Galveston - Facts on the Island and City

Due to its enormity, people don't think of Texas as a coastal state. Yet, it has the sixth longest in the continental U.S. At the top of its 367-mile coastline, about an hour from Houston, is the city-island of Galveston.

The island and the city

Located in the Gulf of Mexico, Galveston Island measures 27 miles long and is no more than three miles across at its widest point. The city of Galveston, on the northeast portion of the island, is home to 50,000 permanent residents. This increases during the summer months.

How to get there
Out-of-state visitors arrive at one of Houston's two airports. From there, they can take a service like the Galveston Shuttle to transport them. Those who drive take Interstate 45 directly to the island. People who want to travel by rail can take Amtrak's Texas Eagle service from Houston into the coastal city. 

Cruising out of Galveston
In addition to being a city filled with all the amenities of a beach area, Galveston is also a cruise ship port. Royal Caribbean and Carnival are the two main lines which depart from the Port of Galveston. Their destination are the islands of either the Eastern or Western Caribbean. And, because of its mild year-round temperatures, cruises can be scheduled for any time of the year.

What to do?
For such a small area, the city-island of Galveston has a lot to offer. Some examples:

  • Camp or hike at the 2000-acre Galveston Island State Park
  • Walk along the soft sands of the Gulf-side Sunny Beach
  • Visit the aquarium and zip-line at Moody Gardens
  • Get wet at the year-round Schlitterbahn Waterpark
  • Go back in time with a visit to Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier

When to go
With its location in the Gulf of Mexico, you can visit Galveston any time of year. Summer is the best as all the attractions are open. And though it can be rainy, winter is also a prime time to visit. 



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