Galveston is located on a barrier island, and the prosperous town has all sorts of fun things to do pre- or post-cruise, including beaches, amusement and water parks, and several sights on the National Register of Historic Places. The well-located cruise terminal gets you easy access to The Strand, the historic downtown district where you'll find Victorian buildings that now house museums, shops, bars, and restaurants for a lively scene.
What We Love
Good Eats: Galveston's Gulf of Mexico location has everything to do with the local cuisine. Gulf shrimp is a specialty and is featured along with other daily catches at restaurants in The Strand. You'll also find quality Tex-Mex (the best of which uses the fresh seafood).
Great Shopping: The Strand is where you'll find Galveston's wide variety of stores. There's something for everyone here, from clothing boutiques to art galleries, funky jewelry stores to antique shops. It's hard to leave without a trinket or two.
Best Known For
The Beaches and Seawall: Galveston has more than 30 miles of beaches, and the long, 17-foot-high seawall is the perfect place for a long walk or bike ride with views of the Gulf of Mexico.
Moody Gardens: At this marquee island attraction, giant pyramids house a 10-story rain forest, an aquarium, science exhibits created with NASA, and an IMAX theater.
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Who It's Best For
Families: The area's walkability, beachfront, and waterfront attractions make it easy to keep the kids entertained while in port.
Night Owls: Galveston stays going after dark, with everything from casual pubs for a pint of ale to rooftop lounges with pricey cocktails and views of the Gulf.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Timing Is Everything: Galveston may only be 50 miles from Houston, but it's a haul on highways that can get clogged with traffic. Make sure you plan your incoming flight or drive with room to spare, or you'll chance missing your ship.
Fran Golden is a Cleveland-based contributor to ShermansCruise who also writes for USA Today.