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Big dreams and heart make the island of Galveston, Texas, a special place. Stretched along the Gulf of Mexico, Galveston is a destination where travelers can experience the Texan spirit while enjoying Southern hospitality. The island's 32 miles of pristine coastline and its Victorian architecture perfectly manifest the culture that makes the place unique, while its family-friendly attractions appeals to every interest. Several ships sail out of Galveston, which is 50 miles from Houston.
The following ships sail out of Galveston:
Created to showcase an Amazon habitat, The Moody Gardens at 1 Hope Blvd. (800-582-4673) is an unbelievable creation of beauty. This partly synthetic, partly authentic ten-story rainforest is a mind-expanding and breathtaking experience. The Aquarium Pyramid is a 100,000 square foot phenomenon and is the largest such exhibit in the world. If you aren't interested in rainforests, the bat exhibit that is the largest in the Southwest.
With three decks of exhibits and and hands-on displays, the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig and Museum (409-766-STAR) shows how gas and oil are drilled for off the shores of Galveston. New interactive technology at this retired rig enables you to be linked to drilling sites all over the world and sample more of the industry.
The Antique Warehouse at 423 25th St. (409-762-8620, ) has a variety of antiques, some of which are very old and rare. Dolphin World, at 2902 Seawall Blvd. (409-762-2714), is the best store in town for beachwear and souvenirs and they have a wide array of clothing and novelty items.
Queen's Barbeque is located at 3428 Avenue S (409-762-3151) and has been voted the best barbecue in the land. Many of the locals have been eating the turkey and beef, topped with a special sauce, nearly every day for over 25 years. Clary's Seafood Restaurant is located at 8509 Teichman Rd. (409-740-0771) and has been serving seafood since 1977. The ambiance is sophisticated and enjoyable, and the baked shrimp and grilled oysters are two of the most popular items on the menu.
Like most of Texas, Galveston can get rather hot and humid during the summer months (May to September). If you're looking for cooler temperatures, it's best to head there during the winter months, when the weather is much milder.
Cruise ships dock at the Port of Galveston. Just 50 miles from the city of Houston, Galveston is serviced by George Bush International Airport and William P. Hobby Airport (closer of the two).
There are several ways to explore the island. Bus transportation is easy and convenient. However, local taxis are used frequently while in Galveston, and if you can't hail one from the street, call Busy Bee (409-762-6666) or Quality Cab (409-765-5555) for a pickup. If you'd like to rent a car while in Galveston, the folks at Enterprise Rent-A-Car (409-740-0700) will be happy to help you.
Tipping: A 10% to 15% tip on the restaurant/taxi bill is customary. Sometimes a tip is automatically added to your bill; check your credit card slip before adding additional tip.
Safety: Galveston is considered to be a safe place, but don't forget that you shouldn't flash cash around and need to stay in well-lit areas at night.
Have you been to Galveston? What was the highlight? Have any tips or photos? Please share.
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