GALVESTON Population- 62, 671 Altitude- 20

Surf fishing on a Jetty on one of the many piers on the 32 miles of public beachesGeneral-

When The area which is now called Glaveston was first explored by European settlers, the island was a Karankawa Indian site. Pirate Jean Lafitte established the earliest settlement in 1817. These Early years gave this city many firsts in Texas:

the first Roman Catholic convent, first electric lights, and first medical college.

An extremely disastrous storm hit Galveston in 1900, The entire island was inundated during this hurricane, the storm claimed between 5,000 to 7,000 lives. A seawall was built soon afterwards; this wall is presently 10 miles long, and has proved its staying power several times.

Galveston Island offers 32 miles of beach, and also is a treasure trove of things historically Texan.  More indepth Details are available from the Visitor Information Centers (see below).

Many city parks, picnic areas and recreation centers offer playground equipment, athletic fields, tennis courts, and golf courses.

Galveston is the Seat of Galveston County, a major port, tourist and convention center, and is also the home of the University of Texas Medical Branch, Texas A&M University at Galveston, and Galveston College.

Galveston Chamber of Commerce

Find an excellent guide to Galveston beaches, windsurfing, fishing, scuba diving, parks, golf, recreation and more. The chamber provides information for lodging, gulf coast boating, state parks and links to many local organizations. Remember to explore Texas' "Queen City" of historic homes, buildings and historic places.

Center for Transportation and Commerce (Railroad Museum)-

Located on the once active tracks, there are over 35 vintage railroad cars and steam engines.  Historic Santa Fe depot has  been restored to 1932 art deco style.  The museum includes an HO-gauge working model of the Port of Galveston with tracks, ships, and port activities. A People's Gallery with dozens of life-sized figures (some of which "speak" to visitors) re-create a busy depot scene of the 1930s. Six multimedia theaters present  a history of Galveston shipping, railroading, and commerce. Open daily 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., on Rosenberg St. at foot of the Strand. Admission.

Churches -

Historic First Lutheran Church was founded in 1850; original church building was rebuilt in 1915. At 25th and Winnie St.

First Presbyterian Church, a magnificent Gothic structure, houses what is believed to be the oldest church organization in Galveston, dating from Jan. 1, 1840. Present church building constructed in 1873.  At Church St. and 19th St.

Grace Episcopal Church, founded as a mission of Trinity Church in 1874, parishioners moved into present structure in 1895. Gothic-style building designed by architect Nicholas Clayton, Many original furnishings including stained glass, hand-carved reredos and altar. At 36th and Avenue L.

Sacred Heart Catholic Church, founded 1884 was designed by a Jesuit priest in 1904 after original church was destroyed in 1900 storm. Opposite Bishop's Palace at Broadway & 14th St.

St. Mary's Cathedral, first Catholic cathedral in Texas, retaining original splendid architecture, built in 1848. 21st and Church St.

Trinity Episcopal Church, built in 1857 to serve parish that was organized in 1841. Traditionally repaired and put in use immediately after damage of1900 hurricane, never missing a service.  22nd at Winnie St.

Colonel, Excursion Boat-"Colonel" excursion boat in Galveston

This wonderful modern triple-deck paddle wheeler recaptures the romance and culture of 19th Century river steamboats on daily 1-hour sightseeing cruises, morning and afternoon, of Galveston Bay and port; evening dinner cruises, and moonlight dance cruises on Saturday nights. Sightseeing trips include interpretive narration, live band, buffet on dinner cruises, rooms for private parties, and charter cruises.  The Colonel departs from Moody Gardens at One Hope Blvd.  Cruise fee. Phone (409)740-7797.

David Taylor Classic Car Museum-

Collection divided into three categories: antiques, classics, and muscle cars. Museum in three restored buildings emulating car dealerships of the 1930s. There are no imports; collection is tribute to American automobile. Featured cars include a '29 Chevrolet convertible, '37 Cord convertible, '31 Cadillac, and '55 Thunderbird. Open daily 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. 1918 Mechanic St. Admission.

Ferry Rides-

Diesel ferries operate every 20 minutes between Galveston and Port Bolivar, Texas 87. Ferries are part of Texas highway system, operated toll-free by the Texas Department of Transportation.

Deep Sea Fishing-

Exciting varieties of food and game fish are found in Gulf waters off Galveston Island. Fishermen may join one of the many party boats for bay or offshore action. Many free public and commercially operated launching ramps and marinas for private craft available. Offshore species are sailfish, marlin, ling, wahoo, king mackerel, bonito, pompano, red snapper, warsaw, dolphin, and other "big league" species. Reservations at Piers 18, 19 and Galveston Yacht Basin.

