21 Best Things to do in Galveston, Texas

Take an hour’s drive from Houston and discover the ‘’Oleander City’’ – Galveston to experience the beauty of Texas with a breathtaking view of the Gulf of Mexico.

From admiring nature’s beauty at Galveston Island State Park to taking a Dolphin sightseeing tour at the Baywatch and riding one of the many thrilling roller coasters at Galveston Island’s historic Pleasure Pier, all of this and much more is available to visitors looking for a destination unlike any other.

So, whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or simply going on a holiday vacation with your friends and family, this city has something for everyone.

Follow our tips and top recommendations for things to do in Galveston, Texas, to plan a memorable trip.

Things to do in Galveston, Texas

Visit Pleasure, Pier

Pleasure Pier
Flickr/Thomas Millard
Opening hours: 11:00 am - 8:00 pm (Sunday), 11:00 am - 11:00 pm (Monday and Saturday), 4:00 pm - 10:00 pm (Friday), and closed on Tuesday through Thursday.
Costs: Ranges from $8 to $11 admission without riding rides and  $20-30 for an unlimited ride wristband.
Address: 2501 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX 77550, United States

Pleasure Pier is a top tourist attraction of Galveston, which is located on Seawall Boulevard. It’s an iconic building that looks like it came straight out of a movie set. 

With many different themes of amusement parks and roller coaster rides, the pier has tons of fun activities for kids and adults alike. 

And not to forget the ocean view, which is perfect for photo-ops and strolling around the shore of the beach.

Tip: Visit in the evening to witness the soothing sunset. So make sure you bring on your mats, food, and drinks.

Take a Hike in the Galveston Island State Park

Galveston Island State Park
flicker/Jared Miller
Opening hours: opens every day from 7:00 am - 10:00 pm
Costs: Entry fee is $5, and children under 12 are free
Address: 14901 FM3005, Galveston, TX 77554, United States

If you are an outdoors enthusiast, make sure to check out Galveston Island State Park.

It offers 2,000 acres of salt marshes, hiking trails, fishing, and birdwatching. 

With camping sites and picnic areas, the park offers a serene getaway for families and vacationers.

Tip: The park convenience store has everything you need, but a Dollar General about a half mile away has a better selection and lower prices.

Enjoy Some Seafood at Gaido’s Seafood Restaurant & Bar

Gaido's Seafood Restaurant & Bar
Opening hours: 11:00 am - 9:00 pm (Sunday - Thursday), 11:00 am - 10:00 pm (Friday - Saturday)
Address: 3828 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX 77550, United States

Craving seafood? Gaido’s Seafood Restaurant & Bar is at the heart of the seafood culture in Galveston. 

They have delicious crawfish, crabmeat, shrimp, and traditional Texan cuisine.

Their signature dish is their crab cakes, which are succulent and made with fresh ingredients.

They also have a long list of cocktails, beers, and wines to complement your meal.

Tip: Make an online reservation for the evening to witness the sunset and the best dining seat.

Tour the Moody Mansion

 Moody Mansion
Flickr/J R Gordon
Opening hours: Opens every day from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm 
Costs: Self-guided tours range from  $7 - $15, depending on age.
Address: 2618 Broadway Avenue J, Galveston, TX 77550, United States

The Moody Mansion is an excellent example of Victorian architecture with an Italian-inspired design.

At the heart of the historic district in Galveston, this mansion is the perfect destination for history buffs.

The self-guided tour allows you to learn about the history of the Moody family and appreciate the design of the 28,000 square feet mansion.

Do not miss the opportunity to learn about the fascinating history of the beautiful stained glass window and to view the classic cars that belonged to the Moody family in the garage.

Tips: The tour of the Moody Mansion involves climbing stairs, so comfortable footwear is recommended.

Admire the Galveston Historic Pleasure Pier

 Galveston Historic Pleasure Pier
Flickr/Angela Orlando
Opening hours: 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Costs: price vary according to the parks and rides, general admission ranges from $4 to $10.
Address: 2501 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX 77550, United States

The Galveston Historic Pleasure Pier is an amusement park built on a historic pier that was destroyed by Hurricane Carla. 

The pier has thrilling rides and fun games that the whole family can enjoy.

With beautiful sunset views and sparkling lights in the evening, the pier is a perfect spot for a romantic date.

Tip: Make sure to purchase the all-day ride pass to enjoy an endless fun activity.

Go on a Ghost Tour at the Historic Galveston Ghost Tours

 Historic Galveston Ghost Tours
Youtube/KPRC 2 Click2Houston
Opening hours: 9:00 am - 10:00 pm
Costs: $25 for adults, $15 for children under 12 (children must be accompanied by an adult)
Address: 23rd and Sealy Galveston, Texas 77550

Galveston is known for its history of hauntings and ghost stories.

