The Port of Galveston in Galveston, Texas is one of the oldest ports in the Gulf of Mexico. With a rich cultural heritage, the area is packed with historic homes and museums, yet it continues to function as a working cruise port, too. There’s a long stretch of beach here and the bright lights of Houston aren’t far away, meaning there’s a wide range of local hotels including everything from resorts to motels to boutique heritage properties packed with character.
This quaint boutique hotel is not only near the port – it is in the port itself. At Pier 21, as the name suggests, Harbor House Hotel really could not be better located. A few minutes’ walk from the cruise ship terminal, this waterfront Galveston hotel offers one-of-a-kind harbor views, onsite boat rentals and stylishly designed interiors. The guest rooms and suites are spacious, light and ever-so-slightly nautical themed. With the intimacy and attentive service of a small business, the hotel’s impressive location makes it the ideal base to explore the area’s attractions, shops and restaurants.
This impressive luxury resort just 45 minutes’ drive north of Galveston – in Houston’s Bay Area – radiates maritime style. Each room in this 237-room hotel is bright and spacious, with chrome interiors, soft bedding and a bay or city view. There are three in-house restaurants to choose from, whether you go for cocktails at the Lighthouse Bar & Bistro, or order the area’s famous Sunday Brunch at Paradise Reef. The real draw here is the Oasis Pool & Swim Up Bar because, well, who doesn’t love drinks in the pool?
This traditional hotel on Galveston’s Seawall Boulevard, just 15 minutes’ drive from the Port of Galveston gives you easy access to the beach. Most of the modern, well-equipped rooms offer great sea views, as well as minifridges, microwaves and coffeemakers, free wifi and a flat-screen TV. Some of the rooms have balconies to relax on and suites have a separate dining area, or a whirlpool tub. There’s also a fitness center, including an outdoor pool and a hot tub, plus free breakfast and parking, all reasonably priced for those seeking a solid budget option.
This branch of the Palace Inn chain is just 30 minutes’ drive north of Galveston. Another quality budget option, this spot has motel vibes for those en route and looking for a comfy bed to rest their head. The bright, modern rooms are well equipped and comfortable with free wifi and TV. The lobby is staffed 24/7 and offers free coffee for the weary traveler.
Local favorite Moody Gardens is a family-friendly spot that’s both vibrant and educational as home of the rainforest pyramid and the aquarium pyramid. The non-profit organization has been promoting conservation and wildlife since 1986 and continues to hold this goal at its heart – but this place evolved over the years to include a spa and golf course. The course has a unique seaside feel with 18 holes passing through the natural wetlands habitat of Sydnor Bayou, with over 500 palm trees. Ask for a hotel room on one of the top floors to get the best views of the bay and don’t miss the huge swimming pool area.
This dreamy beachfront property gives guests the perfect opportunity to get away from it all. Based right on the ocean shore, Ocean Village Hotel is an hour’s drive back along the coast road from Port of Galveston, away from the hustle and bustle. The property offers spacious rooms, most of which come with a private balcony, as well as lovely honeymoon suites. There’s in-house dining at Seahorse Bar & Grill serving local seafood, steaks, sandwiches, burgers, salads and tacos in a blissful seaside setting.
A luxurious beachfront resort and spa, the 32-acre (13ha) San Luis Resort has been a recipient of the illustrious AAA Four Diamond Award since 1999. The lavish rooms offer show-stopping views of the Gulf, with plush bedding and chic interior design to boot. The resort hosts 10 individually unique restaurants: Landry’s Seafood is a real Gulf Coast affair, while the Rainforest Cafe is a family favorite with burgers that kids will love. Or check out the wonderful Italian cooking at Grotto, where delicious veal, chicken and homemade pasta dishes light up the menu. Needless to say, the swimming pools, spa and fitness center are breathtaking, too.
In the heart of Galveston’s old district, a five-minute walk from the Port of Galveston, this charming period property is a huge, ornate affair that somehow retains the intimacy and service of a boutique hotel. Full of historic features and classic beauty, Tremont House is a local institution with roots dating all the way back to 1839. The current hotel is in a wonderful, high-ceilinged 1879 building that captures the spirit and elegance of its heritage and is a mainstay of the historic downtown scene. The divine rooms feature high ceilings, hardwood floors, and custom-made furniture, with luxurious fluffy pillows and soft finishings.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.