Fishing Piers-

Surf fishing on a Jetty on one of the many piers on the 32 miles of public beachesSurf fishermen try their luck almost anywhere along beach; free municipal jetties and rock groin piers are along Seawall Blvd. at 10 th, 17th, 30th, 37th, and 61st St. Commercial fishing piers are on Seawall Blvd. at 25th, 61st, and 90th St., and at Seawolf Park on Pelican island. Flanking ship channel between Galveston and Bolivar Peninsula are South jetty (extreme east end of Galveston island), and North jetty (from Bolivar Peninsula).  Fishermen take flounder, speckled trout, redfish, croaker, tarpon, sheep, catfish, and other species.

Galveston County Historical Museum-

Displays from one of Texas' most historic cities plus variety of changing exhibits. Housed in a former private bank building of W.L. Moody, Jr., circa 1919; especially impressive interior.  Open Mon. - Sat. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Sun. noon - 4 p.m.  (Extended hours Memorial Day - Labor Day.)  2219 Market St. Donations requested.

Galveston Harbor Tours-

Board the MV Seagu11 for a 45-minute, narrated boat tour of the Port of Galveston. Get a close-up look at the working waterfront and local marine life. Special bird-watching cruises available. Departs from Pier 22 at the north end of 22nd St. Schedule varies. Fee charged.

Galveston Island Beach-

Thirty-two miles of sand beach washed by Gulf of Mexico.   Within city, beach is edged by hotels, condos, restaurants, and amusement attractions.  Camping is permitted in designated areas and commercial facilities only, and at Galveston Island State Park. Parking fees are charged at certain beach recreation areas; free parking available elsewhere along the 32-mile beach-front.

Galveston Island Outdoor Musicals-

1,700-seat outdoor theater in Galveston Island State Park alternates Broadway musicals nightly except Sun. from early June through late Aug. Shows 8 p.m.; free park admission for theater-goers.  Dinner is available 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. show nights.   Six miles south on FM. 3005 at 13 Mile Rd. 409/737-3440.  Admission.

Galveston Island State Park-

Spanning Galveston island from Gulf to bay, the 1,935-acre park includes much salt marsh rich in bird life. Viewing from elevated boardwalks and observation platforms. Campsites with hookups, dump station, screened shelters, rest rooms and showers. Picnicking, fishing, swimming, and nature trail. From early June through late August outdoor musicals are presented nightly except Sun. Six miles south on FM. 3005 at 13 Mile Rd. Admission.

Galveston Yacht Basin-

With complete marina services, the yacht harbor provides slips for hundreds of pleasure craft... an elegant sight! Boaters find gas, repair and mechanical services, fishing tackle and bait shops, radar weather reports, and 24-hour security guards.

Garten Verein-

An octagonal structure, circa 1870, still in use as city recreation building, Victorian accents evident in trim of two picturesque roof levels. City park at 27th St. & Ave. 0.

The Great Storm-

Award-winning, multi-image presentation using historic photographs and special effects to re-create the aftermath of the 1900 hurricane which devastated Galveston. The 27-minute program shows on the hour: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Sun. - Thurs.; 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. Fri. & Sat. Pier 21 at north end of 21st St. Admission.

Historic Homes and Buildings-

As Texas' earliest prominent city, literally scores of fascinating historic structures were built by sea captains, merchants, businessmen, and prominent officials. Among most notable are:

Ashton Villa-

The showplace of Galveston Historical Foundation in restored 1859 Italianate house-museum reflecting opulence of era in carved moldings, elaborate mantel-work, and lavish furnishings. Guided tours include the ornate Gold Room and elegant family quarters upstairs. Open Mon. - Sat. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Sun. noon - 4 p.m. 2328 Broadway. Admission.

Bishop's Palace-

Probably Galveston's most celebrated landmark, is state's only structure on list of nation's 100 outstanding buildings by American Institute of Architects. "Palace" was built as private home by Col. Walter Gresham in 1886, purchased 1923 for the bishop of Galveston Houston Diocese. Showplace furnishings include mantel that was first-prize winner at 1876 Philadelphia World's Fair, Venetian crystal chandelier, damask wall coverings from London, and grand staircase of rosewood, satinwood, and mahogany. Open daily noon - 4 p.m., Memorial Day through Labor Day Mon. - Sat. 10 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.; Sun. noon - 4:45 p.m. 1402 Broadway. Admission.

