We all know that Galveston doesn’t have the best beaches in the world, but they’re better than nothing. The city itself is actually quite charming if you know where to go. From the historic buildings of the Strand to beachfront restaurants to a putt-putt course with giant seashells and fire-breathing dragons, this quick trip promises to be the best beach day you’ve ever had in Texas.
1. Crystal Beach
Our trip kicks off at Crystal Beach, a popular tourist destination that can definitely be more chaotic than relaxing in the afternoon. Luckily, we're getting there early enough to watch the sunrise before any of the beachgoers arrive. With a start this tranquil, the day is already shaping up to be an unforgettable one.
2. Magic Carpet Golf
After spending an hour or two soaking up the serenity that is a morning dip in the ocean, we'll head over to one of the most underrated activities on the island: Magic Carpet Golf. You've never seen a putt-putt course quite like this, y'all. Giant seashells, a terrifying dragon, and a chicken that excretes your ball are just a few of the quirky obstacles you'll face. The whole family is sure to have an absolute blast.
9030 Seawall Blvd., Galveston, TX 77554
3. The Spot
Your stomach is bound to be grumbling by now, which is perfect because it's lunchtime! We'll be eating at The Spot, a laid-back beachfront restaurant with breathtaking views of the water (especially if you sit outside on the balcony!) Juicy burgers, monstrous salads, and scrumptious seafood dishes make up the menu, and a huge topping/condiment bar lets you load up on all your favorite fixings at no extra cost.
3204 Seawall Blvd., Galveston, TX 77550
4. East Beach
With a solid meal in your belly, it's time again to go catch some waves. We're headed to East Beach, a spot much less-frequented because it faces the Houston/Galveston Ship Channel rather than the Gulf of Mexico. Nevertheless, it's still an enchanting spot to visit — especially because there are cannons from WWII on the grounds! It's also a popular fishing spot known for high activity, so don't forget your poles!
5. The Strand
It wouldn't be a trip to Galveston without a stroll through the historic Strand. Marvel at the old-fashioned, New Orleans-style architecture, pop into a couple boutiques and stop to enjoy the sound of live music drifting through the air. It doesn't get much more blissful than this.
Dinnertime has finally arrived, and we hope you're hungry. Gaido's has been around since 1911, making it the oldest continuously operating restaurant on the island. The freshness of the seafood and expertise of the chefs who prepare it is evident in every bite, whether you go with pecan-encrusted catfish or blackened tuna.
3828 Seawall Blvd., Galveston, TX 77550
7. Galveston Island State Park
The day is drawing to a close, but one more outdoor stop is in order before night falls. So many people have never heard of this hidden gem, which means there's a good chance you'll have the place all to yourself. It's no ocean, but the rustle of tall grass gently swaying in the wind is one of the most relaxing sounds on the planet. You just might find inner peace as the sun sets over the boardwalk.
14901 FM3005, Galveston, TX 77554
8. La King's Confectionary
Two final places round out the trip, and they both involve food (are you surprised?) La King's Confectionary is easily the most charming place in the city. The whole place looks like a 1950s ice cream parlor, from the antiquated decor to the workers dressed in red and white churning homemade saltwater taffy. Grab a cone, pull up a stool, and reminisce on cherished memories with the ones you love most. Oh, and don't forget to bring home a bag full of goodies!
2323 Strand St., Galveston, TX 77550
9. Sugar Bean Coffee & Cream
You're probably exhausted after such a fun-filled day (in the best way possible, of course), so what better way to perk up for the drive home than a steaming cup of Joe? Sugar Bean Coffee & Cream is a quaint little coffeehouse on the island's West side, in a community called Evia. After placing your order, you'll definitely want to explore the grounds for a few minutes before heading out. There's a pavilion with a swing overlooking a gorgeous blue lake, and the most adorable bunnies can be spotted hopping around in the bushes. What a spectacular ending to this short and sweet road trip!
11 Evia Main, Galveston, TX 77554