Nine months ago, my family made a big change in our lives and chose to settle in Galveston full time. We fell in love with the easy-going island spirit and how family-friendly the city is. That’s why I was thrilled to be a guest on Houston Life and share many of my favorites of #Galveston \Life!
Now in case you didn’t catch that – I’m going to be on TV! I admit it, I’m a bit giddy. And if you are in the greater Houston Metropolitan area, you can watch me today at 1:00 pm CST. But even for those who can’t watch, I’m sharing these tips here and my standing invitation to visit my newly adopted hometown.
Galveston Family Bucket List
- Dolphin Tours: Did you know you could see dolphins here in Galveston? Oh, yes you can! You can spot them in the harbor by taking one of the dolphin tours offered at Pier 21. This includes an hour-long boat ride and is a great way to explore the island by sea. galveston.com/harbortours
- Jet Boat Thrill Ride: Right next door, at Pier 21, you can crank up the adrenaline and go on a Jet Boat Thrill Ride. Not for the faint of heart (or those who want to stay dry!) but a super fun experience that includes a 20-minute ride on a massive jet boat. The ride includes intense speed, right angle turns and The Hamilton Spin, a maneuver that spins the boat 360 on its axis throwing a head-high wall of water into the air and onto passengers! galvestonwateradventures.com
- Moody Gardens: One of our family FAVORITES! We love the aquarium which just went through a $37 million renovation, btw and the rainforest pyramid and visit regularly. A summer special, however, is the Palm Beach Waterpark. It is very family-friendly with a gentle beach style entry which is fun for even the ittiest of itty-bitties! moodygardens.org
I routinely share Moody’s beauty on my Instagram – here’s a peek…
- Stewart Beach is THE family beach park in Galveston! It was named one of the best beaches for families in the USA by Family Vacation Critic which if you haven’t seen it lately, it is well-deserved. Galveston has invested in bringing their beaches back to their glory at Stewart and all along the Seawall!Stewart includes a ton of family friendly features like its pavilion, playground, volleyball courts, concessions, restrooms, showers, etc. In June, July and August, the beach park will host free Sandcastle Days events in which you can learn how to build sandcastles from a professional sandcastle sculptor! galvestonbeachinfo.com
- Pleasure Pier Another all day fun opportunity! First, let me tell you that there is no better view than at the end of the Pier. See the Gulf in all it’s glory or fly over it at high speed on the Revolution. It is a thrill ride of thrill rides! We also love the Pirate’s Plunge and the Rock’n’Roll. There are rides for all ages and all adventure seeking levels. Not interested in rides? Join Forest and all his friends at Bubba Gump’s for yummy shrimp. pleasurepier.com
- Skydiving: For the families filled with dare devils, skydiving is a fun adventure to take together. On the island, Skydive Galveston will take you up in a plane to have a great view plus a heart-pounding experience with photo and video footage of your adventure. www.skydivegalveston.com. I have not done this one but I am adding it to my personal Bucket List!
- Schlitterbahn: Another family go to! My son is excited to try out MASSIV, the world™s tallest water coaster. At 81 feet and six and three-quarter inches tall, MASSIV sends riders on several downhill and uphill thrills before blasting them into a refreshing pool. The entire ride lasts about 60 seconds. Beyond that, are many rides (35!) and relaxing pools to fill a day of family fun. And they are picnic friendly so bring lunch and stay all day! schlitterbahn.com/Galveston. Here we are last year:
- Horseback riding at East Beach: Another well-kept secret – you can ride horses on the beach! . Galveston Island Horse & Pony Rides offers several excursion options and provides a relaxing activity for families to enjoy. gihpr.com
See these tips and more on #GalvestonLife
There is so much still to explore – Murdoch’s, the museums (Bryan, Children’s Museum), historic houses (Bishop’s Palace, Moody Mansion), the Elissa, Seawolf Park, Rosenberg Library… oh so much. I can’t forget the Strand, especially LaKings for ice cream sodas and fresh taffy!
Tweet me at @tracisstar with any questions and I’ll share my best advice. I really do love this not-so little city!
- Stay Sunday through Thursday and save big on hotel rates. Hotel rates can be up to 50% cheaper midweek during the summer
- Galveston Island Pass is a great way to save while getting to visit multiple attractions. The pass saves you AT LEAST 40% on admission prices and lets you pick 4 or more attractions to bundle on one pass
- If you have a big family or want to travel with multiple families, try renting a beach house or a charming cottage or historic home in town. This can be an affordable and comfortable way to spend your vacation.