20 Best Things to Do in Galveston, Texas

Things to Do in Galveston, Texas

Galveston, Texas is one of the most visited vacation spots in the United States due to its stunning beaches and historic center.

Galveston was recognized as the biggest and richest town in the state throughout much of the 19th century, and for a brief time, it even served as the Republic of Texas’s capital. The beautiful mansions and ancient structures still reflect the elegance of the city. You’ll want to return again and again because of the stunning Victorian architecture, never-stop festivals, and amazing outdoor activities.

While many visitors, especially in the summer, come to Galveston primarily to laze on the beaches, there are also a ton of other things to do in Galveston, Texas, including touring at the Galveston Trolley, bird watching, fishing, and water sports, as well as visiting museums and dining at top-notch establishments.

We’ve compiled a list of the top things to do in Galveston, Texas to help you plan your next trip.

In this article, we have listed 20 things to do in Galveston, Texas. This list is curated, as always, but isn’t ranked—we just couldn’t choose favorites.

20 Best Things to Do in Galveston, Texas

1. Stewart Beach

20 Best Things to Do in Galveston, Texas

Stewart Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Galveston, Texas. Stewart Beach is the ideal beach day destination for families. It is located on the northern end of Galveston’s renowned Seawall.

Stewart Beach is a must-visit place when you visit Galveston, Texas. It has a lot of facilities you can check out such as kids’ playground, chair, and umbrella rentals, Showers, restrooms, food stands as well as having a stunning view of the Gulf of Mexico. Also, Lifeguards are also available, watching over the warm, white beach and quiet waves.

If you want to experience more nature and outdoor recreation, go to Galveston Island State Park on the west of this beach. Here, you can go boardwalk walking, kayaking through the bayou, and bird-watching on either the bay or the ocean side.

2. The Strand Historic District

20 Best Things to Do in Galveston, Texas

The Strand Historic District, popularly known as “The Strand” is a National Historic Landmark District that is located in the heart of Galveston, Texas. It is made up of several stunning Victorian structures that now serve as boutiques, restaurants, galleries, and local shops.

This building houses Galveston Railroad Museum, where your self-guided tour will begin. Give this well-known museum at least 30 minutes.

You should check out one of the bars or stop by one of the mom-and-pop restaurants along The Strand, a five-block historic district close to the pier, for a bite to eat. Also, ensure you visit the shops on the Strand and keep in mind that many of them made it through the hurricane that killed more than 6000 people in Galveston in 1900.

Walking down The Strand is completely free, and with the breathtaking scenery, you will have a great day.

3. Bishop’s Palace

20 Best Things to Do in Galveston, Texas

Bishop’s Palace is also known as Gresham’s Castle. This castle is one of the major attractions for tourists in Galveston, Texas, which Colonel Walter Gresham built at the turn of the 20th century. The Victorian-style house is a designated National Historic Landmark and is accessible to the public every day for visits.

Inside the house, there are many treasures for visitors to admire, such as a stunning architectural design, beautiful stained-glass windows, and several bronze dragon statues.

During the tour, guests have the opportunity to explore the house’s numerous historical artifacts and discover more about the state’s past.

Although younger children might not enjoy the trip, it is reasonably priced.

You may be confident that you comprehend the functions of each item you see inside the house thanks to the self-guided audio tour.

4. Moody Gardens

20 Best Things to Do in Galveston, Texas

Moody Gardens is a 242-acre attraction complex that offers its guest a variety of entertaining activities. It’s one of the top tourist destinations in Galveston and a favorite among locals.

If you want to take advantage of everything Moody Gardens has to offer, plan to be spending the whole day there. Although some consider this to be one of Galveston’s more expensive activities, most don’t mind the extra cost because there is so much to see and do for the entire family.

The Giant River Otter Encounter and Public Penguin Encounter are two of Moody Gardens’ animal attractions, and the Aquarium Pyramid lets guests swim with their favorite creatures.

Also, other attractions and activities include the Reef Rescue Virtual Experience, a ropes course, the Rainforest Pyramid, a 3D, and a 4D special effects theater, a Discovery Museum, and a zip line.

5. Schlitterbahn

20 Best Things to Do in Galveston, Texas

Schlitterbahn is a 26-acre island waterpark that offers guests with numerous amazing activities. It is Galveston’s biggest water park and offers year-round enjoyment for kids of all ages and adults who are still children at heart with hundreds of fantastic excursions. It has more than 30 cutting-edge, high-adrenaline attractions, including the distinguished Transportainment three-river system.

The Wasserfest part of the waterpark converts into an indoor park in the winter so that it may remain open year-round, despite the fact that many experiences are only available during certain seasons.

In addition to the renowned Torrent Tidal Wave River, there are three-speed slides, four tube slides, three kid-friendly activity spaces, a heated pool, a private beach, a surfing wave, and three kids’ activity zones. The Flying Eagle gondolas allow you to soar 101 feet in the air, giving you the best perspective of Galveston. The park also houses Rohr and the MASSIV Monster Blaster, the tallest water coaster in the world!

