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  • grand-dames-galveston-texas - A group of historic buildings dubbed the Grand Dames in Galveston, Texas.
  • architecture-galveston-texas - Architectural detail from downtown Galveston, Texas.
  • pleasure-pier-galveston-texas - The Pleasure Pier in Galveston, Texas.
  • beach-galveston-texas - A beach in Galveston, Texas.
  • morning-galveston-texas - Morning in Galveston, Texas.
  • museum-district-houston-texas - The Museum District in Houston, Texas.
  • roseate-spoonbill-galveston-texas - A Roseate Spoonbill on Galveston Bay, Texas.
  • great-blue-heron-galveston-texas - A Great Blue Heron near Galveston Bay, Texas.
  • Yellow-crowned-night-heron-houston-texas - Yellow Crowned Night Heron on Buffalo Bayou in Houston, Texas.
  • flowers-galveston-texas - Flowers in Galveston, Texas.
  • galveston-amusement-park-1.jpg - The Galveston amusement park at nightfall.
  • galveston-amusement-park.jpg - The amusement park on the pier of Galveston, Texas.

Galveston port guide: What to do & see

The vibe

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. 

Cruise ships that depart from Galveston

The following ships sail out of Galveston: 

Top reasons to go

  • Galveston's Historic Pleasure Pier offers a variety of rides and carnival attractions.
  • Moody Gardens features an Amazon habitat as well as IMAX screen.
  • Historical buildings constructed in the 19th century offer a glimpse of this town's rich history.
The Pleasure Pier in Galveston.
Allen Sheffield / Creative Commons BYThe Pleasure Pier in Galveston.

Things to do & see in Galveston

Moody Gardens

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.

Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig and Museum

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.

Shopping

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.

Best bets for dining

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.

Best time to go

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.

Morning in Galveston, Texas.
Jim / Creative Commons BYMorning in Galveston, Texas.

When you arrive

Docking information

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).

Getting around

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.

Need to know

A Roseate Spoonbill on Galveston Bay.
Texas.713 / Creative Commons BYA Roseate Spoonbill on Galveston Bay.

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.

Your take

Have you been to Galveston? What was the highlight? Have any tips or photos? Please share.

Help improve this article! See anything wrong? What did we overlook? Be a co-creator!

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