Kate Allen Stukenberg, Catherine D. Anspon, Jenny Antill, Erin Oppenheim, Sharon L. Taylor.
- May 01, 2012
Where to Eat
Bistro LeCroy, 2021 Strand, 409.762.4200 . This Strand-area Cajun hot spot is in full swing after an extensive remodel.
The Black Pearl, 23rd & Market St., 409.762.7299 . This downtown oyster bar, newly opened by restaurateur Rudy Betancourt, has an extensive menu ranging from seafood to rib-eyes and pork chops.
Bubba Gump Seafood Co., 2501 Seawall Blvd. on the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier; bubbagump.com. Opening in May, this family-friendly restaurant from the Landry’s hospitality group gets its name from the movie Forrest Gump. Its other claim to fame: 19 delicious shrimp preparations.
Cafe Michael Burger, 11150 Termini San Luis Pass Road
Best burgers at the beach. Wash them down with a cold German brew.
DiBella’s Italian Restaurant, 1902 31st St., 409.763.9036 . Locals keep this casual Italian kitchen crowded on Friday nights.
Eatcetera, 408 25th St.
, 409.762.0803; eatcetera.net.
Head downtown for gourmet sandwiches, paninis and salads.
Fish Tales, 2502 Seawall Blvd.
, 409.762.8545; fishtalesgalveston.com.
After you catch some rays on the beach, grab a bite at this beachfront seafood stop. It’s the best spot to watch the Fourth of July fireworks — if you can get there early enough to reserve a table.
Gaido’s, 3838 Seawall Blvd.,
An Island institution serving up surf-side seafood since 1911.
Gumbo Bar, 2105 Postoffice St.,
; littledaddysgumbobar.com; True to its name, the Gumbo Bar offers delicious Cajun cuisine, complemented by an impressive beer and wine list.
Gump on the Run, 25th St. and Seawall Blvd. on the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pie; bubbagump.com. A faster version of Bubba Gump Seafood Co. with a similar menu but faster meals for folks on the go. Opening in May.
The Lunchbox Cafe, 213 23rd St.,
Has your lunchbox ever looked this good? Fresh ingredients hand-picked from the farmers’ market come together to create an international menu of sandwiches and salads.
Mosquito Cafe, 628 14th St.,
Tucked away in the historic East End, this cafe is a must for trendy salads, sandwiches and pasta. Save room for dessert: The lemonade cake is to die for.
901 Postoffice, 901 Postoffice St.
, 409.762.1111 . This new culinary-fusion restaurant is located in a historic home with a covered salon and back patio.
Oasis Juice Bar & Market, 409 25th St., 409.762.8446; oasisjuicemarket.com. This aptly named addition offers organic fresh juices, smoothies and teas for breakfast and lunch, plus fresh produce.
Olympia Grill at Pier 21, Pier 21 and Harborside Dr., 409.765.0021; olympiapier21.com.
This stylish dining spot serves Gulf Coast seafood and an excellent harbor view. (For Greek dishes, visit sister property Olympia Grill on the Seawall, 4908 Seawall Boulevard.)
PattyCakes Bakery, 704 14th St.
, 409.762.2537; pattycakesgalveston.com.
A sweet creation by the brains behind the popular Mosquito Cafe, PattyCakes serves breakfast and lunch, along with French bread and a whole array of fantastic pastries.
Rudy & Paco, 2028 Postoffice St.,
; rudyandpaco.com; Leave the flip-flops and shorts at the beach house when dining at this Latin-inspired seafood and steak house.
Shearn’s Restaurant, 7 Hope Blvd.,
409.741.8484; moodygardenshotel.com . Grab dinner or just a drink at this top-floor restaurant for spectacular views of the pyramids of Moody Gardens and the sunset.
Shrimp n Stuff, 34th Blvd. at Ave. O,
409.763.2805; shrimpnstuff.com . A local favorite for more than 30 years, this Galveston institution has been recommended by Zagat’s Restaurant Survey.
ShyKatZ Deli & Bakery, 1528 Ave L,
ShyKatZ uses old family recipes to create a scrumptious breakfast and lunch menu.
The Sunflower Bakery and Café, 512 14th St.
