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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.

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.

7 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.

East Beach: Galveston's Party Central for Fun and Surf

With live music concerts, sparkling surf, volleyball courts, concession stands and the imaginative sand sculptures created during the annual AIA Sandcastle Competition, East Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the island. Read more.

10 Reasons You Should Get On "Island Time" in Galveston

The return of summer in the Lone Star State heralds the arrival of warm weather, vibrant blue skies and blooming bluebonnets. Read more.

DA VINCI: THE EXHIBITION Coming to Moody Gardens

Moody Gardens presents Da Vinci: The Exhibition from May 27, 2017 to Jan. 7, 2018 at the Discovery Museum. The exhibit follows the Renaissance master, Leonardo da Vinci, on a journey of innovation, creativity, science and wonder. Read more.

Galveston's Music Scene Is a Sure Shot for Summer of '17

For sure, the island’s glistening beaches, cool historic downtown shops and East End Victorian homes beckon you to stop by, but Galveston’s live music scene is also another sure shot for big fun. 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. Read more.

Galveston Arts Center Announces New, Expanded Summer Art Programs for Youth

Taught by a team of university-trained artists and licensed art teachers, the program schedule covers an impressive array of visual art topics. Read more.

Galveston's Pier 21 - An All Day Affair

Galveston’s Pier 21 has restaurants, an exclusive hotel, marina, theater, harbor tours and attractions. Read more.

Get a Taste of Downtown Galveston

Galveston’s 70-block historic downtown is a veritable treasure chest of culture Read more.

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