Galveston’s 70-block historic downtown is a veritable treasure chest of culture, from the 19th-century architecture that made The Strand a National Historic Landmark to its museums, galleries and theaters.
One of its many events is ArtWalk, a citywide open house that happens every six to eight weeks and draws between 1,000 and 3,000 visitors. There’s truly something for every aesthetic sense here, from avant-garde works by nationally renowned artists, to handmade crafts, to whimsical paintings perfect for a beach house. Visitors stroll from gallery to gallery and the fun spills out into the streets, with food and drink vendors lining the sidewalk. ArtWalk’s newest feature is the Art Market on Market, an evening of live music, painting, photography, jewelry, performance art and temporary social art.
Another downtown gem is Island ETC, the city’s only professional repertory theater company. Formed in 2002 with members of the Strand Street Theatre (which was established in the ’70s), the company stages five or six productions each season.
In the late 19th century, German-born theater impresario Henry Greenwall managed to raise the then-impressive sum of $100,000, mostly from local businessmen, to build Galveston a luxurious new opera house with attached hotel and shops. Designed by architect and scenic designer Frank Cox, the stately, red brick, Romanesque Revival building with stone trim and terra-cotta ornaments survived its greatest test just six years after completion - the hurricane of 1900. Extensive repairs were required, but the opera house lived on.
After decades of presenting opera, theater, vaudeville and movies, the main auditorium began to show its age, so in 1974 the Galveston County Cultural Arts Council kicked off an ambitious 12-year restoration that lovingly returned the theater to its fin-de-siècle glory. In 1993, the Texas Legislature designated The Grand as the “Official Opera House of the State of Texas,” and it is considered one of the finest surviving 19th-century theaters in the country. Meanwhile, it still hosts dozens of performances a year, ranging from theater to musicals, stand-up comedy to live bands.
Group Activities Beckon & Abound on Galveston Island
If you’re looking for group activities, there’s plenty of things to on our charming little island. Read more.
Mardi Gras! Galveston Parade Schedule for 106th Celebration
If you’re looking to catch some beads this carnival season, look no further than the 106th celebration of Mardi Gras! Galveston. Read more.
SWAK! Moody Gardens Celebrates Love This Valentine's Weekend
Love is in bloom at Moody Gardens as they open up the Rainforest Pyramid for a wild Valentine's Dinner celebration on Saturday, Feb. 11. Read more.
Alternative Rock Band Sugar Ray & Stoney LaRue to Headline Mardi Gras! Galveston 2017
Alternative Rock band Sugar Ray and country music star Stoney LaRue will give headline performances at Texas’ largest Mardi Gras celebration, taking place Feb. 17 – 28, 2017 in Galveston. Read more.
Rosenberg Library Presents Its January 2017 Treasure
On January 1, 1999—New Year’s Day—thousands of emotional Galvestonians gathered to witness the implosion of the Buccaneer Hotel—a beachfront icon which stood for more than 70 years on Seawall Boulevard. Read more.
An Art Lover's Guide to Downtown
What comes to mind when you think of Galveston? Most visitors might say sand, surf and seafood; you may be surprised to know there's a nice bit of art out there as well. Read more.
Galveston.com Announces 2016 Best of the Island Winners
After weeks of nominations and tens of thousands of votes, we at Galveston.com are thrilled to present the Winners of the 2016 BEST OF GALVESTON AWARDS, "the Oscars of the Gulf Coast" according to The Houston Chronicle. Read more.
The Kindness Project Is Causing a Positive Ripple Effect Across Galveston Island
If you ask Erin Toberman, it doesn’t cost anything to be kind and that act of kindness has a ripple effect on the entire community. Read more.
Rosenberg Library Presents Its October 2016 Treasure of the Month
During the month of October, Rosenberg Library will exhibit a small collection of items related to Kirwin High School, an all-boys parochial school which operated in Galveston from 1927-1968. Read more.
8 Things to Do on a Rainy Day in Galveston
You’ve just landed in Galveston for some much-needed R&R and glance out the hotel patio window at the Gulf of Mexico. And it's raining. Never fear! Read more.