, 409.763.5500; thesunflowerbakeryandcafe.com. This sweet bakery, housed in a historic building on the East End, serves savory soups and sandwiches for lunch and Sunflower’s famous Belgian waffles for brunch. Check the Web site for delicious Saturday dinner specials.
Willie G’s, 2100 Harbor Side,
This steak-and-seafood spot on the harbor side of the island has a whole new look. The remodeled contemporary interior offers great views of the ships rolling in.
For Sipping Cocktails
Bar None at Diamond Beach, 10327 Seawall Blvd.,
Sleek and modern, Bar None is in the elegant Diamond Beach mid-rise on West Beach.
The Beach Hut, 731 Seawall Blvd., 409.770.0089. The only bar on the seawall with beach access right off the patio boasts beautiful views of the Gulf and one of the largest palapas on the island. Listen to bands on the weekends, try out the swings and make-shift bowling alley underneath or indulge in beach-basic fare such as fish tacos, Tiki shrimp, burgers and sandwiches.
Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe , 413 20th St.,
Cut loose with a Lone Star to live music at the Old Quarter, which is reminiscent of Austin in the ’60s and ’70s.
The Poop Deck, 2928 Seawall Blvd.,
This legendary biker pub has a full bar, televised sports and a deck overlooking the Gulf.
Rooftop Terrace at The Tremont House, 2300 Ship’s Mechanic Row,
This hot spot on the roof of the historic Strand-area hotel debuts a new look this summer, with a lounge-like atmosphere. Enjoy a cool cocktail and a view of downtown at the only rooftop bar in town.
Sonny’s Place, 1206 19th St.,
Head to this dive to enjoy a cold mug of root beer and the best chili dogs in town.
You’ll find plenty of cocktails and a cover band every weekend at this hip downtown bar.
Where to Book a Night
Harbor House, Pier 21, 409.763.3321; harborhousepier21.com. This converted waterfront warehouse — Galveston’s only harbor-view hotel — offers spacious nautical-style guest rooms and perfect portside ship watching.
Hotel Galvez & Spa, A Wyndham Grand Hotel, 2024 Seawall Blvd.
; wyndam.com . Dubbed “The Queen of the Gulf” when it debuted in 1911, this historic property just completed the final phase of a stunning renovation in celebration of its 100th year. Check out the Hall of History in the lower level of the hotel. And stick around on Sunday for a spectacular brunch at Bernardo’s.
The San Luis Resort, 5222 Seawall Blvd.
, 409.744.1500; sanluisresort.com . This 30-acre luxury resort has multiple fine-dining options, bars, spa, tennis courts and the best pool experience on the island, H2O.
The Tremont House, 2300 Ship’s Mechanic Row, 409.763.0300; wyndhamtremonthouse.com.
This historic downtown European-style hotel, just steps from the Strand, recently reopened after an extensive renovation post-Hurricane Ike.
For Longer Than a Night
Beachtown, 630 Beachtown Dr.,
; beachtowngalveston.com . This charming residential beach village (we’re reminded of Seaside) at the east end of Galveston Island leases several of its properties. Contact the sales office for more details.
Diamond Beach , 10327 Seawall Blvd.,
409.497.4115; diamondbeachgalveston.com . This elegant West Beach mid-rise residential property has a spa and Bar None, Galveston’s first beach bar. However, if you’re longing for the magnificent outdoor lazy-river pools and the only indoor pool of its kind (designed with inspiration from Turkish baths), you’ll need to own a condo — or at least rent one.
Palisade Palms, 801 E. Beach Dr.
, 409.974.4635; palisadepalms.com . This luxury high-rise twin-tower property on East Beach has condos for lease on a weekly basis, starting at $1,850 a week. Choose from six floor plans and gain access to the resort-style amenities, including beautiful pools, tennis court, bicycles and a private boardwalk to the beach.
Sand N’ Sea Properties, 4127 Pirates Beach
, 409.797.5500; sandnsea.com.
Sand N’ Sea leases beach houses for a week, weekend or month, with properties ranging from luxury three-story houses on the beach to more modest abodes along the canals.
Avis Frank Gallery, 215 23rd St., 409.763.5555; avisfrank.com. Contemporary art gallery directed and managed by Carrie and David Hardaker. Stars of their stable include artists Kelli Vance, Lisa Qualls, Benito Huerta, Steve Murphy and Patrick Renner.
