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Galveston Vacation

Galveston Vacation Info
Everything You Need to know for a
Great Galveston Vacation!

Find out everything you need to know for having a great time on a Galveston Vacation. Galveston attractions range from the many outdoor activities like fishing, sunbathing, boating, and concerts. Then there are all of the restaurants, amusement parks, and special events that make it a great vacation for the whole family. There's something for everyone from great beach activities and nightlife, historical sites, or just a quiet retreat too.

After almost eight years Galveston Island has fully recovered from Hurricane Ike. It's been a slow revival but the area has made a great comeback and many facilities are totally remodeled and up and running. Restaurants, attractions, and many of the popular tourist destinations are back and better than they were before the storm.

And Galveston has just increased the beach area to around 75th street this spring. Check out the new areas and see how they did it in the last section at the end of the page below. We have some good pictures on the equipment and how it was done.

One new thing in Galveston is the parking fees on the Seawall Boulevard. Fee parking areas will include the north and south sides of Seawall Boulevard from 6th to 69th Street and 81st to 103rd Street. The area between 69th and 81st Street will be free of charge. There are signs that tell you how to pay by using a mobile app, the internet, or a smart phone. Parking fees are charged for from 10:00AM to 6:00 PM daily. Parking Fees are $1 per hour, not to exceed $8 per day or $25 for annual pass. 

One of the big events was the re-opening of the Galveston Pleasure Pier by Landry's on 25th Street and Seawall Blvd. The original Pleasure Pier was built in the late 1940's and was very popular. Hurricane Carla ended that in 1963. In 1965 a new hotel was built on the pier, called the Flagship Hotel and in 2008 it was all but destroyed by Hurricane Ike, Does this show somewhat of a pattern here? We'll certainly see how long the Pleasure Pier will last which is entirely dependent on when the next big Hurricane comes a calling. Luckily we haven't had a major storm and most likely won't until the weather systems change to more favorable conditions.

Galveston Pleasure Pier

The Galveston Pleasure Pier is now open, over 1200 feet long, and has a 100-foot
tall Ferris Wheel, 36-foot double-decker carousel, and a 200 foot tall swing plus
14 other amusement rides.

OK, it's official, the Galveston Pleasure Pier had it's opening day in June of 2015. Here's the deal on the prices and hours (look for specials as these prices go up and down all the time):

Normal Hours: 10:00 am to 11:00 pm

Tickets: Pier walk-on ticket — $10 for adults and $8 for children.
Individual ride tickets — $4 a ride in addition to the walk-on ticket.
All-day ride passes — $21.99 adults, 
$16.99 children less than 48 inches tall.

Parking: $10 for first 3 hours and $2 an hour after that.
($10 validation with $25 or more spent at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. or Fish Tales. *Fish Tales is one of my favorite seafood restaurant on the island!)
Maximum $16 a day

You can park on the Seawall Blvd (but you need to be early or lucky) if you have a parking pass. Holiday hours may change so be sure and check before making plans. There have been mixed reviews on the Pleasure Pier so far due to the high cost of everything. That can be a problem for large families or groups but is also true for any of the big attractions on Galveston Island.

What To Do In Galveston 2016

Well, we're coming to the end of another year, 2016. The Winter Season is one of the best times to visit Galveston. Usually great weather and not a lot of crowds or lines to eat or visit one of the many great attractions on the island. And the Holiday Season offers many things to do and see for the whole family. Spring Break in Galveston

Winter 2016 Events In Galveston

First up is the Ice Land Ice Sculptures at Moody Gardens for a third year. And there is also the Festival of Lights, an outdoor ice rink, Artic Ice Slide, a holiday buffet and train rides. The events start on November 15th, for more info go to Moody Gardens website.


Big News - Dickens on the Strand Extended!!!

Galveston Historical Foundation has announced it will extend Dickens on The Strand (held exclusively on The Strand street only) for a second weekend on Friday, December 9 and Saturday, December 10.

More information on the second weekend of Dickens on The Strand will be available on Monday. You can find the schedules, events, and buy tickets at the Galveston Historical website by clicking here.

