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The Ultimate Galveston Spring Break Guide

Updated 179 days ago

Galveston Island, dubbed the Playground of the Southwest, is one of the top spring break destinations for travelers looking for anything from exciting beach parties to relaxing attractions for all ages. Every year, Galveston turns in to a road trip destination in the month of March, as the island begins warming up and the kids start getting off school for their week-long Spring Break adventures. In order to assist you through the planning steps of your spring getaway, I have organized a collection of Galveston.com resources to guide you to a vacation of a lifetime!

 

When is Spring Break 2018?

 

Most Texas universities have their spring break during the week of March 10-18, 2018. Baylor University's has its during the week of March 3-9, and Our Lady of the Lake University's takes place from March 17-25.  

Other universities: 
Loyola University New Orleans - 02/24/2018 to 03/04/2018
Tulane University of Louisiana - 03/24/2018 to 04/01/2018
University of New Orleans - 03/31/2018 to 04/08/2018
Louisiana State University - 03/25/2018 to 04/01/2018
University of Louisiana, Lafayette - 03/30/2018 to 04/08/2018
Oklahoma University - 03/17/2018 to 03/25/2018
Oklahoma State University - 03/19/2018 to 03/23/2018;

Traveling to Galveston Island

Galveston is located about 40 miles from the 4th largest city in the United States: Houston, TX. Houston has two large international airports that you can fly in to, which will give you some flight options.

  • George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) is located north of Downtown Houston, so the commute to Galveston would be a little lengthier, but a lot of people use this option to combine their Galveston trip with some Houston sightseeing.
  • William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) is located in southeast Houston, which makes for an easy commute to Galveston Island. Hop on I-45 South and next thing you know you will be crossing the Galveston Causeway Bridge on to our beautiful island.

Driving In? No Problem!

Visiting from the Austin or San Antonio areas? Get on I-10 East all the way to Houston and then take I-45 South until you see waves.

Visiting from Louisiana? How about a ferry ride to the island?  Exit I-10 at Winnie, Texas and head south on Hwy 124 to Hwy 87 and go until you arrive at the ferry dock.  If you want to avoid possible ferry lines, take I-10 West all the way to Houston and then take I-45 South. Here’s a quick pro tip, if you don’t mind paying a toll, try taking Beltway-8 to I-45 South to get to the beach quicker!

Visiting from the Dallas/Fort Worth area? This is the easiest commute, as you only need to take I-45 South for about four hours, so fill up that playlist and hit cruise control toward Galveston!

Staying in Galveston

Hotels & Condos are abundant here on Galveston Island. Stay in the beautiful and historic Hotel Galvez and discover a sophisticated retreat steps from where the shimmering Gulf of Mexico shores meet historic charm. Running a little low on cash? Galveston has great lodging options for budget travelers too! Browse around our hotel page to check out the nearly 50 different hotel and condo options!

Vacation Rentals are another popular lodging option. Whether you’re traveling with family or friends, these vacation rental homes give you the comfort of a home with some privacy and charm. If you’re lucky and are able to snag a home with a beach-view, even better!

RV Parks are tucked away in different locations throughout Galveston. Whether you want to stroll the beaches of Galveston Island State Park or hook up at one of the more popular beachfront camping sites, Dellenera Park, you can’t go wrong. To view a full list of RV Parks in Galveston Island, please check out Galveston.com/RVPark.

Getting Around Galveston

Using one of the several easy and convenient rideshare services, such as UBER or Lyft is option number one. Rates are cheaper than taxis or rental cars, so consider saving some money here.

Looking for the coolest way to get around Galveston Island? Look no further than the newly renovated Galveston Trolleys. The fee to ride is $1 for adults, while children accompanied by their parents can ride absolutely free. Be sure to bring exact change to pay your fare, because the drivers will not be able to produce change for you. The trolleys pass each of the stops on its routes about every 30 minutes, and they run from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. They travel from Stewart Beach to Moody Gardens with a transfer to and from Downtown. For more information about the Trolley system, visit the trolley information website.

Keep in mind, Galveston Island is relatively small and a bike ride from Pleasure Pier (Seaside) to the Historic Downtown Strand District (Harborside) is only 10 minutes. Not to mention bike rentals are a fun and cheap alternative to island transportation. While you’re at it, Galveston’s Seawall, that protects the island from the Gulf of Mexico, has the world’s longest continuous sidewalk with spectacular views for a nice bike ride.

Events Taking Place During Spring Break

One of the coolest features of Galveston.com is the ability to scroll through every event happening on any specific day you are interested in! All you need to do is visit our calendar of events and select the day you want on the calendar. Here are some events that will be taking place during your spring break: 

  • 40th Corvette Chevy Expo (March 10 - 11):  The Corvette Chevy Expo will celebrate its 40th anniversary when it returns to the Galveston Island Convention Center and the all Chevy-themed event held annually at the GICC, is one of the South's greatest Corvette & Chevy shows, attracting spectators from Texas as well as surrounding states.
  • St. Patrick's Day Festival (March 17): Don't miss this annual, family-friendly event featuring live entertainment, food, beer, prizes and more!
  • Music Nite on The Strand: A Sure Thing: Come out to Saengerfest Park in Downtown Galveston this Spring Break and enjoy live music from the band 'A Sure Thing,' a fun band playing wonder top-40 music!

