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Galveston Travel Guide

Galveston is the greatest island city in all of Texas. It has a population of just 50,000 people and is most well-known for its beautiful coastal views and beaches as well as its many historic buildings. During a stopover, be sure to check out all of Galveston's must-visit attractions. With cruise line volume buys plus our low everyday prices you can save up to 80% versus the brochure price! Book your Galveston cruise today with AffordableTours.com, your discounted cruise headquarters.

Galveston Travel Guide


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Galveston Travel Guide

Galveston Cruises Highlights

  • See the architecture of the 1894 Opera House.
  • Go on a spooky paranormal Hotel Galvez Ghost Tour.
  • Explore the inside the historic 1892 Bishop's Palace.
  • Learn about history at the Bryan Museum.
  • Explore the Strand District, one of the most historic neighborhoods in Galveston.
  • Check out the sights at Pleasure Pier.
  • Visit Moody Gardens.
  • Soak up the sun at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark.
  • Relax at Galveston Island State Park.
  • Tour the 19th-century Moody Mansion.
  • Check out the Galveston Historic Seaport, which is home to a ship from the 19th century.

Galveston Cruises Travel Tips

  • Consider renting a bicycle to explore the area unconventionally.
  • Though Galveston is most well-known for its beaches, there's a lot more to it than that. Get out and explore the historic areas too!
  • If you want to find shells along Galveston's beaches, your luck is best during the winter months.
  • Galveston has some of the best seafood, which is considered a popular local dish.
  • Visit sights earlier in the day to avoid the crowds - especially at the beaches.
  • The vibe in Galveston is very laid back. It's not uncommon to see people with their swimwear and flip flops.
  • Most of Galveston's tourist attractions get very busy during the day. Try to visit when they first open to beat the crowds.
  • The city of Galveston is filled with unique experiences and attractions like flying inside a plane from World War II.
  • You'll need to either make use of the public buses or rent a car for your trip because many of the popular attractions are spread throughout Galveston.

Galveston Cruises Things To Do

  • Relax at Galveston Island State Park
    Relax at Galveston Island State Park

    Galveston Island State Park is one of the most peaceful and relaxing parts of the whole city. It's located on an island and is the perfect place for fishing, bird-watching, and strolls along the beach. This is the perfect family-friendly destination for an afternoon in Galveston. Are you not a fan of those activities? Don't worry. You can also go swimming, utilize the hiking and biking trails, or even go geocaching. There are lots of observation platforms to take in all of the fantastic views of the area.

    You Should Know

    There are no places to rent canoes, kayaks, or paddleboards. You have to bring your own or purchase one elsewhere locally. The park is always looking for volunteers to help out along the waterfront!  

  • Explore the Strand District
    Explore the Strand District

    The Strand District in Galveston is a historic area filled with beautiful architecture, restaurants, and shops. The neighborhood dates back to the 19th century, and many buildings still look the same way that they did then. Some of the most popular places to visit in the Strand District include La King's Confectionary, the Texas Seaport Museum, and the Pier 21 Theater. Galveston's best festivals are also held here, including the city's Mardi Gras celebration.

    You Should Know

    This area of Galveston is extremely walkable. Find a place to park and then explore the Strand on your feet! The Strand District is considered to be the best place to shop for souvenirs in the whole city.  

  • Soak up the sun at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark
    Soak up the sun at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark

    The Schlitterbahn Waterpark is one of Galveston's best outdoor attractions. It's open all year and is home to some of the most epic water slides in the United States. During the colder months, visitors can have fun in the indoor part of the park, which is heated. This park covers 26 acres of land and is filled with activities that are fun for all age levels. Families, in particular, love Schlitterbahn Waterpark. Try to check out the Boogie Bahn, which is one of the most iconic rides!

    Best Time To Visit

    Opt to visit on weekdays if you're visiting in the summer. Fewer people visit during the week, especially earlier in the morning when it first visits. Keep in mind that during the fall, the park is only open during the weekends.  

  • Learn history at the Bryan Museum
    Learn history at the Bryan Museum

    The Bryan Museum is one of the most significant history museums solely dedicated to Texas. It first opened in 2015 and aimed to portray the American West. The museum is located inside the Galveston Orphans Home, which the founder, J.P. Bryan, restored. There are around 70,000 different artifacts and relics that can be found throughout the museum. The highlights of the museum include real cowboy chaps, historic arrowheads, and even old maps! There's also a library with around 20,000 books.

    You Should Know

    The Bryan Museum is considered to be one of Galveston's hidden gems. Therefore, it's never super busy, so you could visit any time of day, and the crowds won't be too terrible. There are events held here often, so pay attention to their event calendar.  

  • Tour Moody Mansion
    Tour Moody Mansion

    Moody Mansion is a 19th-century historical building that has 31 rooms. It's 28,000 feet and was home to Narcissa Willis and her husband Richard S. Willis. Their daughter later sold the house, and it eventually became a popular place for tourists and locals to visit. The mansion has three floors, consisting of illustrious bedrooms, parlors, libraries, and more spread out over four floors. It's built in the Romanesque style of architecture and is truly picturesque.

    You Should Know

    Two different audio tour options are available: the Mary Moody Northen Tour and the Moody Family Tour. Each one is told by members of the Moody family and guides you throughout the house. All-Access Tours are available on Fridays and Saturdays and are more descriptive than the audio tours.  

