Seaweed strewn beaches, ocean the color of iron ore, water so clear you can’t see your feet in ankle deep water. Ahh yes, we must be taking about Galveston. The delightful excuse for a beach that all Houstonian’s hate to love. Depending on where you live in the city (and the unpredictable traffic on 45), the drive takes about an hour making it the perfect beach day trip–but actually I love Galveston. I love it so much it has a pet name: Galvy. It’s so convenient and great. And the people watching is superb! A must for every summer in Houston. Here’s an ideal way to spend 24 hours in the glamorous beach town that is Galveston, Texas.
The Morning: The Strand
Take a stroll through the historic downtown of Galveston Island aka “The Strand”. Check out all the black and white photos that line the streets and see what the town looked like back in the 1800s and which buildings survived the hundreds of hurricanes that have passed over the island. Check out all the cute little boutiques and oddities that line the historic streets. Pro tip: Take advantage of all the snap chat filters (there are at least 4 when I was there!)
Lunch: Yagas + La Kings
Rebuilt after Hurricane Ike, Yaga’s Cafe is a beach-themed Strand restaurant with good prices and decent food (pizzas, legit salads, burgers, etc.). Outside is a giant chess set to play with if the wait is too long. After lunch, you obvi have to stop for dessert at La Kings Confectionary for a throwback to a 1920s soda fountain. Try their homemade chocolates and candies or a cone of “Purity” ice cream which is Texas’ first ice cream manufacturer, founded in 1889 on Galveston Island.
Early Afternoon: Beach
So after you’re all fat and happy from the delicious island food. Head over the beach to layout for a nap. If you want to pay $8 you can park at Stewart Beach (there are bathrooms and showers). Or you can just find a spot along the sea wall and pay the parking meter. It’s cheaper and basically the same thing. Be sure to bring a beach umbrella, sunscreen, and lots of water because the Texas sun is hot and unforgiving.
Late Afternoon: Mini-Golf
After about 3 hours on the beach in triple-digit heat, you’re going to want some relief. Head over to Magic Carpet Mini-Golf for some slightly more shaded fun. It costs $8 and they have two eighteen-hole courses to choose from. Plus there always seems to be a sno cone truck parked outside, so loser has to buy the group sno cones.
Dinner: The Spot
After all of your adventures in the sun, you’re going to want a nice meal to tide you over before you embark on your drive back to Houston. Head over to The Spot for some beach front dining. It’s got a fat menu full of seafood, burgers, salads, and drinks (even some vegetarian options!) for reasonable prices. Be warned: The line will seem wildly intimidating when you get there, but it moves fast and once you order at the counter the food comes out quickly. Plus, every other place on the Sea Wall will be equally as packed, so you just have to commit and choose a place to stand in line. The Spot has decent parking and it’s usually easy to find a spot (ha).
Evening: The Commute
I-45 is really the only way in and out of the island. Pro tip: be sure to bring your phone/GPS with you because there are always roadblocks, constructions and absurd amounts of traffic at 9pm when you decide to leave the island. It’s helpful to be creative and sometimes take the feeder road when the highway is hella backed up.