Galveston is a unique island city located on Texas’ beautiful Gulf Coast. It is home to several interesting attractions from pyramids to amusement parks, bringing tourists from around the world to experience everything it has to offer. Among the many available activities in Galveston are family friendly affairs for all to enjoy.
Known as one of the best beach towns in the country, Galveston is a charming destination year-round. It provides opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and birding. Some of the best things to experience during your visit include the Disney Cruise Line, Sunny Beach, Discovery Pyramid, Galveston Harbor Tours, and Aqua Safari Charters.
Whether you are planning a solo or family visit to Galveston, there will be no shortage of activities to participate in. Keep reading to uncover some of the best local spots to go to while you are in the area to get the most out of your trip.
1. Sunny Beach
Sunny Beach is a beautiful, local favorite location on Texas’ Gulf Coast. This is a unique destination due to the fact that visitors can park on the sand. There is no need to stress about finding a parking spot at this clean and well-kept beach.
Ideal for families and solo travelers, there are endless acitviites to participate in while visiting Sunny Beach. It is located near the famous Moody Gardens, with easy access to the Galveston Island Pier. Explore nearby attractions or pack a blanket and picnic basket for a day under the sun!
2. Galveston Harbor Tours
This is a unique touring experience in Galveston, focused on the city’s historic harbor. Tours last for a duration of one hour, and cost around $10 per person. There is a limit of 50 people per boat before each tour begins.
The Seagull II takes visitors around the harbor, providing panoramic views of the water and up-close interactions with dolphins. There are plenty of educational opportunities surrounding this tour as well, with educational brochures and packets available for families and classes.
Related Read: 25 Things To Do in Galveston with Kids
3. Disney Cruise Line
With its optimal location on the Gulf Coast, Galveston is a hub for interesting cruises, including Disney! The Disney Cruise Line has a port on the harbor for an easy departure from Terminal 2.
The ship takes off to the nearby Western Caribbean, offeirng a wealth of sights to see and excursions to participate in. These include attractions before leaving Galveston, from eating fresh seafood to visiting the famous Galveston Island.
4. Carnival Vista
Carnival Vista is another popular cruise ship that departs from the same harbor in Galveston. This cruise features a bar, pool, and seafood shack. It is extremely friendly for family travelers, including a movie theater on board, which is the first of its kind!
Built in 2016, Carnival Vista takes visitors from Galveston all the way to Mexico and Belize before returning to its home port. Galveston is a great place to sightsee prior to getting on board!
Related Read: 15 Best Clear Water Beaches in Texas
5. Carnival Breeze
Another member of the Carnival Cruise Line fleet, the Carnival Breeze is a favorite when departing from Galveston. The massive ship has 15 decks, hosting over 3,000 guests on a 5-day Western Caribbean cruise.
There are a variety of comfortable staterooms to choose from, and vacation planning is made easy with a simple phone call. Pre-paid parking is simple when departing from the Port of Galveston.
6. Galveston Kayak Outfitters
Galveston Kayak Outfitters is a highly-reviewed local favorite for water sport equipment rental. When visiting the Galveston Bay, travelers can rent out kayaks by the hour. Previous visitors have commented on the friendly staff and large selection of quality equipment.
7. Escape The Island
Escape the Island is a thrilling activity to participate in with friends and family. Best for groups, visitors can embark on a challenge to escape from a variety of rooms together.
The venue hosts 5 live escape rooms and 6 additional virtual reality rooms. This adventurous excursion can take up most of the day, so plan ahead.
Related Read: 20 Best State Parks In Texas
8. Ghost Tours of Galveston
If you are looking for an unforgettable experience in Galveston, you may be interested in taking a ghost tour. Ghost Tours of Galveston offers several routes, from the Galveston Cemetery Ghost Tour to the Original Ghost Tour on the Strand.
Each tour is intended for guests aged 13 and older. Admission starts at $20 per person, with some of the more expensive tours starting at $30. Walk around the city with an experienced local guide spotting out haunted places for 1-2 hours.
9. Lasker Park Community Pool
The Lasker Park Community Pool is a recreational area open to the public. The property features a multi-purpose field, tennis court, and picnic tables. There are also a series of walking trails scattered around the venue.
