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Last summer, Marco went to Houston for a car thing and I was in need of a long weekend somewhere fun. So, what did I do? I booked myself a hotel for a few nights in Galveston for my Texas weekend getaway. I know quite a few people who really like this little island off the Texas coast. The first time I went was probably around 2006 or 2007  (before Hurricane Ike hit in 2008 for sure). Marco’s brother was visiting us and we went on a road trip: San Antonio, Austin, Houston, and then Dallas on the way back to Lubbock. When we were in Houston, we decided on a day trip to Moody Gardens and an afternoon at the beach in Galveston. Moody Gardens was nice, but what I remember most of the day is how disappointed I was with the beach. I hadn’t ever been to the Texas coast and just expected a beach with nice water to jump into and cool down in the Texas summer heat… We got to the beach, parked at the Seawall somewhere, I walked to the water, and… barely put my feet in. The water was kind of dark, there was a whole bunch of seaweed and jelly fish floating around, and the water was really, really warm (imagine a hot bath). Yikes! In the end we still had a fun afternoon and just hung out at one of the restaurants nearby enjoying a view of the sea with a cool drink in hand.

Wen I planned my getaway to Galveston this time around, I wasn’t planning on going in the Gulf of Mexico to start out with. That was purely based on my impressions from our previous trip there and before I even found out through some research online that some of the jelly fish in Galveston are actually man-o-wars, the really purple jelly fish with long, long tentacles that sting anything that gets close to them. No thanks! Either way, I had my mind set on long walks at the beach instead and maybe a few drinks with a girlfriend from Houston who decided to join me for the day. The City of Galveston provides a map of beaches that is pretty helpful. However, my friend and I just drove west along the Seawall Boulevard until we hit a big parking lot right by the beach, got out, and started walking. It was pretty with the houses quite far in the distance and not too many people out and about. Later that afternoon we went closer to the pier (Souvenir Pier), parked close to the Hotel Galvez, and walked around the public beaches there for a while. I liked this area as you can walk for quite a while in either direction, but they also have nice restaurants or bar you can stop at for something to eat or drink.

Our hotel didn’t have a pool, but what they did have was a deal with the Hotel Galvez that we could use theirs. Perfect! So after all the walking and eating and seeing water without being able to go into it, we headed straight for the pool. Well, I’m lying… you obviously can get in the Gulf of Mexico of course and I saw plenty of people swim in it and kids playing in it. I honestly was just too afraid of all the potentially mean jelly fish, didn’t like all the seaweed floating around, and the water was too warm to be considered cooling. There you have it, I prefer a pool over the sea in some cases. Luckily, the pool at the Galvez is really awesome with cooling water, nice palm trees, and pelicans flying above your head. What more can a girl ask for on a weekend at the beach anyways?

Check out the pictures below to get an impression of Galveston Beaches and head on over to Travel Photo Thursday for more travel pics from around the world.

Galveston Texas

Galveston Beaches: Driving to Galveston

Galveston Beach: West Side of the Island

Galveston Beach: West Side of the Island

Souvenir Pier at the Seawall Boulevard

Galveston Beach: West of Hotel Galvez

Galveston Beach: West of Hotel Galvez

Fish Tales

Galveston Beach: lunch at the Fish Tales

Galveston Beach in front of the Hotel Galvez

Galveston Beach East of Hotel Galvez

Galveston Beach: Hotel Galvez

Galveston Beach: view toward Seawall Boulevard from Hotel Galvez

Hotel Galvez Pool

watching pelicans fly over the the Hotel Galvez Pool

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50 Comments

  • Leah Travels says:

    Galveston is a neat town. Being in Houston, I don’t mind making the drive for the day for a change of scenery. You certainly don’t go to Galveston looking for picturesque beaches. The problem with the Gulf of Mexico and the water around Texas is that the Mississippi River dumps a lot of sand into the Gulf that makes it brown. Add to that the refineries and such in the area, and you get brown water. Think about it. Why is Cancun water so pretty while our water is ugly?

    Galveston is getting a new family attraction called the Pleasure Pier supposedly opening Memorial Day. They didn’t consult me about the name, but to me it sounds more like a whorehouse on the harbor or brothel on the boardwalk. Just sayin’ 😉
    Leah Travels recently posted..I Hate Cruises

    • Sabrina says:

      It really is pretty! And I can only imagine how fun it must have been before Ike hit. I have a second post planned with some more pics from the Strand, etc. Pleasure Pier? Hahahaha. Who came up with that?? By the way, I still haven’t been to Cancun. I so wanna go!

