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.
Island ETC Celebrates 15 Years with "Magic and Memories TWO"
Island ETC (East-End Theatre Company) invites you to come help us celebrate our 15th seasons with a fun and music filled celebration on Friday, December 15th and Saturday, December 16th. Read more.
Why Do Snowbirds Love Galveston So Much?
Is it the warmer island temperatures? The wonderful holiday traditions? Take a look at why so many choose Galveston as their winter getaway! Read more.
Behind The Scenes: ICE LAND: Rainforest Holiday
Take a behind the scenes look at ICE LAND: Rainforest Holiday with some background, specs and fun facts! Read more.
Galveston Welcomes the Return of the Sandhill Cranes
The impressive three-to-four-foot tall Sandhill Cranes, known for their size and the bright red cap atop their heads, arrive in Galveston late October and depart late February through early March. Read more.
Island Holiday Guide For The Entire Family
When planning your holiday adventures, you will not want to miss out on what Galveston Island has in store in 2017. 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.
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.
10 Historical Facts You Probably Don't Know About Galveston
How many of these historical Galveston facts do you know? Read more.
Unique Shopping Opportunities in Downtown Galveston
Explore unique shopping opportunities in Galveston Read more.