Fort Crockett-

Was a primary artillery defense installation built 1897. Closed in 1947, several buildings remain in use by Galveston College, Texas A&M Univ. at Galveston, and National Marine Fisheries Service. Massive coastal artillery bunkers can still be seen, but most have been incorporated into the foundation of the nearby hotel and conference center. Seawall Blvd. between 45th and 53rd St.

Grand Opera House-

Performing arts hall built in 1894. This is a multimillion dollar restoration returning the ornate structure to its original grandeur. This magnificent and historic theater has showcased such theatrical icons as John Philip Sousa, Helen Hayes, and more recently, Gregory Hines. The Texas 73rd Legislature named it the "Texas Official Opera House." Stage productions are frequently scheduled; open daily for self-guided tours.   2020 Post Office St.

Moody Mansion and Museum-

Historic home built circa 1892. This structure is a prime example of transitional Victorian architecture. It is the former home and center of the business empire of Texas entrepreneur W.L. Moody, Jr.  He lived here from 1900 until his death in 1954.  With a steel frame, construction is of red brick, Texas limestone and terra cotta tile. The interior includes stained glass, custom-designed carved woods, tile work, fancy plaster work, and stencils in 42 rooms covering 28,000 square feet! Collections include antiques, silver, photographs, and other works of art. Gift shop, Self-guided tour. Open Mon. - Sat. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Sun. I p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Closed on Mon. Jan. Mar. At 2618 Broadway. Admission.

Powhatan House-

Circa 1847, is showplace of Galveston Garden Club. Graceful Greek Revival structure fronted by 40-foot Doric columns, hand-hewn from Maine pine and shipped to Texas by schooner. Guided tours are Sat. at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. 3427 Ave. 0. Admission.

The Strand,

Once known as the the "Wall Street of the Southwest," the Starnd is one of the finest concentrations of 19th-Century iron-front commercial buildings in the U.S. Lined with gaslights, now restored and readapted, the Strand features art galleries and studios, specialty shops, restaurants, pubs, delicatessens, historic exhibits, and even an old-fashioned candy factory. Often site of annual city festivals, especially "Dickens on The Strand" each Dec., and Mardi Gras celebrations in early spring. National Historic Landmark District is on Strand and Mechanic St. between 20th and 25th St. The Strand Visitors Center rents (for a fee) tape players with recorded, one-hour walking tours describing the history and architecture of the historic district. Start tour with information from Strand Visitor Information Center (see below).

Lone Star Flight Museum-

The golden age of aviation is recalled by more than two dozen vintage aircraft, from a meticulously restored B-17 Flying Fortress to spindly liaison aircraft. There's a "razorback" P-47 Thunderbolt, a P-38 Lightning, a Spitfire, plus other bombers, trainers, and wartime "executive" aircraft, all in flying condition. There's also the Conoco Hall of Power, with historic engines, photos, air combat memorabilia, and wartime vehicles. Open daily, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. except four major holidays. 2002 Terminal Dr. (at Scholes Field Municipal Airport). Admission.

Mardi Gras Museum-

Several colorful exhibits use historic costumes, crown jewels and memorabilia to tell the story of Galveston's carnival celebrations. Open noon - 6 p.m. Wed. - Sun. Closed Mon. & Tues. 2211 Strand, third floor. Admission.

Moody Gardens-

156-acre eight phase project of Moody Foundation. These Facilities are currently open and waiting for your visit:

The Magnificent Rainforest Pyramid in GalvestonRainforest Pyramid,
This Magnicicent modern structure rises 10 stories. It represents the tropical rain forests of: Asia, Africa, and South America, A unique opportunity to experience the exotic and raw beauty of rain forests. Wonderful butterflies abound among waterfalls, cliffs, caverns, Mayan Colonnade, and an ever-changing array of tropical plants. Clear, blue pools are filled with tropical fish, quiet ponds with exotic wading birds. Bat Cave turns night into day so visitors are able to see 60 fruit bats behind large glassed-in cave. Open Mon. - Thurs. 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Fri. - Sat. 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. Nov. - Feb.; daily 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. during summer. Admission.

IMAX Theater Visitor Center-

A wonderful overpowering film theater that projects 3D movies on a 6-story screen. Within the complex is a Visitor Center and Gardens Restaurant overlooking Gulf waters and a nightly presentation of Dancing Waters.

Palm Beach

Texas' only white sand beach with freshwater swimming lagoons, whirlpools, volleyball, a 400' pier/dock, and paddle boats. Yellow Submarine and Octopus Slide features 30-ft. submarine with fully operational periscope, water gun, and dive horn. Octopus is three slippery slides with stairways in the creature's arms. Open weekends in May, daily mid-May Labor Day. (409)744-PALM Admission.

