Explore Galveston

Using these guides, relish the rich history of Galveston with its distinct architecture, mouthwatering cuisine, and lots of fun things to do.

AMUSEMENTS

The Pleasure Pier

Located at the Seawall and 25th Street, the Pleasure Pier is the latest iteration of the giant pier over the Gulf. First built as a recreational facility for the military, the original Pleasure Pier opened to the public in the 1940’s and soon became the largest of a series of similar venues in Coney Island, Santa Monica, Chicago and elsewhere. After Hurricane Carla, the Flagship Hotel took over the pier and served visitors for over 40 years. After Hurricane Ike in 2008, the pier was again redeveloped into an amusement park, featuring rides, games, food and shopping. The Pier’s 230-foot-tall Texas Star Tower can be seen from the front porch of the Cottage on clear nights. Operated by Landry’s, the Pleasure Pier is just a few blocks walk from the Cottage.

Moody Gardens

Located approximately 5 miles from the Cottage, Moody Gardens is an educational attraction focusing on nature. Opened in 1986 and substantially upgraded over the years, Moody Gardens consists of three pyramids as well as other amenities. These iconic structures are visible from the Causeway coming onto Galveston Island.

Rainforest Pyramid: This expansive recreation of Rainforests of the World provides guests with a unique two-level experience on the ground level and in the canopy of the trees. More than 2,000 exotic plants and animals now call the 10-story Rainforest Pyramid home, including free-roaming Saki monkeys, sloths and birds.

The Aquarium Pyramid: The blue glass Aquarium pyramid reaches more than 12 stories high. Built on two viewing levels, one above and one below the surface, the large touch tanks and jewel tanks feature the vivid beauty of the ocean world and provide underwater classrooms and learning opportunities for people of all ages.

The Discovery Pyramid: The third pyramid hosts traveling exhibits from around the world.

Palm Beach: Open during the summers, Palm Beach is a white sand beach and playground perfect for the family! There’s a lazy river, 18-foot tower slides, wave pool, sandy beaches, freshwater lagoons and waterfalls all in a lush,tropical landscape.

Other amenities: Moody Gardens also features the first 3-D IMAX movie theater in North America, an 18 hole public golf course as well as a spa and fitness center and several restaurants.

Schlitterbahn Galveston

Close to Moody Gardens, Schlitterbahn Galveston is a water parks featuring lazy rivers, slides and rides.

MUSEUMS

The Bryan Museum

Just two blocks from the Cottage, the Bryan Museum houses one of the world’s largest collections of historical artifacts, documents, and artwork relating to Texas and the American West. The collection spans more than 12,000 years, with pieces ranging from ancient Native American cultural artifacts to twenty-first-century objects. The museum is housed in the 1895 Galveston’s Orphan’s Home, itself an architectural beauty. A glass pavilion hosts weddings and other events.

The Texas Seaport Museum and The Elissa

Less than a mile from the Cottage, the Texas Seaport Museum serves as the home of the Tall Ship Elissa, an 1877 square-rigged iron barque. Elissa is one of only three ships of its kind to actively sail. The Elissa was purchased in 1978 by the Galveston Historic Foundation. In its early years as a British shipping vessel under a different name, she called on the Port of Galveston. The Seaport Museum’s galleries tell the story of Galveston’s origin as a port city as well as the Elissa’s restoration. The Seaport Museum also hosts a database of 133,000 immigrants who arrived in Galveston, once known as the “Ellis Island of the West.”

The Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum

About two blocks from the Seaport sits the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum. The Ocean Star is a retired jack-up drilling rig that operated in the Gulf of Mexico from 1969 to 1984 and drilled over 200 wells during that timeframe. The Museum opened in 1997 and features three floors of exhibits related to the oil and gas industry. This includes film presentations, video kiosks, interactive displays, actual examples of equipment like drill bits and ROVs, and scale models of the different kinds of rigs.

The Galveston Railroad Museum

Galveston Railroad Museum is located at 25th Street and the Strand, less than a mile from the Cottage. Celebrating Galveston’s historic ties to the railroad industry linking Galveston’s port to markets inland. The Museum traces its roots back to the 1896 depot and headquarters built by the Gulf, Colorado, and Santa Fe railroad and the current art deco structure built in 1932. Although flooding from Hurricane Ike in 2008 destroyed much of the Museum’s collection, by 2011 the Museum reopened and now features forty pieces of rolling stock, a substantial collection of dining car china, and two incredible model railroad layouts. Caboose rides are offered periodically as well.

The Galveston Naval Museum

The Galveston Naval Museum is located at the tip of Pelican Island (which runs parallel to Galveston on the other side of the seaport) about 7 miles from the Cottage. The Museum is located at Seawolf Park, named for a World War II submarine lost at sea. The Museum features two World War II era vessels. The USS Cavalla was an attack submarine built in 1943. It is best known as the “Avenger of Pearl Harbor” for sinking the Japanese aircraft carrier Shokaku, a vessel involved in the attack on Pearl Harbor. The USS Stewart is one of only two remaining Destroyer Escorts. Built in 1942 by the Brown Boat Company in Houston, the Stewart is one of only three ships named for Admiral Charles Stewart the first Admiral of the U.S. Navy and the Commander of the U.S.S. Constitution from 1813-1815.