Buchanan Gallery, 220 25th St.,
409.763.8683; buchanangallery.com . This art gallery is an island favorite, representing emerging and mid-career artists from the Gulf Coast region.
The Cardinal, 16708 San Luis Pass Road, 713.816.0268; thecardinalboutique.com. This charming Jamaica Beach boutique carries handcrafted goods from Mexico and other Latin American countries, as well as works by Houston artists.
Col. Bubbies , 2202 Strand St.
, 409.762.7397; colbubbie.com . Even non-military buffs will get a kick perusing these extensive racks of wartime memorabilia, all for sale.
Collectors Gallery , 2222 Postoffice St.
Shopping for the person who has everything? Check out Collectors Gallery, with 52 booths carrying everything from antiques to art to furnishings.
Couteux Couture , 2021 Strand
Own a piece of Galveston history and look fabulous doing so! This former upscale women’s store reopened after Ike to incorporate one-of-a-kind vintage clothing and accessories in its repertoire.
Downtown Blooms, 2309 Ship’s Mechanic Row, 409.974.4294; downtownblooms.net. This quaint downtown storefront offers flowers, gifts and floral design for all occasions.
The Emporium at Eibands, 2201 Postoffice St., 409.750.9536. This upscale showroom houses dozens of dealers and artists. Shop here for clothing, jewelry, books, art, European and American antiques (including architectural salvage), plus custom upholstery, bedding and draperies.
The Frog at Home, 2701 Broadway,
; frogathome.com . The popular Houston home store also has a showroom in Galveston, where you can shop for unique home furnishings, window treatments, rugs and art to fill your weekend retreat.
Galveston Arts & Frames, 1126 19th St.
, 409.762.3628 . Wonderful old posters and vintage prints of Galveston.
Head to Footsies, 2211 Strand,
This boutique, tucked inside a late 1800s building, stocks everything from everyday casual to evening attire and shoes.
Hendley Market, 2010 Strand
; hendleymarket.com . A mainstay on the Strand for more than 30 years. Pick up trinkets and gifts inspired by the Victorian surroundings, as well as antique medical instruments, vintage books, and nativities and santons from around the globe.
La King’s Confectionery, 2323 Strand
; lakingsconfectionery.com; Stop in for a milkshake at the 1920s soda fountain. On your way out, handpick a selection of divinity, pecan pralines, fudge or La King’s famous saltwater taffy, all made in-house on vintage equipment.
Murdoch’s Bathhouse , 2215 Seawall Blvd.,
409.762.7478 . Galveston’s most historic shop for souvenir shirts and seashells was back up and running only a year after Ike reduced it to a stack of wood pilings.
PeckArts Gallery , 2208 Postoffice St.
, 409.621.1500; peckarts.com.
Located at the entrance to Urban Lofts, this charming gallery is home to nationally exhibited Jennifer Peck’s droll painted and collaged panels that offer an ode to the pleasures of island life.
René Wiley Studio Gallery , 2128 Postoffice St.
, 409.750.9077; renewileygallery.com;
Stop by this art gallery for one of artist Dale Hooks’ bowls carved from “Ike Wood,” which is what the locals dub the 10,000-plus
trees cut down after the hurricane.
The Style Co. , 701 14th St.,
409.750.8442 . Chic and edgy, this new addition to the East End carries contemporary fashion for the modern local.
Tangerine Boutique, 2218 Postoffice St.,
Tangerine Boutique caters to locals and weekenders with a variety of name brands and a cool California vibe. Jeans, dresses and accessories make this a one-stop beach shop.
Tina’s, 2326 Strand
, 409.762.6816; tinasonthestrand.com . Don’t let the name change fool you: This eclectic shop, formerly called Maggie’s, still carries covetable bath products, clothing and gifts.
Vic’s Estate and Fine Jewelry , 2413 Market St.
; vicsjewelry.com . Shop for vintage jewelry and antique silver at Vic’s, a Galveston tradition for more than 80 years.
The Witchery , 2116 Postoffice St.,
This magical boutique sells books, gifts and potions pertaining to the metaphysical.
Chocolate Spa at Diamond Beach, 10327 Seawall Blvd., 409.740.2462; luluschocolatespa.com.