If you are curious about the supernatural or love a good scare, then you should definitely try Galveston’s Historic Ghost Tour.

Take a tour of the city’s famous haunted locations and listen to real-life ghost stories.

Tip: Tour at night if you want to experience more of the horror film side, and make sure to bring your night vision camera to record spooky things.

Visit the Lone Star Flight Museum

Lone Star Flight Museum
Address: 11551 Aerospace Ave, Houston, TX 77034, United States
Opening hours: 10:00 am - 5:00 am (Tuesday to Saturday), 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm (Sunday), and closed on Monday.
Costs: Depending on age, general admissions range from $12 - $18. Thursday is $5 for all visitors.

The Lone Star Flight Museum is a combination of history and technology.

With flight planes that date back to the 30s, the museum houses exhibitions with a wide range of war artifacts. 

You can even book a flight on one of their planes to experience history firsthand.

Make sure to try out the simulators because you can take rides on some of the warbirds because most of them can fly.

Tips: Allow enough time to explore the museum’s extensive collection of vintage military aircraft.

Explore Bishop’s Palace

 Bishop's Palace
Flickr/J R Gordon
Opening hours: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Costs: Admission ranges from $10 - $15, depending on age, and children five and under are free.
Address: 1402 Broadway Avenue J, Galveston, TX 77550, United States

Bishop’s Palace is an architectural wonder located in the East End Historic District. 

The 19,082 square feet building has imported materials, handcrafted woodwork, and sophisticated designs that make it a national treasure. 

Visitors can check out the interior decor of this home, artwork, and antique furnishings.

Tip: Take the guided tour to learn about the Palaces’ long history.

Indulge in Shrimp Po’Boy

Shrimp Po'Boy
Flickr/Joe Hobbs
Opening hours: most of the Po’Boy restaurants are open from 10:00 am - 10:00 pm
Address: Different locations around Seawall Boulevard.

No visit to Galveston could be complete without trying the local dish, the shrimp Po’Boy.

This traditional Cajun dish can be found in most local diners and restaurants throughout the city.

The sandwich is made with golden-fried shrimp, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise on a baguette.

Relax on Beach day

Opening hours: timings vary according to different beaches

Address: Different locations around the city.

Galveston Island has over 30 miles of coastline. Whether you’re seeking a leisurely day at the beach, swimming, kiteboarding, or just soaking up the sun, Galveston has a beach for everyone’s taste. 

Stewart Beach, East Beach, Seawolf Park, and Shell Beach are popular spots worth visiting.

Tip: Every day, many events occur at each beach, so check it out online before you go.

Shop for Souvenirs at The Strand

The Strand
Flickr/Raymond Cunningham
Opening hours: N/A
Address: 502 20th St, Galveston, TX 77550, United States

If you’re looking for souvenirs or a free afternoon activity, The Strand is a great place to visit.

This historic district is home to many specialty shops, art galleries, and cafes.

This place plays hosts many events and celebrations throughout the year, including street performances and art exhibitions.

Enjoy a Pint at Beerfoot Brewery

Beerfoot Brewery
Youtube/Chasing Our Sunshine
Opening hours: 4:00 pm - 2:00 am (Monday - Friday), 12:00 pm - 2:00 am (Saturday and Sunday)
Address: 2816 Avenue R 1/2, Galveston, TX 77550, United States

Beerfoot Brewery is a comfortable spot for beer enthusiasts. The brewery has over 40 beers on draft, including locally sourced options. 

They have an indoor and outdoor seating area, and they welcome dogs. They offer live music on Saturdays and Sundays, with trivia nights on Thursdays.

Tip: Go on weekends for some fun activities and special events.

Go for a sunset sail with Galveston Historic Downtown Harbor Tours

Galveston Historic Downtown Harbor Tours
Flickr/Arena Blake
Opening hours: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, closed on Mondays
Costs: Admission is $17 for both adults and children.
Address: Pier 22 Suite #8, Galveston, TX 77550, United States

If you’re looking for a unique way to experience the sunset, take a sunset sailing trip with Galveston Historic Downtown Harbor Tours.

The tour lasts about two hours, and you will get to witness the stunning views of the sunset on the Gulf Coast. You can even take part in hoisting the sails.

Tip: Make sure to apply sunscreen and bring binoculars to spot dolphins and other sea creatures.

Run a Marathon

Run a Marathon
Timings: 7:15 am for wheelchairs and handcycles, 7:30 am for Galveston Marathon, and 8:00 am for Galveston 5k
Costs: registration fees vary according to the months and events. Visit its website for the latest information 
Address: 201 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX 77550

Galveston hosts several marathon events, including the half marathon and 10k races in the winter.

The course is moderately competitive and scenic, offering runners views of the ocean, bridges, and historical landmarks.