The pool itself is open all day on weekdays, closing one hour earlier on the weekends. With free entry, this is the perfect spot to cool off on a hot day.
10. 1880 Garten Verein
This is a historic location in Galveston, contributing to its rich legacy. It was named after the German businessmen who created it in the last 1870’s. They originally called it Garten Verein, or the “garden club”.
The property has since become a local favorite venue for special events. The property is gated and contains an elegant estate with a tiered pavilion.
Related Read: 15 Best Hiking Trails in Houston
11. Galveston Duck Tour
The Galveston Duck Tour is one of the most unique ways to experience everything the city has to offer. The “duck” is a hybrid vehicle that will first take you down Seawall Boulevard.
After traveling 40 blocks on the road, the vehiclewill lower itself into the water to continue the tour. You will then see the sights while traveling across the bayou. The beautiful scenery is complimented by humorous commentary from the duck’s captain.
12. Taste of the Strand
Taste of the Strand is one of the most popular food tours in the city. It is a must-do item when visiting Galveston. The menu changes seasonally, but almost always includes fresh seafood along the water. Knowledgeable local tour guides provide insight on the best local cuisine to eat, from tapas to German food.
13. Discovery Pyramid
The Discovery Pyramid is a breathtaking attraction located within Galveston’s Moody Gardens. The location features three pyramids: aquarium, rainforest, and discovery. This particular pyramid exhibits science, math, and music. Some of the areas inside the pyramid include a karaoke stage and various interactive musical displays.
14. Haunted Mayfield Manor
The Haunted Mayfield Manor is a must-see attraction for those who love the excitement of being scared. The house originally served as a morgue in the 1800s.
This spooky location has been voted the best haunted house in the city. Admission costs $15 per person, enter if you dare!
15. Galveston Water Adventures
Galveston Water Adventures offers the perfect opportunity to spend a day outside under the sun. This locally owned attraction features exhilarating jet boat rides across the water.
Visitors also have the option to go on more relaxing sunset cruises. If you opt for the dolphin tours, you might be able to see a few of them up close in the water. Experienced local guides make this a must-do list item when visiting Galveston.
16. Pedego Electric Bikes Galveston
Pedego Electric Bikes is the top brand for e-bikes across the country. There are several locations around the United States, including Galveston, Texas.
Visitors can get a unique self-guided tour opportunity of the city and surrounding areas behind the handlebars of an electric bike. Rentals start at $20 per hour, with a discount for longer rental periods.
Shiprocked is described as the ultimate rock music cruise vacation. Departing from the port of Galveston, the ship sails to its destination of Cozumel, Mexico.
Guests will be able to view beautiful Costa Maya along the way, listening to live music and enjoying the scenery. There is always a unique lineup of interesting artists. Be sure to check out their website for the most up to date performances.
18. C-Sick Surfing
C-Sick Surfin’ has been providing top quality surfing lessons to Galveston locals and travelers since 1999. Out of all surfing schools in the city, it is the oldest and most trusted. They offer group surfing classes and private lessons for students of all experience and skill levels.
19. Seawolf Park
Seawolf Park is one of Galveston’s most scenic attractions. It is found on Pelican Island with a fishing pier and playground.
If you are searching for a family-friendly location to spend the day, this park is ideal. Visit the on-site museum or pack a blanket and picnic basket for a fun-filled afternoon.
20. Space City Con
Fans of comic books and sci-fi should check out Space City Con while visiting Galveston. The event is held annually at the end of May.
It is friendly for geeks and gamers of all ages. When attending, you can expect to see artists, gamers, and authors.
This fan culture expo provides an unforgettable entertainment experience for all. Don’t forget to bring your best costume!
21. Pier 21 Theater
This theater is located on Pier 21, a waterfront entertainment area on Galveston’s Harbor. Cinema fans can choose from several different showings of original films at this exclusive venue.
Some of the offerings include “The Great Storm” and “The Pirate Island of Jean Lafitte.” The theater provides an excellent opportunity to experience the history of the Gulf Coast.
Spend the day learning about pirates from hundreds of years ago at Galveston’s various museums and exhibits. Then stop by Pier 21 and grab a ticket for a film of your choice. It is the perfect place to end the night after exploring nearby attractions around the water.
