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  Galveston, Texas

(Things to Do on Galveston Island)

Galveston Historical Foundation

Galveston Historical Foundation

Galveston was founded in 1839, shortly after the Republic of Texas was formed. It was built on a narrow barrier island. For 60 years, it was the principal city in the country, (later state). A major port on the Gulf Coast, Galveston was an economic powerhouse. Then came the 1900 hurricane, which completely destroyed the city and decimated its population. This changed the course of history for the island.

Galveston City Logo
Following that storm, the city of Houston replaced Galveston as the most important city in the state. Sixty miles farther from the ocean, it was not subject to the same type of devastation. Nevertheless, Galveston came back. It sports beautiful beaches and outstanding recreational activities. Boating, fishing and swimming attract hundreds of thousands every year.
  Aerial view of Galveston IslandGalveston West Beach Shoreline
  Sail boats off GalvestonAerial photo Galveston Island East End

Galveston beaches feature large expanses of gently sloping sand where you can walk out some places up 1/2 mile and be in gentle waters. The seawall, erected after the 1900 storm, has prevented the same kind of disaster, as occurred in 1900, from hitting again. While there was massive destruction after Hurricane Ike a few years back, most of this was from the ocean rising 9 feet over the island during the storm surge.  The seawall blocked the direct impact of the waves, but the water came in from the other side of the island and did the damage by inundation. The beaches have survived.
  Beaches of Galveston Dual Bike Rentals on the beach in Galveston
Beaches by the Jetties
Swimming in the Gulf of Mexico off Galveston
                Island
Pier off Galveston beach Galveston Beach Access
Sand Dunes on Galveston Beach Birding in Galveston
Galveston BeachesGalveston Beach Sandcastle Competition

Galveston is still a port city. While most container shipping now goes through the city of Houston up the ship channel, Galveston hosts one of the most active passenger ports in the country. Huge passenger liners can be seen lining up like taxis on a New York street, at its cruise terminal. From day trips out in the Gulf to major excursions around the world, Galveston is the port to use.

Cruise ships in Galveston Cruise ships in line in Galveston
Galveston Cruise ship terminal shows ships in line for
            passenger loading Passenger loading for cruise ships in Galveston
Cruise ship preparing to head out of Galveston
            terminal

Galveston has many other types of ships that call on her. The Bolivar Ferry keeps her connected to the mainland through the Bolivar peninsula on the east side of the island. The 1877 Tall Ship Elissa is based in Galveston and open to tours on a daily basis, docked next to the maritime museum. A huge shrimp boat fleet keeps the restaurants stocked with fresh catches
Bolivar Ferry from Galveston Island
Tall ship Elissa out of Galveston in full sail in
                the Gulf of Mexico
Tall Ship Elissa in Galveston
Elissa, Tall Ship out of Galveston
Tall Ship Elissa out of Galveston
Shimp boats in Galveston
Moody Gardens on the west side of the island features a paddle wheeler that goes out into the bay between the island and the mainland. Moody Gardens is a destination in and of itself. It has three pyramids that house different activities. One houses a rain forest, complete with butterflies. Another, a magnificent aquarium.
Paddle Wheeler on Galveston Bay out of Moody
                Gardens in Galveston TexasMoody Gardens Pyramids
Paddle Wheeler docking at Moddy Gardens Galveston
                Texas
Moody Gardens aerial viewRainforest Pyramid at Moody Gardens Galveston
Moody GardensAquarium at Moody Gardens
The Aquarium at Moody Gardens

Then there is the Galveston Pleasure Pier. This recent incarnation is a throwback tribute to the historical Galveston traditions. Both it, and the current Murdoch's, extend out over the gulf. They bear the names of older facilities that were demolished by interim storms.
Galveston Pleasure Pier
Entrance to the Pleasure Pier on Seawall Blvd Pleasure Pier
Galveston's Pleasure Pier Galveston Pleasure Pier 2019
 Murdocks on the seawall GalvestonMurdocks on the Beach

Galveston features unique architecture. Not all of it has survived nature and time. What is there is worth the effort to see. This includes The Strand area. It is on the protected side of the island away from the sea. There is bus and trolley service to get from one side of the island to the other. The Strand hosts numerous large events throughout the year. These include Mardi Gras and Dickens on the Strand. Another excellent choice in the same area is the Galveston Railroad Museum.
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Sunset on Galvesto BeachSunset Galveston Island
Night time on Galveston Beach

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