Gallivantin’ in Galveston, Texas

Galveston, Texas continues to make music. Galveston SquareThere are a few band members missing, but the beat goes on.

This was my first visit since Hurricane Ike and my first impression as I drove over the Causeway was things are looking good. The mighty Seawall did its job. It kept Galveston as safe as possible. Just about all the hotels and restaurants in Galveston are open and doing well.

One of the best things to come out of Hurricane Ike is the new Galveston Beach. I could tell you how much new sand they brought in, but you just have to see it to believe it.

Moody Gardens (in my opinion it’s the place to stay and play in Galveston)

The hotel is as good as ever. The only thing missing are the fish in the lobby pond. They were having a special on Sushi the day I was there, but that may have just been a coincidence. As for the attractions, they’re all open.

What can I eat on the Island?
You can smell the fresh seafood as you are driving along Seawall Blvd. Once you enter certain restaurants such as Casey’s (Gaido’s casual cousin) most of what you smell is fried seafood.

A few suggestions. Don’t order the Fried vegetable combo. It’s not worth the calories. Also if you like Louisiana Po-Boys, stay away from the Po-Boys at Casey’s. The grilled anything is the way to go, and the menu is priced right.

Olympia on The StrandGo Mediterranean on Pier 21. The Grill at Pier 21 opened in June and is right on the harbor. The restaurant is beautifully designed, but make sure you dine al fresco. Now here’s a tip for dining al fresco. Never turn away from your food. Why you ask? You want to make sure nothing drops in it from above. Is that a caper in my salad? Now if you are dining with Al Fresco, you have nothing to worry about. The food is top notch and the prices are reasonable. They even offer you 3 free hours of parking. Oh by the way. If you dine (al fresco) Friday or Saturday night there is live music and belly dancers.

The Strand

Is everything open? No. But renovations are everywhere. Is there enough to see, eat and drink? You bet your Tequila there is. If you liked Galveston before, you’ll like it now. Don’t wait to visit. Visit Galveston now. Not because they really need you to, but because you’ll have a great time.

Where to Stay

Moody Gardens Hotel, Hotel Galvez, San Luis Resort, Hawthorne Suites at The Victorian and The Tremont are all top notch and ready to swipe your creditcard.

What to Eat

Soooo many restaurants, but the only tip I’ll give you is go seafood. Now that being said it doesn’t have to be your typical seafood restaurant. There are great Italian, Mediterranean, Asian and BBQ Restaurants. OK, here is another tip. Don’t eat the seafood at a BBQ restaurant.

What to Do

Moody Gardens, horse drawn carriage rides, Bishops Palace, Duck Tour, Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum, The Strand and The Schlitterbahn waterpark to name just a few.

Here are 2 audio clips you may enjoy:

Gallivantin’ Galveston Gal (Gene Autry)
Listen to clip

Quick As I Could (Billy Bourbon)

For more information or to order a free travel brochure, visit Galveston on Go ».


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This article has 32 comments

  1. Stephanie Martinez Reply

    I have never been to Galveston before, so thanks for all the info. I am sure going to go. It looks beautiful.

  2. billy pritchett Reply

    I haven’t been back to Galveston since the Hurricane. It appears that I am overdue! The audio clips were a hoot.

  3. Dawn Reply

    I’m planning a second trip to Galveston for Moody Gardens Festival of Lights, thanks for the tips!

  4. cindy edwards Reply

    while everything is not open on the Strand, what is open is fabulous.
    Seawall Blvd is coming back but it’s so odd to look out at the ocean and not see any piers or shops.
    I just heard that the hotel is going to be rebuilt complete with a ferris wheel. We’ll have to wait until the 2011 tourist season for that.

  5. Amber P Reply

    We visited six months after Ike and were very surprised at the amount of stores and restaurants that were open. The condos and resorts are taking longer to recover…but Galveston has never been a city to be "done in" by natural disasters. The people BOI (Born On the Island) are a very resiliant bunch! We visited again for spring break last year and are planning yet another visit next March for the break!

