Galveston travel guide

The Oleander City

Galveston tourism | Galveston guide

You're Going to Love Galveston

Often called the "Playground of the South", Galveston, Texas, is one of America’s most popular coastal destinations. The island is small enough to explore on foot and, whatever your age, you’re certain to find dozens of things to capture your imagination.

Galveston is an important cruise port, and its impressive attractions include the Strand historic district and the famous Pleasure Pier. The island's sandy beaches are a magnet for sun-seekers while boat trips are available for sailing enthusiasts.

Theme parks like Schlitterbahn Galveston or Moody Gardens appeal to families while teens and twenties will love the happy hour lifestyle that has made Galveston a leading nightlife destination.

Whether you’re planning a summer trip with the family or a romantic break, Galveston's warm climate and welcoming atmosphere will put you in the vacation mood.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Galveston

History and culture fan, beach lover or avid shopper; whatever your interests, there are lots of great reasons for a visit to Galveston.

What to do in Galveston

Visit Galveston for sun, sea and sand, dining and entertainment, or shopping and fun attractions that really shouldn’t be missed.

When to Visit Galveston

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Galveston basks in temperatures of around 90F for the duration of the summer season. Winters are mild, but temperatures of 40F to 50F are a little too cool for swimming and the beach. However, events like the Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens or Holiday Splash at Schlitterbahn are great reasons for a festive break. Spring and Fall are the best times to visit; go from March to May or between September and early November, and you’ll avoid the peak season crowds.

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When the weather is nice in Galveston

How to Get to Galveston

Airlines serving Galveston

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Where to Stay in Galveston

From basic guesthouses to luxury hotels and national chains, Galveston has accommodation to suit every budget. Try the Ramada or the Mariner Inn if you’re keeping an eye on expenses or opt for mid-range hotels like Best Western or Seascape for family vacations. Luxury options include Moody Gardens Resort and the Tremont Hotel, or you can try boutique hotels like Avenue O Bed & Breakfast.

Popular Neighborhoods in Galveston

Where to stay in popular areas of Galveston

Most booked hotels in Galveston

How to Get Around Galveston

Galveston is easy to get around and you can walk to many of the most famous landmarks from Beach Central and Broadway.

The Cost of Living in Galveston

Galveston is less expensive than many US coastal resorts and cheaper than neighboring Houston. Students and groups of friends will love the Happy Hour prices in local bars.

Galveston’s hottest shopping streets

You’ll find everything from home décor to antiques and art in Galveston. Visit historic Downtown for unique stores like Strand Brass which has been selling original products for over 30 years. Buy upmarket clothing from Couteux Couture or Tangerine Boutique or alternative clothing including Steampunk and Neo-Victorian styles from Synester on the Strand. Pick up water sports equipment at specialist stores like Southern Spears Surf Shop or shop for gifts and beachwear at Murdoch’s Bathhouse, a Galveston landmark since 1910.

Groceries and Other Necessities

Buy essentials from supermarkets and drugstores around the island. Popular outlets include Kroger’s, Bob’s Grocery, Arlan’s, Walmart and Sea Isle Supermarket. Stock up on fresh seafood at Island Seafood or pick up gourmet treats like fried shrimp and East Austin cider at Season’s Gourmet Food & Grocer.

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A pair of jeans
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Single public transport ticket

Where to Eat in Galveston

Be sure to pop into the Sunflower Bakery & Café while you’re enjoying a stay in Galveston. This local landmark serves simple but delicious dishes like salmon and eggs. Farley Girl’s Café is ideal for coffee and snacks on your way to the beach.

For more substantial meals, Olympia, the Grill at Pier 2, serves authentic Greek cuisine and seafood accompanied by live music and belly dancers. Try the Number 13 Prime Steakhouse and Seafood for special celebrations. An eclectic menu includes red snapper and the restaurant’s famous signature dish, jalapeno grits.