- For other places with the same name, see Galveston (disambiguation).
Galveston  is a city on Galveston Island, off the Texas Gulf Coast, approximately 45 minutes southeast of Houston. Galveston is a port of entry and a destination for almost all the cruise ships with ports of call in Texas. Many Houstonians have beach houses in Galveston or elsewhere in Galveston County where they sometimes relocate during the summer, or simply drive to Galveston to enjoy the local beach.
Galveston's climate is humid subtropical, very similar to Houston's with abundant rainfall and high year-round humidity. Due to its location however directly on the Gulf Coast the city enjoys warmer winters. Lows usually hover around 50˚F (10˚C) and daytime highs around 60˚F (16˚C). While readings in the low 40s can occur two or three times per year sub-freezing temperatures and snow are extremely rare. There is no shortage of warm days though as when the winds from the Gulf prevail the mercury can easily climb above 75˚F (25˚C). Summers are very hot and very humid and last from mid-May to late September. High temperatures during this time of the year hover around 90˚F (32˚C) and may not fall below 80˚F (27˚C) at night. However, due to the cooling sea effect and the high humidity, 100˚F+ (38˚C+) have been reached only a handful of times in history. Hurricanes are an ever present threat from late July to the beginning of October. The Galveston Island is one of the most vulnerable areas to hurricanes in the country as it can face torrential amounts of rainfall and storm surge poses a significant danger to the shoreline. The Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900 is the deadliest natural disaster in US history causing anywhere from 6,300 to 12,000 fatalities, while completely leveling the city. In more recent years the area sustained severe damage from Hurricane Ike in 2008, narrowly missed Hurricane Rita in 2005, while torrential rain fell from Hurricane Harvey (2017) and Tropical Storm Imelda (2019). If a hurricane threatens Galveston during your stay your best choice is to evacuate or stay in contact with the local authorities for the standard safety procedures.
- Scholes International Airport (IATA: GLS)  This is the only airport in Galveston, but only serves private and chartered flights.
- William P. Hobby Airport (IATA: HOU)  One of two airports in Houston providing scheduled commercial flights into the metro area, and the closest commercial airport to Galveston. It is directly connected to Galveston by Interstate 45; the drive takes about 45 minutes. Hobby Airport is dominated by Southwest Airlines  however both American Airlines, Delta Airlines, and JetBlue have service to Hobby as well.
- George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IATA: IAH)  Also in Houston, it is primarily dominated by United Airlines  however a huge number of domestic and foreign carriers serve the airport as well. Take US Route 59 south into downtown Houston and exit into Interstate 45 south; you will pass by Hobby Airport en route. Allow at least 90 minutes to drive from IAH to Galveston, probably more during rush hour. IAH asks returning passengers to arrive 2 hours before check-in.
- I-45 South is the easiest route from Houston to Galveston Island. The freeway becomes Broadway St. on the island.
- Regular intercity bus service is no longer provided to and from Galveston. The only bus service remaining is an Amtrak service between Galveston, Houston, and Longview operated by Lone Star Coaches and local transit bus service. Kerrville Bus Company used to operate buses regularly between Galveston and Houston. Following the acquisition of Kerrville Bus Company by Coach USA, the route was incorporated in the Megabus system effective November 1, 2012. Service continued for a short time thereafter, but was eventually discontinued. Generally, two buses had departed each way daily. For example, as of August 2012, buses depart from Galveston to Houston departed at 9 AM and 7 PM; from Houston to Galveston, buses departed at 7:45 AM and 5:55 PM. Tickets were less than $20 and the bus trip took about an hour. The Galveston Kerrville terminal was located at 3825 BROADWAY STE B Galveston, TX 77550 (map).
