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Galveston Island vacation

Updated on February 2, 2016
Silva Hayes profile image

Silva has a background as a technical writer and in addition to how-to articles she writes about cooking, travel, and personal experiences.

Visit The Original Mexican Cafe at 1401 Market Street for great margaritas and yummy Mexican food. See the end of the article for a link to many good restaurants in Galveston.

Playing in the surf on the beach
Playing in the surf on the beach
Jamaica Dream hammock,
Jamaica Dream hammock,
Backyard picket fence,
Backyard picket fence,
Orchid in Moody Garden rainforest pyramid,
Orchid in Moody Garden rainforest pyramid,
Tropical birds,
Tropical birds,
Bishop's Palace
Bishop's Palace
Galveston Island Beach Vacation
Galveston Island Beach Vacation

Galveston Island on the Texas coast offers 32 miles of Gulf Coast beach and beautiful vacation accommodations, entertainment, food and shopping. It's an easy drive from Austin and is a fun 3-day weekend trip.

Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Princess Cruise Lines leave from Galveston and take passengers to various stops in Mexico, the Caribbean and more. Visit

The free Galveston Island Ferry, located on Hwy 87 (Ferry Road), runs every few minutes and visitors can park and ride or drive their vehicle aboard.

Moody Gardens features the Aquarium Pyramid, the Rainforest Pyramid, with thousands of tropical plants, exotic fish and birds, the mysteries of science at the Discovery Pyramid, and the Moody Gardens Hotel. Check out the pictures of the botanical wonders we saw in the Rainforest Pyramid.

Schlitterbahn Galveston Island offers amazing rides and attractions, including a large wave pool, uphill water coasters, thrilling speed slides, kid's water playgrounds, whitewater rapids, relaxing hot tubs, family raft rides, the Boogie Bahn surf ride and the exclusive Transportainment river system. Relax in steaming warm waters and enjoy summer fun all year long at Texas' first heated, indoor waterpark.

We went to Galveston Island in June 2010, me, my husband, and two young granddaughters. We stayed in a cottage called Jamaica Dream. It is adorable. It’s quite small, only one bedroom and one bath, but spotlessly clean, done in bright beachy colors and nice fixtures and appliances; everything you need, plus a darling little backyard with a picket fence, flowers, and a hammock! There is a futon in the living room and that's where the girls slept. Pets are allowed so we took our little Maltipoo, Daisy. Daisy loved the cottage, especially the back yard.

When we travel we like to do a lot of our own cooking. Since we are all vegetarians, and we were traveling with a dog, it just makes life easier. Even though the kitchen in this cottage is tiny, it still works well for us. Travel tip: We take our huge electric skillet along and it really extends the cooking capabilities when traveling.

Donna, the owner of the Jamaica Dream cottage, lives upstairs, which is accessed by an outside staircase. She maintains the yard beautifully and in among the rose bushes in the front yard are tomato and pepper plants. She told the granddaughters they could pick anything out there that was ripe and they were thrilled to pick tomatoes and peppers to go with our supper.

We spent a lot of time sitting outside in the immaculate backyard on wicker furniture on a shaded patio, with the two girls vying for possession of the hammock. Hot sun, cool ocean breeze; we had a good time.

The beach was covered in sea grass but the granddaughters had a great time body surfing. Ben and Jerry's has a store there and we had hand-packed ice cream.

It’s been two years since Hurricane Ike ripped through this area, but I still see blue tarps here and there and damage that has yet to be repaired. Of course, Galveston looks nothing like my childhood memory; Hurricane Ike destroyed 40,000 trees.

We visited Moody Gardens tropical rain forest inside an enormous glass pyramid; this was one of the highlights of our trip. The foliage is wonderful. The flowers are amazing, orchids of every type and color. Brilliant birds and turtles delighted the granddaughters. I would love to go back and stay at the Moody Gardens hotel and visit all three pyramids and Schlitterbahn, and then move back to the Jamaica Dream cottage and stay a little longer and just relax.

The old downtown area is wonderful; quite a contrast from the beach, like a different world.

For information about the cottage, go to

We will go back! This trip inspired me to mosaic again. My mosaic blog is

I was going to write a hub about our trip to Marfa, but someone beat me to it. Here's a link to their hub about a wonderful Texas phenomenom, the Marfa lights:

We've seen them and we were really lucky; sometimes they appear small and far away but the night we visited, they were spectacular.

UPDATE 4/13/12 -- we are going back in early June, to Galveston Island and the Jamaica Beach cottage. Can't wait! Same group, Mimi, Papa, two granddaughters, and dog Daisy, a tiny puppy then and a big 6 pound 2.5 year old now. Wonder if she'll remember that cottage. She was in doggie heaven there; beautiful back yard, sleeping with the two girls for the first time, she had our full attention the entire time ... This time we will try leaving the dog alone in the cottage while we take the girls to Schlitterbahn and rent pedal cars to tool up and down the beach road.

There are many wonderful places to eat in Galveston -- seafood, of course! But if you get hungry for Mexican food, try The Original Mexican Cafe at 1401 Market Street. It's been there for a long time, and the food and Margaritas are excellent.

Update October 15, 2013

Leaving in the morning for Galveston, just me and hubby and dog.

No grandchildren this time :(

Just us, and it will probably be rainy and chilly but that's okay. Staying at Jamaica Dream (again) which is the perfect size for two people and a dog but a little crowded for four, now that the girls are older. They need their own bedroom and bathroom so next time they go with us, we will probably stay somewhere else.

Last trip with all four of us along (this past summer), we went to Port Aransas and the place where we stayed was NOT adequate. It was a cottage with a large fenced backyard but they failed to say in their ad that there were gaps on either side where the fence should have connected with the house (so the dog couldn't go out in the backyard without a leash). One of the bathroom's shower didn't work and there were five window units blasting non-stop. Haha, it was an adventure.

So off to Galveston in the morning; will be eating at the best Mexican Restaurant tomorrow night; and when I get back, I will update if anything unusual or otherwise interesting happens on our trip.

(We're back -- wonderful trip, short and sweet, poured rain all the way there but the weather on Galveston Island was perfect, sunny with a cool breeze. The food at the Original Mexican Cafe was as good as remembered. The architecture in Galveston is fascinating. At a thrift shop I found a mannequin to mosaic and Donna gave me some pretty saucers to break.)

Here's a link to 29 restaurants in Galveston:


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