22. Galveston Red Light District Tour
The Galveston Red Light District Tour offers a unique educational experience for visitors. If you are a history-lover, purchase a ticket to get an exclusive tour of the Historic Red Light District.
Tour guides will show you “the line”, where prostitution thrived for almost 100 years. In the past, Galveston was known as “Sun City” or “Pleasure Island.”
This memorable tour experience will provide you with plenty of bits of information from this time period. You will even get to view ladies, madames, and the historical houses where they worked. Come prepared with your walking shoes, and be ready to learn lots of interesting facts about Galveston’s past.
23. 1859 Ashton Villa
The 1859 Ashton Villa is a historical landmark in Galveston. It was the first property built by James M. Brown in 1859. It has since been restored and is now open to the public for viewing.
The style of architecture can be described as Italianate and Victorian. Situated on the corner of Broadway and Boulevard, it is most significant for being the first house built on this street.
There are plenty of tours available to get the most out of your visit. While reservations are not required, it is recommended to secure your spot in advance, as this is a very popular attraction!
24. North Shore Sailing Club All Points
The North Shore Sailing Club provides guided tours on the water and private sailing lessons. It is the oldest yacht club in all of Galveston. They are open every day from 9 am to 8 pm, sunrise to sunset.
Spending the day behind the paddle of a kayak is the perfect way to soak up the sun while visiting Galveston’s coast. Check out rates and booking information for their sailing school on the website before you go.
25. Zipp E Bikes
Zipp E Bikes provides a fun touring experience behind the wheel of an electric bike. Take advantage of knowledgeable local guides and explore the history of Galveston. On the tour, you will get to see many of the city’s most interesting landmarks and neighborhoods.
Rentals can be booked by the hour, beginning in the heart of Galveston’s Historic District. The full-service bike shop offers daily tours. After you get your bike, you can set off to the nearby Galveston Cruise Ship Terminal or The Strand.
The shop now offers convenient curbside pickup options for travelers on the go. Book your rental in advance online to secure your transportation and get ready for an adventure-filled day in Galveston!
26. The Bryan Museum
The Bryan Museum is packed full of Texas history. It features several exhibits, from touch screen displays to classic art and heirlooms. The museum is located inside the former Galveston Orphans Home, owned by the Bryan family.
There are many special events held throughout the month. These include temporary exhibitions, auctions, and even live musical performances.
Permanent exhibitions highlight art from the Spanish Colonial Era and the Texas Frontier Exhibit. Cowboy exhibits feature weapons in glass cases and other artifacts on display.
Those who are interested in staying up to date with current events can opt in to email notifications from the official website. Call or view the calendar to plan for your upcoming visit.
27. Aqua Safari Charters
Aqua Safari Charters is a great activity for fishing enthusiasts in Galveston. Depart from Pier 19 for an offshore fishing adventure. Experienced guides provide fishing excursions along the Gulf Coast of Texas.
The charters are ideal for groups of up to 18 people. You will create unforgettable memories on board the “Island Girl” catching fish and learning professional techniques.
28. Rainforest Pyramid
The Rainforest Pyramid is another attraction located inside Galveston’s Moody Gardens. The experience begins at the entrance, which features a canopy in a tree-top.
When you get inside, you will travel through Africa, Asia, and the Americas. The immersive experience provides the opportunity to walk through the rainforests of all of these regions in one exhibit.
The pyramid features several distinct sections. These include the European Bee Colony and Decomposers Gallery. Explore the Leafcutter Ant Exhibit, located inside the Sunset Gallery.
Visit the Nightfall Gallery to get a view of the beautiful rainforest after the sun sets. There are close to 2,000 unique plant species scattered throughout the exhibits. In addition to rainforest plant life, there are tons of animals to explore in their natural habitats.
During your adventure, you may spot a Kmodo Dragon or a Saki monkey. Sloths and tamarins are also likely to be seen through the trees. There are dozens of colorful bird species to be spotted as you uncover everything the rainforests of the world have to offer, all in one place!
29. 1847 Powhatan House
This historic Galveston landmark was originally built in the year 1847 by John S. Sydnor. It is best known for its gorgeous Greek Revival style. The most distinct features are the large columns in the front yard.
