Things To Do Near Galveston Cruise Port
Perfectly located in the heart of downtown, the Port of Galveston is within quick walking distance of the city’s best hotels as well as top attractions like The Strand Historic District, Pier 21 and The Grand 1894 Opera House. Top companies like Royal Caribbean, Disney and Carnival all leave directly from this main hub for exotic destinations like Mexico, Grand Cayman and the Bahamas, and Galveston offers a fabulous tropical getaway to relax before or after your cruise. Stay tuned for theCarnival Freedom coming in February 2015 and the Disney Magic in November 2015.
Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig and Museum
The Ocean Star Drilling Rig and Museum boasts three floors of scale models and exhibits detailing the story of offshore oil and gas from geological exploration to oil production. See models of oil rigs, drilling equipment and underwater remotely-operated vehicles. The museum is open every day, and about an hour is needed to walk around the museum. The museum is moored at Galveston’s Pier 19 at Harborside Drive.
Texas Seaport Museum
Visit the Texas Seaport Museum to tour the 1877 sailing ship Elissa, which worked as a merchant vessel for nearly 100 years. The ship made her first call to Galveston as long ago as 1883. The ship was rescued from near scrap at Piraeus port in Greece by the Galveston Historical Society in the late 1970s. The museum is positioned a short walk from the cruise port.
If you can only visit one of Galveston’s architectural gems, many people would recommend superb Bishop’s Palace. The house was designed by Nicholas Clayton, Galveston’s premier Victorian-era architect. Construction was finished in 1892. The house is flamboyantly furnished with many authentic items like rare wood paneling, colored stone fixtures and stained glass windows. Your trip to Bishops Palace will transform you back in time to Galveston’s golden age. The Bishop’s Palace is sited on Broadway Avenue at the southern edge of Galveston’s historic Strand/East End district.
Lively Stewart Beach Park boasts a wide stretch of off white sand on the Mexican Gulf side of Galveston island. During the summer season, the beach is swept free of debris on a regular basis, and patrolled by lifeguards. Go a short distance westwards from Stewart’s to walk along Galveston’s celebrated sea wall, which has helped enormously in protecting the island since its building following the 1900 storm. Stewart Beach Park can be found about a mile south east of the cruise terminals.
Anybody driving across the causeway to Galveston Island cannot miss the three massive pyramids of Moody Gardens rising up on the northern coast of the island. The Aquarium Pyramid, the biggest of the pyramids, is home to many species of creatures from all across the globe. The Rainforest Pyramid is alive with tropical animals reptiles, butterflies, birds and plants. The Discovery Pyramid focuses on science displays. Moody Gardens is located next to Galveston’s airport, about 2 miles away from the cruise port.
Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark features more than 35 refreshing water adventures for all ages. A huge collection of signature thrill rides and family attractions are surrounded by the award-winning Transportainment® River System, which allows guests to float in tubes throughout the entire park without ever leaving the water. During the spring and fall months, a section of the park transforms into an indoor waterpark so you can enjoy even more summer fun.
The Lone Star Flight Museum
The Lone Star Flight Museum, a 501 (c)(3) self-supporting educational museum, began as a private aircraft collection in June 1985. The acquisition of more aircraft quickly led to a search for a new home. In 1990, construction of a 50,000 sq. ft. Phase I facility began at Galveston’s Scholes Field. Continued rapid growth required construction of a 30,000 sq. ft. Phase II hangar in 1991. Along with the aircraft collection, the LSFM began to acquire and display aviation memorabilia and artifacts, develop educational programs, and recruit volunteers through our Membership Program implemented in July 1991. The LSFM receives over 35,000 of volunteer service hours each year. Many programs and participation opportunities are available for members to promote and support the LSFM mission.
Galveston Island Ferry
Located on Hwy 87 (Ferry Road), continues to be one of Galveston’s most popular attractions. Riders can park and ride the ferry or drive their vehicle aboard the ferry. Ferries run approximately every fifteen to twenty minutes and are free.
The Great Storm
The Great Storm, a multimedia presentation at the Pier 21 Theater, gives visitors a glimpse of the devastating 1900 Storm through a multi-image documentary experience. The 27-minute story gives actual accounts from diaries and letters of survivors during and after the storm.
Seawolf Park is located on Galveston’s Pelican Island on a former immigration station site. The park offers one of the island’s most popular fishing piers, picnic sites and a playground. The park is also home to tourist attractions, including the WWII submarine the USS Cavalla and one of only three destroyer escorts in the world, the USS Stewart. The remains of the WWI tanker S.S. Selma, the largest concrete ship constructed, can be seen northwest of the park’s fishing pier.
Coming soon: Seawolf Park will offer RV camping with 40 spaces equipped with electrical hookups, water supply and sewage service.
Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier
Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier is a Pleasure pier in Galveston, Texas, United States. Opened in Summer 2012, it has 1 roller coaster, 15 rides, carnival games and souvenir shops. Pleasure Pier is one of the few spots in the world that has this many rides over the water! You’ll be flying over guests on the Pier, soaring over the Gulf of Mexico and anticipating your next ride!
For decades, the historic Pleasure Pier served as a tourism catalyst for Galveston’s Seawall Boulevard and the Texas Gulf Coast. More than 40 years after the original Pleasure Pier was destroyed by Hurricane Carla, Landry’s has transformed the Pleasure Pier into a world-class amusement park for all ages.
Originally built in the late 1940s as a recreational facility for the military, the Pier was turned over to the city after World War II and named Pleasure Pier. The Pleasure Pier operated as an iconic family destination until 1961, when Hurricane Carla hit Texas. In 1965, the Flagship Hotel, then the only hotel in the nation built entirely over the water, opened on the site, but was severely damaged by Hurricane Ike in 2008. In 2012, the Pleasure Pier reopened as a nostalgically-themed amusement park — representing a return to glory for the Pier.
The Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier rivals similar parks like Chicago’s Navy Pier, the Santa Monica Pier and Coney Island’s Luna Park. In 2013 Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Awards recognized the Pleasure Pier as one of the world’s top-five seaside parks. The approximately 1,130-foot pier extends over the Gulf of Mexico at 25th Street and Seawall Boulevard and is home to Texas’ first Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurant, a number of shops, entertaining midway games and 16 rides, including gentle rides for young visitors and exhilarating coasters for thrill seekers.
The Strand Historical District, Galveston’s downtown, was named after London’s famed Strand and was known in the 19th century as the Wall Street of the Southwest. Today the Strand boasts one of the biggest collections of historic buildings in the United States, a favorite destination of tourists from all over the world. Adding to the charm of the Victorian and early 20th century buildings are streetcars, horse-drawn carriages and a series of unique arches.
Among the historic buildings and tourist destinations in the Strand are:
The Grand 1894 Opera House
The Tremont House Hotel
United States National Bank
The Railroad Museum (Shearn Moody Plaza)
The Cotton Exchange
The Stewart Building
The Maritime Museum
St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica
Trinity Episcopal Church
and many other historic buildings housing art galleries, shops and restaurants to satisfy every taste.
Galveston Railroad Museum
the Galveston Railroad Museum is a complex of historic facilities and unique attractions. Towering at the head of the Strand, the vast Railroad Museum boasts one of the largest restored railroad collections in the southwest, and one of the five largest in the country, with numerous railroad memorabilia and exhibits, including more than 40 pieces of locomotives and rolling stock. South East Texas’ most popular railroad museum, there is something here for everyone!
Throughout the year, experience lavishly restored trains, engaging exhibits, and unique special events. Most Saturdays, the Museum offers rides aboard the “Harborside Express” train between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. boarding every 20 minutes.