  • Leigh says:

    When I first saw the beaches of Galveston I was disappointed to see cars driving on them – always wonder how much that upsets the wildlife. Is that still happening? However, even if there are a ton of jellyfish, nothing beats a long walk on the beach.
    Leigh recently posted..Scenes from Ireland’s Skellig Islands

    • Sabrina says:

      I didn’t see that, but I think some of the parking lots were really close to the beach on parts of the sand. And yes, the jellyfish didn’t bother me at all when walking 🙂 Just wouldn’t wanna swim with them!

  • I like the pool idea! I wished that I’d been able to go to Galveston on my trip to Houston a couple months ago. Looks like a great place to kick back for a while.
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..Shades of Green for Earth Day

    • Sabrina says:

      We just figured teasing ourselves with water by walking at it all day without being to cool off in any would be too much 🙂 That’s how we decided a pretty pool was a must! It really is a nice place. I like all the restaurants and bars by the sea – I can only image how cool it was before Ike hit. However, they are rebuilding a lot, so maybe it’ll all come back. Even right now though it’s a fun place to visit.

  • Huh. I had no idea that the beaches in Texas weren’t so nice. Oh well, at least the pool looks awesome!
    Andi at The Particular Traveler recently posted..Five Reasons I Love India

    • Sabrina says:

      I’ve heard that South Padre has some really, really pretty ones. As I said, the ones in Galveston were nice to walk at – they just didn’t appeal to me for swimming.

  • While I love a nice stroll down the beach, I’ve always been more of a pool girl in terms of getting in the water;-) Fantastic idea with the pool, and it looks gorgeous surrounded by the palm trees!
    Jess @UsedYorkCity recently posted..5 Things You Should Know About Bristol, England

    • Sabrina says:

      Thanks! I loved that from that pool you could still kind of hear and see the actual sea. Perfect compromise!

  • Lisa says:

    The pool is lovely! I’m more of a pool girls as well – don’t like to walk in water that isn’t crystal clear – and if I knew there were jellyfish around then I wouldn’t go anywhere near it!
    Lisa recently posted..A Return to Eze

    • Sabrina says:

      No kidding! And that water was kind of muddy, so you couldn’t even see all the jelly fish that were there…. no way I’m going in!

  • Jessica says:

    You need to go to South Padre! You would really enjoy the beaches there!
    Jessica recently posted..Art Car Museum

    • Sabrina says:

      I heard that South Padre is much more beautiful! It’s on my wishlist, but it’s so far from here that we never made it so far. Have you been? What’s the best time of year to go? Any inside tips?

  • That is funny – Texas is NOT known for it’s beaches – that is why we all go to FL! I love the Hotel Galvez – the rooms are beautiful too!

    Have a great weekend!
    Becca@RWeThereYetMom? recently posted..Friday Daydreamin’: Texas Love

    • Sabrina says:

      Florida is where I wanna go to the beach too 🙂 The hotel was in fact beautiful! Didn’t see the rooms as I stayed in another hotel, the Tremont House. Both seem like really nice properties.

  • It’s interesting to see other beaches particularly at states not known for them. The only thing I know of Galveston is that it’s a major cruise port. We were thinking of taking one from there but was just a logistical nightmare with rental car returns and not too close to a major airport. beautiful looking hotel, though.
    Mary @ The World Is A Book recently posted..Walking through the Land of the Giants

    • Sabrina says:

      I can imagine! You’d have to fly into Houston and then make your way to Galveston – I always wondered how it’s such a popular cruise port being comparatively remote.

  • Dick Jordan says:

    Looked at heading to this area years ago when one sister-in-law lived in Texas, but alas, never made it there.
    Dick Jordan recently posted..Travel Canada: Rail Journeys

    • Sabrina says:

      It’s nice for a weekend trip if you’re in the area, but I think there are probably nicer areas to visit – especially if it’s beaches you want.

  • Laurel says:

    I was disappointed that you can’t swim in the ocean at Galveston, although I liked the beaches and our hotel also had a pool, thankfully.
    Laurel recently posted..Rome Coliseum: Day or Night?

    • Sabrina says:

      Have you been there, Laurel? When? I was very disappointed the first time around as well… I saw many people swimming in the ocean, but it just wasn’t all that appealing to me.

  • Denise says:

    AAhhh beaches…there is nowhere in the world I’d rather be.
    Denise recently posted..Picture Perfect: Singapore Botanical Gardens and Orchid Garden

  • Could use a bit of cleaning there, I wouldn’t want to go in either.
    But look at those birds? Perfect formation. Nice shots, Sabrina!
    InsideJourneys recently posted..Travel Photo Thursday: Clouds

    • Sabrina says:

      Thanks! I loved the pelican formation. It was beautiful just to lay at the pool and look at them flying above our heads all afternoon in different formations.

