Set on the shores of the Gulf Coast of Texas, the coastal resort and barrier island city of Galveston is renowned for its 32-mile stretch of beautiful beaches, which caters to all crowds from families to fun-seekers. It is also home to several vibrant historic districts with over 400 beautifully preserved Victorian Age homes and attractions like the Elissa, a landmark tall ship, and the Moody Gardens, where giant glass pyramids house a variety of animals and sharks. The coastal city also offers a great selection of restaurants for romantic dining and celebrating love. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Hours/availability may have changed.


1.Gaido's Seafood Restaurant

Gaido's Seafood Restaurant
© Gaido's Seafood Restaurant

Established in 1911, Gaido's Seafood Restaurant specializes in fresh seafood and catch-of-the-day fish. Owned by San Giacinto Gaido, the elegant dining destination has a nautical theme with crisply dressed tables and beautiful Gulf views and exudes an intimate and romantic ambiance. The restaurant serves seasonal menus of seafood cooked in various ways, including freshly shucked oysters, blue crab, fresh fish such as red snapper, and blackened yellowfin tuna. Homemade salad dressings, seasonings, sauces, and delicious desserts are made from time-tested family recipes and accompany each dish, and the full-service bar offers a variety of libations from casual wines from around the world, craft and draft beers, and classic cocktails made from top-shelf spirits. Gaido's Seafood Restaurant is open for lunch and dinner daily.

3828 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX 77550, Phone: 409-761-5500

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2.Galvez Bar & Grill

Galvez Bar & Grill
© Galvez Bar & Grill


Based at the Hotel Galvez & Spa, A Wyndham Grand Hotel, the Galvez Bar and Grill is an elegant seafood restaurant that exudes historic charm. The restaurant boasts a beautiful dining space with soaring ceilings and large windows that flood the interior with natural light, and a full bar that serves a range of libations from casual wines from around the world, craft and draft beers, and classic cocktails made from top-shelf spirits. The casual restaurant serves a seasonal menu of ocean-fresh seafood and fish and Lone Star State specials such as buffalo chicken, gourmet filet mignon sliders with shrimp, award-winning gumbo, and po boys. Galvez Bar & Grill is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and Sunday Champagne Brunch.

2024 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX 77550, Phone: 409-515-2145

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3.Grotto Ristorante

Grotto Ristorante
© Grotto Ristorante

Based on the luxurious San Luis Resort, Grotto Italian Restaurant is a warm and welcoming eatery with an Old-World charm that takes diners on a culinary journey through the sun-kissed hills of Italy. Inspired by the atmosphere of an Old Country trattoria, the restaurant is light and bright with large windows, walls lined with wine bottles, wooden tables, and colorful chairs. Seasonal menus brim with delicious dishes prepared using locally sourced ingredients and timeless recipes, such as Pappardelle con Verdura, Veal Kickerillo, Neapolitan thin-crust pizzas, Pollo Francese, and Snapper Siciliano. An extensive collection of Italian and domestic wines accompanies the cuisine, along with handcrafted cocktails, and craft beers. Grotto Italian Restaurant is open for dinner only, Wednesday through Monday.

5222 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX 77551, Phone: 409-740-8605

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4.Landry's Seafood House

Landry's Seafood House
© Landry's Seafood House


Located just steps away from the beach on the historic Seawall Boulevard, Landry's Seafood House is a family-friendly chain eatery that serves fresh Gulf Coast seafood and prime steaks in a relaxed setting with panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico. The restaurant features contemporary décor, a comfortable outdoor lounge, and a scenic outdoor patio with breathtaking views where guests can enjoy alfresco dining under the stars. The menu features an array of fresh seafood and catch-of-the-day fish, succulent steaks with made-from-scratch sauces, house-made pasta and chicken dishes, fresh salads, and delightful desserts. The full-service bar offers a variety of libations from casual wines from around the world, craft and draft beers, and classic cocktails made from top-shelf spirits, and the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, daily.

5310 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX 77551, Phone: 409-744-1010

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5.Mario's Seawall Italian Restaurant

Mario's Seawall Italian Restaurant
© Mario's Seawall Italian Restaurant


Mario’s Seawall Italian Restaurant is a spacious Italian eatery that serves authentic Italian fare, homemade gelato, and casual wines in a laid-back atmosphere. Nestled between all the seafood restaurants on Seawall Boulevard, the family-friendly restaurant features beautiful mosaic walls and large windows embracing breathtaking views and serves traditional Italian fare such as wood-fired pizzas, house-made pasta, and from-scratch sauces, fresh seafood, prime steaks, and fresh salads. Signature dishes include Lobster Ravioli, Penne del Sol, Veal Piccata, and Spicy Shrimp Marinara, and the cuisine is accompanied by a variety of libations, including casual wines from around the world, craft and draft beers, and top-shelf spirits. Mario’s Seawall Italian Restaurant is open for lunch and dinner daily.

