Galveston Tourist Attractions
South-east of Houston, on a narrow island in the Gulf of Mexico that is linked with the mainland by a highway, is Galveston, which in 1836 was briefly capital of the Republic of Texas. During the 19th c. Galveston was the largest and wealthiest town in Texas, and its earlier splendour is still Historic buildings recalled by a number of handsome mansions. Examples of such Victorian buildings are Ashton Villa (24th St. and Broadway), Bishop's Palace (1402 Broadway) and the Grand Opera House of 1894 (2020 Post Office). The well restored warehouse district known as the Strand (between Strand and Mechanic Sts.) still preserves the original facades, now concealing restaurants and shops. One of Galveston's finest parks is Moody Gardens, whose particular attraction is a large glass pyramid for tropical plants. The 32 mi. long beach on Galveston Island has made the city a favourite holiday resort.
Texas Seaport Museum
The 1877 Tall ship Elissa is located at the Texas Seaport Museum. The restoration of this historical vessel is considered by many to be some of the finest work done on an active sailing ship. The adjacent museum gives the background on how the ship was rescued from the scrap yard and meticulously restored. Visitors to the museum are allowed to walk all through the Elissa to get an appreciation of what life on a sailing ship in the 19th Century would have been like. The Elissa is a National Historic Landmark and has been designated an "American Treasure" by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. A 17 minute film titled Passage to Galveston: The Story of Elissa is shown continuously throughout the day.The museum provides an excellent overview of maritime commerce and the history of the Port of Galveston. Interestingly enough, the port of Galveston was a major immigration point for the United States and had the nickname "'The Ellis Island of the West". The museum has an extensive database available to the public. It lists over 133,000 people who entered the United States through the Port of Galveston and is included with the admission price.
Address: Pier 21, Number 8, Galveston, TX 77550, United States
Opening hours: 10am-5pm
Always closed on: Thanksgiving - USA (4th Thursday, Nov), Christmas Eve - Christian (Dec 24), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25)
Entrance fee in USD: Adult $8.00, Child 18 & under $5.00, Child 5 & under FREE
Facilities: Gift shop
Lone Star Flight Museum (Texas Aviation Hall of Fame)
The Lone Star Flight Museum describes the history of aviation and displays dozens of restored aircraft as well as hundreds of aviation artifacts. It is also home to the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame. The displays provide an overview of the history of flight from gliders right through to modern aircraft. The museum began in 1985 and is a fully private organization.The Flight Museum is unique in that many of the planes it showcases actually fly. Some of the most notable of the planes are the B17 Flying Fortress bomber, which was one of the most important combat planes from the Second World War. Another key plane in the collection is the P-47 Thunderbolt. This plane is an important part of the USAF "Heritage Flight" program. The museum also logs a tremendous amount of flying time, generally over 40,000 cross-country air miles. These miles are accumulated by flying to numerous flying displays and air shows.For a fee visitors can take a ride in select planes, including the B-17 Flying Fortress, the B-25 Mitchell, T-6 Texan, and the PT-17 Stearman.
Address: 2002 Terminal Drive, Box 3099, Galveston, TX 77552-0099, United States
Opening hours: 9am-5pm
Entrance fee in USD: Adult $8.00, Child 17 & under $5.00, Senior over 65 $5.00, Child 4 & under FREE
Disability Access: Full facilities for persons with disabilities.
Facilities: Gift shop
Moody Mansion & Museum
The Moody Mansion was built between 1893 and 1895 and is the former home of W. L. Moody, Jr. The interior of this Victorian home features stained glass, custom work carved woods, decorative tile and plaster work, and stencil work throughout. The Moody's moved into the home in 1900, shortly after the massive storm that claimed many lives in Galveston.The home is impressive with its red brick, unique architecture, and numerous arches. The grounds are also meticulously maintained and are frequently rented for special events. On display in the mansion are antiques, silver, photographs, and various art works. Visitors can tour through 20 rooms that are fully furnished and contain memorabilia from the Moody family accumulated over their 80 years in residence. Each room on the main floor in the home is decorated in a different style. The Moody Mansion Museum holds special events on occasion and these are listed on their website. In addition, the museum features special displays of items currently in storage.
The Bishop's Palace, built originally as a private residence, was completed in 1893 after seven years of construction. It is ranked in the top 100 homes in the United States for its architectural significance. The castle like exterior, complete with turrets and towers, features sculpted granite, limestone, and sandstone. The grand interior displays elaborate carved woodwork, high ceilings, fireplaces, and lovely furnishings. The home is unique in its Victorian adaptation of Renaissance style.The Bishops Palace was built for Colonel Walter Gresham and later became the property of the Catholic Church. Today it is a National Historic Landmark and functions as a museum. It is open to the public for guided tours. There regular tours allow access to cover some of the building, but there are less frequent, longer tours which offer a more in depth look at the mansion. Both of these provide the historical background.
Aquarium Pyramid showcases the ocean waters of the North Pacific, Edge of the Antarctic, the tropical Pacific's Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea, and the Caribbean. Walk-through exhibits and demonstrations allow visitors to learn about marine creatures.
Galveston County Historical Museum
The museum is housed in the 1919 City National Bank building. Displays include film footage of the 1900 hurricane, exhibits on women of Galveston, architecture, jazz and Mardi Gras.
Star Fleet Entertainment Yachts, Kemah, Texas
The Galveston Railroad Museum features steam engines, diesel engines, passenger cars, freight cars, cabooses, the streamlined Texas Limited passenger train, along with thousands of other railroad items.
Address: 2602 Santa Fe Place, Galveston, TX 77550-1454, United States
Opening hours: 10am-3pm
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Thanksgiving - USA (4th Thursday, Nov), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Christmas Eve - Christian (Dec 24), Mardi Gras - Shrove Tuesday - Christian
Useful tips: Call for admission.
Facilities: Gift shop
Stewart Beach Park
Stewart Beach features a children's playground, volleyball courts, an outdoor pavilion, and bath house. In addition there is also the Amaze 'N Texas (a life-size human maze) and the Neptune's Kingdom Mini Golf Course.
1859 Ashton Villa
David Taylor Classic Car Museum (closed)
ATTRACTION IS PERMANENTLY CLOSED.The museum features American model antique, classic and muscle cars.
Great Storm Theater
This is a visual recreation of the hurricane of September 8, 1900 which saw the ocean cover the island from Gulf to Bay.
Star Drug Store
Map of Galveston Attractions