From beaches to historic homes to modern attractions, Galveston Island is a great all-around vacation destination. Anyone heading to the big island will certainly find plenty to see and do. Here are few of the best things to do on Galveston Island - besides going to the beach, that is.
Take a Trip to the Pleasure Pier
Galveston's Pleasure Pier is one of Galveston's newest and most modern attractions, but it is also one of its most beloved historic sites. Originally opened to the public after WWII, the first incarnation of the Galveston Pleasure Pier was destroyed by Hurricane Carla in 1961. The pier itself remained standing, but rather than rebuild the Pleasure Pier, the historic Flagship Hotel was constructed atop the pier. When the hotel was severely damaged by Hurricane Ike in 2008, it, in turn, was replaced by a new version on the Pleasure Pier, which opened to the public in 2012 and features rides, games, activities, shops and a Bubba Gump Shrimp Company restaurant.
Like the other Schlitterbahn parks, Schlitterbahn Galveston Island features plenty of unique and innovative rides. However, unlike any other waterpark in the world, Schlitterbahn Galveston Island is 'convertible,' offering outdoor fun in the summer and indoor water rides during the winter. So, no matter what time of year you visit Galveston Island, there is always an opportunity to "get wet."
Take a Step Back in Time
Galveston is one of the most historic cities in Texas. From its time as a major 1800s era shipping port, through the 1900 hurricane and up until modern day, Galveston has played a large role in shaping Texas history. Luckily, a good number of the landmarks and buildings that played a role in this history are still around today.
Shop on the Strand
Developed as Galveston's commerce center in the late 1800s, the Strand has survived over 100 years to be reborn as an island shopping mecca. Because most of the shops on the Strand are housed in historic buildings, a stroll down the Strand combines shopping with sight-seeing.
Visit Moody Gardens
Visitors crossing the causeway to Galveston will surely see the pyramids rising on the western side of the island. Those pyramids are just part of magnificent Moody Gardens. With attractions that include several aquariums, an IMAX theatre and even a rainforest, Moody Gardens is a must see for Galveston visitors.
Historic Galveston is home to one of the largest Mardi Gras celebrations on the Gulf Coast. The Texas-size party lasts for 12 days and 11 nights prior to lent. Galveston's annual Mardi Gras has grown into one of the most popular annual events in Texas.
Spend the Holidays with Dickens
In a town known for its history, it only makes sense to ring in the holiday season with characters from Christmases past. Such is the case with Galveston, where the annual Dickens on the Strand event helps usher in the month of December and kicks off the holiday season.
No Galveston Island vacation is complete without at least one trip to the beach. After all, sand, surf, sun and fun are the main reasons people flock to Galveston Island - especially in the summer months.