74 Excellent Reasons to Go to Galveston

You don’t go to Galveston nearly as much as you should. Sure, the water is “dirty,” and the sand isn’t fluffy and white, and it's not stick-thin like the islands in Michael Bay movies -- but it does have tasty food, great drinks, and some amazing events. In fact, there are at least 74 killer reasons to recommend it...

1. It’s a vacation destination only one hour away 

So why not?

2. It has 32 miles of beach

That’s a lot of beach.

3. The beautiful water will bring out the color of your eyes

... so long as your eyes are brown.

4. It’s cheap

Think Houston happy hour prices, all the time.  Except when it's happy hour in Galveston, when it’s somehow even cheaper.

5. It’s been named the #1 place to live in Texas

It claims this island has more nightlife per capita than anywhere else in Texas.

6. You can show up late (except when meeting for drinks)

It’s a thing known as “island time.”

7. Take photos at the Galveston Cemetery while the flowers are in bloom

Its pretty and you are guaranteed double-digit likes on Instagram.

8. Explore the Moody Gardens pyramids

There is a rainforest pyramid & an aquarium pyramid, both of which are great. Doesn’t matter how old you are, monkeys and sharks are always cool.

9. Step away from the salt water and get to Schlitterbahn Waterpark

It has a wave pool AND a lazy river. Just remember not to run around the pool.

10. Fly a kite

Why not? It’s cool to do it at the beach (kinda), and with fewer power lines than Houston, it's safer, too.  

11. Check out the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig & Museum

It’s actually interesting, and if you live in Houston you should probably know what all this oil & gas stuff is about.

12. Get some history

There is lots of it in Galveston. Pirate ships (or boats that look like pirate ships), massive old mansions, churches, Victorian homes, and more all scattered about the island.

13. Hit the Pleasure Pier

Sounds dirty, but it’s not. Its big and long and you can ride all you want for around $30.

14. Let Fido roam

The miles of beach are open to your pooch. Just please bring plastic bags...

15. Mosquito Cafe

Right up the street from Sunflower, with more of a deli feel. Check out the tuna sandwich. Make sure to order it rare.

16. Gaido's

Dickens on the Strand

Come get your Scotch egg fix, people-watch, and drink some hot mead.

Lone Star Rally

Largest four-day motorcycle rally in North America. Is it too soon for a Twin Peaks joke?

Galveston Island Wild Texas Shrimp Festival

“There’s shrimp kabobs, shrimp Creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan-fried, deep-fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich.”

Mardi Gras Galveston

It is a Mardi Gras experience unique from that in New Orleans. Live music stages, an umbrella parade, and more. Of course, there are also the beads (over 3 milllion of them...).

Yaga's Children's Fund Wild Game BBQ Cook-Off

Anything from kangaroo to bison to alligator may be found on the grill and it's all for the children! 2016 will be its 20th anniversary, so mark the calendar to drink beer and eat BBQ for the children!

Galveston Food & Wine Festival

Kind self-explanatory isn’t it? Food and wine. Bigger and better with more food and more wine each year.

Yaga's Chili Quest and Beer Fest 

Dozens of types of chili, and dozens of beers... all at your disposal at this chili/beer tasting.

41. Catch enough dinner for a year

Fish charters typically have a limit (depending on regulations). Become a commercial fisherman for a day and load your freezer.

42. Escape it all and go on a cruise 

Galveston is becoming one of the largest cruise ports in the USA.

43. Hike through Galveston State Park


44. Learn to surf

You are thinking, “there is no surf in Galveston,” but you are wrong, my friend. It may not be like when you play Kelly Slater’s Pro Surfer, but there ARE waves in Galveston.

45. Too flat to surf? Paddleboard.

Galveston Paddleboard Center will set you up with lessons and a board.

46. Go sailing

There are multiple options available to learn or rent.

47. Bar cycling

Rent a bike and bar-hop along the beach. Beware and be careful: the seawall gets narrower and narrower as imbibing continues...

48. Get your ass kicked in sand volleyball

If you are competitive, Stewart Beach has sand v-ball tournaments just about every other week, or just go at other times and see if you can hit it over the net.


They happen at least once a month, and that’s at least one reason per month that you should go to Galveston.

50. Take a Segway tour on Seawall

Make sure to bring your helmet and elbow pads... and flask.

51. Play seagull roulette

Stand in a circle with your closest friends. Take turns tossing up Cheez-Its and watch as every seagull on the island flocks to you. First one to get crapped on loses.

52. Take a badass Jet Boat ride

180-degree spins while going like 1,000mph. Or at least that’s what it feels like.

53. Run/walk/bike the Galveston Seawall

... or don’t and just watch people that do. If you choose exercise, there are 5Ks associated with just about all the festivals.  

54. Go birding

Galveston is a birders paradise.

55. Sunflower Cafe

A small bakery that is a must-hit for its tasty breakfasts. Chicken hash is what you want.

56. Rainforest Cafe

It may be a chain, but this one has a volcano on top that shoots fire.

57. Café Michael Burger

Off the beaten path on the West end, but worth the drive for the best burger on the island.

58. Queens Bar-B-Que

Ordering the Turkey Cliffhanger on a jalapeño bun will teach you the meaning of life. The jalapeño bun part of this is crucial.

59. ShyKatZ

Another tasty b-fast spot. The Papas breakfast is traditional, but delicious. The French toast may cause cardiac arrest, but you will die happy.

60. Head to Maceo’s Spice & Import Co.

... for a sandwich done SERIOUSLY right. Picture the tastiest sandwich ever, and then make that taste even better. That is what this place has done here.

61. Get the Hangover Helper Bowl at Farley Girls

Scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, avocado, salsa & pepper Jack. Wash it down with some Pedialyte and you will be fired up for some day drinking on the beach.

62-72. Check out our Galveston Drinking Guide for 11 more great reasons to visit Galveston

They were delicious last year, and are still delicious this year!

73. Drink at one of Houston’s top breweries, Galveston Island Brewing


74. Go to some pool bars

There are lots of them. Float, Redfish, H20, Hotel Galvez, and Longboard are all refreshing pool bars along the seawall.

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Sam Davenport is a slightly biased former Galveston resident and Texas A&M Galveston grad. Help make him Insta-famous at @davenport_sam.