The 4,000-square-foot luxury Chocolate Spa at Diamond Beach is a full-service day spa with indoor hot therapy pool, aromatherapy, mani-pedis, facials and more.
The Spa at Hotel Galvez, 2024 Seawall Blvd.,
409.515.2100; thespaatthehotelgalvez.com . This luxe spa alone — with its top-notch treatments, vichy shower and relaxation room — is worth a drive to the Island.
Spa San Luis , 5222 Seawall Blvd.,
Massage, buff and polish your worries away at the full-service spa at the posh San Luis Resort. Check out the property’s newly released Coco Mango line of luxurious body products — yours will be created upon placing your order. And if you stay at the San Luis, you can indulge in the swim-up bar and private cabanas, where pool butlers will offer you sea mineral spritzes and frozen fruit skewers.
Sights to See
Ashton Villa, 2328 Broadway, 409.765.7834; galvestonhistory.org. Ashton Villa was one of the first mansions built on Broadway and the first brick house built in Texas. Originally owned by Bettie Brown, who accumulated a large art collection, the property was saved from demolition by the Galveston Historical Society in 1970 and today houses the Galveston Island Visitor Information Center.
1892 Bishop’s Palace, 1402 Broadway,
409.762.2475; galvestonhistory.org . The château-esque home of railroad magnate Walter Gresham, completed in 1892, is open for private and public tours. Don’t miss the one-of-a-kind finds in
the gift shop.
The Elissa , Texas Seaport Museum,
Harborside Dr., Pier 21,
; galvestonhistory.org. Restored to her former glory, this three-masted barque speaks to Galveston’s port-ly past. Tour the decks, then visit the adjoining museum to learn about the sailing ship’s past and her amazing rescue from a scrapyard.
Galveston Arts Center , 2501 Market
, 409.763.2403; contemporaryartgalveston.org.
In temporary digs at the former Maceo’s Spice & Import, GAC is raising funds for its return to the landmark 1878 First National Bank Building. Attend its Sunset Buffet Sunday, May 15, at a private home, to support the Center’s programming. Tickets or donations, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Galveston Railroad Museum, 2602 Santa Fe Place,
409.765.5700; galvestonrrmuseum.com . The largest railroad museum in the Southwest, battered by Ike in 2008, reopened to the public last year. Explore railcars and the original Santa Fe Union Station waiting room. The fully interactive museum also boasts the largest collection of railroad dining ware
in the States.
The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice St.,
409.763.7173; thegrand.com . Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, this beautifully restored theater sets the stage for a lively arts season. This month, the schedule includes A Conversation with Shirley MacLaine (May 1), Steve Tyrell in concert (May 6 – 7) and the return of the percussive phenomenon Stomp (May 13 – 15).
Hall of History at the Hotel Galvez, 2024 Seawall Blvd.
Peruse the intricate history of
both Galveston Island and the Hotel Galvez. Exhibitions are free to the public.
Lone Star Flight Museum , 2002 Terminal Dr.,
Now boarding — no, literally: Not only does this museum provide public viewing of a wonderful collection of all things aeronautical, but it boasts vintage bomber planes you can both pilot and fly in.
Moody Mansion, 2618 Broadway
; moodymansion.org . The 1895 homestead of the Moody family. A 20-room tour of the towering structure reveals the home life of a powerful Texas family (namesake of nearby Moody Gardens).
Rosenberg Library , 2310 Sealy St.,
409.763.8854; rosenberg-library.org . This spectacular library, which houses the Galveston Archives, is in the final phase of its largest renovation in the library’s history. The 107-year-old library is set
to have new walls, floors,
windows, lighting fixtures and
Dash Beardsley’s Ghost Tours of Galveston Island, ghosttoursofgalvestonisland.com. Explore the city’s paranormal hot spots Friday and Saturday evenings with Beardsley, “the Ghostman of Galveston.” Year-round walking tours take you through the historic Strand district and Old City Cemetery, while the Jack the Ripper Mystery Island Tour transports you through past scandals and mysteries via tram. Private tours are also available.
Galveston Duck Tours, 2500 Seawall Blvd.
Treat the kiddos to a tour of
Galveston on The Duck. Destinations include Offatt’s Bayou, the Seawall and drive-bys of the Island’s 1900s mansions, Strand shopping district and the “Silk Stockings” historical homes district.
