Galveston – Hidden Gems of Texas
Galveston is one of my favorite places to go. My mom and I used to go every summer, but it can be fun as a winter trip also. There's plenty to do and lots to see. I have a few ideas of things to do like the historical tours downtown, shopping on the Strand, Schlitterbahn, Moody Gardens, museums, fishing, boating, great eating and more.
Galveston is rich in history and has some beautiful homes and buildings to tour. The Bishop's Palace is probably the most notable historical site on the island. The home was built in 1892 and is located on the East end of the Historical District. The house is even on the National Registry of Historic Places. What makes this place so special? The house was built for the Gresham family (he was founder of the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad) and is constructed of steel and stone and survived the Great Storm of 1900 relatively unscathed as well as the more recent Hurricane Ike on September 13, 2008. It is an architectural beauty that has lasted over 120 years.
Then there is the Texas Seaport Museum on Pier 21 where you will find the 1877 Tall Ship Elissa. This is not a replica ship but the real thing. For over 90 years the ship carried a variety of cargoes to ports around the world.
There's also plenty of shopping along both the Seawall and on the Strand. The Strand always has great events going on all year long. Mardi Gras, Dickens on the Strand, Art Walks, Harbor Parade of Lights, Music and Arts Festivals, Oktoberfest and of coarse shopping and unique boutiques and souvenir stores. Plus great food and fresh seafood.
The kids will love the beach if it's warm enough but if not there is Schlitterbahn Waterpark. This is Houston's only indoor waterpark and is open year round; although you will probably enjoy the outdoor area during the summer months.
Then there is my favorite, saved the best for last; Moody Gardens. Moody is a destination within it's self. They have their own luxury hotel, golf course, spa and family attractions; although you do not have to stay on the grounds to visit the attractions. There are 3 pyramids to explore: the aquarium, the rainforest and discovery center. You can also take a ride on The Colonel 1800's replica paddle boat. Enjoy an exhilarating ropes course and zip line and even check out a movie at the 3D & 4D theaters.
Pleasure Pier is a full on fun experience with rides, food, games and tons of fun and is a new addition to the island since Hurricane Ike damaged the Flagship Hotel. The pier has rides of all types; roller coasters, carousel, water rides, midway games, shopping, food and more. It's like going to a carnival on the beach. What could be better than that?!
This is just a few of the fun things to do on the island. Of course you can just veg on the beach too (weather permitting). It's a little bit of a drive, but well worth it. Check out the Galveston Tourism website for more great island adventures.