Spring Break for Families

Spring breaking with the family is one of the best ways to unite your family with a fun escape! Whether you're having staycation or you're visiting from out-of-town, Galveston Island has more than enough family-friendly spring break activities.

  • Moody Gardens: On top of Moody Garden's famous aquarium, rainforest and discovery pyramids, they also have an exhilarating five-tier Sky Trail Ropes Course which boasts being the tallest Steel Ropes Course on the Gulf Coast! After you conquer the ropes course, thrill seekers can boost their adventure with the Moody Gardens Zip Line that travels 60-feet above Palm Beach and the Lazy River! 
  • Schlitterbahn Spring Break: Schlitterbahn Waterpark Galveston heats up the Wasserfest section of the park to deliver the most Spring Break fun. Their indoor waterpark is awarded the Golden Ticket for World's Best Indoor Waterpark for the last eight years in a row. Tickets are only $25.99 for adults and $20.99 for children and seniors! Schlitterbahn Spring Break will be open from March 10 to 18 with extended hours of 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier: The beautiful landmark located at 25th & Seawall will be open from March 9 to 18, and will offer a special three-in-one deal that offers Pleasure Pier, the Kemah Boardwalk and the Downtown Aquarium in Houston for a reduced price of $89.99. This price includes unlimited access to each of these attractions throughout the entirety of spring break. Enjoy the cool Gulf breezes as you enjoy rides such as the Gulf Glider, Iron Shark and Revolution.
  • Jet Boat Thrill Ride: The entire family will enjoy the thrill and excitement of right-angle turns, accelerated speeds and "The Hamilton Spin," a maneuver that spins the boat 360 degrees on its axis throwing a head-high wall of water into the air. Tickets are $30 and you can book online here.

Can't decide on which attractions your family wants to tackle during spring break? The Galveston Island Pass gives you the opportunity to choose from several attractions and save up to 40%! To find more exciting adventures and attractions, visit our What To Do section. 

Spring Break for Partiers 


Spring Break is all about soaking in the rays and enjoying a nice break from reality, but the fun doesn’t end when the sun sinks below the horizon. Galveston is home to some of the coolest beachfront bars, dive bars and sports bars, to see a full list visit this link, but I will highlight some of my personal favorites here:

  • Island Famous: Five venues, one spot. The first venue, The Spot, was born in 1998. The laidback island style of Tiki Bar was introduced in '05, followed shortly thereafter by their trio of concept bars: Squeeze Ritas & Tequilas, RumShack and SideYard. Each venue offers its own unique look, atmosphere and appeal, giving you five concepts to choose from.
  • Float: When it comes to good, island-style fun, grab the sunblock and sunshades and head over to Float, Galveston Island's place for tropical good times on legendary Seawall Boulevard. Float features an indoor air-conditioned bar overlooking the beautiful Gulf of Mexico, as well as an outdoor pool in which to cool down during the warm summer months.
  • Rooftop Bar at The Tremont House: The Rooftop Bar offers a sophisticated, modern lounge atmosphere located four stories above street level on the roof of The Tremont House. The Rooftop Bar offers a spectacular view of Galveston's historic downtown and harbor.
  • DTO: Brad Stringer and business partners Ian Ramirez and Robert Hollis are the magicians behind DTO (Daiquiri Time Out), an uber-cool bar in downtown Galveston. This speakeasy serves up imaginative, craft cocktails using fresh-squeezed juice and house-made spirits.
  • O’Malley’s Stage Door Pub: Voted Best Dive Bar in the 2017 Best of Island Awards and Located steps from The Grand 1894 Opera House, Old Cellar Bar, Molly's Pub (and a host of other tantalizing restaurants), O'Malley's is the place to be when visiting Galveston's arts and entertainment district.

Spring Break Relaxation Destination

Sometimes, just getting away and relaxing on the beach or in the spa is the perfect way to spend your spring break. For those of us lucky to live here on Galveston Island, we like to live a relaxed, care-free lifestyle and it's not hard to do so. With the 32-miles of beaches, high-end spas and more, take a break from reality and get on Island Time here in Galveston come spring break. 

Article written by Clayton Kolavo

Clayton Kolavo is the newest member of the Galveston.com & Company family. Clayton oversees planning, implementation, and evaluation of public relations and marketing activities, including promotions, video production, blogs, and social media. Serves as Director of Galveston.com TV and Galveston Restaurant Week, as well as media liaison between the firm and local tourism partners.

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