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.
Annual ARToberFEST Returns October 21-22
The 20th Annual ARToberFEST brings historic downtown Galveston to life this October. Read more.
Humans of Galveston: German Couple Make a Pit Stop in Galveston
Get a glimpse into the lives of some fascinating people who have made the journey to Galveston, Texas. Read more.
Galveston Holiday Events to Include New Downtown Lanterns & Lights PLUS Cirque Joyeux Noel Show
The entire island will offer holiday cheer with eight weeks of “Winter Wonder Island” events and festivities. Read more.
Lone Star Rally Roars into Galveston November 2-5
North Dakota has Sturgis, which draws 750,000 bikers to the city for the 10-day event, and Daytona Beach has Beach Bike Week that attracts 500,000 over ten days. But pound for pound, bike for bike, Galveston’s Lone Star Rally is a major player on the scene. Read more.
36th Oktoberfest - Premier Fall Event
This fun, family festival weekend will feature continuous live entertainment on two stages, authentic German food and libations, Cake Wheel, fine arts, crafts, gifts and MORE! Read more.
25 Ways to Send Your Stay Into Overtime!
Galveston Island is a beautiful, historic beach destination known for its great weather all year round. There are plenty of things to do in Galveston that promise to send your stay into Overtime, which is what makes our charming little island so diverse and special. Read more.
6 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.
Fun & Spooky Activities to Tackle this October
Galveston, known for its beaches and sunshine, also has a dark side to it as well. Check out 13 spooktacular Halloween events coming up this October. Read more.
5 Fantastic Reasons You Need to Visit Galveston this Fall
Get on Island Time this Fall because of these wonderful reasons. Read more.
10 Historical Facts You Probably Don't Know About Galveston
How many of these historical Galveston facts do you know? Read more.