- Bolivar Peninsula - Galveston Island Ferry is a free service that regularly runs between the island and Port Bolivar - located on mainland east of Galveston. For travel between Galveston and New Orleans, the ferry can save 30-40 minutes by avoiding Houston. The ferry is run on a first-come first-served basis, and there are often moderate waits during rush hour, and very long waits (on the order of 2-3 hours) on major holidays. Weekend evening waits also tend to be long.
- Amtrak provides a bus, operated under contract by Lone Star Coaches, from Galveston to Houston and Longview, connecting with the Sunset Limited train in Houston and the Texas Eagle train in Longview. Reservations are required.
The island is small enough that walking can take you most places, although it is not recommended in all neighborhoods, particularly outside the historic district, the Strand, and the Harborside district.
Seawall Blvd. is one of the busiest parts of Galveston, especially during the summer. Since Galveston streets are in a grid it is easy to find a less-busy parallel street to travel on, but watch out for unexpected one-way streets.
Metered street parking is available throughout the city, so bring change.
Galveston has long operated the Island Transit streetcar service which provided 7 different routes throughout the historic district and parts of Seawall Blvd. Unfortunately, the trolley suffered massive damage by Hurricane Ike in 2008, and currently no trolleys are running. A 4 million dollar FEMA grant from the federal government has been awarded to the city to resume its trolley service. There has been no announcement about when the streetcar service will resume. More details can be found at the
Island Transit streetcar/trolley service website
Pedal cars are also available to rent from various vendors for use along the Seawall and the Strand.
Get taxi information or order a cab online  or call Yellow Cab company of Galveston 409-763-3333
- Moody Gardens, One Hope Boulevard (off 81st St.), ☎ 800-582-4673, . $39.95 day pass. edit
- Galveston Island Railroad Museum, 123 Rosenberg (near the Strand at 25th St.), ☎ 409-765-5700 (fax: 409-765-5744), . All sorts of railway things to see. It's in the old Galveston Railway Station, and the lobby is a huge period display. $6. edit
- Haak Vineyards and Winery, 6310 Ave. T, Santa Fe, Texas, ☎ 409-925-1401, . Noon to 18:00 (varies by season). Galveston County's only winery. tours complimentary. edit
- Lone Star Flight Museum, 2002 Terminal Dr. (next to Moody Gardens and Schlitterbahn Galveston), ☎ 409-740-7722 ([email protected]), . 09:00 to 17:00, Closed Christmas Day. Historic avaition legends. $8. edit
- Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig and Museum, ☎ 409-766-7827, . 10:00 - 17:00 (varies by season). Housed in a retired oil platform. Interesting exhibit for someone unfamiliar with the drilling process. $8 (seniors and students are $5). edit
- Seawolf Park, (Take 51st St. north over the causeway to the other side of Pelican Island.), . Sunrise to sunset, Friday and Saturday nights for fishing.. Home of USS Cavalla and USS Stewart are berthed on Pelican Island. edit
- Strand National Historic Landmark District, (East of Broadway, along the east side of the island), . All sorts of old buildings and historical markers. edit
- Texas Seaport Museum, Pier 21, Number 8 (Off the Strand), ☎ 409-763-1877 ([email protected]), . Also home to several historic ships, including the 1877 tall ship Elissa. edit
- Old Red Original Medical School Building, 301 University Blvd, . "Old Red," the original medical school building at University of Texas-Medical Branch. edit
Strand National Historic Landmark District
- Bolivar Ferry. Free ferry for automobiles and pedestrians between Galveston Island and Bolivar Peninsula. The ferry ride is about 25 minutes, but waiting times for the ferry can be considerably longer, especially on busy weekends. Good views of the bay, ship traffic, and sometimes wildlife. Children will have much fun feeding anything edible to sea gulls at the stern of the ferry. edit
- Schlitterbahn Waterpark Galveston, 2026 Lockheed Street, ☎ 409-770-9283 (fax: 409-740-1973), . Vary by season.. about $40. edit
- Pleasure Pier, 2501 Seawall Boulevard, Galveston, TX 77550, ☎ (855) 789-7437, . 11 AM-10 PM. A pier off of Seawall Blvd that can supply hours of fun. 4 dollars for a single ride and 27 dollars for an all-day pass. A must when visiting Galveston! 19,99-26.99$. (29,17,13,94,47,23) edit
- The Beach, (Along Seawall Boulevard/Terminal-San Luis Pass Road). Dawn to Dusk. Popular on summer weekends and holidays when the weather is hot. Seawall Blvd borders the city and seashore along the Seawall; parallel park and walk down to the beach. Further west on the island when Seawall Blvd becomes Terminal-San Luis Pass Road, one can take a marked access road and drive out onto the beach for a fee. This is usually less crowded . Cost of parking, about $10. edit
The University of Texas Medical Branch is the island's major university. There is a significant "college town" feel to the section of the Strand nearest the university. It provides mostly postgraduate medical education.
