Fall is the time of year when we (finally) get a break from the heat of summer and the aromas of pumpkin spice-flavored drinks fill many a coffee shop. Not only is this a great season to travel, it’s an even better time to visit Galveston Island. The season’s cooler temperatures make it the perfect time to relax on the island’s 32 miles of sandy beaches, catch a few fish, and enjoy the outdoors.
Not only that, fall is full of awesome festivals and you can discover Galveston’s spooky history on one of the many ghost tours. When you’re ready for a break from all the adventure, browse the one-of-a-kind shops and treat yourself to some delicious food at the unique restaurants located throughout the Strand Historic District.
Read on to see why you need to visit Galveston Island this fall.
Even though much of the Gulf Coast was impacted by Hurricane Harvey, we were fortunate to make it through without any significant damages to our beaches and major attractions, and nearly all the businesses in our downtown were open within one week. Needless to say, we’re ready to welcome you back when you need to get away!
The Spectacular Weather
While Texas’ summer swelter gives you all the motivation you need to cool off in the inviting waters of the Gulf of Mexico, there’s even more to love about Galveston in the fall. Not only is the weather much cooler (daily highs rarely exceed the low 80s), the humidity drops off as well, making it an exceedingly pleasant time of year. Add in all that beachside sunshine Galveston is famous for and you’ve got all you need for a spectacular vacation on the Texas Gulf Coast.
All the Awesome Events
Fall in Galveston is filled with parades, music and all the food you can handle. Savor the oh-so-succulent flavors of beef souvlaki, gyros and other traditional foods served during the Galveston Island Greek Festival. Then sink your teeth into some strudels and bratwurst and sip a pint of delicious German and Texas craft beer at The Island Oktoberfest. This celebration of Galveston’s German roots, held at the First Lutheran Church of Galveston, has been an island tradition for more than 30 years.
Do you love art? Don’t miss ARToberFEST, which transforms the Strand Historic District into an outdoor gallery that showcases the works of more than 125 artists from across the country.
Believe it or not, all of this is just in October! If you’re here in November or December, check out the 50 days of events that make transform Galveston into the Winter Wonder Island, including Ice Land at Moody Gardens and the always popular Dickens on The Strand.
Planning your next visit to the island? Check out this list of Galveston’s major festivals.
Ghost Tours. Need We Say More?
Throughout its turbulent - and sometimes tragic - history, Galveston has been home to cannibalistic Indians and marauding pirates, and it has also weathered the deadliest natural disaster in American history. No wonder it’s one of the most haunted cities in the country. What better time to experience the island’s spooky side than Halloween season? Fortunately, there are an abundance of captivating ghost tours that will give you all the spine-tingling chills you could ask for.
Explore some of the island’s most active paranormal hot spots with Dash Beardsley, the one and only Ghost Man of Galveston. Visit some of the creepiest locations in the Strand Historic District, or embark on an eerie journey into the Old City Cemetery, the resting place of Civil War soldiers and victims of The Great Storm of 1900. Dash Beardsley’s tours are held throughout the year, but there are a few that you can only go on in the fall. Take a ghost tour of the 1859 Ashton Villa for a chance to see the spectral form of former resident Miss Bettie Brown. Meanwhile, a sunset cruise to some of the island’s mysterious places is a gripping way to learn about Galveston’s supernatural past.
See more ghost tours here.
World-Class Shows at The Grand 1894 Opera House
For a first-rate concert or to see a Broadway show live, look no further than one of Galveston’s cultural institutions, The Grand 1894 Opera House. Fall is the beginning of the opera house’s nearly year-long season, and there are plenty of upcoming shows that you won’t want to miss. Award-winning musicians Willie Nelson and violinist Joshua Bell, as well as the world-famous percussive group STOMP, are performing at The Grand this fall. If you’re looking to get in the Halloween spirit, catch the screening of the classic silent film Nosferatu accompanied by celebrated organist Rob Landes.
View The Grand’s schedule of upcoming shows and get your tickets today.
It’s a Great Time to be Outdoors
Given the friendlier fall weather, this goes without saying. But in Galveston, the transition from summer to fall creates a slew of new opportunities. For starters, autumn is one of the best times to go fishing on the island. Flounder, red drum and trout are especially active as they start feeding for the winter, meaning you just might catch a few fish you can brag to your friends about. Fall is also bird migration season and Galveston sits in the heart of the trans-Gulf migration route. Get your binoculars and explore the island’s shorelines, prairies and waterways to see non-native birds like the sandhill crane, sharp-shinned hawk and Mississippi kite.
When you’re not fishing or birdwatching, rent a stand up paddleboard and hit the waves at the Galveston Seawall, explore the kayaking trails in Galveston Island State Park or simply kick back and catch a refreshingly cool sea breeze.
All of this is just a taste of why you should visit Galveston this autumn. The island’s happening nightlife, unique shops and restaurants, remarkable historic sites and incredible attractions serve up plenty more reasons to “fall” for Galveston.