628 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX 77550, Phone: 409-763-1693

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6.Galveston restaurants: Number 13 Prime Steak and Seafood

Galveston restaurants: Number 13 Prime Steak and Seafood
© Number 13 Prime Steak and Seafood


Located in the charming Pelican Rest Marina, Number 13 Prime Steak and Seafood is a traditional chophouse and seafood specialist that offers a refined dining experience. Boasting sweeping views of Offats Bayou from an outdoor terrace, the restaurant serves seasonal menus of prime USDA steaks, fresh seafood, house-made pasta and sauces, homemade soups and salads, and decadent desserts. Signature dishes include shrimp and grits, stroganoff, beef wellington, and coq au vin, and the full-service bar offers a variety of libations from casual wines from around the world, craft and draft beers, and classic cocktails made from top-shelf spirits. Number 13 Prime Steak and Seafood is open for dinner, Tuesday through Sunday, and weekend brunch.

7809 Broadway St, Galveston, TX 77554, Phone: 409-572-2650

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7.Porch Cafe

Porch Cafe
© Porch Café

Located in Beachtown’s Town Center Building on the Island's East End and just a few steps from East Beach, Porch Café is a high-end bistro with charming patio seating that serves New American cuisine and local seafood. The eatery is decorated in light hues and has a wraparound deck, which is ideal for enjoying laid-back Sunday brunches and relaxed summer lunches against a backdrop of spectacular Gulf views. Seasonal menus feature sustainably-caught Gulf Coast seafood, prime Waygu Texas beef steaks, homemade soups and salads and pasta dishes, including shrimp and grits, almond-crusted snapper and scallops, vegetarian frittatas, and chicken sauvignon. The cuisine is accompanied by casual wines from around the world, craft and draft beers, and handcrafted cocktails and the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, Friday through Sunday.

1625 E Beach Dr, Galveston, TX 77550, Phone: 409-762-0808

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8.Riondo's Ristorante

Riondo's Ristorante
© Riondo's Ristorante

Located in the heart of historic downtown in Galveston Island, Riondo’s Ristorante serves traditional Northern Italian cuisine in a comfy, laid-back atmosphere. Owners Don McClaugherty and Chef Rico Caminos create farm-to-table and sea-to-table menus of innovative fare using fresh, locally sourced ingredients and regional produce from local farmers’ markets. Acclaimed dishes include Bone-in Osso Bucco with Saffron Risotto, House-made Spinach Gnocchi with Prosciutto di Parma, and Wagyu Beef Steak. Artistic artisan bread, house-made pasta and sauces, and decadent desserts are also on the menu, and a variety of libations from casual wines from around the world, craft and draft beers, and classic cocktails made from top-shelf spirits accompany the cuisine. Riondo’s Ristorante is open for lunch and dinner daily.

2328 Strand St, Galveston, TX 77550, Phone: 409-621-9595

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9.Rudy & Paco Restaurant & Bar

Rudy & Paco Restaurant & Bar
© New Africa/stock.adobe.com

Rudy & Paco Restaurant & Bar is an award-winning restaurant that serves Central and South American-inspired fare and fine wines in an elegant setting. Located next door to the Grand 1894 Opera House, the restaurant is perfect for a romantic dinner with superb cuisine, world-class wines, and gracious hospitality. Seasonal menus focus on fresh grilled meat and seafood with starters of ceviche, pan-fried calamari, and crab cakes, followed by entrées of prime steaks and burgers, pulled pork sandwiches, chicken and pasta dishes, and fish tacos. The full-service bar offers a variety of libations from casual wines from around the world, craft and draft beers, and classic cocktails made from top-shelf spirits. Rudy & Paco Restaurant & Bar is open for lunch and dinner, Monday through Friday and dinner only on Saturdays.

2028 Post Office St, Galveston, TX 77550, Phone: 409-762-3696

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10.Saltwater Grill

Saltwater Grill
© Saltwater Grill

Conveniently located in the heart of bustling downtown Galveston Island, the Saltwater Grill offers a culinary experience like no other. Established over 20 years ago, the restaurant serves contemporary gourmet cuisine in an elegant, yet relaxed atmosphere along with fine wines from around the world, classic cocktails made with top-shelf spirits and craft and draft beers and microbrews. Lunch and dinner menus feature innovative dishes made with seasonal, locally sourced ingredients and artisanal products with a focus on fresh seafood such as grilled snapper, salmon and sea bass, and shrimp scampi. The Saltwater Grill is open for lunch and dinner, Monday through Friday, and dinner only on the weekends.

