Things to Do and See in Galveston, Texas

The Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier is one of the top attractions in Galveston, Texas
The Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier is one of the top attractions in Galveston, Texas | © adiseshan shankar / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Donna Kay Morgese
21 August 2020

Galveston is the Hamptons of Texas and also one of the most haunted cities in the United States. With its Cajun charm and historical feel, the city makes for an excellent coastal escape. Here are some fun places to check out while in Galveston.

Hotel Galvez

Spa Hotel, Hotel
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Hotel Galvez in Galveston Texas
© Steve Hamblin / Alamy Stock Photo
Rumor has it that this oceanfront hotel is haunted by a ghost bride. Like much of Galveston, there’s more to Hotel Galvez than meets the eye. Legend has it that a seaman’s fiancé was staying in room 501 when she heard his ship had sunk and took her own life. Now she haunts the halls, especially during the October Ghost Tours. Take the tour if you dare, or, alternatively, relax and have a cocktail.

Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier

Amusement Park
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The Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier features family-oriented attractions including rides, midway games, a wide selection of food venues and retail shops. As one of the few spots in the world that boasts many rides suspended over the water, the Pleasure Pier is a truly unforgettable experience and certainly not to be missed. It offers bundle rates that fit your budget, with bundles of guilt-free fun guaranteed.

The Strand

Shopping Mall
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Texas, Galveston, The Strand Historic District, corner The Strand & Kempner
© Stephen Saks Photography / Alamy Stock Photo
The Strand is located in Galveston’s historical downtown district. With an array of intriguing shops, galleries and museums, this is where you can get some of the most eccentric souvenirs. The old-fashioned candy parlor is a great place to visit if you have a sweet tooth. Take some time to enjoy the variety of shops in the district’s beautiful buildings, many of which survived the 1900 Galveston hurricane, regarded as the deadliest natural disaster in US history.

Magic Carpet Golf

Park
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This unique and fun minigolf park will get you active and having fun. Right on the Seawall, you can enjoy 36 holes over two courses of minigolf with a colorful setting and a cool ocean breeze. The imaginative and original course provides guaranteed fun for friends and family. A giant snake, a mushroom, a piece of Swiss cheese and a cannon shooting into a castle are just a few of the holes. Be sure to bring cash as they don’t take credit cards.

Little Daddy’s Gumbo Bar

Bar, Restaurant, Cajun, $$$
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If you’re hungry, stop by Little Daddy’s Gumbo Bar for an authentic bowl of dark gumbo and fried pickles. Little Daddy’s is a unique dining concept created by the Galveston Restaurant Group, bringing expertise in steam kettle cooking with offerings such as traditional gumbo and seafood stews. Galveston has plenty of New Orleans flare to it, so take advantage of the Gulf Coast Cajun cuisine.
These recommendations were updated on August 21, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.