It may require going off-road and even off-map but discovering a city beyond the standard guidebook recommendations can be a thrilling adventure. Fortunately, travelers heading to Galveston are in for a treat. This Gulf Coast city is packed full of potential when it comes to the less-charted destinations in Texas that can make for an unforgettable vacation. When you’re here and hunting for one-of-a-kind experiences, you’ll want to make sure to add these ten to the itinerary.
Tin Cups Caddy Shack
This fun establishment encourages guests to keep their eyes on the ground and sky. Come to enjoy the full-service bar while watching planes land and take off from the nearby airport. When you’ve had your fill of flavorful beverages and feats of aviation, hit a ball or two on the driving range and practice your short game on the putting green. Those that prefer horseshoes will find the on-site course perfectly suited to a competitive game with friends.
Don’t let the size of this establishment or its minuscule insect namesake fool you. When you’re in the mood for big and bold flavor, this is the place to be in Galveston. An eclectic menu of plates that feature international infusion is seamlessly combined with a historic and even rustic atmosphere. Mosquito Café opens its doors to guests from the comfort of a building constructed in 1870 that sits on the historic east end of the city. Making the ultimate statement on just how to combine the past and present with class, the Mosquito Café is highly renowned for their savory breakfast selections.
The Kettle House
While other travelers are lounging on the beach, those with a passion for strange architecture will want to head towards the Kettle House which seats securely at 1410 Mirimar Drive. For 50 years, this unique metal home has captivated the mind and imagination of passersby with its uncanny ability to weather seemingly any storm. While hurricanes have come and gone through Galveston, The Kettle House refuses to budge. Come take a look for yourself and see if you can identify its structural secret.
Oleander Garden Park
While the Oleander is well-loved by admirers near and far for its delicate beauty and relatively low-maintenance growing conditions, many don’t realize that this plant is extremely poisonous. Interestingly enough, Galveston is brimming over with Oleander and the Oleander Garden Park is an area specifically dedicated to their celebration. For an interesting look at a lovely but lethal garden component, make time to visit this intriguing destination.
It most likely won’t get mentioned in a traditional guidebook, but Seeding Galveston is one of the city’s most well-loved farmers markets and comes highly recommended by locals. You can find it up and running at Avenue N and 33rd Street’s Neighborhood Farm with a large collection of vegetables and fruits waiting to be perused. This is also a wonderful destination when you’re in the market for some truly incredible okra!
Galveston Island Brewing
While hunting for quaint pop-up breweries in Galveston you might actually miss out on one of the island’s largest establishments. Galveston Island Brewing is located on Stewart Road and is a must-add to any itinerary. An onsite tap room and savory seasonal specialties served up in a rustic and cozy atmosphere make this one of the most welcoming stops around. Beyond that, it’s a dog-friendly location so if you’re traveling with pets, they’re welcome too.
Pirate Jean Lafitte Maison Rouge
For travelers who crave encounters with the unknown, a trip to the Jean Lafitte Maison Rouge ruins is an essential part of a trip to Galveston. The remains of a once spectacular home sit at 1417 Harborside and beckon visitors to come to take a peek through the chain-link fence that surrounds them. Many believe that gold and treasure still remain buried beneath the foundations of this home built by the famous pirate in 1812. Beyond the potential for discovering booty many who have visited claim to have experienced paranormal activity ranging from shadowy figures to unexplained noises day and night.
The people of Galveston aren’t strangers to storms. Galveston has endured its fair share of devastating hurricanes that have required constant rebuilding. Fortunately, this city’s citizens are dedicated to making the best of a tough situation and the proof lies in the island’s very roots. Hurricane Ike ravaged Galveston in 2008 and left a collection of dead and broken trees behind. Instead of cutting them down, citizens rallied together and decided to turn them into art. Skillfully wielded chainsaws left Galveston with a city-wide sculpture park unlike any other. Visitors can come and admire this work of resilience and creativity as they travel throughout Galveston and find these sculptures dotting the landscape.
61st Street Fishing Pier
It is sometimes the most unassuming destinations that capture the imagination most vividly. Those who are looking for a quiet and peaceful place to cast a line in Galveston will want to stop by the 61st Street fishing pier. Gear rental is available if you don’t have your own, but it’s also a fantastic place to sit back and admire the Gulf with a snack in hand.
Pirates! Legends of the Gulf Coast
At 2313 Harborside Drive, visitors can step back in time and immerse themselves in stories and legends of pirates! This family-fun experience gives everyone a chance to try their skills at pirating as you explore the deck of a ship as well as the secrets held in the Captain’s cabin. Don’t be surprised to find yourself in the company of actors skilled at re-creating just what the daily life of a pirate would look like.
An Exceptional Galveston Getaway
From fantastic food to pirate re-enactments, Galveston is a city that’s filled to the brim with off the beaten path adventures. Whether you’re here for a solo trip or looking to book a family getaway, make sure to find time for those activities that don’t often make their way into the guidebook.
Caitlyn Knuth is a travel writer whose personal adventures have motivated her to write about everything from the most delicious cafés in Paris to the breathtaking salmon runs in Juneau, Alaska. Working alongside Ryson Vacation Rentals, she has fallen in love with writing about the inspiring destination of Galveston in hopes that others will head to Texas in the name of history, exploration, and family-fun adventures of their very own.