Family Vacations to Galveston, Texas

Beach in Galveston, Texas
Sunset by the beach in Galveston, Texas (Lee Deforke/courtesy, Galveston Convention & Visitors Bureau)

Galveston Family Travel Tips

  • Board the tall ship Elissa to experience what life was like sailing the open seas in 1886.
  • Take in a 3D IMAX show, learn about underwater life, walk through a rainforest, and frolic in a lagoon at Moody Gardens.
  • Speed down the Loopy Luge or surf the Boogie Bahn at Schlitterbahn Water Park.

Located on the Gulf of Mexico, just 50 miles south of Houston, Galveston is a barrier reef island with a rich and interesting history. Today, Galveston is well known as a popular tourist attraction, boasting 32 miles of Gulf Coast beaches, historic architecture, cultural institutions, and beautiful weather year-round (the average low is 57 degrees and the average high 81 degrees). It also has attractions like Moody Gardens, a theme park/entertainment complex featuring an aquarium, science center, IMAX theater and more. You can also take the kids to Schlitterbahn, a huge indoor/outdoor water park.

Galveston was settled in the early 1800s and was a bustling port city by the end of the 19th century. At one time, Galveston Island was second only to Ellis Island as a point of entry for immigrants, and the population continues to be ethnically diverse. Its historic offerings include the tall ship Elissa, a nod to the island's exciting maritime history that includes pirates, who originally settled on the island. There are also several historic districts including The Strand, which features period homes. Some of these homes are open for private tours—two of the most popular are Moody Mansion and Bishop's Palace.

Hurricane Ike ravaged Galveston's shores in late 2008, but everything is open for business now. And, on the bright side, many businesses completed significant renovations as a result of the damage, drawing even more visitors than before the 'cane. 

Published: 25 Jun 2009 | Last Updated: 25 Oct 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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