Galveston Beach Surfers

Gay Times in Galveston

Galveston Island's temperate weather and Gulf breezes make the historic beach town a must-visit destination less than an hour from Houston. Visitors can explore the island's natural wonders, as well as a few of the more man-made ones, year round.

While the island's 32 miles of beaches are an attractive amenity, Galveston's historic architecture is equally popular. On Broadway Avenue, the castle-like Bishop's Palace draws crowds for daily tours. The mansion was cited by the American Institute of Architects as one of the most important buildings in the United States. Guests also marvel at the island's many Victorian-era houses on historic architectural tours offered by the Galveston Historical Foundation

The Historic Downtown District -- located near the Cruise Ship Terminal -- is a great destination for shopping, dining and visiting museums and galleries. Today, guests perusing the area will still find the classic spots that have always contributed to Galveston's longtime appeal, as well as a mix of new businesses. On The Strand, LaKing's Confectionary and Hendley Market continue to tempt pedestrians. It's also in this district that you'll find one of the island's best gay clubs, Third Coast Bar which offers great drag shows and other entertainment each week. 

A couple of blocks away, the Texas Seaport Museum and the 1877 Tall Ship Elissa are also popular attractions, as is The Grand 1894 Opera House, which has survived a century of storms and been fully restored.

Along the seawall, visitors find another homage to the city's past at the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier. The boardwalk-style amusement park stands where the city's original pleasure pier stood from 1943 until 1961, before being destroyed by Hurricane Carla. The $60 million project stretches approximately 1,130 feet over the Gulf of Mexico, is more than three football fields in length, and provides the area with family-oriented attractions, including 16 rides, games, retail shops and food venues.

The opposite end of the island offers adventures of a different sort. See the wildlife hidden inside Moody Gardens' three glass pyramids. Explore the Discovery Pyramid for science-based exhibits and the Aquarium Pyramid to see sharks, penguins, seals and other marine life from around the world. Experience the adventures of the Rainforest Pyramid with free-roaming monkeys, sloths, and tropical birds. 

Looking for a bite to eat? Head over to Fisherman's Wharf or The Gumbo Bar for great seafood near the Historic District. For something with a little more of a story, Gaido's on the Seawall is the place to be. This restaurant has been serving the island for more than a century. 

Overnight accommodations in Galveston range from budget-friendly motels to luxury resorts, historic hotels, condominiums, beach house rentals and bed-and-breakfast inns. For those looking to stay waterside, the 16-story San Luis Resort offers 250 well-appointed modern guest rooms overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, as well as a heated pool and swim-up bar. For a classic experience, Hotel Galvez is the only beachfront historic hotel on the Texas Gulf Coast, while the Tremont offers European-style grandeur Downtown. 

For more information, log on to Galveston.com.

Written by: A.J. Mistretta

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