Galveston Island is hands-down one of the most exciting places to visit in Texas, especially if coastal attractions like beaches and watersports are of interest to you. Galveston is ideal when it comes to activities; from the inner island restaurants, bars, shops, and other attractions, to the outer-lying shores where beautiful Texas beaches draw most people out, there is really no stone left unturned when it comes to things to do.
Galveston Island State Park
The pier at Galveston Island State Park fronts West Bay opposite the Gulf side. The surrounding waters comprise two bayous and several coves. Visitors enjoy the park for a nominal fee every day of the week from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. The beach is ideal for swimming, cycling, and shore or surf fishing. Fishing is really popular, yielding common catches like sandtrout, seatrout, and flounder. Bird watching is exceptional because of a dense bird population. Camping is also permitted within three distinct loops offering 36 beachside sites.
Spacious and lively, the shores of East Beach showcase beach parties at their finest. From popular live music events to family-friendly parties, East Beach knows how to draw a crowd. Located on the eastern end, East Beach is one of the best-known Galveston Texas beaches in existence, trumping most other major beach areas along the coast. The large pavilion is the center of most of the fun when special events happen. The area is filled with lodging options including vacation rentals and hotels.
Palm Beach at Moody Gardens
Palm Beach at Moody Gardens is a resort created to suit every need and whim. The resort offers hotel accommodations with access to freshwater lagoons and silky white sand enveloped by free-flowing waterfalls and dense, exotic plants and trees. The backdrop is characteristic of an exotic island offering complimentary shade umbrellas and lounge chairs. Though perhaps a little too manicured for some, Palm Beach has many upsides: there is an interactive splashpad for kids and a beach party on Saturdays with live music, face painting, and other activities. Resort attractions include a 100-gallon aquarium with turtles, stingrays, and sea turtles, and a rainforest area featuring animals from around the world.
Family events are sponsored along the shores of Stewart Beach throughout the summer months and in warmer shoulder seasons, which is a big draw for families who love watching sandcastle competitions and similar events. Located at the eastern seawall in Galveston, the beach is miles long and very wide. It’s not uncommon for thousands of people to show up on a perfect summer day. Restrooms and showers contribute to family convenience as does a snack bar and chair and umbrella rentals.
Galveston Island Pocket Parks
Sea Gull Shores Beach Pocket Park 1 is found at FM 3005 at 7 1/2 Mile Road in the west island area. There is a grassy dune area backing the large beach where parking is allowed. There are many nearby hotels and popular attractions including Schlitterbahn Waterpark and Moody Gardens. Sand Castle Beach Pocket Park 2 is also set on the west side of the island on 9 Mile Road at 11745 FM 3005. The beach is rich with wetland preserves and offers several access points to the beach along with parking. Sea Shell Beach Pocket Park 3 features ten-acres of beaches with adjacent parking, rinsing showers outdoors, restrooms, and beach rentals on the west end.