The Rosenberg Library Museum

The Rosenberg Library is the oldest continuously operating library in Texas. The library is located on Sealy Avenue between 23rd and 24th Streets, just a few blocks from the Cottage. The Rosenberg Library Museum maintains and exhibits fine art and artifact collections that emphasizes the history of Galveston and the Republic of Texas. Permanent and alternating exhibits are displayed throughout the library, the 4th floor Harris Gallery and online. The Galveston and Texas History Center at the Rosenberg Library collects, preserves and organizes archival materials that document the history of Galveston and Texas, focusing on Galveston from the city’s incorporation in 1839 through the present. The collection also includes Texas from the Spanish period to the end of the Civil War.

The Galveston County Museum

Also less than a mile from the Cottage, the Galveston County Museum is located in the Galveston County Courthouse on 21st Street just north of Broadway. The County Museum’s collection was severely damaged during Hurricane Ike, but still includes over 20,000 artifacts and archives and also maintains the library for the Galveston County Historical Commission. Among the items on exhibit is a camera used by J. M. Maurer. Mauer was one of Galveston’s most well-known photographers during the early 1900’s gaining wide regard for his photographs of the causeway bridge and Galveston’s bathing beauties. From 19—to 1927, Mauer owned the Fleur De Lis Cottage and used it as a rent-house. The Museum is only open on Weekdays.

The Galveston Children’s Museum

Located in the famous Moody Mansion at 2816 Broadway, just ½ mile from the Cottage, the Galveston Children’s Museum opened in 2014. The Museum provides “a unique hands-on environment where children explore, investigate, create, and discover.”

HISTORIC HOMES

The Moody Mansion

Constructed in 1895, the Moody Mansion is one of Galveston’s great mansions. Located just a few blocks from the Cottage. Restored to its turn of the century splendor, The 28,000 square-foot, four-story Moody Mansion contains thirty-one rooms and five bathrooms. Architect William H. Tyndall incorporated many technological advances of the period including a one-passenger elevator, a dumbwaiter, speaking tubes in the pantry for communicating with the kitchen staff in the basement, heated drying racks in the laundry room, and lighting fixtures using both gas and electricity. The house also has its own rainwater cistern. The home has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of the Interior since 1994 and a Recorded Texas Historical Landmark since 1967. The Moodys established one of the great American financial empires. Based on cotton, it grew to include banking, ranching, insurance, newspaper publishing, railroading and hotels. The Home tour features 20 rooms and furnishings depicting the home life of this powerful Texas family.

The Bishop’s Palace

Also known as the Gresham Mansion, this Victorian home was designed by famed architect Nicholas Clayton, who is responsible for many architecturally significant buildings in Galveston. Attorney Walter Gresham built the house in 1892 and lived there with his wife and 9 children. Clad in stone, the home provided refuge to hundreds of people during the 1900 Storm. Located across the street from Sacred Heart Church, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Galveston purchased the home in 1923 to provide a residence for the Bishop. Now owned by the Galveston Historic Foundation, the 4-story building is one of the last remaining mansions that used to line Broadway.

PLACES TO EAT IN GALVESTON

These 3 are all within steps of each other and in the great shopping area called Post Office District.

For Mexican Food we only go to Taquilos on Post Office Street. Order the “Manny Special” from Manny the Bartender – other bars call this the Cadillac Margarita but his is best I’ve ever had.

https://taquilos.com/

For a great steak or seafood in an upscale atmosphere we choose Rudy & Paco Restaurant & Bar.  Usually Paco the owner will greet you! Reservations are recommended. Located at 2028 Post Office Street.

https://www.rudyandpaco.com/

For casual atmosphere and great pizza check out Mama Theresa’s Flying Pizza. 416 21st Street.  Ask if Sterling is working and request him as your server, he will serenade you with Italian Opera if you ask (be sure to tip first and you will get a better performance) if he is available.

https://mamateresasgalveston.com/

Head east on Post Office Street and you will see Salt Water Grill. It is good and we have gone there but not really worth a long wait.

We also love the Black Pearl for fresh seafood! It is a very casual small bar and restaurant but locals claim they have the freshest oysters in town. 327 23rd Street.

https://www.facebook.com/BestRawOysters/menu

A fun Breakfast and Lunch stop is a local favorite is ShyKatz.  Their tag line is “Where Friend Meet and Locals Eat!  We lived here 2 years before we found this great local spot located at 1528 Ave L

https://shykatz.com/

And if you want seafood that is fried to perfection check out Shrimp N Stuff. The original is on Ave O and is a quick 5 minute drive with plenty of parking.  Order at the counter and pick up your own food at the window when ready it is no frills but great fresh food.

https://www.shrimpnstuff.com/

If your are looking for a finer dining experience and fresh made pasta make a reservation at the Trattoria Lavigna https://trattorialavignagalveston.com/ The Owner/ Chef is from Italy and you will have a great meal. Plus they allow you to bring your own wine with a corkage fee!

There are also three places right here in OURNeighborhood. We walk to them and they are so good.

First is our very favorite little breakfast and lunch spot called Bambu Mexican Restaurant.  It’s just 2 blocks from the house at 1223 23rd Street on the corner of 23rd and Ave M. They have the freshest lemonade and the best breakfast burritos. It is such a small family run operation that they have no website or social media for the establishment but is usually very busy. The service and food are excellent! Great food, great service, friendly people, huge portions and a neat atmosphere!

The second is the Galveston Bagel Company. Also just blocks from the house and 2 blocks north on 23rd st from Bambu.  This casual restaurant is fun and has a great take on the original bagel and also offers breakfast and smoothies.

https://www.galvestonbagelcompany.com/

Also on the same property as the Galveston Bagel Company is our Favorite Hamburger Truck! Smash Burgers!!!

Enjoy and Bon Appetite! Contact us for more suggestions and recommendations.