2017 Postoffice St, Galveston, TX 77553, Phone: 409-762-3474

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11.Galveston restaurants: The Steakhouse

Galveston restaurants: The Steakhouse
© The Steakhouse

Located at the luxurious San Luis Resort, Spa & Conference Center, The Steakhouse is a classic family-friendly steakhouse chain that serves all-American cuisine such as prime steaks, hearty burgers, chicken wings, and short ribs. Hailed as one of the top steakhouses in the country, the restaurant features elegant décor with hand-crafted mahogany woodwork, plush leather furnishings, soft lighting, and a full-service bar offering an award-winning wine list and other globally-inspired libations. Signature dishes of the award-winning menu include USDA Midwest grain-fed beef steaks, live Maine lobster, free-range chicken and pork, fresh seafood, and a range of vegetarian options. The full-service bar has an extensive menu of fine wines from around the world, which can be enjoyed by the glass or bottle, craft beers on tap or by the bottle, and handcrafted cocktails. The Steakhouse is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, daily.

5222 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX 77551, 409-740-8606

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12.Sapori Ristorante

Sapori Ristorante
© Sapori Ristorante

Sapori Ristorante is a family-run restaurant that serves authentic Mediterranean and Italian cuisine in a casual, relaxed setting. The warm and welcoming eatery celebrates all that is Italian with a menu of authentic dishes such as platters of antipasti, crisp organic salads, wood-fired pizza with a variety of toppings, house-made pasta, and from-scratch sauces, and succulently grilled fish and meats. Favorite dishes on the menu include classic lasagna, Sicilian ricotta dumplings, grilled salmon or swordfish, ravioli filled pork, and rolled pork fillet. Italian and globally-inspired wines accompany the cuisine, along with a range of local and imported craft and draft beers, and classic cocktails. Sapori Ristorante is open for dinner only, Tuesday through Sunday.

7611 Stewart Rd, Galveston, TX 77551, Phone: 409-497-2424

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13.Shearn's Seafood and Prime Steaks

Shearn's Seafood and Prime Steaks
© Shearn's Seafood and Prime Steaks

Located in the Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa and Convention Center, Shearn's Seafood and Prime Steaks is an award-winning steakhouse that offers world-class cuisine and fine wines against a backdrop of spectacular views of the Moody Gardens Pyramids and Back Bay. Helmed by Executive Chef Felipe Gonzales, the restaurant serves an innovative menu of high quality, market-driven fare with a focus on prime USDA steaks, lamb and veal, ocean-fresh Gulf seafood, naturally-fed chicken, and organic salads and vegetables. The full-service bar has an extensive menu of fine wines from around the world, which can be enjoyed by the glass or bottle, craft beers on tap or by the bottle, and handcrafted cocktails. Shearn's Seafood and Prime Steaks is open for dinner only, Tuesday through Saturday.

7 Hope Blvd, Galveston, TX 77554, Phone: 409-683-4554

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14.Restaurants in Galveston, TX: Trattoria La Vigna

Restaurants in Galveston, TX: Trattoria La Vigna
© Trattoria La Vigna

Bringing a slice of Italy to Galveston’s downtown district, Trattoria La Vigna is an authentic Italian eatery that offers delicious lunch specials, fresh handmade pasta, homemade desserts, and more. Owned by Sal and Pina Ruggieri, the cozy eatery has modern décor and an inviting ambiance and serves a menu of seasonal, Italian, and Mediterranean fare made with locally sourced ingredients and regional produce. Signature dishes on the menu include ravioli di Pesce, spaghetti alla Contadina, chicken parmesan, veal scaloppini al Funghi, seafood risotto, spiendini di gamberi alla griglia, and Zuppa di Pesce. Lighter bites include a range of paninis such as grilled caprice panini and Italian sausage and peppers panini, and globally-inspired wines accompany the cuisine, along with a variety of local and imported craft and draft beers, and classic cocktails. Trattoria La Vigna is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday.

412 20th St, Galveston, TX 77550, Phone: 409-497-4927

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15.Restaurants in Galveston, TX: Waterman Restaurant

Restaurants in Galveston, TX: Waterman Restaurant
© Waterman Restaurant


Waterman's Restaurant is an elegant, yet cozy seafood restaurant overlooking the Galveston Bay with ample outdoor seating and a laid-back, relaxed vibe. Set in a building featuring antique longleaf pine salvaged from the century-old cotton houses that were once a big part of Galveston’s industry, the restaurant has a beautiful, outdoor deck with sweeping views of the Gulf which is perfect for alfresco dining. Seasonal menus feature fresh seafood, such as fried shrimp and grilled snapper, prime USDA steaks and succulent lamb chops, organic salads and vegetarian dishes, and mouthwatering desserts, and the cuisine is accompanied by an extensive list of fine wines, craft, and draft beers and classic handcrafted cocktails. Waterman's Restaurant is open for dinner, Tuesday through Sunday, and weekend brunch and lunch.

