The Ultimate Guide to a Whimsical Weekend in Galveston

Stay at a historic B&B, explore Moody Gardens, and eat tasty gumbo!

By Geneva Diaz and Ana Garcia Published in the Winter 2022 issue of Houstonia Magazine

Visit Moody Gardens for nine family-friendly holiday attractions.

For those looking for holiday cheer during the winter season, Galveston—nicknamed the “Winter Wonderland Island of Texas”—is the perfect destination. Houstonians know this town is underrated, with much more to offer than just its beach town appeal. Grab a cup of joe from an excellent selection of coffee houses, and don’t leave town without ordering a bowl of gumbo on a chilly day. There are also lower lodging rates to look forward to and fewer crowds to deal with throughout the season.

While there’s the occasional cold front, Galveston’s winter months are mild in temperature, ranging from the upper 40s to the 60s, with many locals guilty of wearing their shorts year-round. Since it’s conveniently close to Houston, drive down for some excellent food, visit the many museums, and enjoy the historic architecture for a weekend getaway.


What to Do in Galveston, Texas

This town definitely lights up at night! Visit Moody Gardens for nine family-friendly holiday attractions. For a round-trip journey to the “North Pole,” head to the Galveston Railroad Museum for The Polar Express Train Ride. 

Discover the haunted side of Galveston and go on a ghost tour. Visit some of the most haunted places on the island, including the Moody Mansion, Bishops Palace, and the haunted Grand Galvez. 

Also, did you know that you can see dolphins in Galveston year round? If you’re strolling by the water, keep an eye out for them in the harbor. 

Where to Eat in Galveston, Texas

In Evia, one of the cutest neighborhoods in Galveston, you can find the town’s most colorful houses and a local coffee shop called Sugar Bean that boasts the best coffee and pastries on the island. 

Have lunch with Gulf views at Gaido’s, a Galveston tradition since 1911. Gaido’s is known for offering only the freshest seafood. Peel Gulf shrimp, shuck Galveston bay oysters, and filet fresh fish, all by hand. Save room for dessert and order Gaido’s Famous Pecan Pie, it is the official state pie of Texas after all. Rudy & Paco Restaurant and Bar has a Central and South American-influenced menu of steak and seafood. Start with the amazing plantain chips then order the crab cakes, and be sure to save room for their award-winning bread pudding.

Little Daddy’s Gumbo Bar offers delicious Cajun and Americana cuisine, served in a lively atmosphere. With delectable seafood, tantalizing burgers and sides, mouth-watering seasonal specials, and the best happy hour around, they have something that will please every taste bud. Bringing expertise in steam kettle cooking, they offer dishes such as traditional gumbos, seafood stews, and cioppino. They also have over 62 beer varieties, a broad wine menu, and three 52” televisions, making Gumbo Bar your new favorite place to catch a game.

Galveston's Historic District.

Where to Stay in Galveston, Texas

Are you in search of a luxurious resort with top-of-the-line service? Perhaps you're on the hunt for a vacation home just steps from the beach, making it convenient for the whole family. Or, maybe you're looking to get closer to nature at one of the local campgrounds. No matter your travel style, Galveston has many ideal places to stay.

For folks looking for an interesting piece of history mixed with Southern hospitality, Galveston offers a range of bed and breakfast’s options situated in mansions in the city’s historic district. Staying in a stately mansion in one of Galveston’s charming historic districts can feel like going back in time. From pirates to wealthy merchants, to great fires and floods, Galveston has an exciting history that is sure to excite any history buff. And why not get up close and personal with the city’s rich architecture and history by staying in a B&B?

One of them being the Coppersmith Inn B&B, which dates back to 1887. The Inn offers luxurious accommodations with impeccable period details like woodwork, pocket doors, walk through windows, plaster archways, 14-foot ceilings, stained glass windows, and an impressive main staircase. Along with the exquisite guest rooms, enjoy the lush gardens, expansive parlors, and relaxing front porch.

For those who want more privacy, the Inn also offers The Cottage and The Carriage house, which are located just behind the main property in the beautiful gardens.

For something fun, The Oleander Hotel is one of Galveston’s newest Downtown boutique hotels. Choose from 10 beautiful, Instagrammable rooms all within walking distance of the historic downtown strand, the beach, and Galveston Island’s Historic Pleasure Pier.

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