The home is centrally located near plenty of attractions and the beach. If you are in the area, it is worth it to stop by and marvel at the architecture.
30. Galveston Party Boats
Galveston Party Boats is a reservation-only excursion off the Galveston Harbor. They offer a Deep Water Bottom Trip and 30 Hour Safari. Guests are guided by an experience captain, and have the opportunity to catch many species of fish.
Fishing trips range from a duration of 4 to 25 hours long. Choose from deep sea fishing, jetty fishing, and tuna fishing excursions as you book online.
31. Pirates! Legends of the Gulf Coast
Pirates, Legends of the Gulf Coast gives insight into the history of those who roamed the shores of Texas long ago. At just $10 per adult and $5 for children, this is an affordable and family-friendly excursion.
The knowledgeable and friendly staff create a positive experience for guests. Walk the premises to explore interactive pirate exhibits and a haunted house.
32. Galveston Helicopters
Galveston Helicopters provides an unforgettable touring experience. Fly over Galveston in the backseat of an aircraft. You will be able to enjoy a unique view of the city from thousands of feet in the air.
Departing from Stewart Beach, you will fly around to see the best sights in Galveston. If you are the adventurous type and not scared of heights, this is certainly a worthwhile attraction to try out during your trip.
33. Seaplay Charters
Seaplay Charters is the premier sport fishing attraction in Galveston. The company has over 50 years of experience deep sea fishing on the Gulf Coast.
Everything you need for a fun-filled fishing adventure is provided, from live bait to rods and reels. Expect to catch gigantic fish while enjoying breathtaking views of the sunset over the water.
34. Menard Park
Menard Park is a family-friendly destination near the water in Galveston. Stop by after a day on the beach to enjoy endless outdoor activities.
If you are tired of going to the beach or want to escape the crowds, this is the perfect place to do it. The park provides tons of wide open space and privacy from other groups.
When exploring the nearby areas of Seawall and Pleasure Pier, it is convenient to stop by Menard Park for a quiet and relaxing afternoon. Whether you are looking for a place to picnic and enjoy the fresh air, or would rather participate in sports activities, this place can accommodate.
The venue features a basketball court, community garden, and dog park. There is also a pavilion and several picnic tables scattered about for mealtimes and lounging. In addition to on-site restrooms and a locker room for changing, the park is ADA accessible and open to all.
Children can get exercise and let out any extra energy before returning to the hotel for the night. From sports and outdoor games to lounging and watching people or birds, there is something for everyone here.
35. Elite Surf
Elite Surf is a top provider of bike rentals in the city of Galveston. Ride around the best attractions while getting your exercise for the day.
Located right next to the water, it is convenient to grab a bike on your way to or from the beach. Bicycles can be rented on a whim or reserved in advance on the website.
It is conveniently located on Seawall Boulevard, near all of the major tourist attractions. A short distance from Pleasure Pier, it is a simple trip to interesting activities after picking up your rental.
36. Studio 908 Pottery
Studio 908 provides pottery classes to both locals and tourists in Galveston. This is the perfect attraction for art enthusiasts.
Grab your apron and get your hands dirty making unique pottery creations. The best part is, you get to keep what you make as a special souvenir! Monthly pottery classes cost $150 per person.
37. Galveston Historic Tours
Galveston Historic Tours provides one of the best educational experiences in the area. The tour guide will inform you on the rich history and landmarks throughout the city.
Some of the most worthwhile sights you will see during this experience have to do with pirates and hurricanes, among other significant aspects of local history. Hop on board and let the tour bus take you around all the sites worth seeing in the city.
38. Colonel Paddlewheel Boat
The Colonel Paddlewheel Boat provides 45-minute cruises on the Gulf of Mexico. The boat itself was built as a replica of an original model from the 1800s.
There is plenty of room for guests to spread out and enjoy the views during the tour. The boat also features private restrooms for optimal comfort. There is even a restaurant on-site if you get hungry after departure!
39. Wright Cuney Park
The Wright Cuney Park and Recreation Center is open to the public every week from Monday to Saturday. Free to the public, it provides a wealth of outdoor activities for families to enjoy.
The Center features a basketball court and playground outside. There is also an indoor basketball gym when the weather is not so enjoyable. During the summer, children can cool off on the property’s giant splash pad.
