A Family Travel Guide to Galveston

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We recently took a family/work trip to Galveston, Texas and had a wonderful time. I got so many great recommendations of things to do and place to eat in Galveston from readers, that I wanted to document them here in a blog post for you. If you ever have the chance to take a little getaway to Galveston, this list will be a great guide. 

Galveston does not have a reputation for white sands and gorgeous beaches, but we found there was still lots to love. The water wasn't crystal clear and the beaches weren't white, but my boys loved it all. There are nice areas and not as nice areas, but overall it was a fun family getaway. 
Airbnb- We have stayed at several Airbnbs and we definitely prefer it to a hotel. We were really happy with the location of our rental this time. It was right off of the water and all we had to do was walk out to the beach. Our beach was also relatively private because we were staying in a gated community. This was the house we rented for our family and our work team.
Beach- We spent time at the beach everyday. I picked up some cheap beach toys at the store on our way in and the kids used those buckets to collect everything from shells to crabs during our stay. Sunscreen was a must, but otherwise the beach was a really cheap and easy activity.
Moody Gardens- Mood Gardens was a fun place to spend an afternoon. There is a lot to do there if you buy the all inclusive pass (which is pricey), but you can also pay for individual attractions. We paid to see a 4D movie and then to get into the Rain Forest Pyramid. They also have an Aquarium, a ropes course and more. 
La Kings Confectionery- This is an old fashioned candy store in old downtown Galveston. They have the cutest candy counter and old fashioned milkshakes. They also pull salt water taffy right in front of you, but only at scheduled times. We missed it when we were there. I let the kids each pick out two kinds of candy and they got their own little paper sack candy bag. They loved it!
Places to Eat- Shrimp and Stuff, The Spot, The Porch Cafe, Sunflower Bakery & Cafe, Giados.
Ferry Ride to Bolivar Peninsula - We did take the ferry ride and it was a new experience for the kids. It's free to walk-on and if you don't want to get off, walking on it the best way to do it. You can drive on, but you have to drive off and reload on the other side which would be a pain. It was about a 40 minute ride combined both ways. It's in a pretty industrial place so the views aren't super scenic, but you can sometimes see dolphins and you can feed the seagulls. The birds are CRAZY. They are pretty entertaining to feed because they can just hover and catch anything you throw in their mouths. Don't forget to bring bread with you to feed them. 
Pleasure Pier- This is a super cute amusement park right on the water. Its not huge, but it does have quite a few rides. It was very clean and well kept. The kids had a great time. 
Dolphin Tour- We took an hour boat ride out to see dolphins off of pier 21. We definitely saw dolphins, but it wasn't exactly what I expected. The dolphins are easy to spot near the big ships in the harbor. They feed on the fish that feed on the barnacles on the big ships so we basically hovered next to a Del Monte banana ship and saw several dolphins. It was very industrial though and not so tropical and pretty. 
Nasa Johnson Space Center- We spent and afternoon at Nasa on our way back to Houston. It was one of our favorite parts of the trip. You'll need at least three hours in order to get the most out of it. The 90 minute tour through the Nasa campus is a must and then you'll still have time to do the other activities in the main visitor's center. 
Other attractions- Galveston Railroad Museum, Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig and Museum, Galveston Historic Homes Museum, Schlitterban, and more. Houston is also relatively close and I'm sure the list could go on and on if you stopped there as well!
We had a great family/work trip in Galveston and my kids are already asking to go back. If you get the chance to stop there, hopefully this list gives you some easy ideas for places to eat and things to do in Galveston!

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