No trip to Galveston is complete without a visit to some of the most popular museums on the island. Whether you are looking for a WWII-era submarine or a locomotive, Galveston is full of must-see memorabilia.
The Bryan Museum
Home to the world’s largest collection of historical artifacts, documents and artwork relating to the Southwestern United States, the Bryan Museum presents “The West as it will never be seen again.” The former Galveston Orphans Home, built in 1895, is now a restored world-class museum that houses a collection as big as Texas, ranging from ancient Native American artifacts to 21st-century pieces. The property features a research library, children’s center, sculpture garden and a recently added conservatory.
The Galveston Railroad Museum
Explore locomotive history with one of the largest restored railroad collections in the country. The Galveston Railroad Museum features numerous railroad memorabilia and exhibits, including more than 40 pieces of locomotives and rolling stock. This museum also houses an actual working train! Visitors can take a ride on the Harborside Express train.
Texas Seaport Museum & The 1877 Tall Ship Elissa
Share the adventure of the high seas at the Texas Seaport Museum, home of the celebrated 1877 tall ship ELISSA. Explore the decks of this floating National Historic Landmark which has also been designated one of America's Treasures by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Walk ELISSA's decks and imagine the days when daring sailors challenged the world's oceans. In the adjacent museum and theater, witness the story of ELISSA's dramatic rescue from the scrap yard and her meticulous restoration.
Located in the historic port of Galveston, the Texas Seaport Museum also tells the story of a rich legacy of seaborne commerce and immigration. Look for ancestors with a one-of-a-kind computer database containing the names of more than 133,000 immigrants who entered the United States through Galveston, The Ellis Island of the West.
Located on Galveston’s Pelican Island on a former immigration station is Seawolf Park. This public beach park hosts the American Undersea Warfare Center. The WWII-era USS Cavalla submarine, along with the USS Stewart which once escorted President Franklin Roosevelt’s presidential yacht, is berthed right offshore. This park offers one of the island’s most popular fishing piers, picnic sites, and a playground.