Galveston Island offers lots of fun for everyone from tots in ruffled swimsuits to those in town for a cruise. With a mix of outdoor and indoor activities, paired with a mix of seafood and Tex Mex restaurants, visitors have lots of options for a weekend away. Whether Galveston is the final destination, or travelers just want to squeeze in a few more vacation days before or after a cruise, here is the best three day itinerary for Galveston, Texas.
Three Day Itinerary for Galveston Texas
A quick from Houston, Dallas or Austin, Galveston Island offers miles of beaches for shelling or sunning along with several museums and lots of attractions. Here are the top places to visit in Galveston, Texas.
Learn about the history of Galveston by touring one of its cultural sites. Start with the Moody Mansion or the Bishop’s Palace. Both are historic mansions from the Victorian era.
Built in 1893 the home’s full name is the Willis Moody Mansion. The Moody family bought the house in 1900, shortly after the 1900 hurricane that devastated the island.
It’s built in the Romanesque style and features 31 rooms. Find it in the East End Historic District.
Located at 2618 Broadway Avenue J. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except major holidays. Adult admission is $15 and youth from 6 to 17 are $7 and kids 5 and under are free.
Located in the East End Historic District, this 19,000 square-foot Victorian style home survived the devastating 1900 Hurricane. It’s made of stone and features four floors and elaborate interiors so it’s an impressive structure.
Originally named the Gresham’s Castle, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Galveston bought the building to be used as the Bishop’s residence.
Located at 1402 Broadway Avenue J. Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except major holidays. Adult admission is $15 and youth from 6 to 18 are $10 and kids 5 and under are free.
Shrimp N Stuff
Since 1976 Shrimp N Stuff been frying up fish and shrim. It’s a locals hang-out off the Seawall.
Located at 3901 Avenue O and 2506 Ball St. Open Sunday to Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The Bryan Museum
Built in 1895 this iss the former Galveston Orphan’s Home. Since 2015, the Bryan Museum features exhibits on Galveston history as well as the entire state of Texas. It houses the world’s largest collection of historical artifacts and artwork dedicated to Texas and the American West.
Located at 1315 21st. St. open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m Wednesday through Sunday and open until 7 p.m. on Thursday (closed Monday and Tuesday). Adult admission is $14, students are $10, kids from 6 to 12 are $5 and kids 5 and under are free.
After the devastating Hurricane of 1900, Galveston build a seawall for protection. Now extending 10 miles, it protects the island from storm surges. If features murals and stairs lead to the beach below.
It’s on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s a must for your three day itinerary to Galveston, Texas.
Located along Seawall Blvd.
With its outdoor seating and multi-level views of the Gulf of Mexico, The Spot is a favorite for casual dinners. It offers live entertainment along with seafood and burgers.
Located at 3204 Seawall Blvd. Hours Open Sunday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Gaido’s Famous Seafood Restaurant
Since 1911, Gaido’s Famous Seafood Restaurant has been serving some of the best seafood on Galveston Island. Its waistaff has been serving locals and travelers for decades.
Specialities include the Red Snapper, Gulf Shrimp and its Pecan Crunch. Gaido’s is considered fine dining so don’t wander in a wet bathing suit and sandy feet.
Located at 3828 Seawall Blvd. Open Sunday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Reservations accepted.
Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier
Like Santa Monica and Coney Island, Galveston offers family-friendly pier amusement park. Pleasure Pier opened in the 1940s, then Hurricane Carla destroyed it in 1961. Replaced by the Flagship Hotel in the 1960s, Hurricane Ike destroyed the hotel in the 2008.
In 2012, a re-imagined Pleasure Pier opened with 16 rides, midway games along with shopping and dining.
Located at 2501 Seawall Blvd. Its hours follow the tourist season so check its website for operating days and hours.
Start the day out with the Mosquito Cafe’s hearty breakfast, like the Shrimp and Grits or the Crabby Mosquito. It also serves lunch and dinner.
Located at 628 14th St. Open Tuesday to Saturday 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. (closed Monday).
In the mid-1800s Galveston boomed as a port and financial center for Texas. The Strand was the hub.
Visitors can walk the brick-paved streets and look up a the Victorian architecture of the National Historic Landmark District. It is another must for your three Itinerary for Galveston, Texas.
The first wooden buildings didn’t withstand the hurricanes so brick or stone buildings replaced them. The oldest buildings in the Strand Historic District date back to 1850s.
It offers boutique shopping like Hendley Market at 2010 Strand St. for vintage and funky finds. Visitors will also find art galleries, clothing boutiques, home decor stores along with dining.
For the Welcome to Galveston mural, visitors should walk to the Saengerfest Park along with the giant chess pieces. The Strand features the hand-painted turtles, decorated by local artists along the way. Each turtle is to rise awareness for Texas own, Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles. After Hurricane Ike damaged trees sculptors shaped the trunks into tree sculptures across Galveston as well.
1877 Tall Ship Elissa and the Texas Seaport Museum
Built in 1877 in Aberdeen, Scotland, the Elissa sailed around Europe eventually landing in Greece. As a three-masted barque she sails with 19 sails, the Elissa is one of the oldest sailing ships today.
The Galveston Historical Foundation rescued the Elissa about a 100 years later. First the iron hull had to be repaired for a tow across the Mediterranean Sea to Gibraltar. Then before the Elissa‘s tow across the Atlantic, more repairs were required.
