The Texas coast draws millions of visitors to its beautiful 367 miles of glorious beaches, warm waters, seaside activities, and quaint beach towns. But did you ever wonder which town is the best place to live on the Texas Gulf Coast? Let’s find out!
Galveston is considered one of Texas’ most fabulous holiday destinations and the best place to live on the Texan coast. Galveston has some of the most spectacular beaches, 30 miles of exquisite shorelines, beachfront homes, historic architecture, scenic views, and plenty of outdoor activities.
Galveston is a traditional seaside town with many seaside attractions to enjoy and one of the most affordable places to live on the Texas coast. Let’s explore Galveston to see why it is so popular and loved by many.
Galveston – The Best Place to Live on the Texas Coast
Galveston is just 50-miles southeast of Houston. Its 32-mile shoreline is filled with beautiful beach houses; it’s no wonder it is known as one of Texas’s most charming beach towns.
Galveston is filled with fascinating historic architecture, gourmet restaurants, charming places to stay, and endless ways to enjoy the outdoors. It is considered one of the best places to stay because it offers so much.
Explore Galveston Beaches
Galveston has plenty of beaches to explore, whether you’re horseback riding at East Beach, having fun with the kids at Stewart Beach, or enjoying a family picnic on the West End beach. Galveston’s 32 miles of pristine sandy beaches are an excellent destination for anyone who loves the surf.
The East Beach public beach park is at Galveston’s East End beach, where you can play volleyball, grab a bite to eat at one of the many food stalls, or attend a festival or concert that is always happening during summer. The A.I.A. Sandcastle Competition is held annually with jaw-dropping displays by sandcastle artists.
Stewart Beach offers a lovely quiet spot on the north side of Galveston’s famous Seawall and only a short walk to restaurants.
West End Beach
Most of Galveston’s beachfront homes are on the West End beach along the Seawall. West End Beach has a tranquil atmosphere with its natural dunes and shoreline.
West Galveston Bay
The Bay has the best views of the island from the charming beach houses, and the calm waters are perfect for fishing and boating.
Galveston’s east end is a nature lover’s paradise, perfect for watching birds or kayaking. East End Lagoon is ecologically the most remarkable stretch of untouched land on Galveston.
East End Lagoon Nature Park opened a nature trail that lets visitors explore the lagoon’s 600 acres of the coastal area.
Island State Park – Birding Paradise
The 2000-acre Galveston Island State Park is the best place to enjoy spectacular sea views, hiking trails, birdlife, kayaking, swimming, fishing, camping, or simply breathing in the warm sea breezes while enjoying a family picnic at the beach. Bring your binoculars when you hike along the Heron’s or Caracara trails to view many bird species that call this park their home.
The multiple saltwater marshes, lagoons, and natural grasslands are a vital habitat for more than 300 species of birds and wildlife that call the state park their home.
You will be able to see crested caracaras and several migrating bird species that stopover on Galveston Island each year.
Historic Galveston- Much to See and Do
Galveston Island is a luxurious beach destination, but it is also known for its rich and diverse history, unlike any other state.
Take a bike ride or walk through the charming historic neighborhoods complete with historical architecture like Queen Anne, Victorian and Greek Revival styles dating from the 1800s.
Even though the 1900 hurricane changed the island drastically, it still retained much of its beauty to this day.
The 1895 historic Moody mansion in Galveston is on Broadway Avenue and is open to visitors daily. Take a step back through time and explore this sophisticated mansion filled with luxurious furnishings and heirlooms.
At The Bryan Museum, you can view one of the world’s most significant historical art collections, documents, and artifacts related to Texas and the American Frontier.
At the Galveston Naval Museum, you can explore the decks of the U.S. Stewart, a WWII destroyer escort, and the U.S. Cavalla was, a Navy WWII submarine famous for sinking a Japanese aircraft carrier.
Stop at the Galveston Railroad Museum to see the most extensive railroad collection with more than 20,000 railroad artifacts, restored trains, freight cars, and passenger cars.
The Texas Seaport Museum is where the 1877 Tall Ship Elissa found her final resting place at Pier 21. The three-masted Elissa was built in Scotland and is one of the world’s oldest sailing ships today.
The Seaport Museum recounts the sea trade that took place in the second busiest port in the United States during the 1800s.
At Pier 20, you can tour the Ocean Star Offshore drilling rig museum, home to the old jack-up rig.
Explore the interactive pirate museum that exhibits several pirate-related artifacts, a pirate ship deck, a captain’s cabin, and actors enacting the pirate crew of notorious Captain Jean Laffite, who made Galveston his home base in the 1800s.
Downtown Historic Tour
Exploring historic Galveston with a tour guide from Galveston Historical Tours is a great idea. A tour guide will better explain the history and unique architecture in landmark downtown Galveston.
The Seawall Boulevard is famous for the fantastic views of the Gulf of Mexico, and features, restaurants, cafés, condos, hotels, and quaint family-owned lodges. The award-winning San Luis Resort and the historic Grand Galvez resort are some of Galveston’s best attractions on Seawall.
At the Strand main street, you will find striking iron-front buildings filled with boutique stores, gift shops, restaurants, and art galleries.
Here you can start your day with an espresso or latte at M.O.D. Coffeehouse, then walk to the Hendley Market to browse through the array of antiques, Victorian jewelry, and vintage artifacts and grab a bite to eat at Willie G’s or the Fisherman’s Wharf.
Places to Eat in Galveston
What is better than delicious food after a fun-filled day at the beach. Galveston has many restaurants that offer mouthwatering food in lovely settings overlooking the ocean.
