous rides and milder ones, so everybody will have something to do. If riding in a Dragon Blaster, an uphill water coaster, sounds like something you would enjoy, then this is the place for you.

things to do in Galveston waterpark

Explore the Pirate’s Legends of the Gulf Coast

Galveston also has something to offer for the pirate in you. The Pirate’s Legends of the Gulf Coast is the only year-round pirate exhibit in all of Texas, so it is definitely worth visiting while you are in Galveston. This is 100% a family experience, so feel free to bring your kids. They will be welcomed by pirate actors which will tell them the story of Jean Laffite and his crew.

Everything Summed Up

No matter if you are in Galveston to explore the city, visit some of its historical mansions, enjoy a day at the water park, watch a play at The Grand theatre, or get spooked by ghost stories, our guide provides you with the best destinations in Galveston. All you have to do now is decide which ones you want to see first and enjoy your vacation in Texas.

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