“Life is a Beach”—and Lots More in Galveston
Want to wiggle your toes in some beach sand? Want to wade in the surf and listen to it roll in? Come visit the seashore in Galveston, one of Texas’ most historical cities. Galveston, on Galveston Island, is located on the Gulf of Mexico, 50 miles south of Houston at the end of Interstate Highway 45. The island offers 32 miles of beaches with those on the east end providing more city services, vendors and such, while those on the west end are more primitive and natural. One of the city’s best beaches is Babe’s Beach, directly in front of the Victorian Condominiums! The east end’s East Beach bills itself as “Texas’ hottest, coolest, beach”. It is famous for its great beach parties, major outdoor concerts, special events, promotions, sand-castle contests, live bands, and other activities.
The city of Galveston has four historic districts on the National Register of Historic Places: The Strand National Historic Landmark District, East End Historic District, Silk Stocking District, and the Central Business District. The National Historic Landmark Tall Ship Elissa is docked at the edge of The Strand. The city’s downtown, which encompasses The Strand (named after a London street), offers more than 100 shops, restaurants, and art galleries, conveniently located within 36 square blocks. Mechanic Street is home to several antique shops. Parking lots are tucked in here and there, making it easy for you to park the car and explore the neighborhood on foot. If you tire of that, hire a horse-drawn carriage to take you about or jump on a streetcar that courses through the neighborhood and on down to the beach. (Streetcar service unavailable until Summer 2017.). If you tire of the downtown area, amble up and down the streets in the East End Historic District. The landscaping around the homes there is lush and tropical and the homes themselves exemplify then architectural styles and trends popular during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Galveston is home to Moody Gardens which includes a Rainforest Pyramid, Palm Beach—a man-made beach of white sand on a blue lagoon, Discovery Museum, 3D Theater, Aquarium Pyramid, the Colonel Paddlewheel Boat. A visit to Moody Gardens should be on every visitor’s “must-do” list. In addition to the Moody Gardens attractions, the city has museums and historic homes open to the public for tours. These include the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig & Museum, Lone Star Flight Museum (Home of the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame), Railroad Museum, Texas Seaport Museum, the Bryan Museum – Southwestern U.S. History and Art, and a trio of grand, historic homes—Ashton Villa, the Bishop’s Palace, and the Moody Mansion.