FTWtoday City Editor Kate, here. My family loves Galveston Island. Doesn’t matter how many other beach towns we haven’t been to, we are always down for a quick weekend jaunt to Oleander City. Whether you’re strolling down the Strand, touring historic homes, or eating Shipley’s donuts on the sand, the port town is always a great time. Use this quick guide for the perfect spring day in Galveston.
- Explore this coastal city that opens the Gulf of Mexico to all of Texas with activities for all types of travelers.
- Like New Orleans in Texas, get wild at Galveston’s Mardi Gras celebration from Friday, Feb. 10-Tuesday, Feb. 21.
- Kick off spring with the Galveston Craft Show (Saturday, March 18-Sunday, March 19) at the Convention Center (5600 Seawall Blvd.) with handmade jewelry, home decor, and live music. Fun fact: When I was nine years old my grandad bought me a glass pendant at this fair and I still have it in my jewelry box.
- Shovel it in at these three foodie spots — the Fancy, The Gypsy Joynt Cafe, and The Sunflower Bakery & Cafe.
- Check out this vacation guide for more recommendations.
Act like a local:
- Food: Nothing beats fresh seafood after a long day in the salty air. Shake off the sand and head to Gaido’s (3828 Seawall Blvd.) for the catch of the day + seasonal sides.
- Drink: You might have to elbow some medical students out of the way, but Daiquiri Time Out (2701 Market St.) is worth it.
- Outdoors: Take a walk along the seawall — DYK the city was raised 18 feet after the 1900 storm — or check the tides + splash in the Gulf.
- Learn: Travel back in time with a guided tour. Climb through pre-storm monuments or get a little spooked with a ghost tour.
- Listen: Ready to sit back for a slice of pizza and a little local music? Kick back at Sharky’s Tavern (504 25th St.) for a micro brew with a side of live music.
- Explore: Catch the ferry to Bolivar Peninsula and get a little lost at Fort Travis Seashore Park.
Where to stay:
- Vrbo: Coffee on the porch of this 3-bedroom, 3-bath cottage? Yes, please. Plus, the Ave. O Chateau is steps away from Pleasure Pier. (~$365/night)*
- Airbnb: Keep it funky with this butterfly roof beach rental — known as the Cozy, Chic Beachside Bungalow — with three bedrooms and 2 baths. (~$369/night)
- Splurge hotel: A vacation fit for a royal — treat yourself to a stay at the Grand Galvez, the queen of the Gulf. (~$367/night)
- Save hotel: Be nice to your budget without compromising the location at Gaido’s Seaside Inn. (~$179/night)
By far, my favorite part of any trip to Galveston is stopping at La King’s Confectionery and Ice Cream Parlour on the Strand for a drink from the 1920s soda fountain and a big bag of candy for the drive home. Pro tip: Shuffle through the crowd on Fridays and Saturdays to watch the confectioners pull saltwater taffy on the original taffy puller.