Haunted Mayfield Manor, 2313 Harborside Dr., 409.762.6677; hauntedmayfieldmanor.com. Prepare to be spooked at this year-round haunted-house attraction for ages 11 and above. Twenty-minute tours take you through the manor (and the madness) of the fictional Mayfield family, staged in the historic 1885 Butterowe Building, which served as a morgue after the 1900 storm.
Moody Gardens , One Hope Blvd.,
800.582.4673; moodygardens.com . This Island attraction is mega-fun. Following a $25 million renovation, the Rainforest Pyramid reopens
this month, revealing a brand-
new interactive exhibit.
Where else can you visit a rainforest, an aquarium and
see an IMAX film, all in one day?
Pirates! Legends of the Gulf Coast, 2313 Harborside Dr., 409.762.6677; piratesgulfcoast.com. Yo ho ho! Learn all about local pirate history and lore at this new museum that adjoins Haunted Mayfield Manor. Family fun ensues on the recreated deck of a pirate ship, a captain’s cabin and more, with actors portraying the infamous Jean Lafitte and his colorful contemporaries.
Rainforest Cafe, 5310 Seawall Blvd.,
What child doesn’t cheer for Rainforest Cafe? The Galveston outpost is next door to the
San Luis Resort.
Schlitterbahn, 2026 Lockheed St.,
409.770.9283; schlitterbahn.com/gal . Daring speeds, slides, endless rivers, uphill water coasters and waves for surfing and splashing.
Fort Crockett Seawall Park, 4550 Seawall Blvd. This exciting new beachfront park, funded by Kroger and SunChips, is now open to the public. The sail-shaped canopy offers welcome shade for beachgoers, plus there are plenty of places to sit and enjoy the view. Not ready to leave when the sun sets? Solar lighting lets you extend your beachcombing well into the evening.
Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, 25th Street and Seawall Blvd.; pleasure-pier.com. Tilman Fertitta of Landry’s, Inc., is reviving this 1940s phenomenon at the site of the Ike-doomed Flagship Hotel. Just in time for summer, you’ll be able to indulge in 16 amusement-park rides, midway games, carnival food and more. Follow the link to the Facebook page for updates. A May opening is anticipated.
Disney Cruises to Sail out of Galveston . Cruise Terminal: 2702 Harborside Dr. 800.951.3532; disneycruise.disney.go.com; Beginning September 2012,
the ship Disney Magic will set
sail for the Caribbean from Galveston’s own harbor. Book
your trip today at dclnews.com. The first cruise depart on September 22, heading through the Western Caribbean with stops at Grand Cayman, Costa Maya and Cozumel
Special Event Venues
Galveston Island Convention Center at The San Luis Resort, 5600 Seawall Blvd., 866.505.4456, ext. 145 . The perfect setting for your next corporate function, where state-of-the-art executive facilities meet beachfront views and resort amenities.
Garten Verein, 2704 Avenue O, 409.762.3933; galvestonhistory.org. Originally opened as a dancing pavilion for the Galveston Garten Verein (“garden club”) in 1880, this was one of the only structures to survive the great hurricane of 1900. Known for its octagonal shape, this landmark can be rented for weddings, receptions, dinners and parties.
For a Beach Pad of Your Own
Beachtown, 630 Beachtown Dr.
, 409.762.2222; beachtowngalveston.com.
This charming residential community on Galveston’s east end is redolent of Seaside, Florida, and architecturally follows that classic coastal vernacular. There are several villages with fabulous homes, while town homes and lofts are above Beachtown’s general store, market, creamery, restaurants and coffee shops.
Diamond Beach, 10327 Seawall Blvd.
, 409.744.3020; diamondbeachgalveston.com.
This elegant mid-rise residential property has 22 floor plans and 120 beach-view homes on West Beach, behind the Galveston Seawall. Amenities: private beach, outdoor river-like pool, Turkish bath–inspired indoor pool, day spa, private movie theater, teen and children’s rooms, fitness center and concierge.
Palisade Palms, 801 East Beach Dr.,
409.497.4115, palisadepalms.com . This luxury high-rise twin-tower property on East Beach has 288 homes and is the first residential high-rise to be built on the beach here in more than 20 years. Amenities: infinity pool, tennis court, game and media lounge, roof terrace and a private boardwalk to the beach.