Moody Gardens Convention Center-

Multipurpose convention and conference center set in tropical surroundings. Located on One Hope Blvd. at municipal airport. Formal gardens, Japanese Garden of Life, Vietnam Memorial, Hope Rose Garden, Horticulture Terraces, the Vineyard, plus nature- walking trails.


The largest is Stewart Beach Park on Seawall Blvd. at Broadway, offering pavilion, beach service, bath houses, restaurants, concessions, with attractions such as mini-golf, water slides, and bumper boats.

R. A. Apffell Park, east of Stewart Beach at Boddecker Dr., is wide beach with boat launching, jetty and surf fishing, bath house, concessions, and rest rooms.

Dellanera Beach Park offers beach activities, RV hookups, showers, rest rooms, picnic area, grocery store, and laundry room. West of Seawall on F.M. 3005.

Three "pocket" parks are along F.M. 3005 and offer beach front picnic areas, rest rooms, and playgrounds. They are on 7 1/2 Mile Rd., 9 1/2 Mile Rd., and 11 Mile Rd.

Pelican Island-

Just across the channel from the Port of Galveston. Pelican Island is the site of industrial and recreational development, Todd Shipyards Corp., and Texas A&M University at Galveston on south edge. On northern point is Seawolf Park (see below) where port's federal quarantine station once stood. Scenic location edged by palms and banks of oleanders with picnic facilities and excellent fishing.

Port of Galveston-

First major port in Texas, was commercial link of The former Republic of Texas with the rest of the world. For years Galveston was Texas' largest city. This modern port now handles ships from all over the world. Unique in operation, it is the nation's only port where all facilities, from railroad switching to crating and labeling of individual items, are coordinated under one management. So successful is this unique operation that Galveston is the only major port facility in the entire United States not supported by public funds. Visitors will be fascinated by the Fisherman's Wharf area along Ave. A between 17th and 23rd St.  Fish markets, seafood restaurants, and charter/group boat docks.

Rosenberg Library-

Texas' first free public library, contains many original manuscripts and letters of Samuel May Williams, Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin, and other prominent figures in Texas history. Rare books, artifacts, art collection. Open Mon. - Sat. 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Sun. I - 5 p.m. Aug. - May. Closed Sun. June - July. 2310 Sealy Ave.

Seawolf Park-

Picturesque location provides close look at ocean-going vessels entering and departing port and yacht basin. Excellent fishing from commercially operated pier. Striking three-level pavilion with snack bar; picnic facilities and children's playground. Main attraction is naval exhibit featuring tours of WW II submarine USS Cavalla, destroyer escort USS Stewart, Navy jet, and military vehicles. Open daily on Pelican Island. Admission.

Texas Heroes Monument-

Gift to State of Texas by Galveston philanthropist Henry Rosenberg, commemorates great achievements of men and women of Texas. It is 74 feet high, 34 feet square, with four monolithic granite columns rising to support 22-foot bronze figure of "Victory." Erected in 1900, stands at intersection of Broadway and Rosenberg Ave.

Texas Seaport Museum-

Home of the Elissa square-rigged, 400-ton barkentine built in Scotland in 1877. A visitor to Galveston during her sailing/working days, Elissa has returned as a museum of 19th-Century maritime technology. Opened in 1982 after eight years of restoration. Open daily 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. (extended hours in summer), Elissa is sometimes away from Galveston sailing. Check locally for dockside schedule. Museum also includes two wide-screen theater presentations on legends and lore of the sea and the restoration of the Elissa. Visitors with an interest in geneology have access to a computer database containing information on more than 130,000 immigrants who entered Texas through the Port of Galveston. Pier 21 at north end of Kempner (22nd) St. Admission.


Besides tours cited previously, other specialized tours for individuals and groups are available as follows: (details from Visitor Information Centers) Carriage and buggy rides are available throughout The Strand Historic District; Treasure Isle Tour Train operates on regular schedule from 2106 Seawall Blvd., touring both old and new sites on Galveston Island in the little train with the fringe on top. Schedule varies. Inquire locally.  Literature and directions for self-guided historic tours are provided free at Visitor Information Center and Strand Visitors Center

Trolley Cars-

Nostalgic trolley cars connect the beach at seawall to the historic Strand/Bay area. Replicas of 1900 vintage cars glide for 4 1/2 miles along tracks much like those in city's early days, Schedule posted along route,

Visitor Information Centers-

Details on activities, events, tours, recreation facilities and historic sites; free maps and literature. In Moody Civic Center, Seawall Blvd. at 21st St., and also in the Strand Historic District at 2016 Strand.


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