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.
Postoffice Street Art Galleries Continue to Enchant
Entering Galveston's arts scene is as easy as venturing onto Postoffice Street for an enchanting blend of art galleries, antique shops and chic eateries. Read more.
12 Essential Things You Need to Do in Galveston This Summer
Early morning sunrises, warm sea breezes and the invitingly sandy shores of Galveston Island attract beachgoers from all over Texas and beyond. While enjoying Galveston’s beaches in the summer is a slam dunk, there are many ways to make the most of your stay here. Read more.
4 Museums to Visit in Galveston
No trip to Galveston is complete without a visit to some of the most popular museums on the island. Read more.
The Bryan Museum: Galveston's World Class History Museum
Many summertime visitors come to Galveston for the beaches, restaurants and just to be near the warm Gulf waters. But many may not realize that this historic island has a world-class museum with incredible artifacts, artworks and displays that bring Texas history to life. Read more.
Celebrate Your Birthday, Galveston-Style!
Opportunities abound to do something cool, different and utterly unforgettable. Here are some island venues that lend themselves to unique birthday parties. Read more.
Galveston Summer Camps For Kids Both Fun and Educational
When school is out, what’s there for kids to do? Quite a lot, if you consider all the summer programs available on the island. From preschoolers to mostly middle school age, summer camp programs give kids hands-on learning experiences while having fun at the same time.
Free Events Offer No Excuses for Summertime Fun in Galveston
No more concerns about digging too deep into your wallet for summer fun on Galveston Island. There are many things to do that won’t cost you anything, except maybe your time and with an investment in smiling and laughter! Read more.
Murals Guide to Galveston
A guide to the many eye-catching murals located across the Island. Read more.
Must-Do Summer Activities on Galveston Island
Galveston’s social calendar is filled year-round with all manner of cool events, but the summertime takes this wealth of festive riches to the extremes. Read more.
6 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.