We’re heading down south just in time for summer to spotlight the island of Galveston, TX. A city rich in history, culture, and the arts; Galveston is more than just a resort town. What’s more is that Galveston serves as one of the country’s largest ports and is a leader in health care, shipping, finance, and tourism. Needless to say, its over 200 square miles are packed full of character.
Galveston’s culture has been greatly influenced by the Hurricane of 1900-- the deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history. In response to the devastation, a 10 mile long Seawall was built along the beach, raising a large portion of the city to protect against floods and storm surges. Today, the Seawall marks the area's most popular tourist destination with hotels and restaurants lining the strip and visitors enjoying the beach year round.
If you find yourself in Galveston during the summer and fall, it’ll come as no surprise that it is nicknamed “The Oleander City,” because of the thriving oleander shrub that defines the city. Thousands were planted after the flood, and continue to add color and beauty to the entire city. They are so prominent that the city dubbed the month of May as “Oleander Month.”
Galveston is home to four historic districts including The Strand Historic District, East End Historic District, Lost Bayou Historic District, and Silk Stocking Historic District, which are defined by their 19th century architecture and add an overflow of character to the city.
FOOD AND ENTERTAINMENT
There is so much to do in Galveston! Whether you prefer to soak up the sun on the beach, shop ‘til you drop at The Strand, or expand your knowledge at one of the city’s many museums, there is truly something for everybody.
The Strand is considered the island’s shopping and entertainment center with Victorian-era buildings that have been adapted as retail shops and restaurants. Additionally, The Strand hosts the annual Mardi Gras Festival, Galveston Island Jazz and Blues Festival, and Dickens On the Strand-- a Victorian-themed, Christmas Festival.
There are a variety of museums and historical landmarks that visitors and residents can tour including The Galveston Railroad Museum, The Bryan Museum, and Moody Mansion, to name a few, as well as a variety of ships including the 1877 Elissa. Moody Gardens is a popular educational destination complete with an aquarium, rainforest, and discovery museum exhibits.
The heart and soul of Galveston is its expansive beaches. Surround yourself with action on the Seawall, keep it private at one of the West End’s pocket parks, or take advantage of amenities at Stewart Beach. The Seawall is also home to Pleasure Pier, complete with rides, games, and souvenir shops.
SCHOOLS AND HOUSING
Galveston is served by the Galveston Independent School District, which includes six elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school- Ball High. Additionally, there are a handful of charter schools and private schools.
Homes in Galveston range in style from beach bungalow, Victorian mansion, Tudor, and craftsman. Needless to say, Galveston is a playground for architecture buffs and history lovers alike! Prices greatly vary, as there are million dollar, waterfront beach houses as well as affordable, downtown bungalows. The median home price is $335,000.