The Moody Gardens and More – The Eight Things to See in Galveston, Texas
Island adventures are synonymous with surf, sand, and sun. But this destination offers so much more. Discover the majesty of this hidden jewel.
If you’re looking for a historic vacation spot for your next getaway, you don’t need to look far.
Nestled along the scenic Gulf of Mexico lies the beautiful island of Galveston. And it’s filled with everything you need for the perfect family vacation or romantic getaway.
Whether you want to relax at the beach, indulge in Texas-style cuisine, or visit historic sites, there are so many unique things to do in Galveston. Take a look at some of the places you can’t miss on your next visit.
1. Moody Gardens
If you’re looking for an all-day excursion, check out Moody Gardens. The complex is so huge it can easily take the entire day to explore each of the three pyramids. But if you want to focus on just one of the attractions, there is plenty to choose from.
The Aquarium Pyramid and its marine life showcases are the main attraction. But if marine life isn’t for you, you can also check out the Rainforest Pyramid and the Discovery Pyramid. The Rainforest Pyramid features tropical flora and fauna, while the Discovery Pyramid focuses on all things science-related.
2. Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier
If you stroll along the Galveston Seawall, you may see a giant pier jutting out into the ocean. The pier’s colorful Victorian structures and roller coasters are vivid against the backdrop of the Gulf.
The Galveston Historic Pleasure Pier is home to rides and amusements for the whole family. Thrill-seekers can go ride the coasters, like the Iron Shark and Cyclone, for hair-raising adventures. There are also carnival-type rides to captivate your younger family members.
When you tire of the rides and attractions, you can head to the midway for familiar games or take in a new kind of adventure in the 5-D theater ride.
3. Schlitterbahn Waterpark
If you’re looking for an exciting way to cool off, this waterpark may be your best bet. It has everything you can ask for in a waterpark – from thrilling water coasters to relaxing wave pools.
And when you’re ready for a break, don’t forget to hit up Shipwreck Harbor! This wave pool has a swim-up bar so you can stay cool and relaxed without leaving the water.
4. The Strand Historic District
If you want to take a walk back in time, check out the Strand Historic District. Known simply as the Strand among the locals, this area houses a variety of restaurants, galleries, cafes, and other must-see sights.
The area is an eclectic mixture of old and modern, with Victorian-era and newer buildings in a charming tableau.
Take a walk down the street and see old-fashioned candy stores, complete with taffy-making demos. You’ll also see more upscale, contemporary restaurants in perfect harmony with the atmosphere of the district.
Do a little shopping, grab a bite to eat, and marvel at this blast from the past at this perfectly preserved little district.
5. Bishop’s Palace
For something a little different, why not head down to the Bishop’s Palace? It’s not actually a palace but it is one of the most important Victorian-era mansions in the country.
Construction on this palatial home started in 1893 and took seven years to finish. And it’s not your average Victorian home. Its façade resembles a castle, and even boasts a turret and towers!
Although this was a private residence, it has since become a National Historic Landmark and museum. That means that you can visit the home and check out this historic “castle” in the middle of America.
6. Galveston Island State Park
If you enjoy nature excursions, make sure to put Galveston Island State Park on your list. It’s located near the west end of the island along the Central Flyway and is a bird-watchers’ paradise. The park is a popular spot to watch bird migrations, depending on the time of year for your visit.
It’s also a popular tourist spot because of the access to Galveston beach on the ocean side of the park. On the bay side are a few observation platforms and trails, just in case the beach isn’t your thing.
7. Galveston Railroad Museum
Full steam ahead to the Railroad Museum in Galveston. It has a large collection of steam and diesel engines that’s sure to captivate train-lovers young and old.
The museum also features a collection of passenger and freight cars and cabooses. You’ll also find other railroad paraphernalia in various showcases all over the museum.
Fancy a trip back in time?
Visit during one of the regular train shows for a chance to take a ride on one of these historic machines.
8. The Bryan Museum
Are you ready for an interactive learning experience for the whole family?
Come to this historic building and learn the amazing story of Texas and the American West.
The Bryan Museum has an incredible collection of artifacts with touchscreen displays to help you learn more. Check out the permanent collections for a little slice of American history. Some exhibits on display include Native American history and Texas Independence.
And if art is more your thing, the Bryan Museum also has you covered. It hosts an art gallery filled with works from Texas-born artists.
But the displays don’t stop there.
You can also view pieces by artists who captured the area while traveling through it.
If you do visit the Bryan museum, you have a couple of options. You can either explore the museum showcases and art gallery on your own. Or, take a tour to learn more about the significance of the displays as well as the building itself.
It’s Time for a Little Getaway
There are so many things to see in Galveston, Texas that one visit isn’t enough.
From its charming Victorian-era mystique to exhilarating attractions, this is a spot you may want to slate for repeated visits. And that’s just perfect because Galveston is the type of spot that has something for everyone.
Pack your bags and find out why the locals refer to this unique island as “The Republic of Galveston.” Enjoy this incredible combination of Texas and the South all wrapped up in one location.
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