  • Check out Pleasure Pier
    Check out Pleasure Pier

    Pleasure Pier in Galveston opened back in summer 2012 and is a popular seafront entertainment area. On Pleasure Pier, there are rides, shops, vendors, and fun carnival games. Its coastal location lends itself to fabulous views as well. Some of the rides include the Iron Shark Rollercoaster, Galaxy Wheel, and Texas Star Flyer. There are also rides for younger children, including the Carousel and Texas Tea, so there's truly something for everyone.

    You Should Know

    There's limited parking near the pier, so utilize public transportation or visit during a less busy time, such as mid-afternoon. The pier is known for having one of the best sunsets in Galveston. Try to see it if you can!  

  • Explore the inside of the 1892 Bishop’s Palace

    The 1892 Bishop's Palace is a gorgeous historical landmark. This Victorian-era building is often also referred to as Gresham's Castle and is one of the most iconic buildings in the United States of its kind. The mansion was owned by the Gresham family and cost $250,000 when it was first built. Today, visitors are welcome to come and explore the four floors of the building. It's genuinely illustrious and features a grand staircase, library, conservatory, and more. Audio tours are available for those who wish to have a guide while exploring the palace.

    You Should Know

    The 1892 Bishop's Palace is only a few minutes away from the Strand Historic District. Children under 5 receive free entry.  

  • Go on a Hotel Galvez Ghost Tour

    The Hotel Galvez is a 4-star hotel in Galveston that is 100 years old. The seafront hotel was unfortunately destroyed in a hurricane during 1900 and was rebuilt in 1911. For a time, the hotel served as Franklin Delano Roosevelt's temporary White House, and past guests have included Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. Many locals say that Hotel Galvez is haunted, especially room 501, due to a young woman who stayed there in the 1950s. Many people refer to her as the Ghost Bride and say that she now haunts the hotel hallways.

    You Should Know

    Tours have to be booked in advance and are known to fill up quickly. You don't have to be staying at the Hotel Galvez to go on this ghost tour. The tour includes dinner.  

  • Visit Moody Gardens
    Visit Moody Gardens

    Moody Gardens is a vast entertainment area that's fun for all ages. It opened in 1986 and mainly focuses on spreading knowledge about the area's wildlife and conservation efforts.    Inside, there are many attractions, including zip lines, a water park, Palm Beach, tropical plants and animals, an aquarium, science exhibits, and more. There is also a ropes course and golf course. Guests usually spend at least a full day here because there is so much to do.

    You Should Know

    Children under the age of 3 receive free entrance into Moody Gardens. Though there is a flat rate to enter, there are multiple experiences inside, such as the Penguin Encounter, that requires an additional fee for participants.  

  • See the amazing architecture of the 1894 Opera House
    See the amazing architecture of the 1894 Opera House

    This grand opera theater is truly a testament to Galveston's history with the arts. The 1894 Opera House is one of the select buildings that has survived countless hurricanes and storms throughout the years, unlike many other historical landmarks in the city. In 1993, the opera house was named as the "official opera house of Texas" and is one of the state's most significant supporters of the arts. Shows are still held often here, and tickets can be purchased in advance online.

    You Should Know

    The closest area for parking is near Postoffice Street, but keep in mind that you have to pay. Multiple events are held throughout the year, so pay attention to their calendar to see if one will be happening during your visit.  

Galveston Cruises When To Visit

Quick Facts

Galveston's warmer weather and mild winters make it the perfect location, no matter the time of year. However, there are times to visit Galveston when the city is a lot less busy, and prices change depending on the season. The winter months are the least busy time to visit Galveston.

  • Spring and Fall - October to November and March to April - Shoulder Season

    The spring temperature averages around 73°F while the fall averages 75°F. The weather during this time is impeccable, and prices for accommodations tend to be great. The area usually isn't super overrun by visitors during these months.

  • Summer - May to September - High Season

    During the summer months, the average temperature is 85°F with highs in the 90s during its peak. However, since Galveston is near the water, some breezes will help visitors cool off. This is the busiest time to visit, but everything is open.

  • Winter - December to February - Low Season

    The winter months are the low season for Galveston when prices are at their cheapest. Some top tourist attractions may be closed or have more limited hours during these months, but the lack of visitors makes it worthwhile. The weather averages 62°F.

Galveston Cruises Frequently Asked Questions

What are Galveston cruises?

Galveston cruises are the perfect way to relax, rejuvenate, and travel to other places. Destinations include the Caribbean, Mexico, the Bahamas, and more. If you're looking to go to a beachy and tropical location, then Galveston cruises will be the greatest getaway for you!

What’s included on a Galveston cruise?

On a Galveston cruise, you'll receive meals and accommodation. There are different accommodation options and also multiple places to eat on board. Many forms of entertainment are also included, such as shopping, swimming pools, show performances, and more. Each boat is unique in its own way. Galveston cruises also include stops at other port cities. Some ships will stop internationally, and some stop nationally, but each has stops at some of the world's most fabulous destinations. You'll indeed be taken care of while onboard a Galveston cruise for your trip's duration, with 24-hour room service.

What’s the best Galveston cruise?

No two Galveston cruises are the same, so it is hard to say exactly which is the best! It truly depends on what kind of cruise you'd like to go on and your price range. If you're traveling with a family, then a Disney cruise might be the perfect choice for you, while solo travelers or couples might opt for a different cruise line. Are you having trouble trying to pick the best cruise option for you? Call one of our cruise specialists. They can be reached at 1-800-627-3753, and they'd love to help you find the perfect cruise for you and your interests.

How much do Galveston cruises cost?

Galveston cruises start at around $62 a day and range depending on the length and number of stops. However, don't let the price deter you. At Affordable Tours, we also offer a wide variety of discounts and promotions to ensure that you get the best price possible. Be sure to check the discount column above to see what current deals are running.

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