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Galveston – A Great Getaway

Updated on January 9, 2014

New and Improved Galveston

Galveston has changed over the years. The entire island has sites worth the trip, for a few days, the weekend, or a week’s vacation. Galveston Beach has always been a great draw for Texans and residents of other nearby states, but now it hosts many conventions and has become known as a great vacation getaway throughout the country. In turn, the island has improved and upgraded the areas for sightseeing and other activities when taking a respite from the beach

Sculptures carved from Ike.
Sculptures carved from Ike.
Oil Rig Display
Oil Rig Display
Walking On an Oil Rig
Walking On an Oil Rig
Moody Garden's Aquarium
Moody Garden's Aquarium
Moody Garden's Aquarium
Moody Garden's Aquarium

When visiting “The Great Storm” museum, the movie presentation on Pier 51 is a must see for history buffs and storm chaser types. The movie and newspaper clips discussed in the presentation is moving, and visitors are going to be surprised when learning of the tragedy that the country as a whole knows little about. There is a great book that tells the story of the first meteorologists and events that led up to that fateful date. It is one of the great reads of all time. The book, Isaac Storm’s, written by Erik Larson explores this terrible storm in depth.

Moody Gardens has a day full of activities for the entire family. The aquarium is top notch and the multi-media displays are educational for the young and old alike. The Rainforest Pyramid is a close-up view of animals in their natural habitat. Watch as the animals are fed and tourists will be delighted when viewing the vivid colors of the exotic birds and plants. There is a 4 D Theater which brings the action to the viewer and a bumpy coaster ride through the universe all under one roof.

There is a great amusement pier that stretches out into the ocean rightly named the Pleasure Pier. The pier is an entertainment destination with restaurants including Bubba Gump's Shrimp Co., amusement rides for all visitors when strolling along the pier, along with arcade games. After a long day at the beach, it’s the perfect way to end the day.

There is an indoor/outdoor water park with slides, and many hotel options for every price range. A ferry ride, with or without taking a car, is a fun trip to make when visiting the island. Galveston is now a port of departure for the cruise line industry. So, if departing for a cruise or returning, a beachside resort and a great meal may be the perfect book end for your trip.

A must see is the Offshore Star Drilling Rig. This is truly an impressive museum and multi-media presentation of life on drilling rigs. Those who have worked on the rigs can bring their family and give them a complete look at what goes into life on an oil rig. There are displays that relate to the science of drilling, oil products, and an oil rig replica that can be tour independently. This exhibit comes highly recommended.

When hurricane Ike came through the Galveston area, trees were broken and bent. Imaginative artists took trees that would be removed and turned them into beautiful works of art. There are links available to find the addresses of these artworks. Many are in a confined driving area, so even if your time is limited, you will want to see at least a few of these.

The driving tour to enjoy these beautiful tree sculptures is easy and allows the visitor to get a taste of Galveston’s neighborhoods. The figures range from the Tin Man to a Fat Squirrel to a beautiful oriental maiden. The best time to tour these sculptures is during low traffic times. Also, if taking pictures the angle of the sun plays a large part. Some sculptures are located where they can be easily photographed, while others are part of the homeowners’ landscape.

For fun loving diners, there is The Spot where you can have a delicious meal on a budget and poise for the live cam and wave at your family and friends back home. The Rainforest Café, Landry’s, Willie G’s, and Tortuga’s Mexican Restaurant are a sampling of the many restaurants that will provide a variety of meals and prices available for the hungry tourist.

There a tour of the beautiful historic homes that survived The Great Storm. The guides are extremely interesting and the tours are fun and informative. Most of the houses display items from the 19th century and the house, Open Gate, depicts life on the island during that time period.

The people are friendly and helpful on the Island and proud of their heritage. If you haven’t been there or haven’t been there lately consider seeing the Island and all it has to offer.

To read more about The Great Storm go to

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