Welcome Winter Texans! Now that you've escaped the cold winter by heading south, it's island time! Galveston Island's tropical climate and breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico provide the relaxing escape you've been longing for. Yet, you'll feel right at home with the small town culture and southern hospitality found on this historic island.
Exploring in Galveston is easy to do as the island offers 32 miles of beaches, world-class attractions and adventure opportunities, one of the largest collections of Victorian architecture in the country, a charming historic downtown and plenty of award-winning restaurants.
And, if you're looking to meet fellow long-stay visitors, branch out to the many Winter Texan exclusive events offered throughout the season. You can learn about these events, special savings and other ways to make your long-term stay in Galveston more enjoyable by stopping by the Galveston Island Visitor Information Center located inside Ashton Villa.
There's an incredible number of wonderful things to do on Galveston Island that are either completely free of charge, or extremely affordable! Take a look at few below, or Download the Official Winter Texan Brochure Here.
Galveston Island Pass
Get your passport to adventure and savings with the new Galveston Island Pass. Load your pass with four or more participating attractions and save 40% off regular admission prices. This is a great deal as the pass is good for 30 days after purchase. Galveston Island Pass is available online at www.galvestonislandpass.com.
Stay Mid-Week and Save!
If you're looking for a way to save on accommodations, consider staying mid-week. Rates in Galveston are significantly lower for those choosing to book their overnight stays Sunday through Thursday. Click here to check other lodging options, rates and availability.
Galveston Tree Sculpture Tour
After Hurricane Ike, optimistic island residents worked with area sculptors to transform damaged oak trees into breathtaking tree sculptures that are now the focus of the Galveston Tree Sculptures Tour. The 30-plus sculptures are tucked into gardens and nestled in side yards throughout the island's East End Historic District for the public to enjoy and find. Click here for an interactive tour.
Movie & Music Nights on The Strand
Grab your chairs, blankets and pillows and head to Saengerfest Park in downtown Galveston for a free family-friendly movie or concert under the stars. Films are held the first Saturday of each month beginning at dusk. Concerts are held every second and fourth Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m. Both events run March through October. For more information, visit the Galveston.com calendar.
Ferry Ride + Dolphin Watch
Galveston's Bolivar Ferry is well known across the Lone Star State. This free and roughly 20-minute ride each way between Port Bolivar and Galveston is an entertaining diversion from the beaches and historic districts that are the biggest Galveston tourist draw. During this voyage, you can also get a close look at graceful dolphins as they swim by. For details, click here.
Stroll the Strand
The downtown area offers an intriguing selection of shops, restaurants, galleries and museums within a perfect radius for self-guided tours. The Victorian architecture of Strand Street, widely known as The Strand, makes for a charming stroll. Saegnerfest Park at 23rd and Strand is a free family park home to a life-size chessboard and is often home to live entertainment. Be sure to also check out the art galleries and shops found on Postoffice Street. Check out current downtown events by clicking here.
Held every six weeks, ArtWalk is a free event where Galveston's downtown art galleries open their doors to the public for an evening of art viewing, live entertainment and refreshments from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturdays. The Galveston Arts Center hosts this event March through November. For a schedule, vist our interactive ArtWalk section.
Enjoy Seawall Beach
Galveston has the longest continuous sidewalk in America on its beachfront Seawall Boulevard, making room for a wide variety of free outdoor activities. Enjoy the beach by swimming or playing beach volleyball or hit the pavement for biking or running. Watching a breath-taking sunrise or sunset on the Seawall is priceless.
Old-Fashioned Taffy-Making at La King's Confectionery
La King's Confectionery in downtown Galveston is sure to make your trip to the island that much sweeter. Not only can you delight in homemade old-fashioned candies and ice cream, you can watch it being made. The shop hosts free salt water taffy-making demonstrations daily during peak tourism season. For more information, click here.
Galveston is one of the top locations for birding in the United States with more than 300 species of birds that migrate through the island during spring and fall migrations. This free birding brochure will guide you to the island's nature hotspots. Moody Gardens and the Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council host a series of free "Birding 101" classes to educate and excite people about the bird life on the island. For more information, visit www.moodygardens.org.
