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.
Galveston Historical Foundation Announces HARBOR CITY AMBITION Programming
For the next eight months, Galveston Historical Foundation will examine the founding of Galveston by the Galveston City Company and the first two decades of the city’s existence with “Harbor City Ambition; Life in Galveston from 1838-1859”. Read more.
Cruise In and Celebrate Downtown Galveston
The good just keeps on getting better for cruise passengers who arrive in Galveston for a long-awaited vacation to the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean and beyond. Read more.
Galveston Kicks off Summer Tourism Season This Weekend
After setting record visitation last year, Galveston is preparing for a busy summer with the start of its peak tourism season over Memorial Day weekend. Read more.
GET ME, LLC Expands Into New Markets, Including Galveston
Groceries, rides, errand services, and much more will soon be at the fingertips of thousands of more consumers, as the enterprising start-up GET ME, LLC ("get me") expands into Galveston and other markets. Read more.
Summer Events on Galveston Island Bring Sand Castles, Corvettes and More
This summer, Galveston will be a hot spot for fun festivals and special events, including one of the nation’s largest sandcastle building competitions and Texas’ largest craft beer festival. 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.
NATIONAL PARKS ADVENTURES Now on the Big Screen at Moody Gardens
To celebrate the 100th year of National Park Service, documentary director Greg MacGillivray and Moody Gardens are presenting the 3D film National Parks Adventures. Read more.
Rosenberg Library May Treasure of the Month
During the month of May, Rosenberg Library remembers the iconic Nathan’s department store in Galveston. Read more.
Downtown Paid Parking Program Now Underway
Paid parking in downtown Galveston is now enforced Monday through Saturday from 9 AM to 6 PM daily. Read more.
Spring in Galveston Offers New Beaches, Adventures
Spring is here and the Galveston shore is calling your name. Answer it – and immerse yourself in new adventures, from flyboarding over the bay to horseback riding on the beach. Read more.