Hotel Galvez and My 7 Favorite Things to Do in Galveston, TX
If you’re looking for a fun-filled vacation destination, look no further than Galveston, TX. This coastal city offers something for everyone, from its historic downtown and world-famous beaches to its unique shops and restaurants. And no visit to Galveston would be complete without a stay at the iconic Hotel Galvez & Spa.
Where to Stay in Galveston, TX
There is no shortage of options when it comes to places to stay in Galveston, TX; however, there is one that stands out ahead of the rest and it is my favorite, Hotel Galvez.
Hotel Galvez or Grand Galvez
Built in 1911, Hotel Galvez is the only historic beachfront hotel on Galveston Island. This AAA Four-Diamond rated hotel offers luxurious accommodations, world-class dining, and a full-service spa. Plus, its location can’t be beat. The Hotel Galvez is just steps from the Gulf of Mexico and all of the shopping, dining, and entertainment that Galveston’s historic downtown has to offer.
This is my go-to place to stay and my family has been visiting here for decades with our kids. There is just something fantastic about staying in a historic hotel like Hotel Galvez that keeps me coming back over and over again.
Located at 2024 Seawall Blvd., Galveston, TX the Hotel Galvez & Spa is convenient to pretty much everything Galveston has to offer.
Recently, the hotel changed hands and has been renovated in a gorgeous “Great Gatsby” theme and named “Grand Galvez” renamed from Hotel Galvez.
Part of the updates include a new coffee bar, relocated lobby bar, fresh-looking hotel grill, and restaurant, as well as a “Queen of the Gulf” mosaic tile entryway!
More updates include the beautiful black and white tile hallways, the 1911 coffee bar serving Starbuck coffee, the quaint places to sit and take in the scenery, and gorgeous chandeliers throughout.
YouTube Video Tour of Galveston Trip
I’ve put together a fun video of our trip that you can view below.
The Spa at Hotel Galvez
The spa is where the magic happens every single time we visit Hotel Galvez. Whether we book a fabulous massage or a facial, the relaxation room is where we really kick back and unwind.
There are loungers with soft, warm cuddly blankets at the foot of each one.
Cool lemon water, hot tea, or champagne can be enjoyed while relaxing and waiting on your service.
The spa is a must-do experience no matter what else is on your itinerary in Galveston.
The Front Lawn
The front lawn at the Hotel Galvez is one of our favorite places to hang out. Morning and night there is a row of Adirondack chairs facing the gulf. It’s a great place to gather with a favorite beverage, a book, a friend, or alone to simply take it all in!
Who Owns Grand Galvez?
George P. Mitchell recently sold Hotel Galvez to hotelier Mark Wyant for $40 million. The hotel has kept its historic charm throughout its recent renovations including bringing it back to it’s original color of a pink exterior.
The front entrance now boasts an amazing fountain as its centerpiece!
The pool at Hotel Galvez is fabulous and features palm trees, a poolside snack menu, tropical frozen drinks, plenty of fluffy towels, and a swim-up bar. You can see the Gulf of Mexico just beyond the wall.
Other Popular Places to Stay in Galveston
- The Harbour House Pier 21 Hotel and Marina is located next to the popular cruise ship port making it super convenient if you are taking a cruise and want to explore Galveston prior to your trip!
- The San Luis Resort, Spa, and Conference Center is located at 5222 Seawall Blvd and it is a fabulous choice for a luxury stay in Galveston. Their restaurant The Steakhouse is rated one of the “Top Ten Texas Steakhouses”.
- Hilton Galveston Island Resort is another great choice if you want to stay in the heart of the fun! They are located at 5400 Seawall Blvd along the strip.
Where to Eat in Galveston, TX
There is definitely zero shortage of unique places to eat while you enjoy your stay in Galveston. From the obvious choice of fresh seafood to the more indulging steakhouse venue, Galveston offers it all!
The Spot has always been on our list of easy, quick stops when everyone is hungry mid-day. We can order a bite and eat it while looking out at the Gulf.
This is a unique restaurant where once inside there are 5 different choices of venues at which to eat. It is located at 3204 Seawall Blvd.
Fisherman’s Wharf is a great place to plan for dinner whether you want to eat indoors or waterfront on the patio overlooking the harbor. We have so many fun memories of dinners past here. Located off the Strand at 2200 Harborside Dr. be sure to put this one on your list!
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
Bubba Gump’s is a seafood restaurant located on Pleasure Pier. It is a great place to grab a meal after the kids ride all the rides. They have a patio that overlooks the water and a small gift shop for all of your Forrest Gump memorabilia.
Miller’s Seawall Grill
Miller’s Seawall Grill is hands down our favorite place to eat in Galveston, TX. We usually find ourselves eating her multiple times during our stay. Known for their extensive breakfast, their lunch and dinner is also amazing! It is located at 1824 Seawall Blvd.
More Great Places to Eat in Galveston
My daughter and I out back of Waterman’s Restaurant in 2019.
Places to Shop in Galveston, TX
When it comes to shopping, Galveston’s historic downtown area, known as The Strand, is a great place to start. This pedestrian-friendly district is home to a variety of unique shops and boutiques, as well as art galleries, museums, and restaurants.
And if you’re looking for something to do after all that shopping, be sure to check out one of the many ghost tours or art walks that are offered in the area.
Gracies Galveston Gift Shop
The moment I stepped into Gracies Galveston boutique shop on the Strand, I knew it was special. They have so many fun and unique items that are perfect for home decor, seasonal decorating, as well as gifts. I gave a little tour of this place LIVE on Facebook HERE in case you missed it.
