Galveston, Texas offers couples a range of activities to do on a romantic weekend getaway or longer. Whether art and architecture is your thing, you like the beach and birding, savor history or adventures on land, sea, or in the air, Galveston offers plenty to see and do on a honeymoon, weekend getaway, or romantic escape. Below are some of the loveliest activities for two on Galveston Island.
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Romantic couples are partial to Hotel Galvez, a treasured Galveston landmark. For a century, the "Queen of the Gulf" has stood across from the Gulf of Mexico. Recently renovated, the hotel is a four-star AAA property. Couples appreciate the heated pool and modern spa. But the beach is just across the highway, beckoning you to stroll, bike, and cool off in the water.
Couples who prefer to be downtown can bunk at the equally historic Tremont House, which we suspect may be haunted. If you like to be where the action is, Moody Gardens Hotel (check rates) is near the waterpark, beach, aquarium, IMAX and more. Traveling with kids? The San Luis Resort (check rates) has a pool bar; with screamers around, you'll need it.
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Galveston has gone through devastating times but come back stronger each time. In 1900, the Great Storm swept across the island, submerging much of it and taking thousands of lives. The city responded by building a 17-foot-tall seawall behind the beach to protect it from swells and hurricanes.
At Pier 21 downtown, catch a showing of "The Great Storm" documentary for context. A more romantic view of Galveston can be seen in its historic homes, which were occupied by the city's leading families. Moody Mansion and Bishop's Palace are well-preserved Victorian structures that couples may tour.
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Three-quarters of all North American bird species (i.e. some 500 different types) travel through Galveston during their migratory periods. That makes birding a popular Galveston pasttime for lovebirds. The best place to observe the wing-flappers is East Beach, and if you can spot a roseate spoonbill, you've viewed the area's favorite feathered friend. Is it necessary to remind you to wear a hat?
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If you understand that Galveston is a major commercial shipping port (so it's neither pretty nor scenic), you can enjoy -- or at least find interesting -- the Baywatch Dolphin Tour.
In 45 minutes' time, you'll sail past rusted oil rigs; responder boats poised to react to the next oil spill; the ferry terminal that takes passengers between Galveston Island and Port Bolivar; WWII vessels and oil tankers; loading docks; Sea Wolf park; and a Halliburton facility.
What is charming about the trip are the dolphins, who "channel surf" in the foam created by passing boats. Undeterred by the surroundings and murky water, these intelligent mammals frolic with abandon. The jet-drive, propeller-free boat is, sensibly, dolphin-safe.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Normally we couldn't be less interested in planes (unless they're getting us from one place to another). All those gauges, metal, and the smell of crankcase oil hold no appeal, nor does the association with military bombing and mid-air battles. But until we get our wings (not bloody likely), the only way to soar low over Galveston is in one of these World War II flying machines. At the Lone Star Museum, couples can take brief flights in a B-17, B-25, T-6, or PT-17 and see the island from a new perspective.
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For the best views in Galveston, take the elevator from the lobby of the Moody Gardens Hotel up to Shearn's on the 9th floor. Comfortable lounge seating, a pianist, and a well-stocked bar make this convivial spot the place to go to salute the sunset and stay for seafood or steak. It overlooks the prettiest part of town and provides romantics with a clear view of the Moody Gardens pyramids and the Galveston waters beyond.
08 of 10Every six weeks or so, Galveston artists open their studios at night and invite the public in to see their creations, many of which are for sale. Romantic couples can simply browse, and the experience is enhanced by the offer of complimentary wine served in most venues. Art Walk takes place primarily along Postoffice Street in the heart of the downtown Galveston historic district, where it is legal to carry alcoholic beverages out of doors. Art Walk is a friendly, civilized event for adults, and folks seem to thoroughly enjoy themselves without getting sloppy or rowdy.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10Turn off the TV and head to The Grand 1894 Opera House of Galveston. This city landmark mounts on its stage both high and low cultural events that range from Galveston Symphony Orchestra to puppet shows for kids. Sophisticated, romantic couples will enjoy holding hands and watching visiting balladeers, modern dance troupes, and theatrical shows, both classic and contemporary.
10 of 10A romantic Galveston tradition, brunch at Bernardo's in the Hotel Galvez is a cornucopia of fine food. Whether you like to start the day with a made-to-order omelet, fresh Galveston Bay shrimp, bourbon-glazed ham or all of the above, it's beautifully arrayed here and you're welcome to all you can eat. The room itself is quite beautiful, with large arched windows overlooking swaying palms and Galveston Bay. Just leave room for dessert, where the selection will leave you with a sugar high.