Schlitterbahn will keep you entertained for days with exciting private cabanas to make your own picnic or party.

Also, Read Family Fun in Pigeon Forge: Top Attractions for All Ages

6. Pleasure Pier

20 Best Things to Do in Galveston, Texas

Pleasure Pier is the most famous structure on the street of Seawall. The pier’s roller coasters and colorful buildings can be seen from far away along the beachfront, sticking out into the ocean like a carnival on stilts.

Pleasure Pier was built on the site of its predecessor, which was devastated by a hurricane in 1961, this 1,130-foot-long pier, which was opened in 2012, features several enjoyable rides ideal for people of all ages, as well as games and activities, a restaurant, and other amenities.

Pleasure Pier is filled with fantastic family activities and a wonderful way to pass the time if you’re in Galveston with kids. Have some fun with any of the entertaining rides at the Pleasure Pier such as the Cyclone, Rock N Roll, Galaxy Wheel, and Iron Shark Roller Coaster. Of course, the kiddie carousel is there for the little Kids.

From Memorial Day to Labor Day, the Pleasure Pier is open every day. During the winter, it is only open on weekends.

7. Galveston Naval Museum

20 Best Things to Do in Galveston, Texas

Galveston Naval Museum is one of Galveston’s most magnificent historical buildings. Visitors to the Galveston Naval Museum can see iconic World War II vessels while learning about American history on either a self-guided or guided tour of the facility.

Visitors can visit torpedo compartments and weathered decks while learning about the sacrifices, mystery, and history of the crews keeping watch aboard these warships.

You will get to see the World War II submarine named USS Cavalla sunk the IJN aircraft carrier Shokaku, which took part in the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Enter the ship and walk through the cramped passageways to observe how sailors operated and survived during the conflict.

Galveston Naval Museum is a place you shouldn’t miss out on during your visit to this City.

8. Bryan Museum

20 Best Things to Do in Galveston, Texas

This museum exhibits a varied collection of over 70,000 art and artifacts from the American West, spanning more than 12,000 years, and is housed in a gorgeous historic structure that was previously the Galveston Orphans Home. Everything from Native American history to the Spanish Colonial Period and Texas Independence is included in the permanent collection.

The Texas Masters Gallery shows the art of Texas-born painters, as well as those who journeyed through the area and captured it on canvas. Additionally, there are artworks by many artists, including Andy Warhol, all over the museum.

The best way to enjoy the collection and learn about the history is to take a tour, however, iPads on displays do their best to describe the items and their significance.

9. Galveston Port Bolivar Ferry

20 Best Things to Do in Galveston, Texas

The Galveston Port Bolivar Ferry is the best option if you’re looking for an enjoyable and cost-free activity. The Galveston Port Bolivar Ferry runs between the island and the Port Bolivar Peninsula and provides beautiful scenery as you tour through it. You also get to see dolphins that surface from below the water and the Point Bolivar Lighthouse.

The Galveston-Port Bolivar ferry is worth exploring even if it is a unique on-water experience. Aside from the historic lighthouse, you may tour the Bolivar Flats and Fort Travis. Visitors can check out the two original bunkers built at Fort Travis, which was constructed in 1898 to defend Galveston Harbor.

10. The Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig & Museum

20 Best Things to Do in Galveston, Texas

The Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig & Museum doesn’t sound like it would be a particularly alluring destination, but it’s one of Texas’s top attraction sites.

The museum is situated on a decommissioned oil rig. The museum has three floors of displays in addition to two outdoor spaces where drilling equipment is shown. The Offshore Drilling exhibit, which delves into the challenging process of drilling for gas and oil in the ocean, is the tour’s high point.

You can begin an interesting self-guided tour of its three floors, where you can see the drilling machinery as well as some interesting displays and videos.

11. Moody Mansion

20 Best Things to Do in Galveston, Texas

The Moody Mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is one of Galveston’s most historic structures, distinguished by its vivid red brick front from a distance.  This 28,000-square-foot house, which was built in 1895 of the same age as the Bishop’s Palace and the opera house.

The mansion which was once W.L. Moody’s residence is now a public museum. Visit this mansion to see how it has been decorated to highlight the house’s distinctive designs.

You’ll find a variety of vintage Cadillacs, antiques, and period furnishings as you explore the 20 rooms on show, all of which originally belonged to the Moody family.

Take a tour with a guide to discover more about the house and the family.

12. Galveston Railroad Museum

20 Best Things to Do in Galveston, Texas

The Galveston Railroad Museum is another one of the top attractions in Galveston, Texas; it’s full of fascinating items and well worth a visit. Since it opened more than 30 years ago, the Galveston Railroad Museum has served the local community by showcasing the evolution of rail travel.

The museum was successful in achieving that goal by amassing the largest collection of rail relics, memorabilia, and railroad rolling equipment. The museum contains a one-mile track, more than 40 pieces of inventory, and the greatest collection of dining car cutlery in the Southwest.

The museum offers a train excursion every Saturday to any interested guests. Visitors can learn more about railroads and their history in Galveston and Texas through both permanent and temporary exhibits.