  • R. Sherman says:

    I’ve yet to discover better Gulf Of Mexico beaches than on the Florida Panhandle, especially the Destin area. White sand, clear, calm, shallow water. Really beautiful. The downside is all the development.

    The town of Galveston looks quite nice, though, provided your hotel has a pool.

    Cheers.
    R. Sherman recently posted..A PSA

    • Sabrina says:

      I heard that the best ones are in the Florida Panhandle or a little further south of the Florida coast. I would love to see them for myself one day. I might get a chance to visit Orlando for a conference later this year, but I think that’s still quite a trip from there too. We’ll see!

    • Pit says:

      Hi Sherman,
      Try a cabin in Port Aransas or, if you like a quaint little town more, in Rockport. Both can be recommended for the (Texas) Gulf Coast.
      Best regards,
      Pit
      Pit recently posted..Deer Ridge Cottage

      • Sabrina says:

        Maybe at one point in the future. It’s just so far from here! I’ll contact you for suggestions if we get the chance to go.

        • Pit says:

          It certainly IS quite a ways. That’s why, as much as we like (the) Fort Davis (area) or even Taos/NM, we are thinking of the Hill Country here for relocating, since we don’t really want to be that far from the beach.
          Pit recently posted..Deer Ridge Cottage

          • Sabrina says:

            The Hill Country is beautiful! And I love that it’s so close to Austin and San Antonio.

          • Pit says:

            Hi Sabrina,
            Keep your fingers crossed for us that we’ll find a nice place there and you’ll be invited to come and visit!
            Take care,
            Pit
            Pit recently posted..Deer Ridge Cottage

          • Sabrina says:

            Thanks! And of course I’ll keep my fingers crossed. Which area are you looking exactly?

  • Andrea says:

    I’ve never seen a photo of a Texas beach before! Looks tropical and relaxing down there =)
    Andrea recently posted..My Travel Inspirations

  • Sophie says:

    Tyre marks on the beach! Only in the USA 🙂
    Sophie recently posted..Do bears…

  • I always laugh when I think of Texas beaches – it’s just not something I associate with the state. It’s funny though because I know Texas has a lot of great coastline that’s quite popular for holidays. I just can’t wrap my mind around it, lol.

  • Pit says:

    Hi Sabrina,
    Interesting article about Galveston. I haven’t been there up to now, even if it’s not far from here [Karnes City]. We prefer to go to Port Aransas, which is just about 90 minutes from here. It’s definitely smaller [more family-recreation-like] than Galveston, but we like it a lot. Maybe just because of that atmosphere. But Galveston with all its attractions is on the bucket list, too.
    As to the seaweeds: those can be a problem at the Gulf Coast, but only after (strong) winds from the southwest. That drives them onto the beach. But I’ve often found the beach at Port A (nearly) free of any. And then it’s fun.
    As to the water temperature: I really like them as they are. Even at 82 degrees, which the water can easily be during the summer, it is still refreshingly cooler than the air. I must admit, I’ve never been one for cold water! 😉
    Best regards from Karnes City, and take care,
    Pit
    Pit recently posted..Deer Ridge Cottage

  • Pit says:

    Hi Sabrina,
    Looks like I can’t answer at the original post any longer; so I’m writing a new comment.
    We’re looking for property in or around Fredericksburg or waterside property on Lake LBJ.
    Have a great weekend,
    Pit
    Pit recently posted..Deer Ridge Cottage

  • I grew up just an hour’s drive away from Galveston. The warmth of the Gulf of Mexico has spoiled me for all the other beaches I’ve been to except for Hawaii. Whenever I get in the water in California, Washington State or the Northeast (Maine, Cape Cod), I can’t help wishing for the bathtub temperature of Galveston waters. Yes, it’s brown and murky, but it’s warm. I’ve never been stung by a jellyfish either. Right before college graduation, a bunch of my friends headed down there for the weekend. The guys really wanted to sleep on the beach, but I wouldn’t let them. Good thing! The next morning there were tire tracks all over where they were planning to bed down.
    Michele @ Malaysian Meanders recently posted..10 Foods Americans Miss Most

    • Sabrina says:

      You saved those guys! That sounds scary driving out there at night. I think it’s probably as with everything else… you like best what you grow up with. For me, water is ideally somewhat cool and refreshing. Too warm freaks me out. Oh, and the color is even more important 🙂

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