If you’re looking for a place to breathe easy these days, Galveston Island is a prime spot to plan your next comfort-focused getaway.
With no shortage of outdoor opportunities and major attractions that are open for coastal distancing (or socially distanced experiences), Galveston Island is humming with engaging things to do, from deep dives into history to relaxing outdoor dining among soothing sea breezes.
Scroll down to check out refreshing can’t-miss spots or click here for a detailed guide to some of the best outdoor and socially distanced activities on Galveston Island.
Must-See Spots & Museums
Though the beaches might be the biggest draw to Galveston that comes to mind, the Island community is bustling with rich history, world-class institutions, and unique sites waiting to be discovered.
The expansive Moody Gardens complex is one of Galveston’s crown jewels, where their iconic glass pyramids play host to an aquarium, a rainforest teeming with wildlife, and a discovery center that aims to expand perspectives on the world.
Elsewhere on the Island, visitors can delve into the history of the American West at The Bryan Museum, learn about Galveston’s critical role in 19th century immigration at the Texas Seaport Museum, and hop aboard one of the oldest sailing ships in the world at the nearby 1877 Tall Ship Elissa.
And if you’re on the hunt for stunning architecture, you won’t need to look far to find the towering, ornate residences in Galveston, like the Moody Mansion and 1892 Bishop’s Palace, or the beautiful and intricate brickwork that houses many of the Island’s destination shopping within the Historic Strand District.
Explore the Outdoors
Thirty-two miles of beaches stretch across Galveston’s coastline, inviting visitors from near and far to find a piece of mind among the waves and far-reaching sandbar.
The Island is also home to much of the region’s wildlife hot spots, whether you’re dropping a line into the Gulf Coast waters from one of the many vast fishing piers or witnessing the seemingly countless species of native and migratory birds that find their way into Galveston throughout the year.
Further from the historic coastal city’s center, you’ll also find places like Galveston Island State Park and East End Lagoon—expansive nature preserves that are prime for midday hikes, putting a paddle into the water, or just relaxing to the sensation of the Island’s sea breezes.
Al Fresco Dining on the Island
While in Galveston, you’re never far from a delicious outdoor meal with a waterfront view.
The seawall is lined with popular casual eateries that peer out into the Gulf, including the The Spot near Pleasure Pier, or you can hop over to the harborside, where Piers 20 and 21 provide an opportunity to dine out among swift-moving ships and pelicans keen on the latest catch from docking shrimp boats.
If you’re in the mood for upscale dining, Galveston doesn’t disappoint with options that include the west side eatery, Number 13 Prime Steak and Seafood, which can be found on the waterfront of Offats Bayou, directly across from Moody Gardens.
Social Distancing & COVID-19
As we enter into the vaccination phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, medical experts still advise that we have a way to go before we achieve herd immunity and can safely resume pre-pandemic activities. In the meantime, you can remain vigilant in protecting yourself against the coronavirus by continuing to wear face masks when in public spaces, practice social distancing of at least six feet, limit your touching of surfaces, and frequently use hand sanitizer or soap and water to keep your hands clean.
While the Governor of Texas has lifted mandatory mask orders and capacity limits, most businesses are still requiring face masks to enter and enforcing reduced capacity. Familiarize with your destination’s policies ahead of time and please respect their public safety precautions.
This post was sponsored by Visit Galveston. Per our advertising and sponsorship policy, we only accept sponsored content from organizations that meet our editorial standards and truly present a valuable activity, event, resource or destination for residents and visitors across the greater Houston area. Advertising revenue helps support 365 Things to Do in Houston, and our contributors, allowing us to expand our coverage of activities and events around the Houston area. Click here to learn about promoting your event or business.