Downtown Travel Guide

Downtown Summary

Pros

  • The Strand historic district has museums, inns, restaurants, and shops housed in beautiful 19th-century buildings
  • Home to Galveston's businesses
  • Great seafood
  • Many budget-friendly hotel options

Cons

  • A long walk from the beach
  • Temperatures during the summer are often in the 90s
  • Few luxury hotel options

What It's Like

Downtown, toward the northeast end of the island and protected from the open ocean by Pelican Island, is the hub of activity in Galveston and home to its quaint historic districts. The better-known historic district is The Strand, with streets lined by historic buildings. These old homes are now filled by restaurants, art galleries, antique shops, and even museums. The wharf is also just a short walk away. The East End historic district is where Galveston's silk-stocking industry was formerly based, and it is also home to several museums.

Galveston was once Texas's thriving commercial center, but the downtown area was devastated by the 1900 hurricane and most businesses chose to move to Houston. Still, the downtown area is home to several large businesses, including the America National Insurance Company.

Where to Stay

Good news: Finding a budget-friendly hotel in Downtown Galveston is an easy feat. Vistors can find charming options in and near The Strand district where cute inns and B&Bs are housed in historic buildings.  

Facts

Languages:

English

Airport:

George Bush Intercontinental Airport

William P. Hobby Airport

Peak:

May - Aug.

Off-peak:

Sept. - April

Visa:

No, for nationalities included in the Visa Waiver Program

Vaccines:

No

Currency:

U.S. Dollar

Electricity:

120 V, 60 Hz

Tipping:

15-20% in restaurants

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