Located at Pier 22. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Monday). Adult admission is $10 and youth from 6 to 18 are $7, kids 5 and under are free.
Galveston Railroad Museum
As a must for train enthusiasts, visitors walk through a recreation of the 1932 Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Depot. Then museums goes head outside to explore the rail cars, like a pullman (sleeping) car, dining car and a post office car.
Visitor will find the specially painted Santa Fe warbonnet engines reminiscent of the Texas Chief that operated from Galveston to Chicago. The Galveston Railroad Museum offers more locomotives and freight cars.
On Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., visitor can board the Harborside Express train ride for a one mile ride in an open air caboose. Each ride lasts for 15 minutes and tickets are $6 for 3 and up.
Located at 2602 Santa Fe Place. Open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adult admission (13 and up) is $12 and kids from 3 to 12 are $6, and babies two and under are free.
Taquilo’s Tex Mex
Here’s the spot for all the Tex-Mex favorites, like fajitas, tacos and margaritas.
Located at 2101 Postoffice St. Open Sunday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. tp 10 p.m.
La King’s Confectionary
Another hit with kids and sweet eaters is the candy store on the Strand. La King’s Confectionary makes candy in-house along with vintage candy brands, ice cream, popcorn and even barista-made coffee.
Located at 2323 Strand St. Open Sunday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
As one of the best beaches in Texas, Stewart Beach offers restrooms, showers, volleyball courts, a concession stand, rental chairs and umbrellas and a playground. It’s the closest beach to downtown Galveston.
Located at 201 Seawall Blvd. Parking is $12 during the week, Monday to Thursday and $15 for the weekends.
Galveston Island State Park
For a quieter beach, Galveston Island State Park offers birding along with beach camping. It’s a popular place to fish that doesn’t require a fishing license.
Located at 14901 FM 3005 on the west end of the island. Adult admission (13+) $5 and kids 12 and under are free.
Dinner and Evening Entertainment
Rudy & Paco
For an elegant dinner, foodie travelers should sample Rudy and Paco’s for local seafood, steaks along with pasta dishes with a Central and South American twist. It also offers an extensive wine list.
Located at 2028 Postofffice St. Open for lunch: Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Open for dinner: Monday to Thursday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. (closed Sunday).
For travelers who want to enjoy some evening cocktails, the Strand offers several options. All are open late.
Hearsay on the Strand for craft cocktails and an inventive menu. Located at 2410 Strand Street.
Stuttgarden Tavern for a wall of taps and German-inspired pub grub. Located at 111 23rd St.
The Rooftop Bar at historic The Tremont House for views and extensive cocktail and wine list. Located at 2300 Mechanic Street, opening early 2023.
Sunday Brunch at The Grand Galvez
Known as one of the top brunches in Texas, the Galvez is a must. The entire property has undergone an extensive renovation and the elegant interiors are stunning.
Located at 2024 Seawall Blvd. Brunch is offered from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Adults are $79.49 and children (6 to 12) are $29.99.
Depending on the time of the year and your group, head to Moody Gardens or Schlitterbahn Galveston.
Follow the way to the pyramids. As an educational facility focusing on conservation, the centerpiece of Moody Gardens is its three glass pyramids.
The tallest of the pyramid is the largest aquarium in Texas. Find displays like the Gulf of Mexico rigging display, a jellyfish gallery, a penguin exhibit along with a Caribbean ship wreck. Also experience animal encounters inside the aquarium along with touch tanks.
The rainforest pyramid is 10-stories high and houses 1,000 plants and animals, like giant Amazon river otter along with Saki monkeys. Many of the animals are free roaming. Find animal encounters inside the rainforest pyramid as well.
The Discovery pyramid focuses on science exhibits. Additionally there’s a 3D and 4D theater along with a ropes course and zip line.
Colonel paddlewheel boat take an hour-long cruise. And the Palm Beach area offers white sand along with a lazy river, wave pool, tower slides and splash pad.
Moody Gardens offers a convention center, on-site hotel and golf course.
Located at 1 Hope Blvd. Open every day with seasonal hours. Several different tickets available for 1 and 2 day value passes to tickets to individual attractions.
Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark
With 26 acres, Schlitterbahn Galveston Island offers three distinct areas with 33 attractions. Home to the world’s tallest water coaster, MASSIV, Wasserfest is an indoor waterpark with a convertible roof to extend the waterpark season.
Also find the Blastenhoff and the Surfenburg areas with raft rides, water coasters, wave pools, river rides along with heated pools and kids areas.
Located at 2026 Lockhead St. Open daily for school breaks, Spring Break (mid March) and Summer mid May until mid August. Weekends only March through May and September to December. Admission varies.
Where to Stay in Galveston
The Grand Galvez and Spa
The Hotel Galvez and Spa offers a luxurious historic property with Gulf of Mexico views. Though it’s surprisingly family-friendly. It’s a AAA four-diamond property with tropical landscaping.
The weekend brunch is tops in the Houston area. The elegant public rooms evoke the timeless charm from another era. And don’t forget the ghost tour.
Located at 2024 Seawall Blvd.
Moody Gardens Hotel
With its extensive property, stay in the Moody Gardens Hotel is a AAA four-diamond property with a resort-style pool within walking distance to Moody Gardens.
Located at 1 Hope Boulevard.
Disclosure: This article was created after a Press Trip.