13. The Grand 1894 Opera House

20 Best Things to Do in Galveston, Texas

Check out the performance at the Grand 1894 Opera House if you’re looking for something to do in Galveston with your special someone.

The Grand 1894 Opera House has been a part of Galveston history and is recognized on the National Register of Historic Places.

Visitors can Catch the spectacular performance held throughout the year, including musical performances, wine, and cuisine festivals, and others. The theater hosts art shows and other important events.

Visitors can also rent the opera house for lavish meetings, receptions, and parties.

Seeing a show at the Opera House is an intimate experience that you will always remember, regardless of the show you watched.

14. Galveston Arts Center

20 Best Things to Do in Galveston, Texas

The Galveston Arts Center offers a wide variety of artwork on exhibition. This is something you shouldn’t miss out on, especially if you are fascinated by arts.

Galveston Arts Center offers the opportunity to see something different from what you’re used to, and it might even widen your range of interests. Keep an eye out around every corner because visitors frequently comment that this gallery has unique, odd, and unusual exhibits and works of art on display.

There are art classes and courses available for interested individuals.

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15. BayWatch Dolphin Tours

20 Best Things to Do in Galveston, Texas

BayWatch Dolphin Tours is a family-run company situated at In Pier 21 Galveston, Texas. BayWatch Dolphin Tours allows visitors to see dolphins up close in their natural habitat.

Visitors will learn about the history and nature of dolphins in the area and have a chance to watch dolphins swim and play in the water for 45 minutes. Visitors are also taken on a boat trip.

A wonderful and educational experience is provided by the BayWatch Dolphin Tours. Snapping the dolphins is encouraged as well.

16. Seawolf Park

20 Best Things to Do in Galveston, Texas

Have you ever wished to board a submarine without leaving Galveston? You can take advantage of this chance by visiting Seawolf Park in Galveston, Texas.

The Seawolf Park offers wonderful attractions for people of all ages such as Nice playground, a picnic space, fishing and crab-catching at a nearby river, and a lot of fascinating history. You can also check out the museum at this park to learn about the fascinating history of marine life in Galveston.

Your visit to Seawolf Park and the associated museum will undoubtedly be a lot of fun, but there will also be a lot of learning involved.

17. Galveston Island State Park

20 Best Things to Do in Galveston, Texas

Galveston Island State Park is open to the public and is free to enter. There are numerous exciting activities available at Galveston Island State Park for everyone in the crew. This is a must-visit sit to enjoy some outdoor activities.

Galveston Island State Park is divided into four distinct areas and is never congested, contrary to popular belief.

It is a wonderful family vacation spot. Families who detest large crowds and desire free Galveston attractions should make this stop today.

Galveston Island State Park is frequently chosen by couples as the location for their wedding or honeymoon.

Camping is available for guests who would love to extend their exploration.

18. Tree Sculpture Tour

20 Best Things to Do in Galveston, Texas

Visitors can enjoy an amazing treasure hunt at the Tree Sculpture Tour. At you get to see some amazing sculptures that is been transformed into tree sculptures by some local sculptors who have been working on this project since 2009.

The artists are transforming the tree stump sculptures into beautiful artworks of some Nationalists, angels, dogs, birds, fishes, and others. It started off as a means for the locals to deal with the tragedy of the previous city disaster the storm of 1900 that pulled down a lot of trees and turned it into one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city.

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19. Galveston Farmers Market

20 Best Things to Do in Galveston, Texas

Even though going to a farmer’s market might not be one of the first things you intend to do when planning a vacation, this one is worth your time. The Galveston farmers market provides a variety of locally farmed food You can use to prepare your favorite dishes.

Traders at the Galveston Farmers Market also sell fresh bread, jams and jellies, fresh herbs, salsas, cheese, honey, and baked products. On the weekends, the Farmer’s Market also hosts cooking classes. All ages are welcome to the cooking classes.

The Farmer’s Market offers visitors a ton of entertainment as well. You get to be entertained by different bands, comedians, singers, and others.

20. Hotel Galvez

20 Best Things to Do in Galveston, Texas

Hotel Galvez is one of the most visited spots in Galveston because of its exciting ghost tour. The ghost tour is always fun for everyone, including couples, families, and groups of friends. This is a tour that you don’t want to miss if you believe in ghosts or have a strong interest in the supernatural.

Although it is suitable for all ages, it is advisable to check whether the tour is suitable for kids on a case-by-case basis.

The Ghost Tour, which is held at night once a month, gives a one-and-a-half-hour tour of Galveston, Texas’s most haunted locations, during which you’ll hear many tales that will make the hair on the back of your neck stand.

After the night tour, there are packages available for those who would like to add a three-course supper at the Galvez Bar & Grill.

Final Thoughts

Galveston, Texas will leave you with wonderful memories and a lasting impression, no matter what state you are traveling from. It’s a popular tourist destination and one of the best places in Texas to live and visit.

Galveston is a top vacation destination because it has so much to offer that every visitor will be satisfied with. Having learned what to do in Galveston, it is now time to create the ideal journey for your vacation.

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