Texas A&M University at Galveston, located on Pelican Island, is a branch campus of Texas A&M University. Its main fields of study include Marine Sciences, Marine Engineering, and Maritime Transportation. It is home to the Texas Maritime Academy.
The two largest employers on the island are UTMB (University of Texas Medical Branch) and ANICO (American National Insurance Company)
Major daily newspapers serving the area include the Galveston County Daily News, the Baytown Sun, and the Houston Chronicle. The Bay Area Houston.Directory is an online publication providing area interest stories and information.
The Strand is Galveston's historical downtown district near the docks with a variety of unique gift shops selling many wares including antiques, art, mardi gras supplies, rude t-shirts, candy, and seashore souvenirs. Of note, there is a three-story indoor mall between 22nd and 23rd Streets.
There are many surf shops along Seawall Boulevard that cater to beach-goer needs, including sun lotion, towels, swimsuits, hermit crabs, etc. One notable shop is Murdochs on a situated on a pier:
- Murdochs, 2215 Seawall Blvd, ☎ 409-762-7478. Beer, T-shirts, shells & other souvenirs in a local fixture with porch chairs overlooking the gulf. edit
- La King's Confectionery, 2323 Strand, ☎ (409) 762-6100, . Old-school candy maker offering traditional sweets amid a 1920's soda fountain & arcade games. $. edit
- Cajun Greek, 2226 61st St, Galveston, TX 77551, ☎ (409) 744-7041, . Local restaurant offering Texan/Cajun seafood and Greek food. $12-$25. edit
- Casey's Seafood Restaurant, 3828 Seawall Boulevard, ☎ 409-762-9625. Casey's shares the same kitchen with Gaido's. Casey's offers the same dishes more inexpensively in a more casual atmosphere. $12-$25. edit
- Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 22 (NE Corner of Ave A and 22nd St.), ☎ (409)765-5708. Great seafood restaurant located right next to the 1877 tall ship Elissa. Try the shrimp kisses. edit
- Fishtales, 2502 Seawall Boulevard, ☎ 409-762-8545. edit
- Gypsy Joynt, 2711 Market St, ☎ 409-497-2069. Beads, flags & live music lend a hippie vibe to this family-owned American comfort food mainstay. edit
- La Estacion, 2428 Ball Street, ☎ 409-762-4262. Arguably one of the best Mexican restaurants in town, serves breakfast and lunch only. edit
- Miller's Seawall Grill, 1824 Seawall Boulevard, ☎ 409-763-8777. No-frills eatery serving giant breakfasts along with lunch & dinner with views of the water. edit
- Mosquito Cafe, 628 14th Street, ☎ 409-763-1010. Fresh Homemade American Fusion edit
- Original Mexican Cafe, 1401 Market Street, ☎ 409-762-6001. edit
- Olympia Grill, 4908 Seawall Blvd, ☎ 409-766-1222. Awesome Greek food. edit
- Olympia the Grill at Pier 21, Pier 21 and Harborside, ☎ 409-765-0021. Great Texas Gulf Seafood edit
- The Phoenix Bakery & Coffee Shop, 2228 Mechanic Street, ☎ 409-763-4611. edit
- Rudy & PACO Restaurant, 2028 Post Office Street, ☎ 409-762-3696. Quality Italian food edit
- Salsas Mexican & Seafood Restaurant, 4604 Seawall Blvd, ☎ 409-621-2011. edit
- Shrimp N Stuff, 3901 Avenue O, ☎ 409-763-2805, . Fried seafood, hushpuppies & gumbo fill the menu at this cozy seafood spot with a shady patio. edit
