"Island Living, Texas Style!" Top 5 Page for this destination Galveston by H-TownJourneyman

Galveston Travel Guide: 320 reviews and 705 photos


Galveston, the small yet historic island town located on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, is less than 50 miles southeast of Houston. Growing up in Houston, Galveston has always been the place for me to go for a quick escape from the hustle & bustle of the big city. Whether it is for good fishing, great festivals, or just a day at the beach & some fresh seafood, Galveston has always been like a second home to me, although I am not a true B.O.I. (Born On the Island). :) There is much to see & do on the island; everything from the obvious, i.e. miles of beaches & many seafood restaurants; to it's interesting historical sites & museums and family friendly recreational parks. Galveston is a great place to visit, whether it's just a day trip down from Houston, or a multi-day vacation to experience all the island has to offer!

The Island & The Gulf

The city of Galveston is located on the eastern end of Galveston Island. The island is one in the string of natural barrier islands that stretch from the northeastern coast of the U.S., all the way down to the Mexican coast along the Gulf of Mexico. Like all barrier islands, the erosion of beaches here is a natural process that occurs, despite efforts to replenish the beaches with new sand every year. Ever since the city was founded, Galveston has had an unrelenting battle with mother nature against this, and everytime a tropical storm or Hurricane comes ashore, years of deposited sand is washed away in a matter of hours. An interesting fact though: Every year after Christmas, the city uses hundreds of old Christmas trees to bury beneath the sand to help prevent erosion! The battle against the Gulf is constantly being waged here, and I guess we'll see much further down the road how it turns out! :)

History & Tragedy

Galveston has a rich and deep history, dating back to pre-Columbian times when the island was inhabited by Akokisa & Karankawa tribes of Native Americans. The island itself takes it's name from Galveston Bay, which was named for the spaniard Bernardo de Galvez, one time governor of the territories of Louisiana and Cuba, and viceroy of New Spain, during Spain's colonial reign over these areas. Pirate Jean Lafitte used the island as a base for several years in the early 1800's, and his treasure is still believed to be buried here! After Texas gained it's independence from Mexico, Galveston prospered greatly, becoming it's chief port city, and having Texas' first post office, first gas & electric lighting, and still having the state's oldest daily newspaper. Galveston is also the unfortunate location for the United States' deadliest natural disaster, when a devistating hurricane crushed and flooded the city in 1900, killing over 8,000 people. The hurricane marked a turning point for the city, as it never regained it's economic status & importance following the catastrophe. But the tragedy gave birth to the tough spirit and proud heritage that can be found on the island to this day.

  • Intro Updated Feb 22, 2007
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Reviews (32)

Comments (8)

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Mar 25, 2009 at 10:49 PM

    Hi, Josh! Thanks for your interesting description!

  • VeronicaG's Profile Photo
    Sep 1, 2006 at 11:00 AM

    Galveston is a place I can't wait to see! We're alot closer than we were two months ago when we were living in New Jersey! I think Christmas time would be a great time of the year to visit...THANKS.

  • DPando's Profile Photo
    May 15, 2006 at 4:05 PM

    wonderful tips....gorgeous time looks to spent u there !!

  • Apr 24, 2006 at 12:44 PM

    Excellent pictures and description of Galveston. Beach where cars are allowed? I guess this happens only in the USA :)

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Mar 11, 2006 at 11:58 AM

    Very good tips, I like both off the beaten path ones and info on the tanker surfing phenomena, I didn't know :-) Haha... I was in Galveston exactly on presidential election day in 2004.

  • b1bob's Profile Photo
    Mar 9, 2006 at 1:10 PM

    I hope there will be more of the same. Great job, my friend!

  • Jmill42's Profile Photo
    Feb 10, 2006 at 11:56 AM

    Went here during high school, but having lived in NOLA, I always have a hard time picturing Mardi Gras anywhere else. Good start!!

  • aemilys's Profile Photo
    Dec 27, 2005 at 11:07 AM

    Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and all my wishes for a happy and prosperous 2006 full of adventure and travel!!


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