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Planning a Meeting? Why Not in Galveston?

By: Richard Varr | Tuesday, January 17, 2017 1:43 PM

Most visitors come to Galveston to relax on the beaches, stroll the Strand, maybe visit museums and to dine at some of the island’s most popular restaurants. Yet despite it being a vacation destination, Galveston is also a great place to hold meetings.

And what makes Galveston’s meeting venues particularly unique? Well, what can be more enticing than doing business with sandy shores just a stone’s throw away.

It’s no secret that meeting planners have eyed Galveston’s scenic setting and cooling breezes as a refreshing backdrop to business-as-usual meetings and conventions. Meeting in a vacation destination at a resort can often help ease stress levels and offer more exciting before and after meeting activities as opposed to typical venues.

Between meetings at the Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa & Convention Center, for example, delegates can wander through the adjacent Aquarium Pyramid teeming with aquatic life, or the Rainforest Pyramid with its tropical plants and exotic fish and birds. The hotel facilities offer 103,000 square feet of combined meeting space, including 60,000 within its exhibit hall as well as 15,180 square feet in the Frances Moody Ballroom.

The Galveston Island Convention Center at the San Luis Resort sits adjacent to the beach skirting bustling Seawall Boulevard. The Center has 140,000 square feet of total meeting space including 43,100 square feet in a column-free exhibition hall, 15,500 square feet in the grand ballroom, 29,000 for pre-function space and 12,000 square feet of breakout meeting space. There are more than 700 adjacent hotel rooms, 250 of which are in the San Luis Resort, Spa & Conference Center which in itself has 40,000 square feet of meeting space.

Both Wyndham properties, the downtown 119-room Tremont House in the Strand District and sister property, the 224-room Hotel Galvez at the Seawall have 15,500 and 25,000 square feet of meeting space, respectively. The Hilton Galveston Island Resort offers 15,000 square feet, while The Grand 1894 Opera House can accommodate groups with 11,000 square feet of space. For small events and meetings, the elegant 1894 Moody Mansion with its stained glass windows is available, particularly for weddings and family events.

Other than the beaches, Galveston has many attractions to keep delegates occupied. The Strand is great for browsing with its boutiques, galleries, shops and restaurants. Just a few of the island’s museums include the Texas Seaport Museum which offers tours of the Tall Ship Elissa berthed alongside the waterfront museum, the Railroad Museum housed in the old Galveston Union Depot and the Mardi Gras Museum, all located within the Strand District or nearby. Galveston’s many historic and Victorian homes including the Menard Home, an 1838 Greek Revival mansion, and the 1839 Samuel May Williams Home offer a glimpse into the city’s cultural history.

Article written by Richard Varr

Richard Varr is a well-rounded freelance writer with more than 25 years writing experience. A member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), he specializes in travel, feature and business writing and is the author (main contributor) of the Dorling Kindersley EYEWITNESS TRAVEL GUIDE TO PHILADELPHIA AND THE PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH COUNTRY. Richard currently lives in Houston and contributes to a variety of magazines and websites, with particular focus on highlighting destinations for cruise and RV publications. Visit his own blog at varrtravel.wordpress.com.