Day One–A Day at the Beach
If you want a quiet beach, head west. Take 61st Street to the Seawall Blvd and turn right. Galveston Island State Park has rinse-off showers, restrooms, shelters with picnic tables and ranger programs. (Pirates Beach, where Best of Times is located, is our favorite spot. Quiet, family-friendly, and always clean.)
If you want a more active, family beach, head east. Stewart Beach is family-friendly, but it’s also crowded. Thanks to the gift shop, concessions, chair/umbrella rentals, and bathrooms with showers, this is one of Galveston’s most popular beaches.
Restaurant Musts for Your Beach Day
Start your beach day with a big breakfast at Miller’s Cafe. Both the Gulf view and the delicious pancakes will prepare you for your day of body surfing and shell hunting.
East beach or west, you’ll want to lunch at Marios. They have three locations in Galveston–west end, east end, and smack dab in the middle. They also have the best pizza and really friendly service (beach delivery, anyone?).
After you get cleaned up, go to Gaidos to taste Galveston’s best seafood. Gaidos doesn’t skip the finger bowls, serves delicious cocktails , and has Texas’ best pecan pie. Lucky you burned all those calories walking on the beach today.
Day Two–A Day of History
Today you can exchange your flip-flops for walking shoes and head to the Strand Historic District. Galvestonians love to share their city’s storied history so you have many choices of what to do and see.
Choose between a tour of The Elissa, a historical sailing ship at The Texas Seaport Museum. Or discover trains at Galveston’s Railroad Museum. Or explore by yourself while shopping the boutiques and checking out the architecture of the oldest commercial district in Texas.
If it’s a pretty day, you could join the Strand Walking Tour. Or, if your schedule doesn’t line up with the guided tour, Galveston Historical Foundation offers an informative app, which includes a self-guided walking tour. Learn everything about the Strand, right from your cell phone.
Treat yourself for all your hard work by stopping by LaKings Confectionary for an ice-cream experience from the past. This old-fashioned soda fountain has served hand-dipped ice cream cones for over 100 years.
When you’re finished with history, end your day with energetic dolphins on a Baywatch Dolphin Tour. The boat is covered and air-conditioned and has fantastic dolphin views.
Or, if you want to see dolphins for free, leave the Strand and drive a couple miles to Galveston’s Bolivar Ferry. During this twenty-minute boat ride, you’ll see spot dolphins, lots of pelicans, and huge barges.
Restaurant Musts for Your History Day
Before you start your day of history, eat breakfast at Mosquito Cafe. This little bistro has won just about every culinary award for its healthy and delicious food.
For lunch, visit Yaga’s island vibe. They serve salads and burgers with Caribbean spices and a reggae sound. Come early for a table–visitors love Yaga’s food as much as they love the tshirts they sell.
Finish your day of history with a visit to The Original Mexican Restaurant. Galveston’s oldest restaurant serving perfect Tex Mex and killer margaritas.
Day Three–A Day of Fun!
Galveston attracts thousands of thrill-seeking visitors every summer. Choose from three amusement destinations to make your family memories.
At Moody Gardens, a non-profit educational wonderland, you can tour the aquarium (penguins!), the rainforest (monkeys!), 3D and 4D iMax, and other educational exhibits. It’s expensive, but is worth it for a full day of learning and fun.
If you’re looking for roller coasters with a fantastic ocean view, spend the day at Pleasure Pier. You’ll pay just to walk on the pier–and pay even more experience the rides–but you’ll also get the thrill of flying over the water.
Looking to cool off? Head to Schlitterbahn and ride the water coasters. Bring a picnic to avoid the overpriced food–and to give your family more time to explore the rides.
Restaurant Musts for Your Fun Day
Start your day with a fun breakfast at Home Cut Donuts. This little shop is packed with locals eating the best donuts in
Galveston all of Texas. Also try the melt-in-your-mouth kolaches and breakfast burritos.
Take a break with a view of the Gulf. If you’re at Pleasure Pier, enjoy the ocean view while you eat shrimp at Bubba Gump. If you’re at Schlitterbahn or Moody Gardens (west end), enjoy the view at Jimmy’s on the Pier.
For dinner, head to The Spot. The portions are huge, to help you refuel from your touristy day. And the ice cream will definitely hit The Spot.
And there you go–the best of the best of Galveston. Have a fantastic weekend at the beach!
Coming Soon…the must-visit list if you’re you’re visiting Galveston for a week.