Ah, the joys of Island life: the gentle breeze, glistening waters, diverse sea life and cooler weather on the way. What better way to soak it all up than hopping on a bicycle to soak it all in up close and personal?
The Seawall is probably the most popular island spot for cycling. From end to end the ride is about 10 miles long, and as the summer months wind down it’s less congested and perfect for a slow to moderate ride.
But that’s just the tip of the cycling iceberg.
For architecture and history buffs, Galveston’s East End Historical District provides the perfect opportunity for an unhurried ride among the tree-lined streets to experience the charm of Galveston’s “Gilded Age.”
The East End Historical District is comprised of 50 city blocks bounded on the south by Broadway, the east by 10th Street, the north by Mechanic Street and the west by 19th Street. The district was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 and has been designated as a National Historic Landmark.
The architecture reflects a variety of styles and periods dating back to the Greek Revival style of the 1850s. The dwellings range from small, simple cottages to large elaborate houses, according to www.eastendhistoricdistrict.org/district.html.
After checking out the historical homes, be sure to pedal on over to Galveston’s 70-block historic downtown – a veritable treasure chest of culture and architecture, along with its museums, galleries and theaters.
If you’re ready for a longer ride, head down FM 3005 on the island West End to the San Luis Pass Bridge. The FM 3005 shoulder is fairly wide just west of Jamaica Beach and traffic is usually light on weekends. You’ll see lots of wildlife and new beach houses – many of them mini-mansions – built since Hurricane Ike devastated the Island in 2008.
Galveston has plenty of bike rental shops, but it’s best to call an hour or two before you arrive and the shop will have a bike(s) aired up and ready to roll.
Island Bicycle Company, Goody’s and EZ Rentals deliver some of the best all-around service, according to www.galveston-travel-and-charm.com/Bike-Rentals.html. The rental cost generally depends on what you ride, how long you ride, and if you reserve.
Bicycle rentals are about $8 an hour, a 3-hour rental is about $5 an hour, and the whole day is about $25. If you are staying three days or more, consider getting a weeklong rental for about $60. There’ll be ample opportunities to hop on for an exciting ride.
Island Bicycle Company is located at 1808 Seawall Blvd. (Ph: 409-762-2453). EZ Rentals has two locations – at 4712 Seawall Blvd. (Ph: 409-765-7574) and at 1728 Seawall (Ph: 409-763-0705). Goody’s Rental is located at 2402 Seawall Blvd. (Ph: 409-621-1062).