Things to Do in Galveston, Besides the Beach!

While most people automatically think “BEACH!” when they think of Galveston, that’s really only one of a myriad of activities available on the historic Texas island. In fact, you could quite easily spend a whole long week there, have a spectacular time, and not dip a toe in the sea.

Luxurious resort hotels and quaint Bed & Breakfasts provide relaxing and memorable overnight stays. Entertainment, shopping, and absolutely incredible restaurants line the coast and dot the city. And, if you’re looking for a REALLY fancy-shmancy vacation, an elegant cruise ships will carry you away to Mexico, The Caribbean, Greece, Spain, Italy, England … and more.

But, staying closer to shore, here’s a few of the fun attractions Galveston offers and that would make your long weekend a BLAST:

La King’s Confectionery will take you back in time 100 years, to how chocolates and candy were made in the good old days. They also have homemade ice cream. It’s a 1920’s inspired shop that hearkens back to an era when folks visited the local confectionery to enjoy treats and socialize. DO NOT PASS THIS SHOP BY!

Magic Carpet Golf putt-putt is a favorite for kids and families. It’s 18 beautifully decorated courses overlooking the sea.

Schlitterbahn Galveston Island is perfect during the summer season. The park is a maze of rides, slides, and activities for the whole family. There’s a large wave pool, uphill water coasters, super fast slides, water playgrounds for small children, whitewater rapids, hot tubs for the grown ups, family raft rides, the Boogie Bahn surf ride, and the one and only Transportainment river system. While I’ve personally never been there, the hubby and I have stayed at the Moody Garden’s Hotel, which overlooks it, and – trust me – it’s EPIC.

Moody Gardens is my absolute FAVORITE destination in the entire Houston area. It’s perfect for adults, educational field trips, or families with young children. The Aquarium Pyramid is absolutely breathtaking and features an underwater tunnel where you’ll be surrounded by huge sharks, fluttering sting rays, colorful fish, and a whole garden of ocean plants. The Rainforest Pyramid is inhabited by thousands of tropical plants, exotic animals, butterflies, and birds. Be sure to spray on some bug repellent though before you go in, because this rain-forest exhibit can get a bit authentic mosquito-wise.

The Galveston Railroad Museum is fun for train enthusiasts, history buffs, and kids of all ages. Experience riding a real choo-choo aboard the Harborside Express.

Lolo Kai Smoothies & Wraps is popular among the local surfers and a great place to grab reasonably priced and healthy food or refreshments.

Galveston Island Ferry is an interesting and free attraction. Located on Hwy 87 (Ferry Road), riders can park and ride the ferry, or even drive their vehicle aboard the ferry. Ferries rides launch about every fifteen to twenty minutes.

Pier 21 Theater presents, The Great Storm, a 27-minute multimedia presentation that allows visitors to learn about the devastating 1900 Storm through an experiential documentary production. It features the photos and personal accounts of survivors.

The Colonel Paddlewheel Boat is a 750-passenger 1800’s replica sternwheeler that docks at Moody Gardens. It offers a unique view of the Gardens and an enjoyable cruise. Dinner and private cruises are available for parties of 65 of more.

Pleasure Pier is home to Texas’s first Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurant, nostalgic shops, midway games, and 16 rides, including gentle rides for children, exhilarating coasters for thrill seekers, and an iconic 100-foot ferris wheel. All this on a pier overlooking the ocean.

Got more Galveston activity recommendations? Tell us!

Moody Gardens, photo courtesy of their Facebook Page.

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