The beautiful beaches and Galveston attractions of the barrier island make this a year-round destination for Texans and out-of-state tourists alike. For a good part of the 19th century, Galveston was the wealthiest and certainly the largest town in Texas. It was even the capital of the Republic of Texas for a brief period, and this can still be seen in many of its historic buildings.
However, the sights and activities along the stretch of beaches is the real draw. We’ve rounded up the best of what to do in Galveston for fun near the water, to make the most out of your time here. Where the turquoise water laps up along the soft sand, and The Seawall runs for more than 10 miles, offering plenty of room to find your little patch of sandy space to frolic in the shallow and often calm waters.
Encompassing a full ten miles of the nation’s longest continuous sidewalk, there is a plethora of beach side attractions, restaurants, and shops to enjoy at this urban park.
This is by far the most prominent feature along the Seawall, jutting out into the ocean like a carnival performer on stilts. The pier’s colorful structures and roller coasters can be seen from far off in the distance – a beacon for those who long for a good ol’ fashioned day of entertainment. The rides are suitable for all ages, and there are other games, activities, and a great restaurant on site.
Near the east end of the island is Stewart Beach. Of the seven beaches in Galveston, this is by far the most popular. Here you’ll find modern showers and restrooms, umbrella and chair rentals, concessions, and a lifeguard. It’s very family friendly, so if you’re looking for more seclusion and privacy, there are better spots. But this is a favorite of many.
For a bit of nature to go along with your beach, head west to this incredible state park. Stroll along the boardwalks, go fishing, and birdwatch on both the bay side and the ocean side. Or for something a bit more adventurous, rent a kayak and explore the bayou.
Take in the sights of the Galveston area with a view from the water by riding this ferry. It runs multiple times throughout the day from Port Bolivar on Goat Island to Galveston Island.
On the other side of the island facing the bay is this fascinating look at an actual tried and tested (but retired) offshore drilling rig. Located just a block off The Strand, you’ll get an inside look at this once-fully operational oil rig and take a self-guided tour through its three levels to view the drilling equipment, along with fascinating exhibits and videos showing the process of drilling oil.
Galveston Island and it’s amazing beach activities will keep you entertained no matter how long you stay.