- Yaga's Tropical Cafe Club, 2314 Strand Street, ☎ 409-762-6676. American food edit
- Gaido's Seafood Restaurant, (3800 Seawall Boulevard), ☎ 409-762-9625. $20-$40. edit
- Luigi's, 2328 The Strand, ☎ 409 763-6500 (fax: 409 763-0270), . Lunch Mon-Sat: 11:00-2:30, Dinner Mon-Thurs: 5:30-9:00, Fri&Sat: 5:30-10:00. Best Northern Italian food anywhere near the Greater Houston metropolitan area. Highly recommended. edit
- The Ocean Grill. Seafood, exciting over-the-water dining experience along the seawall edit
- Saltwater Grill, 2017 Postoffice, ☎ 409-762-3474. Fresh, original seafood dishes. edit
- Sky Bar, 2107 Postoffice, ☎ 409-621-4759. Sushi bar & grill. edit
- Stuttgarden Tavern, 2110 Strand, ☎ 409-497-4972. Beer Garden in a lovely tree-shaded alley with a waterwall edit
- Yaga's Cafe and Bar, 2314 Strand, ☎ 409-762-6676. Chill, reggae-themed icehouse. edit
- JuJu Hangout & Bar, 2408 Strand, ☎ 409-765-9300. edit
- Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe, 413 20th Street, ☎ 409-762-9199 ([email protected]), . All shows start at 21:00, closed Sunday - Tuesday. Down-home music venue & bar featuring live blues, jazz & acoustic bands, with big-name & local acts. edit
- O'Malley's Stage Door Pub, 2022 Postoffice, ☎ 409-763-1731. Snug Irish-style watering hole serving sandwiches & brews in convivial surrounds. edit
- Twenty-One, 2102 Postoffice, ☎ 409-762-2101. $. edit
- Press Box, 2401 Postoffice, ☎ 409-765-5958. Informal American joint featuring burgers, chops & other basics, plus brews in a laid-back space. edit
- Safari Beach Company, 9th and Seawall Blvd., ☎ 409-762-1420. $. edit
- 23rd St Station, 1706 23rd Street, ☎ 409-443-5678. LGBTQ+ Option $. edit
- Galveston Island Brewery, 8423 Stewart Rd. (West End of the Island behind the Seawall), ☎ (409) 740-7000, . Tap Room Hours - Monday - Thursday 3PM - 9PM, Friday 3PM - 12AM Saturday 12PM - 12AM, Sunday 12PM - 9PM; tours Saturday at 13:00. Small, local brewery located on the Island's suburban West End. edit
- Beachcomber Inn. edit
- Best Value Inn & Suites. edit
- Mariner Inn. edit
- Gaido's Seaside Inn. edit
- Ramada Limited Galveston. edit
- Sandpiper Motel, 201 Seawall Blvd, ☎ 409-765-9431, . A motel along the beach consisting mostly of private rooms. A couple of rooms have been converted into dorm rooms under the Hostelling International brand. Private rooms can be booked online, but call the motel directly to book a hostel bed. edit
- Best Western. edit
- Commodore on the Beach. edit
- Seascape, ([email protected]), . $90-$220. edit
- By the Sea Condos, 7310 Seawall Boulevard, ☎ (409) 740-0905 or (800) 666-0905 ([email protected]), . 24-hour security desk. All condos feature a balcony with a "million dollar" view of the Gulf of Mexico. $122-$177. edit
- Avenue O Bed and Breakfast, 2323 Avenue O, ☎ 409-762-2868, . checkin: 3:00; checkout: 11:00. located four blocks from the beach and minutes from the Strand, Avenue O offers uniquely themed rooms with double jacuzzis, private decks, TV/DVD players, refrigerators and microwaves. A full breakfast is served daily $99 - $169. edit