  6. Maria Vazquez Reply

    Since we moved from Florida 3 years ago, my family and enjoy every summer in Galveston, my childrens love to take the Ferry and park our truck just in front of the beach, Galveston is very nice family place.

  7. cindy markoski Reply

    Moody Gardens! Their acquarium is a must see. I took family there from out of town and they loved it. It compares to acquariums in much larger cities. The penguins are adorable.

  8. Michelle Avitia Reply

    I have always loved to going to Moody Gardens espically when I was a kid.

  9. Debbi Reply

    I too have visited Galveston looking forward to a renewed Galveston and was more than pleasantly surprised. I enjoy the beaches and the restaurants, but even more, the friendly and helpful people of Galveston have returned making it a wonderful place to visit and stay awhile.

  10. katrina Reply

    I grew up next to Galveston and I love it! It has so many wonderful things to see & do! And I LOVE the beach!

  11. Brenda Miertschin Reply

    I love Galveston!!! If you haven’t been make time on your calendar to visit … you won’t be disappointed.

  12. Tracy Balderas Reply

    For a cheap place to stay there is a state park up the way with screened in shelter. A little rough but you save your pennies for other things.

  13. Tyler Hotzel Reply

    Dickens on the Strand is also a good time during the Christmas holiday season.

  14. Tina Reply

    I have been to Galveston many a time..but keep going to the same places all over again…This sure helped me in creating an interest in trying out new places!!!!

  15. Nancy Reply

    During the summer, Galveston is hustling with crowds of tourists….but I always seem to be so relaxed…in the evening…watching the waves and listening as the water crashes on the rocks. Almost alone…. Perfect. Wish that I lived closer, but try to visit as much as time allows.

  16. christine Reply

    I haven’t visited Galveston in years but after reading this I’m interested to see what’s new.

  17. Suzanne T Reply

    I had no idea there was so much to do in Galveston! This will absolutely be one of my #1 pics this summer!

  18. Rhykka Connelly Reply

    Now is the perfect time to go to Galveston. Tourists are gone…you’ll have the beach to yourself!

  19. Dan Bowen Reply

    As a last fling for the summer, I took my kiddos to Moody Gardens. We were there for 5 days and did not have enough time to do everything we wanted to do.


  20. Michael Whorton Reply

    We visited Galveston the summer before the hurricane and had a blast. This is by far the best part of the Texas coast line and has more to do and see than anywhere else on the coast. Steer clear of the do it yourself car wash on main street. The money changer ate $20.00 and the owner refused to return my calls as locals said this happens all the time there.

  21. Jeanie Yarbrough Reply

    Thanks for some great tips, we have been to Galveston before and the strand but we never get to see all of it. We will try out the new resturant, we love Meditranian food even if we can’t spell it 🙂

  22. Alisa Rasmussen Reply

    We love to play in the waves and have fun on the beach with our kids – I’m so glad we moved so close to the ocean. Since we are still new, I will have to try out Moody Gardens. Your article was very helpful.

  23. Melia Coe Reply

    Living only 40 min.’s from Galveston we(my family) make a day trip to the coast, almost every month. And even though Ike hit Us and Galveston really hard, we as Texans rose up from the ashes to reclaim what we so proudly Home! TY for a great write up on one of my families fun spot’s!

  24. Mike S Bradshaw Reply

    Galveston has a Schlitterbahn, the 1894 Opera House, and is a great cruise terminal.

  25. Kim Reply

    I have been to Galveston 3 summers ago and loved it! I can’t wait to get back again this next summer to see what Galveston looks like now. I am sure that it will be even better than it was before.

  26. Angela Fox Reply

    Stu, you’re hilarious! I’m loving reading your blog… you have me laughing and learning a whole lot all at the same time. You can BET I’ll be back…. maybe after visiting "The Grill" in Galveston. That’ll be great! I’ll be sure not to get seafood at any of the BBQ joints as well. You’re awesome!

  27. travelguru Reply

    Hey Stu,
    You make Galveston sound very interesting. I will surely look forward to Gallivanting in Galveston.

    Thanx for all those wonderful tips about food and eating joints.

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