LA King’s Confectionery
If your sweet tooth strikes or you just want to have some extra fun, you have to check out this place. Located on the Strand at 2323 Strand Street, LAKing’s Confectionery historic candy store has it all.
If you time it just right you can even watch their daily live taffy pull demonstrations!
There is something for everyone here, from candied nuts, chocolates, taffy, popcorn, hard candy, fudge, and even sugar-free options.
If you’re looking for a sweet treat during your stay in Galveston, be sure to check out La Kings Confectionery. You’ll find a variety of candy, and you can take a step back in time while you’re here.
Now no trip is complete without ducking into Murdoch’s. This is a store that makes you feel like you’re at the beach! Rows and rows of beach gear, t-shirts, seashells, sunhats, and more.
There is a back patio porch lined with rocking chairs for enjoying a fun adult beverage while watching the gulf.
If you forgot something for the beach or just want to bring home a Galveston, TX souvenir then Murdoch’s is where you want to stop! Murdoch’s is located at 2215 Seawall Blvd.
Fun Things to Do in Galveston, TX
If you’re looking for things to do in Galveston, TX, there’s no shortage of options. In addition to soaking up the sun at the beach or taking a dip in your hotel’s pool, you can explore Galveston’s many fun-filled attractions like the ones shared below.
Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier
The Pleasure Pier was added to the island in 2008 and offers amusement park-type rides including the gulf glider swings, iron shark roller coaster, the pirate’s plunge, and the galaxy wheel ferris wheel overlooking the gulf.
Along with ticketed rides, there is an entire midway with games like Whac-a-Mole – Big Shot Hoops – Nothin’ But Net – Tub Toss – Ring Toss – Iron Shark Attack – High Striker – Pirate Striker – Lucky Duck – Balloon Pop – Guess Your Weight or Age.
Add a restaurant and gift shop for fun souvenirs and you have a day and evening full of fun and games at Pleasure Pier.
Moody Gardens is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Galveston, TX. It is located on an island, and it offers a variety of amenities and attractions. Plus, the park is home to a rainforest, an aquarium, and a butterfly garden.
Moody Gardens is located at 1 Hope Boulevard, and includes a hotel, full-service spa, and a golf course!
If you’re looking for a park experience during your stay in Galveston, be sure to check out Moody Gardens. You’ll find a variety of entertainment and attractions, and you can explore all that the island has to offer!
Chartered Fishing Trip
Most of our trips to Galveston include a chartered fishing trip of some sort for the boys. I grew up salt-water fishing; however, I’ve given it up in my older age for the spa experience–lol!
My husband and my son have enjoyed many early morning fishing trips with various captains. While there are no guarantees of catching fish, there is always a guarantee of making memories. They usually catch redfish, sharks, and trout.
Galveston Duck Tours
Duck Tours are actually a lot of fun; especially if you get a great captain! Take a ride in a WW II amphibious vehicle starting at Seawall for miles on land and water.
Tours are located at 2415 Seawall Boulevard and tickets are $30 adults $20 children ages 12-3 children ages 2 and under $10.00.
Moody Mansion Tour
The Moody Mansion is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Galveston, TX. This historic home was built in 1895 by W. L. Moody, Jr., and it’s a beautiful example of Victorian architecture. Today, the mansion is open for tours, and it’s a great way to learn about the history of Galveston and the Moody family.
The mansion is located at 2618 Broadway, and tours are available Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00am to 5:00pm. Self-Guided Tours are $15 for adults, $7 for seniors and students, and children under 5 are free. Admission includes a self-guided tour of the first floor, as well as access to the museum and grounds.
If you’re looking for a unique way to experience the history of Galveston, TX, be sure to take a tour of the Moody Mansion. You’ll learn about the city’s past, and you’ll get to see one of its most beautiful homes.
FREE Ferry Ride
Did you know that you can take a free ferry ride from Galveston to Port Bolivar? That’s right – every day, the Galveston-Port Bolivar Ferry provides free transportation for both vehicles and pedestrians between Galveston Island and the Bolivar Peninsula. The ferry ride takes about 45 minutes, and it’s a great way to see the beautiful coastline of Southeast Texas.
When the kids were little, this was a staple event on our trip to Galveston! The kids loved to get out of the car and climb to the top of the ferry ride to see out across the channel. You can enjoy seeing dolphins and seagulls as well as all of the sounds of the sea on this FREE adventure.
Once on the other side, we simply turned around and came back, making it a fun two-time experience.
The Galveston-Port Bolivar Ferry runs every day from 5:00am to midnight, and it’s located at the south end of Galveston Island. There is a $1 fee for pedestrians, and there is no charge for vehicles.
So whether you’re looking for a fun way to see the sights of Galveston or you need a free way to get to the Bolivar Peninsula, be sure to take the free ferry ride from Galveston to Port Bolivar.
Other Fun Things to Do In Galveston, TX
- Schlitterbahn Waterpark
- Galveston Fishing Pier
- Bishop’s Palace Tour
- Ocean Star Oil Drilling Rig Museum
- Galveston Island State Park
- Ghost Tours
- Escape the Island Escape Room
- Cordray Drug Store Rolled Ice Cream– owned by stars of the popular Magnolia Network tv series Restoring Galveston
Grand Galvez and Galveston, TX Vacation
If you’re looking for a fun-filled vacation destination, look no further than Galveston, TX. This coastal city offers something for everyone, from its historic downtown and world-famous beaches to its unique shops and restaurants.
And no visit to Galveston would be complete without a stay at the iconic Hotel Galvez & Spa or the now Grand Galvez & Spa.
What do you think? Is Galveston on your list of places to visit? Have you visited before? Let me know in the comments below!
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Here are some other fun places I’ve shared!