La King’s Confectionery
If you have a sweet tooth, stop by La King’s Confectionery, a local candy and ice cream shop established in 1920 for the best ice cream and candy in town.
If you visit on weekends, you will be able to see how they make toffee firsthand. Their old-fashioned soda fountain is a blast from the past. Choose your favorite ice cream or homemade candies like hand-dipped chocolates, pecan pralines, or fudge.
Marios’s Italian Restaurant at Seawall
Their pizzas and impeccable service at Mario’s will leave you wanting more. This superb Italian restaurant offers the finest hand-tossed pizzas, cannoli, and plates of pasta in Galveston.
The Mosquito Café
The Mosquito Café is a great little café in a historic 1870s building with the best homemade breakfasts, salads, soups, and sandwiches.
Sunflower Café and Bakery
The Sunflower Café and Bakery serves freshly baked bread and an all-day menu with meals like beef stroganoff, fresh seafood, and fish and chips on the menu.
Jimmy’s on The Pier
You won’t find seafood fresher anywhere than what you’ll find at Jimmy’s on the Pier. The food tastes even better when you enjoy the ocean views along the Seawall.
Enjoy wine tastings at the upscale Porch Café. This lovely restaurant’s menu features gourmet seafood, and the best steak served on the wraparound balcony on East Beach.
The Spot is Galveston’s top beachfront American eatery with beautiful open-air sea views. At The Spot, indulge in hamburgers, chicken wings, sandwiches, and tempting cocktails to wash it all down.
There are many outdoor activities to enjoy in Galveston for the whole family. Galveston is one of the best places to live in Texas because it has something to offer everyone.
Out and About in Galveston
The East End Historic District hosts the Galveston Tree Sculptures, sculptures carved from fallen Oak trees recovered after Hurricane Ike. It is easy to find them on a walkabout tour.
Watch The Dolphins Play
You can watch the dolphins play in Galveston on a Dolphin tour. They don’t disappoint with their frolicking in the surf and are always ready for a photo. From Pier 21, book a boat ride with Baywatch Dolphin or Galveston Harbor Tour to view the dolphins at play.
We all Love Turtles
The island’s new public art tour, Town Turtles, exhibits twenty different turtle monuments painted by local artists. You can view the huge turtles at several places throughout Galveston on tour.
At Moody Gardens, you can play amongst monkeys and macaws and monkeys in a tropical Rainforest Pyramid, and the next minute finds yourself gazing up at sharks swimming overhead.
The Rainforest Pyramid transports you to the rainforests of Africa, the Americas, and Asia in an instant, where exotic animals and plants surround you.
Step into the Aquarium Pyramid to be transported deep under the oceans to view wonderful sea life like jellyfish, penguins, and seals.
Take The Galveston Hurricane Tour
Book a place on the Galveston Hurricane Tour to witness scenes from the tragic 1900 hurricane that earned the title of the worst storm in U.S. history. At Galveston’s old grade raising canal, you will learn why it is vital to elevate the historic homes in flood risk areas.
The lovely Seawall Interpretive Trail is a project that includes seventy mosaic tile benches that were hand-painted and forms a trail along Galveston’s historic Seawall. These benches explain Galveston’s history, ecology, and economy.
Horse Back Riding on the Beach
Enjoy a lovely day of horseback riding on one of Galveston’s favorite beaches. The Galveston Island Horse and Pony Rides are where you can rent horses to ride along the East Beach shoreline that include a beautiful natural lagoon.
People who would rather spend the day casting a line into the ocean. Galveston Island has plenty of places where you can fish.
The Seawall and piers are perfect for catching trout, bull reds, and croaker. At Seawolf Park, you fish for flounder. Book an offshore fishing charter to hook red snapper or mackerel.
The Bay is the place for beginners wanting to fish from smaller boats. If you would rather fish from land, the fishing piers at Seawolf Park and along the Seawall feature Galveston’s best fishing spots.
Adventure Activities in Galveston
While the beach will have you feeling relaxed, there are adrenaline-filled activities for the more adventurous.
At Skydive Galveston, you can take in the ultimate bird’s-eye view from thousands of feet above the earth or book a flight with Galveston Helicopters for an aerial tour of the island.
The Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier offers heart-pounding rides illuminated with vibrant sparkling neon lights.
The smell of freshly baked pizza, tasty hamburgers, and crispy funnel cakes on a historic pier is genuinely a one-of-a-kind of experience.
Get a shot of adrenaline as you ride the Iron Shark Rollercoaster or swing around the Texas Star Flyer while admiring the view from 200 feet high.
If you are less adventurous and want to enjoy something more relaxing, you will love stopping at the Pier’s many souvenir shops and eateries. Shop at Bubba Gump’s or Pelican’s Bag, or grab a sweet at Lolli and Pop’s Candy Store.
Galveston’s Schlitterbahn Waterpark is the place to be during summer, full of excitement for everyone. Ride the MASSIV Monster Blaster, the tallest water coaster in Texas. Enjoy the adrenaline rush as you slide through the Infinity Racers mat slide.
Raft slides, body tubes, and lazy rivers are just some of the multitude of attractions at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark. There is a kid’s play area, and the Wasserfest Heated Pool and Swim-Up Bar are where you can relax with a drink while cooling down in the water. Schlitterbahn Galveston is the place to be for a fun-filled day with the family.
Galveston is the best place to live on the Texas coast because it is affordable, family-friendly, has a rich history, beautiful natural beaches, historic buildings, art galleries, museums, great restaurants, souvenir shops, and adventure water parks. We hope you found this article informative and visit the lovely Galveston soon.