Tip: Make sure to wear comfortable sports shoes, as your feet may be sore with all the running.

Visit the Seawolf Park

Seawolf Park
Opening hours: 7:00 am - 11:00 pm (Monday - Thursday), 5:00 am - 11:00 pm (Friday - Sunday)
Costs: Galveston Naval Museum admission is $10 for adults and $5 for kids and seniors. Admission with a fishing pass ranges from $4- $9 for non-residents depending on age, and children under 4 are free
Address: 100 Seawolf Park Blvd, Galveston, TX 77550, United States

The Seawolf Park is a hidden gem of Texas and is part of the Naval Museum located near Pelican Island. The park displays a retired USS Cavalla submarine and USS Stewart destroyer escort ships.

Despite from Museum, there is an outdoor playground and enough picnic areas for a family bbq and an epic view of the marine life.

Tip: Take a picnic lunch and drinks with you.

See the East End Historical District

East End Historical District
Flickr/Carrie Housman
Opening hours: Always open
Costs: N/A
Address: 1501 Postoffice St, Galveston, TX 77550, United States

The East End Historical District is an area of Galveston with lavish Victorian mansions that are significant historical buildings. 

Visitors can take self-guided tours or book a guided tour where a local historian will explain the history behind each mansion. 

A visit to this neighborhood is a must for history buffs and anyone who appreciates architecture.

Explore the Galveston Railroad Museum

Galveston Railroad Museum
Opening hours: open daily from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Costs: Admission rate is  $12 for adults, $9 for seniors, and $6 for children.
Address: 2602 Santa Fe Pl, Galveston, TX 77550, United States

Antique engines, railcars, and other rail-related artifacts are at the Galveston Railroad Museum.

For railroad and engineering enthusiasts, the museum’s impressive collection is a treasure trove.

A 90-minute train tour around the island is also available at the museum.

Tip: Don’t forget to try the train ride experience, a must-do for train enthusiasts.

Eat at Shrimp ‘N Stuff

Shrimp 'N Stuff
Flickr/Dave Hensley
Opening hours: 10:30 am - 8:30 pm (Sunday - Thursday), 10:00 am - 9:30 pm (Friday and Saturday)
Address: 3901 Avenue O, Galveston, TX 77550, United States

Another local eatery that should be on your list is Shrimp ‘N Stuff.

They are known for their shrimp po’ boy sandwiches but also have other seafood dishes like shrimp gumbo, fried catfish, and seafood jambalaya. 

Tip: Make sure to try their famous homemade tartar sauce.

Visit the Baywatch Dolphin Tours

Baywatch Dolphin Tours
Flickr/Brandi Korte
Opening hours: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Costs: vary by package, available dolphin boat tour ranges from $12 to $20 depending on age.
Address: 2100 Harborside Dr, Galveston, TX 77550, United States

The Baywatch Dolphin Tours offers visitors the opportunity to see the local marine wildlife, including dolphins, sea turtles, and pelicans.

The tour guide shares interesting insights about sea creatures and their habitats. It’s an excellent way to spend a half-day in the ocean, relaxing and learning.

Tip: Bring binoculars to spot Dolphins and other sea creatures and interact with them if possible.

Check out the Art Scene

 Art Scene
Flickr/Peter Newton

Galveston has a lively and vibrant arts scene with many galleries and exhibitions around the city.

Some famous galleries include the Galveston Arts Center, Galveston Artist Residency, and Notsuoh.

Visitors can check out the latest exhibitions, artwork, photography, or vintage pieces.

Tip: For timings and admission costs, we recommend visiting its official website.

Check Out the Best Hotel and Resort

Hotel and Resort
Flickr/Traveler 999

As visitors may be concerned about the accommodations, we are here to assist you in selecting the best-reviewed Galveston exotic hotel and resort for your stay.

Some of our top recommendations include the Holiday Inn Resort Galveston-on-the-Beach, an IHG Hotel, The San Luis Resort Spa and Conference Center, and Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa, and Convention Center.

Tip: For bookings, please visit the hotels and resorts’ official websites.

Start Planning Your Beach Vacation On Galveston!

Galveston Island is one of the most popular vacation destinations in Texas that fulfills all of your bucket-list.

And with everything it offers, this lovely barrier island on the gulf coast will make you want to come back again.

Tip: The best time to visit Galveston, Texas, is around early Spring to late Fall when the water temperature will be warm.

The greatest time to find a discount on accommodations is in the winter, but the weather will probably be too chilly to take advantage of Galveston’s beach activities.

So, do what is best for you, and best of luck on your journey!

Note: Keep in mind that information about travel can change quickly. To make sure your trip is fun and safe, we encourage you to double-check official websites and government/travel advisory sites for the latest information on travel restrictions, entry requirements, and safety measures.