It’s that time of the year when the sun’s rays provide the perfect backdrop for dancing, partying and flirting during the annual freedom pilgrimage called Spring Break Galveston. It takes place March 1 - April 30.
If you’re on a budget, there’s are plenty of activities to dive into that won’t break your bank account. Here’s some options to consider:
Soak up the Beach
Put on your bathing suit and get out the sunscreen and head to the Island’s cool beaches – Stewart Beach Park, R.A. Apffel Park (East Beach) and Beach Pocket Park on the West End. All told, Galveston has 32 miles of beaches to sink your toes into.
Galveston has the longest continuous sidewalk in America on its beachfront – Seawall Boulevard – making room for a wide variety of free outdoor activities like swimming, playing beach volleyball or hitting the pavement for biking or running. To watch a breathtaking sunrise or sunset on the Seawall is truly priceless.
Take a Bucket Brigade Tour
Learn about the diversity of life found in the Gulf Coast waters during a free, interactive tour of Galveston’s beaches. These tours are led by volunteers from Artist Boat and marine biologists from Texas A&M University-Galveston. Participants will also learn about other features of the coastal environment like sand dunes and rip currents. Tours will be offered March 16-18 during spring break.
Galveston Island Pass
Get your passport to adventure and savings with the new Galveston Island Pass. Load your pass with four or more participating attractions and save 40 percent off regular admission prices. This is a great deal as the pass is good for 30 days after purchase. Get your Galveston Island Pass online.
Galveston Tree Sculpture Tour
After Hurricane Ike, optimistic island residents worked with area sculptors to transform damaged oak trees into breathtaking tree sculptures that are now the focus of the Galveston Tree Sculptures Tour. The 30-plus sculptures are tucked into gardens and nestled in side yards throughout the island's East End Historic District for the public to enjoy and find. Be sure to check out the online interactive tour.
Ferry Ride + Dolphin Watch
Galveston's Bolivar Ferry is well known across the Lone Star State. This free and roughly 20-minute ride each way between Port Bolivar and Galveston is an entertaining diversion from the beaches and historic districts that are the biggest Galveston tourist draw. During this voyage, you can also get a close look at graceful dolphins as they swim by. For details, click here.
Stroll the Strand
The downtown area offers an intriguing selection of shops, restaurants, galleries and museums within a perfect radius for self-guided tours. The Victorian architecture of The Strand makes for a charming stroll. Saegnerfest Park at 23rd and Strand is a free family park and home to a life-size chessboard and frequent live entertainment. Be sure to also check out the art galleries and shops found on Postoffice Street. Check out current downtown events by clicking here.
Old-Fashioned Taffy-Making at La King's Confectionery
La King's Confectionery in downtown Galveston is sure to make your trip to the island that much sweeter. Not only can you delight in homemade old-fashioned candies and ice cream, you can watch it being made. The shop hosts free salt water taffy-making demonstrations daily during peak tourism season. For more information, click here.
Galveston Island State Park
The Galveston Island State Park offers a wide variety of outdoor activities that are free to participate in. While there’s a $5 parking charge to get into the park, you can enjoy kayak tours, beach and surf explorations, bird walks, nature field trips and fishing clinics at no cost. Many activities require advance sign-up. The park's Nature Center is open on Saturdays and Sundays March through November showing nature displays and videos pertaining to the park's plant and marine life. For more information, visit fogisp.wordpress.com.
Visit Galveston Museums
Galveston is home to many affordable museums that highlight science as well as Galveston's unique history. A new pirate museum, Pirates! Legends of the Gulf Coast, recently opened on the Strand. Downtown is also home to the Galveston Railroad Museum, Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig and Museum, Pier 21 Theater, Texas Seaport Museum and the 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA. These museums range in price from $2 to $8. The nearby Rosenberg Library Museum on Sealy Street is free!