Pier 21 is a waterfront entertainment and dining area located on Galveston's historic harbor in The Historic Strand Seaport Area.
Pier 21 offers a variety of attractions, restaurants, and lodging at the pier's exclusive hotel and marina, Harbor House.
Mitchell Historic Properties owns and preserves approximately one-fourth of the buildings in The Historic Strand Seaport Area including Pier 21.
Overlooking Galveston Harbor with window views of cruise ships and the famous Tall Ship Elissa, is the Harbor House, a harbor view hotel and nine-slip marina located at Galveston's Pier 21.
Restaurants at Pier 21 offer views of Galveston's historic working harbor. While dining, visitors will often see cruise ships, harbor tours, shrimp boats, and tug boats hard at work as well as frequent dolphin and marine wildlife sightings.
Current dining options include Willie G's Seafood and Steaks, Olympia Grill at Pier 21, and Nonno Tony's World Kitchen. All of the restaurants offer indoor and outdoor dining.
Texas Seaport Museum's 50-foot twin-engine motor vessel, the Seagull II, is fast, stable, sheltered, and built specifically for harbor sight-seeing excursions and education. The boat is U.S. Coast Guard certified and her operators are fully licensed and knowledgeable about the history and lore of her home waters. An open upper deck affords a full panorama of water and sky.
The Jet Boat Thrill Ride provides an exhilarating adventure in the Texas sun and the chance to experience the "Hamilton Spin," a maneuver that rotates the boat 360° on its axis while throwing a wall of water into the air. Riders will also experience the thrill of sharp right angle turns and accelerated speeds that will result in the boat ride of a lifetime.
BayWatch Dolphin Tours is located on Pier 21 and only a short walk from the historic Strand District in Downtown Galveston. The 34-foot boat offers a covered interior and is considered a dolphin safe tour boat. Baywatch Tours offers daily 45-minute tours that allows guests to view the dolphins in their natural habitat during an informational tour of the harbor.
Visitors to the Ocean Star have the opportunity to explore an actual retired jack-up drilling rig. The museum features three floors of models and interactive displays illustrating the story of offshore oil and gas from seismic technology to exploration and production. Scale models of production platforms, actual drill bits and remotely-operated vehicles (ROVs) as well as videos and exhibits explain drilling, geology, seismic, well servicing and production.
Located in the historic port of Galveston, the Texas Seaport Museum tells the story of a rich legacy of seaborne commerce and immigration. Visitors may look for ancestors on its computer database containing the names of more than 133,000 immigrants who entered the United States through Galveston, "'The Ellis Island of the West." The Texas Seaport Museum is also home to Galveston Harbor Tours which offers a one hour historic harbor and dolphin watch tour.
Pier 21 Theater is a family friendly venue that offers three documentary films for history buffs and curious visitors alike. The movies highlight the major events of Galveston Island including the 1900 storm that ravaged the island and chronicles of Galveston's beloved pirate history.
Mosquito Fleet Berth
Located where Jean Lafitte's pirate ships (1815-21) and the Republic of Texas Navy (1836-40s) once sailed, the Galveston Mosquito Fleet now calls the historic dock at Pier 19 home. Galveston Wharves & Cotton Press Company chartered and built the early dock in 1854. Galveston Bay was a key point during the Civil War. In 1863, Confederate marine assaults around the bay freed the island of Federal occupation. During the roaring ‘20s, rum runners called the Pier home. Throughout the decades and the changing times, the Mosquito Fleet continued to dock at Pier 19 and enriched not only the city, but also the nation with a blend of Asian and European fishing customs.
To this day, the international custom of blessing the fishing fleet is an annual tradition in Galveston. The name Mosquito Fleet comes from the boats' insect-like profiles and the swarming resemblance the ships take on as they head out to open water. Made up of about 75 boats, the flotilla of ships leaves the harbor between midnight and dawn to shrimp or fish around the island, returning by sunset accompanied by flocks of sea birds hoping for an easy meal.