The proximity of the Cruise Ship Terminal to Galveston's historic downtown district provides an opportunity to embark on a brief adventure prior to or following a cruise. The downtown area offers an intriguing selection of shops, restaurants, galleries, and museums within a perfect radius for self-guided tours.
Start near the corner of 25th and Strand directly across from the Galveston Island Railroad Museum, one of the nation's most popular rail museums. Take about 30-45 minutes to enjoy all the fascinating displays.
Back on The Strand, take some time to enjoy the variety of shops in the district's beautiful historic buildings, many of which survived the 1900 Storm, regarded as the worst natural disaster in U.S. history.
For a taste of Galveston, visit the great restaurants along The Strand or on the waterfront. Find everything from Greek and Mexican to Italian and, of course, fresh Gulf Coast seafood.
On the bay side of Harborside, on Pier 19, find the Ocean Star Offshore Energy Center and Museum. Step aboard and explore the offshore rig and learn how oil and gas are produced offshore. The museum features interactive displays and models.
Walking back toward the terminal, find the Pier 21 Theater featuring The Great Storm and The Pirate Island of Jean Lafitte. The Great Storm runs 27 minutes and plays on the hour. It gives a glimpse of the devastating 1900 Storm, a Category 5 hurricane, through a multi-image documentary experience. The Pirate Island of Jean Lafitte is an 18-minute dramatic film chronicling the adventures of the notorious pirate who made Galveston his home.
Next door, find the Texas Seaport Museum and Tall Ship Elissa. At the museum, look up ancestors in a one-of-a-kind computer database with information on over 133,000 immigrants who entered the United States through Galveston. Adjacent to the museum is the Tall Ship Elissa, deemed one of America's treasures by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Allow at least 25-30 minutes at each site.