Travel Thoughts by Kim

By Orleans Hub Posted 13 May 2023 at 3:00 pm

Let’s go on an adventure together….to Galveston!

Let’s continue on with the next stop on my recent Texas Adventure. If you didn’t get to read the first article in this series, either scroll back two weeks to find what I wrote about the Houston area OR put “Houston” in the search box to bring it up. Part Two in the series is all about Galveston, TX.

Day Three of my trip – it was a Wednesday – I left Conroe, TX after breakfast and drove about 90 miles south on I-45 to Galveston. One of my main goals for this adventure was to visit a Gulf Coast city so I could get some good seafood and I chose Galveston. It turned out to be a good choice.

The city of Galveston is situated on Galveston Island – a barrier island off the Texas Gulf Coast near the mainland. The island is oriented generally northeast-southwest, with the Gulf of Mexico on the east and south, West Bay on the west, and Galveston Bay on the north side. The island’s main access point from the mainland is the Interstate Highway 45 causeway.

Something you really need to be prepared for when going to Galveston is that most of the parking is paid parking – either paid lots or metered parking on the streets. And, I don’t know about off seasons, but the traffic was really heavy while I was there and I imagine during peak seasons it is even worse with everyone trying to get as close to the beaches and attractions as possible – it is a small island. Because of the traffic and parking, there weren’t a lot of safe places to pull over for quick photos, which I was sad about. But, I have my memories! It really is a beautiful island and I’m sorry I only planned to spend one day/night there.

I spent most of my time driving all over the island – mostly along the Seawall Blvd so that I could check out the beaches and see as much of the island as I could. It was a gorgeous day to be near the water and to take a nice cruise on Galveston Bay.

I had booked a Dolphin Cruise on Galveston Bay. I love water tours and tend to look for them whenever I’m in an area with an interesting shoreline, lake, river, or the like. It is always great to see the area from the water! The cruise took off from Pier 21. I got there a bit early, so I wandered around the pier and decided to have lunch at Willie G’s Steaks and Seafood right on the pier. They had outdoor seating and I enjoyed an amazing lunch of shrimp cocktail and lobster bites (tempura battered chunks of lobster) and a glass of sweet tea! It was so delicious – I was in heaven – it was a great way to check off “eat some good seafood” from the list of goals for the adventure.

On the cruise, we saw several dolphins, pelicans, and other water birds. There was a pirate ship replica docked at Pier 21 as well as a tall ship. The coolest thing we saw on the cruise was the SS Selma – a WWI concrete tanker ship that was scuttled in shallow waters in Galveston Bay in 1920. The ship was made entirely of concrete and sits in the bay partially submerged and partially up out of the water. They attempted to pull it to shore, but there was too much damage to it, so they decided to just leave it there as a warning to other ships of the shallow waters in the bay. If you have your own boat, you can anchor near it and swim over to board it and explore. We also got a glimpse of the USS Texas battleship that is dry docked in Galveston Bay undergoing repairs to the floating museum. The USS Texas is the only battleship that survived both WWI and WWII and is one of the oldest surviving naval ships, having turned 100 years old in 2014.

The hotel I chose was the LaQuinta Galveston West Seawall. It was an awesome choice that I would definitely recommend if you’re in Galveston. It wasn’t technically “waterfront”, so the price was a tad less expensive than the waterfront hotels, but it was right behind a row of waterfront ones, so it was just a short walk to the beaches across Seawall Blvd – GREAT location! The hotel was clean and comfortable, had a very good free breakfast, and an amazing shower! Great choice!

One attraction I wish I had known about sooner was Moody Gardens! It has pyramids with aquariums and a tunnel that you walk through while sharks swim all around and above you, monkeys that wander around loose, and other cool stuff to do. But, I learned about it while on the cruise – our guides talked about it. I looked it up and the tickets were very pricey – too much to make it worth it to pay for entry so late in the day.

But, I think it is something to definitely look into putting on any agenda for a visit to Galveston. There are also piers that go out into the Gulf of Mexico that have rides and restaurants and shops all along them. Lots of stuff to do…..if only I had allowed more time there! But — I really just wanted to see the coast and eat seafood, so I wasn’t thinking about maybe wanting to do other things, too! Hahaha But, my mind is racing with thoughts of taking a cruise ship out of Galveston sometime so that I can spend a couple days leading up to or after the cruise doing some of the things I missed on this trip. Hhhhmmm – yep, a definite possibility.

Check out my blog post with more photos of Galveston here: My next article in two weeks will focus on San Antonio.

Happy Adventuring!
Kim Pritt