40. Wave Dancer Charters
Wave Dancer Charters is another trusted provider of fishing tours in Galveston. Guests can book an immersive offshore fishing trip in advance online.
During your adventure, you can expect to catch lots of unique (and large) species of fish. Experienced staff will help you out with all the tips and tricks they’ve learned over the years.
One of the services that stands out is their International Fish Mounts. The company is properly certified to measure and mount the fish you catch, providing a souvenir you can keep on display for years to come.
41. The Heard Gallery
The Heard Gallery is home to many original paintings, focusing on American Indian Art. The private, non-profit museum also features sail boats available for touring.
Walk around the premises on your own to explore the many exhibits they have on display. You can also check their website for up to date news on upcoming events to look out for during your visit.
42. The Gulf Range Mini Golf
The Gulf Range is a family-friendly attraction in Galveston that truly has it all. In addition to mini golf, there is an on-site restaurant serving fresh local cuisine.
Enjoy a competitive game of mini golf with family members on the well-kept golf course. Then sit down for a bite to eat and browse the connected gift shop for a souvenir to take home.
43. Crockett Park
📍Map It: Galveston, TX 77551 | Hours: Open 24 hours | Entrance: Free to the public
Crockett Park is an outdoor space featuring lots of activities for visitors of all ages. In addition to a basketball court and playground, there is a baseball and softball diamond on the premises.
Host a friendly game of kickball with family and friends under the lighted field. There is also an adjacent sand volleyball court. Take a short hike around the park on the nearby walking trails, enjoying views of nature as you go.
44. Ohana Surf and Skate
📍Map It: 2814 Avenue R ½, Galveston, TX 77550 | Phone: (409) 763-2700 | Website | Hours: Open Weekdays 9 am - 7 pm, Weekends 10 am - 6pm | Entrance: Equipment rental costs vary by item and rental duration
Ohana Surf and Skate is a well-known provider of equipment rentals for Galveston visitors and locals. Customers can also take advantage of surfing and skating lessons.
They offer surfing camps on a yearly schedule. Be sure to check out their website to get all of the details and book your spot. Pick up a souvenir at their gift shop to take back with you after your trip!
45. Vintage Galveston Antiques
Galveston Island is home to several historical attractions and antique shops. The third largest in the area is Vintage Galveston Antiques.
The entire property spans across 7,000 square feet. Inside, you will find antique goods from furniture to clothing and stained glass. Browse their selection of Victorian and Mid-Century Modern inventory.
If you love thrifting or antique shopping, it is definitely worth it to stop by during your trip. You never know what you might find!
46. Shark Attack 5d Theater
The Shark Attack 5D Theater is located on Galveston’s famous Pleasure Pier. This adventurous ride consists of a dark mine, traveling into the jaws of a giant shark.
Hours are seasonal and availability is subject to change. If you would like to plan a visit, be sure to book in advance.
47. Galveston Naval Museum
📍Map It: 100 Seawolf Park Blvd, Galveston, TX 77554 | Phone: (409) 770-3196 | Website | Hours: Open daily 9 am - 6 pm | Entrance: Free to enter, additional costs for guided tours and exclusive experiences
The Galveston Naval Museum provides educational touring experiences of military water crafts. Explore the historic USS Cavalla Submarine and USS Stewart Destroyer. Military members and enthusiasts will certainly find this attraction interesting during a trip to Galveston.
Along with the option to tour inside the historic submarines, the museum offers a few interactive experiences that you are unlikely to forget. In addition to opportunities to go fishing in the bay, guests can opt in to spend the night on board!
48. Blue Skies Skydiving
📍Map It: 2211 Crystal Beach Hwy, Crystal Beach, TX 77550 | Phone: (713) 344-8820 | Hours: Open Thursday - Sunday 10 am to 4 pm | Entrance: $239 per person for full experience (includes guided jump and photo/video recording service)
Located near Galveston on Crystal Beach, Blue Skies offers professional skydiving experiences. Thrill-seekers can join a trained instructor and jump off a plane over the water. They offer packages for photos and videos so you can relive your trip and hold on to your memories for years to come!
49. The Fun Spot Waterslide
The Fun Spot Water Slide is by far the best attraction of its kind in Galveston. Enjoy the cool water on a hot day when you want to avoid the beach.