- Galvestonian, The, 1401 East Beach Drive Galveston, TX 77550 (From Houston, 145 SE less than an hour), ☎ 409 765-6161, . Large inventory of Galveston, TX condos and vacation rentals located right on the beach. Great prices and online reservations. Book now. edit
- The Tremont House- A Wyndham Historic Hotel, 2300 Ship's Mechanic Row (Located in the Strand District.), ☎ 409-763-0300 ([email protected], fax: 409-763-1539), . A historic Galveston hotel with modern amenities and rooms with marble baths, towel warmers, and elegant furnishings. $110-$199. edit
- Hotel Galvez- A Wyndham Historic Hotel, 2024 Seawall Boulevard (Located along the Gulf of Mexico.), ☎ 409-765-7721 ([email protected]), . A renowned AAA 4 diamond historical hotel featuring a brand new full service spa. $100-$199. edit
- The Victorian Condo Hotel, . $85-$135. edit
- San Luis Resort, 5222 Seawall Boulevard, ☎ 409-744-1500 ([email protected], fax: 409-744-8452), . Huge hotel on the gulf, very popular for weddings. $150-$250. edit
- Moody Gardens Hotel, 7 Hope Boulevard (Off 81st St.), ☎ 409-741-8484 ([email protected]), . $180-$220. edit
- Sand 'n Sea Pirates Beach, ☎ 800-880-2554 ([email protected]), . A great selection of vacation rental accommodations on beautiful West Galveston Island edit
- The Olive Cottage, ☎ 409-762-0347 ([email protected]), . The Olive Cottage is a nine room historical home. In 2004 it was featured in the Galveston Historic Homes Tour. The cottage offers its guests a comfortable setting to vacation and relax. edit
- 3 Beach Houses, (16 Mile Road and FM-3005), ☎ 281-338-9800 ([email protected], fax: 281-596-7511), . Unbelievably reasonable accomodations with an ocean view! edit
RV parks and campgrounds
- Bayou Shores RV Park, 6310 Heards Ln., ☎ 409-744-2837 ([email protected]), . 20. edit
- Dellanera RV Park, 10901 San Luis Pass Rd, ☎ 409-797-5102 ([email protected]), . $40. edit
- Galveston Island RV Park, 2323 Skymaster, ☎ 409-744-5464. edit
- Galveston Island State Park, 14901 FM 3005 (Take Seawall west down the island, it's on the left (gulf) side.), ☎ 409-737-1222, . The park campground was wiped out by Hurrican Ike. The park is open for limited use but as of April 2009 there are still no plans to reopen any camping facilities. Also See Texas State Parks edit
- Maravilla Resort Condominiums, 9520 Seawall Blvd, ☎ 409-740-1245 ([email protected]), . $95 to $209. edit
- Stella Mare RV Resort, 3418 Stella Mare Ln, ☎ 409-632-7017 ([email protected]), . Opened in 2017, Stella Mare RV Resort now has the largest splash pad of any Galveston RV park, along with many other best-in-class amenities. edit
Like any other tourist city, it is safe, but petty crime does happen, so use common sense. Locking your car is a must. Bums will often hang out in the middle of the intersections.
Galveston Island State Park  - Just a short drive west of the city of Galveston. While the Gulf shore campground and visitors center were destroyed by Ike, the park has reopened on a limited basis for day visitors.
Carnival and Princess cruise lines (perhaps others) have regular cruises which depart from Galveston.