Looking for a quick weekend getaway? Galveston Island, TX is what cute little beach town dreams are made of. Complete with brightly painted stilt houses, a historic downtown, uniquely themed restaurants, an old-timey pier overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, miles of beach access, and relaxing resorts, you’ll have a hard time choosing what to do first.

Although the Gulf Coast is not usually where people dream of vacationing, a trip to Galveston Island comes with some awesome perks. Since the beaches in Galveston don’t get nearly as crowded as the more popular beaches in the US, you’re always guaranteed that perfect beach spot—you know, not too close to the water, but also no one blocking your view of the ocean. Some of the beaches even allow you to drive up and park right on the sand. No more hauling your beach chairs, umbrellas, towels, and coolers to and from the beach! 

Even if lounging in the sun and listening to the waves isn’t your thing, you’re sure to love Galveston’s historic downtown. Unique architecture makes walking up and down the narrow streets educational and picturesque. On hot days, pop into La King’s Confectionery for a smooth and creamy milkshake or watch as store employees demonstrate how they make salt water taffy on their antique taffy puller. If your family is one that enjoys playing board games, be sure to swing by Board Game Island Café to enjoy a decadent grilled cheese and play as many of their 400 games as your heart desires. 

If you have thrill-seekers in your vacation party, then Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier is the place for you. Soar hundreds of feet above the beautiful, blue Gulf of Mexico on the Texas Star Flyer or plummet down at more than a 90-degree angle on the Iron Shark Roller Coaster. The little ones can also enjoy a lazy spin on the colorful Galaxy Ferris Wheel or a ride on the two-story merry-go-round.

After a long day of adventuring, relax at one of Galveston’s eccentric restaurants. Build your own burger and indulge in perfectly golden waffle fries at The Spot or salivate over the extremely cheesy pizzas and pasta at Mario’s Ristorante. And, of course, you can’t go wrong with any of the seafood joints in the city—most places pride themselves on the freshness and premium quality of their cuisine. 

Although Galveston might be off the beaten path or a little outside of your comfort zone, I promise that you’ll fall in love faster than you can find the perfect souvenir at the historical Murdoch’s Gift Shop. This charming little beach town will have you coming back for a picture-perfect weekend getaway year after year after year.


Nicole Carlson