Here’s a look at what’s new in Galveston for the summer:
Relax on Galveston’s New ‘Babe’s Beach’
Summer means fun in the sun and surf. Luckily, Galveston recently unveiled 15 blocks of brand new beaches. The new beach area, named Babe’s Beach after former Texas Rep. A.R. “Babe” Schwartz, is located on a stretch of the Seawall west of 61st Street. It provides more space for visitors to relax in the sun, play a game of volleyball or simply wander the coast. In addition, many of the island’s other beach parks – including Stewart Beach, East Beach and Seawolf Park – have been updated with new playgrounds, vendors and amenities. www.galvestonbeachinfo.com
Slide Through the World’s Tallest Water Coaster
Thrill seekers are in luck! Galveston will become home to the world’s tallest water coaster this summer. The new ride, MASSIV, will open at Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark, offering one of the most daring experiences across the globe. Unlike a waterslide, a water coaster is designed to send riders on both downhill and uphill experiences. An open date has not yet been set. For more details on this exciting ride, visit www.schlitterbahn.com/galveston.
Try New Water Adventures
To experience the island from the sky, take a new helicopter sightseeing tour from Stewart Beach. Galveston Helicopters offers five exciting tour options, showcasing different parts of the island from the beach to the bay. To combine the feeling of flying with a refreshing splash of water, go flyboarding! Like a scene out of a futuristic movie, flyboarding allows flyers to strap on a jet-pack device and hover up to 35 feet above Offatts Bayou. Extreme Water Sports has brought this fast-growing sport to the island and offers rides lasting from 20 to 60 minutes. New to East Beach, Galveston Island Horse & Pony Rides offers horseback riding excursions along the shore. At Pier 21, Galveston Water Adventures is offering a new sunset cruise. The Galveston Sea Scout base is offering new sailing adventures on Sundays.
Explore New ‘Wings of Wonder’ Show, Palm Beach at Moody Gardens
This summer, visitors will have the chance to get up close and personal with some of the most notorious avian creatures in the world through Moody Gardens’ new “Wings of Wonder” live bird show. From falcons and hawks to vultures and owls, the show will feature a wide variety of birds, allowing guests to learn about their special traits, natural skills, history and more. Shows will be held daily at 12 p.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. June 4 through Aug. 20. Tickets are $7.95. In addition, Moody Gardens’ Palm Beach water park will open for the summer season on May 21. Along with the park’s lazy river, wave pool, tower water slides and white sand beach, guests can enjoy the annual Bands on the Sand concert series on Friday and Saturday evenings June 4-Aug. 13. Each show features a live band from 6-10 p.m. and a fireworks show. www.moodygardens.org
Discover Texas History with New “Riding the Rails” Multi-Site Tour
During the late 1800s, cities throughout Texas were linked to Galveston by a ribbon of steel and steam locomotives, and three Galveston historic attractions have launched a multi-site tour to tell that story. “Riding the Rails to Historic Galveston” tells the story of Galveston’s Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway, which began in 1873 and is now known as Burlington Northern Santa Fe. The package includes admission into The Bryan Museum, Galveston Railroad Museum and Moody Mansion, which describe different aspects of the history of Texas and this special railroad that promoted commerce throughout the state. By visiting all three attractions, guests will enjoy a 12% discount on regular adult admission prices and have access to a special online exhibit. www.ridingtherails.info
Visit Galveston’s Newest Green Space: Hendley Green
The island’s newest green space, Hendley Green Park, provides visitors a place to relax after taking in the shops and attractions in historic downtown Galveston. The mini-park, built by the Galveston Historical Foundation, includes a central lawn for outdoor recreation and seating. A grove of 30 newly planted oak trees flank the surrounding exterior of the park with accompanying tables and umbrellas, making it the perfect spot for an afternoon picnic. www.galvestonhistory.org
Explore the Coast on a Bucket Brigade Tour
This summer, you can hit the beach to participate in a Bucket Brigade – an interactive beach tour that provides hands-on exploration of the creatures and features found in Galveston’s coastal and marine ecosystems. A fun learning activity for kids of all ages, these 45-minute tours will be offered along Galveston’s Seawall beaches at 21st Street, 37th Street, 53rd Street, 61st Street, and 63rd Street as well as Stewart Beach and Dellanera RV Park. You can sign up at lifeguard stations at each tour location, just look for Bucket Brigade interpreters in their bright orange shirts. Beginning Memorial Day weekend, Bucket Brigade tours will run daily throughout the summer at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. www.artistboat.org
Try New Beachfront Restaurants
No trip to Galveston is complete without treating yourself to the island’s signature cuisine: fresh Gulf seafood. Luckily, the island’s culinary landscape continues to see exciting additions, including BLVD. Seafood. The open-kitchen concept is the fifth establishment from the owners of the popular Yaga’s Café, offering fresh, locally sourced seafood under the direction of executive chef Chris Lopez. Located at 28th and Seawall Boulevard, BLVD. provides an upscale, modern dining experience with window views of the Gulf of Mexico. Additionally, award-winning Chef Randy Evans, known for his commitment to fresh Gulf seafood and local/farm-to-table cuisine has consulted with managing partner, Bryan Davis, for the opening of Ocean Grille & Beach Bar. The menu features fresh seafood, half-pound Wagyu Beef burgers, fresh salads and more.
Sip Your Way through Trendy New Bars in Historic Downtown Galveston
If you have a curious palate for drinks and palette for art, The Proletariat Gallery & Public House is just for you. Located in the heart of historic downtown Galveston, this new trendy bar is a collaborative exhibition space and local hangout dedicated to enhancing the arts. The Proletariat is open daily from 4 p.m. to midnight. Downtown Galveston is also home to Harborside Mercantile, a brand new bar and restaurant featuring Southern coastal food, wine and beer. The new bar and eatery, located in a historic building on The Strand, is operated by former Houston restaurant owners Ricky Craig (Hubcap Grill) and Joshua Martinez (Chicken Ranch).
About Galveston Island
Galveston Island is a historic beach town located on the Gulf of Mexico just 50 miles from Houston. The island is best known as a vacation destination, offering 32 miles of beaches, a variety of family attractions, Texas’ premier cruise port and one of the largest and well-preserved concentrations of Victorian architecture in the country. For more information on Galveston Island visit www.galveston.com or call 1-888-GAL-ISLE.