The massive waterslide is built into the ground and stretches for several hundred feet before landing in a pool of water at the end. Adults and children of all ages can take a high-speed ride down the slippery surface and get back in line to go again!
Admission is charged at $10 per hour or $28 per day for each person who enters. The park also offers season passes for those who plan to visit regularly throughout the summer!
This is one of the most family-friendly attractions in the area and ideal on a sunny afternoon. If you happen to be visiting Galveston during the hotter months, be sure to add the Fund Spot Water Slide to your bucket-list!
50. Grand 1894 Opera House
The Grand 1984 Opera House is a musical venue and performing arts theatre. The historical location hosts many events for guests to participate in and enjoy during a stay in Galveston.
There is no shortage of interesting performances in their lineup. Be sure to check out their website for an updated calendar of upcoming events. Ticket prices vary by performance, and can be booked online in advance to secure your seat.
51. Annual Brewmasters Craft Beer Festival
📍Map It: Moody Gardens, Galveston, TX 77550
The Annual Brewmasters Craft Beer Festival is put on yearly at Galveston’s famous Moody Gardens. It is one of the highest rated festivals across the entire United States.
When attending the event, you can expect to come across hundreds of specialty craft beers. There will also be several brewmasters in attendance.
Every year, the event amasses crowds of thousands of visitors. Sample artisan brews and blends as you walk the grounds of the festival.
The event is held annually from the end of August to beginning of September. If you love beer, it may be worth it to plan your visit to Galveston around this must-do list item!
52. Lone Star Rally
📍Map It: 910 Avenue M, Galveston, TX 77550| Hours: Annual event held for 3 days in November ever year | Entrance: Free to enter and explore the event, some attractions may incur a separate fee
The Lone Star Rally is the biggest organized motorcycle rally in the country. The event is held annually in November across 4 days, with hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts in attendance.
It is located near Houston on Galveston Island. There is no fee for entry, aside from parking costs in surrounding areas. The event consists of bike and car shows, along with free concerts.
There are two large stages on the premises for live music throughout the duration of the event. If you happen to be visiting Galveston during this time, you can enter for free and explore all of the entertainment the festival has to offer!
53. Greetings From Galveston
📍Map It: Galveston, TX 77550
Greetings From Galveston is a painted wall mural located on Harborside Drive. It is central to many nearby tourist attractions, providing the perfect photo opportunity while exploring the city.
The colorful work of art was designed in the style of a classic post card. Stop by for an Instagram selfie during your travels, and be sure to tag the location in your post!
54. 23rd Street Piano Bar
The 23rd Street Station Piano Bar is one of the best food and drink venues on Galveston Island. They serve classic cocktails at the bar, with live musical entertainment in the background.
This venue is strictly dine-in, with no options for takeout or delivery. If you are in the area and up for an outing, this is a great way to experience fresh, locally sourced cocktails.
While they do have tasty menu options, the main focus of this spot is the music. On the website, visitors can view a schedule and calendar of upcoming performances. During the open times of Wednesday through Sunday, there are always new performers to discover every night of the week.
Previous guests have commented on the reasonable drink prices and friendly staff. Enjoy a night cap after a day exploring the city in this laid back atmosphere. Walk in or reserve a table in advance online.
55. Clay Cup Studios
📍Map It: 2219 Postoffice St, Galveston, TX 77550 | Phone: (409) 762-2529 | Website | Hours: Open Wednesday-Sunday 10 am - 5 pm, Closed Monday-Tuesday | Entrance: $50 deposit for a party/group reservation, $40 membership cost, includes one monthly pottery class
Clay Cup Studios is the perfect Galveston attraction for art lovers and enthusiasts. They offer a wide variety of art classes and experiences. These include canvas painting, glass fusion, and, of course, pottery.
The studio has a calendar of upcoming special events on their website that is worth checking out while vacation planning. While you can book your class in advance, they are very open to walk-ins.
Whether you reserve your spot before you travel or decide to stop by while you are in the area, you will not be disappointed with the experience. If you are willing to get your hands dirty, this is a great activity to relieve stress. Let your creative side out and craft a unique piece you can display in your home to remember your trip to Galveston!