Sandy beaches and warm breezes welcome tourists and residents.

Galveston is an island in the Gulf of Mexico, on the coast of Texas, located less than 50 miles south of Houston. Galveston’s rich history helped shape and build the texture of the state.

The island is one of many cities along the gulf coast but the charm of Galveston lies in its small town, southern energy that’s conveniently close to Houston, the nations 5th largest metropolitan.

A Gulf Coast Gem

The island is home to over 100 firsts for Texas, including the first library, bank, post office, naval base, electric lights and telephone!

Once labeled the “Wall Street of the South”, Galveston Island has had a rich history filled with hurricanes, gambling and pirates.

The Karankawa Indians are an American Indian cultural group whose traditional homelands are located along Texas’s Gulf Coast from Galveston Bay southwestwardly to Corpus Christi Bay.

The name Karankawa became the accepted designation for several groups of coastal people who shared a common language and culture. Jean Laffite was a pirate across the Gulf of Mexico during the early 19th century, starting a colony in Galveston that ushered in smuggling and privateering.

The island would see itself later transform into a booming metropolis, attributed to the natural harbor, making it the center of trade in Texas. Cotton flourished and Galveston emerged as an international city with trade and immigration from around the world.

For more information about the history of the island:


The Gulf Coast is rich in history, and its mild winters lend to festivals and events year-round.

Galveston is home to the largest Mardi Gras festival in Texas, spanning over the two weeks prior to the Lenten season. The island is proud to be the birthplace of Juneteenth and its recognition as a national holiday commemorating the end of slavery and a celebration of African-American culture. Each winter, the historic downtown district transforms into a Victorian Winter Holiday market as guests don period clothes and enjoy treats as seen through the lens of Charles Dickens’ literary classics.


The city provides a comfortable, creative environment for the art community.

From murals, concerts, and festivals, there’s something for everyone. The 1894 Grand Opera House has seasonal offerings that anchor the island’s performance arts while the bi-monthly “Art Walk” highlights the galleries and venues for an evening art stroll. Catching a show at the Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe is a history listen worth exploring.


Families visiting the island have many adventures to choose from.

You can start your day at an aquarium and end it over the gulf on a roller coaster. Galveston is full of memorable photo opportunities at every corner. From dolphin tours to fishing piers, rain forests pyramids and Ferris wheels, there’s no shortage of sights.


The island’s history in trade has positioned itself as the only cruise port in Texas.

Its convenient location has made the island a popular and growing destination for not only beach seekers but regional and national cruise vacationers. The tourism sector in Galveston continues growing with more than 7 million visitors in the past year.

Growth indicators benefit through several factors, including historic investments in the re-nourishment of Galveston beaches, continued expansion/diversification in the number of amenities and attractions located on the island, and one of the busiest cruise ports in North America, supplement the existing hospitality and tourism industry of Galveston.

Visit the official tourism website for the island.

Places to See

The island has many established and ever-growing ways to entertain, educate and explore. Here are a few popular places to check out while visiting.

Moody Gardens

Pleasure Pier


Galveston Island
State Park

Galveston Railroad Museum