Inspired by the 19th-century Victorian London it features parades, non-stop entertainment on five stages, strolling carolers, roving musicians, bagpipers, jugglers and a host of other entertainers. Costumed vendors peddle their wares from street stalls and rolling carts laden with holiday food and drink, Victorian-inspired crafts, clothing, jewelry, holiday decorations and gift items Any attendees that are wearing Victorian costumes are admitted for half price!

This is the 43rd anniversary of Dickens on The Strand with Dickens characters, Queen Victoria and her royal entourage, and visitors from the Dickens' Museum in London. There's fun for any age and a truly unique Christmas Celebration.

A few things to keep in mind on any visit to Galveston Island, come early and make sure you park where you should, and be safe. Crowds can get over 100,00 people even on the non holiday weekends so plan accordingly.

If you haven't been to Galveston since July of 2013, there are new parking laws and fees on the Seawall. The daily rate is $8 per day or you can get a annual pass for $25. Since the ticket runs about $17, paying the parking fee is the cheaper route for sure.

And for other daytime events, there are many local tours such as the 1895 Moody Mansion tours that are great any time. There are so many things to do in Galveston regardless of the season or weather. Just wandering the Strand and seeing the different boutiques and specialty shops with everything from vintage candy to the latest fashions is fun too. If you've never been to the Galveston Cruise Terminal it's two blocks north of the Strand and is a great place to go watch the cruise ships come and go. There are several bars and restaurants to the east where you can watch all the boat traffic coming and going.

Galveston offers more than 30 miles of beaches (You can go find out all about any of the beaches in Galveston at the bottom of this page) and many different things to do and see. From the historic Strand shopping area to the many art galleries and museums, there's something of interest for just about any visitor on a Galveston vacation. There are several child friendly destinations like Moody Gardens and their replica of a Tropical Rain Forest, Aquarium and many outdoor attractions that celebrate water and sunshine.

I was down in the Strand shopping area the other day having lunch with some friends at the Star Drug Store. The Star Drug Store is a great place to eat and they have a legit Soda Fountain. The Star Drug Store is the oldest drug store in Texas and is located a few blocks from the Galveston Cruise Terminal. It's definitely worth stopping by if you remember the old days of soda fountains

Star Drug Store - Galveston

Cruise Ship in Galveston Cruise Terminal

at local drug stores like cherry or vanilla cokes. They also have one of the best hamburgers in the Strand shopping area.

So when we came out after lunch we noticed that a Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship had pulled into port. You forget how big these ships are and this one looks like it's coming right down the street. Those building in the shot are 4 and 5 stories tall and the cruise ship dwarfs them even from 3 blocks away.

The Galveston Cruise business is growing by leaps and bounds and is very popular. There are now 5 different cruise lines and ships that call Galveston home. Two of the cruise ships are less than a year old and have every possible feature available. Although the Carnival Triumph had quite an adventure on February 13th in 2014, that is the exception rather than the norm. You can learn more about Galveston Cruises right here: Galveston Cruises

We have information on many of the popular Galveston vacation packages, attractions, cruises, and different accommodations from motels, hotels, Bed and Breakfast facilities, and beach house rentals. Each can provide a unique experience depending on what you want from your Galveston Vacation. Our two most popular web pages are highlighted below. And just look to the upper left corner for other specific pages on Galveston.

Galveston Beaches & Beach House Rentals

And Galveston Island is all about the beaches, the most popular natural beach area in Texas. We have all the information and rules you need about all the beach areas, and there are quite a few. Many have very specific rules and also designed for people with children, live music, liquor, and etc. Go to this page to find everything you need to know: Galveston Beaches

Another popular and more economical way to stay in Galveston is to rent a beach house. Families can save money and stay within walking distance or closer to the beach. It does pay big time to do a little research on size, location, and of course cost. You can learn all about the best way to get a great Beach House rental here: Galveston Beach House Rentals

If you have Galveston Vacation questions, we have some helpful answers, just of to our contact page and send us an email and we'll do our best to get you some answers. 

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