Galveston Island State Park
The Galveston Island State Park offers a wide variety of outdoor activities that are free to participate in. While each person must pay a $5 parking charge to get into the park, families can enjoy kayak tours, beach and surf explorations, bird walks, nature field trips and fishing clinics at no cost. Many activities require advance sign-up. The park's Nature Center is open on Saturdays and Sundays March through November showing nature displays and videos pertaining to the park's plant and marine life. For more information, visit fogisp.wordpress.com.
Fishing in Galveston
In Galveston, anyone with a Texas fishing license can fish for free! From beachfront fishing to offshore overnight fishing, you can enjoy a variety of fishing on this island. Don't forget to bring your catch to local restaurants. Many will turn your fresh catch to an unforgettable dinner. For more information, please click here.
Visit Galveston Museums
Galveston is home to many affordable museums that highlight science as well as Galveston's unique history. A new pirate museum, Pirates! Legends of the Gulf Coast, recently opened on the Strand. Downtown is also home to the Galveston Railroad Museum, Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig and Museum, Pier 21 Theater, Texas Seaport Museum and the 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA. These museums range in price from $2 to $8. The nearby Rosenberg Library Museum on Sealy Street is free!
Free Parking at Moody Gardens and Schlitterbahn Waterpark
At any tourist destination, parking can be a pain. But Galveston is an exception! Adventure resort Moody Gardens and family fun paradise Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark both offer visitors free parking. For more information on these attractions, visit www.moodygardens.org and http://schlitterbahn.com/gal.
From the Blogs
The 6 Best Kid-Friendly Holiday Experiences in Galveston
Published: Thursday, November 15, 2018
The holidays are about spending time with your family, and Galveston has no shortage of family-friendly attractions, events and displays! Read more.
Have You Seen These Amazing Birds?
Published: Tuesday, November 13, 2018
If you’ve ever seen Sandhill Cranes, you know they are large, elegant birds – standing nearly 4 feet tall, they are hard to miss! If you haven’t, what are you waiting for? Read more.
Ice Land: Pole-to-Pole Opens November 17
Published: Friday, November 09, 2018
Ring in the holiday season in an ultra-cool way with a trip down a 30-foot tall Glacier Ice Slide completely carved from ice. This is one of many unique experiences visitors can enjoy inside the chilly ICE LAND: Pole-to-Pole, opening Nov. 17 at Moody Gardens. Read more.
Top 5 Reasons To Bird Galveston By Car
Published: Thursday, November 08, 2018
The first in a series of "Top 5" birding blogs by Kristine Rivers. Read more.
Island Restaurants Celebrate Community & Cuisine with Galveston Restaurant Week
Published: Thursday, November 08, 2018
The eighth annual Galveston Restaurant Week - Saturday, January 26th to Sunday, February 10, 2019 - brings Galveston Island's vibrant food scene to life for two full weeks of delicious dining. Read more.
November 2018 - The D.A.R. in Galveston
Published: Wednesday, October 31, 2018
During the month of November, Rosenberg Library will exhibit items related to the George Washington Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution from its permanent collection as well as items on loan from the chapter itself. Read more.
Galveston Fishing Rodeo Wraps Up
Published: Tuesday, October 30, 2018
The results are in for the Galveston Fishing Rodeo. The leader board is impressive. Read more.
Inspiration and Education Through Unique Coastal Experiences
Published: Friday, October 19, 2018
For 15 years, Artist Boat has brought value to our ocean community and restored coastal and marine habitats, educated the public, regional and local students as well as creating hundreds of pieces of public art! Read more.
Ling, Stingray, Mangrove Snapper, Atlantic Sharpnose Shark and more.
Published: Friday, October 19, 2018
Our recent deep sea trip catches have included ling, large stingray, mangrove snapper, lane snapper, gulf trout, atlantic sharpnose shark, gafftop, and more. Read more.
8 Things You Can Only Do in Galveston This Holiday Season
Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2018
From November through January, Galveston is transformed from a vibrant beachside getaway into the “Winter Wonder Island” of Texas, see all the great things you can do this holiday season. Read more.