Hi! With many of us being cooped up for two months I know a lot of you are eagerly awaiting a trip to the beach. You guys keep asking for a Galveston travel guide and I am here to deliver! I am a big fan of Galveston for many reasons. Number one being the closest beach to Houston. It is only about an hour/hour and a half drive. Two, the ocean bring immediate calming effects and I love unplugging, chilling and hanging at the beach. Galveston might not be winning any awards for the prettiest beaches but it get the job done.
Galveston Backstory: My brother in law went to med school in Galveston and when he graduated my in laws kept his condo. My in laws are gracious enough to let the family use it when we want a quick getaway. My husband has been visiting the Galveston area since he was a kid and I have been visiting since 2006.
Galveston Travel Guide
Where To Stay In Galveston
Galveston offers an abundance of overnight options. I have personally stayed in every type of rental from hotels to condos to private homes. Your rental will depend on which area you want to visit and how much you want to spend. The options listed below are in order from hotels to condos to private rental.
Inn At The Waterpark
Diamond Beach Resort
Four Points By Sheraton
Best Western Plus
Casa Del Mar
Galveston has a lot of fun beaches! We personally prefer ones we can drive on so we can unload and load the car right there without having to park, haul our stuff across hot sand and sweat to death doing it. If you have never been, I highly recommend taking the ferry across to Bolivar Peninsula and find a place on the beach there. We typically pack a lunch, cooler and supplies and spend the day out there. If you need food, The Big Store (aka crystal beach grocery store) has a lot to offer. Be sure to check the ferry wait times. During peak season the wait times can be up to 2 hours if you don’t get in line early. When taking the ferry over, I suggest getting out and look for dolphins.
***If you plan on heading to Galveston multiple times, I suggest buying a beach parking pass for the year. This allows you to park along the seawall or go into any pocket park beach. If you go across to Bolivar you will have to buy a separate pass for $10. This is also good for one year.
Seawall– Pay and park anywhere on the seawall and find a spot ***(see above parking statement)
Pocket Parks– ***(see above parking statement)
Crystal Beach– Over on Bolivar Peninsula. Take the ferry across.
What To Do In Galveston
Moody Gardens aka the three pyramids– they have awesome Christmas /New Years events too!
Walk The Strand-Historic district with cute shops. La Kings is a must stop shop. They make their own salt water taffy and throw it out at 2pm every afternoon. We usually get some candy and let the kids get an ice cream cone.
Pier 21 Museums
Walk The Seawall– we do this in the morning and stop at Murdoch’s to see the hermit crabs and get soda while watching the waves on the front porch.
Fishing-Rollover pass, East Bay, 61st Street Pier, Pelican Island
Where To Eat In Galveston
Galveston has a ton of restaurants. These are some of our personal favorites and ones we frequent the most.
Willie G’s– this is my all time favorite seafood restaurant. I have never had a disappointing meal or service here.
Fishtales– fun, light atmosphere. The food is decent, drinks are good, family friendly. We usually eat here then walk across the street to the seawall for a short walk. Pleasure Pier is across the street and the roller coasters keep the kids entertained.
The Spot– Great burger joint. Kind of like a beachy Fudruckers
Fish Company Taco
Hearsay On The Strand-Great bar, perfect for couples, families or girls night. Different food and one of our new faves.
San Luis Steakhouse-More high end. Sometimes we go for our anniversary
Nates West End
Original Mexican Cafe-Breakfast on Saturday & Sunday
Rudy and Paco-Dress Code
Russos– Great for pizza. When we are tired at night or sitting by the pool we will order pizza.
Stingaree-This is our favorite restaurant on Bolivar Island. They have the best soft shell crab when in season. I recommend the shrimp platter. If there is a wait, get a drink, head to the left and watch the barges go through the channel.
The Porch– over in east beach. You have to have the crab eggs benedict and the blackberry baked brie
Sunflower Bakers– Great dinner and bakery. The kids love their pancakes!
San Luis Bar– our favorite for girls weekends. They always have a great band and atmosphere!
Tremont House Hotel Rooftop Bar– ask for directions once you are in the hotel. Fun rooftop but limited space.
Hearsay On The Strand
Float Pool & Patio
This is my ride or die beach bag. We have the Extra Large open top tote but it does have a zip top option. We can put four beach towels, swimsuits, sunscreen, snacks, toys, etc in this bag. Throw it in the wash machine if it gets dirty and let it air dry.
What did you find most helpful about this Galveston travel guide? Let me know in a comment below!