Blog Post Type: Planning a Trip to a City

The island of Galveston’s glorious Gulf beaches, charming Victorian architecture, and proximity to the country’s fourth largest city makes it a desirable vacation destination. Add in its surging popularity as a port for the world’s most popular cruise lines, and it’s easy to understand why more visitors are traveling to Galveston than ever before. Like all beach cities, however, staying in Galveston can be a little pricey. If your getaway plans include visiting Galveston, try these tips to make your travel dollars go further.

Stay Near the Seawall for Cheap Entertainment Options

Originally built after the devastating hurricane of 1900, the Galveston Seawall is now the city’s center for beach activities. At over 10 miles, it is the longest continuous sidewalk in the world, popular with walkers, joggers, and beachcombers. Hotels like the Four Points by Sheraton Galveston and LaQuinta Inn & Suites Galveston Seawall West rest right on the seawall. They offer access to free activities like beach volleyball, swimming, and sightseeing breathtaking sunsets.

Book a Mid-Week Stay

Like most beach destinations, hotels in Galveston command a premium on the weekends and holidays. Travelers looking for a bargain will find discounted rooms Monday through Thursday. Timing your trip during the off-season will also help lower your costs. Prices spike during May through September, and you can expect to pay a lot more on holidays like Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The beach is lovely and prices are low during the shoulder season of March and April.

Check Out the Free Activities

Take the free 20-minute ferry ride between Galveston and Port Bolivar. Besides offering beautiful views and cool salty breezes, you’ll most likely see dolphins frolicking along your boat. Bring some bread to feed the numerous seagulls. If you have a Texas fishing license, you can fish free on the Bolivar Peninsula.

Stroll along the Strand and enjoy the Victorian mansions, eclectic shops and galleries, and cozy restaurants in the delightful downtown area. Bring a blanket or beach chair and take advantage of free movies and music on Saturday evenings from March through October. Visit the East End Historic District and take a self-guided tour of the tree sculptures. These exquisite structures represent the work of local artists, who transformed the oaks damaged during Hurricane Ike, into compelling works of art.

Consider an Island Pass

If you enjoy tourist attractions like theme parks, museums, aquariums, and land or water-based guided tours, Galveston’s Island Pass program offers significant savings over regular admission prices. The Island Pass gives guests a 40 percent discount on admission costs when you purchase tickets to four or more popular Galveston attractions. Choose from kayak tours, fishing adventures, admission to the Moody Mansion, Garden Aquarium, and Rainforest, and the Grand 1894 Opera House, among others, for an unforgettable Galveston adventure.

Galveston is a fabulous getaway destination; if you’re cruising out of Galveston, book an extra day or two to explore this delightful island. With a little planning, it’s an affordable beach vacation.

If you’ve been to Galveston and have some great experiences or interesting tips for exploring the island, please share them in the comments below!

Author Bio: Sheila Westin is a freelance travel writer and food blogger who writes about the charms, cuisine, and culture of the places she visits. When she’s not on the road, Sheila enjoys exploring the excellent restaurants and jazz clubs of her native Washington, DC. Sheila is a writer for the #HipmunkCityLove project.

Image via Flickr by WoodyH1