14302 Stewart Rd, Galveston, TX 77554, Phone: 409-632-0233

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16.Galveston restaurants: Willie G's Seafood & Steaks

Galveston restaurants: Willie G's Seafood & Steaks
© Willie G's Seafood & Steaks


Located on Pier 21, Willie G’s Seafood & Steaks is one of the most popular seafood destinations in the city with spectacular Gulf views. One of Landry’s original concepts, Willie G’s specializes in fresh Gulf Coast seafood and succulent steaks, with salads and sides made with locally sourced ingredients and artisanal products. The restaurant is elegantly furnished with contemporary décor, custom furnishings, and exciting artworks, and the refined dining room boasts an intimate, and romantic atmosphere. Seasonally rotating menus feature Louisiana-inspired seafood with signature dishes like Redfish Louisianne, Mahi Mahi, and Seared Tuna Yellowfin; and prime meat dishes like Center-Cut Top Sirloin, Cabo Chicken Romano, and Ribeye Steaks. The full-service bar has an extensive menu of fine wines from around the world, which can be enjoyed by the glass or bottle, craft beers on tap or by the bottle, and handcrafted cocktails. Willie G’s Seafood & Steaks is open for lunch and dinner, daily.

2100 Harborside Dr, Galveston, TX 77550, Phone: 409-762-3030

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17.Taquilo's Tex-Mex Cantina

Taquilo's Tex-Mex Cantina
© Taquilo's Tex-Mex Cantina


Open daily, Taquilo's Tex-Mex Cantina in Galveston, Texas has been providing quality, handmade, and authentic Tex Mex fare since 2016, as well as some of the best margaritas and fajitas in town. Guests will find “Certified Angus Beef®,” shrimp, and chicken fajitas on the menu at Taquilo’s that pair well with the specialty, award-winning margaritas. The restaurant offers an upbeat, fun atmosphere inside and a covered sidewalk patio for diners to enjoy the vibe of Postoffice Street. Taquilo's Tex-Mex Cantina also features a “guacamole and ceviche bar” where guests can watch dishes as they are made to order.

2101 Postoffice St, Galveston, TX 77550, 409-497-4279

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18.Miller's Seawall Grill

Miller's Seawall Grill
© Miller's Seawall Grill


Miller's Seawall Grill offers fresh cuisine and a beautiful location in Galveston, making it a favorite dining spot for both visitors and locals alike. Their full menu is available throughout the entire day, featuring classic American favorites for breakfast, such as steak and eggs, pancakes, waffles, omelettes, and french toast. As for lunch and dinner options, Miller's Seawall Grill serves dishes like gumbo, burgers, po-boys, and an array of soups, salads, and sandwiches. Main entrees include ribeyes and chicken fried steak, as well as a wide variety of seafood, such as crab, salmon, flounder, oysters, and shrimp.

1824 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX 77550, 409-763-8777

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19.Little Daddy's Gumbo Bar

Little Daddy's Gumbo Bar
© Little Daddy's Gumbo Bar


Little Daddy's Gumbo Bar serves delicious, made-from-scratch fare to visitors and residents of Galveston, Texas every day of the week. The menu here features steam kettle cooking, offering options like cioppino, seafood stews, and traditional gumbos. A mix of Americana and Cajun cuisine is served at Little Daddy's Gumbo Bar in a fun and lively atmosphere combined with friendly and warm service. Along with the restaurant’s “spoon-fed fare,” the menu also includes seasonal specials, burgers, fresh seafood, and a variety of po’ boys made with fresh baked baguettes and a Tabasco-infused, zesty mayonnaise. There’s also over 60 beer varieties available.

2107 Postoffice St, Galveston, TX 77550, 409-744-8626

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20.Gumbo Diner

Gumbo Diner
© Gumbo Diner


The Gumbo Diner in Galveston is a place where the beach’s warm waters meet New Orleans flair and classic American dining, serving some of the coast’s best Texas Gulf seafood, fresh beignets, a variety of burgers, Southern breakfast staples, and more. Specializing in offering American comfort food within a relaxed, cozy, and warm atmosphere, The Gumbo Diner has become a popular place among visitors and locals in the area. Highlights of the menu include chicken and waffles, steak and eggs, gumbo, seafood platters, po’ boys, shrimp and grits, crawfish etouffee, and southern fried okra among numerous other delicious dishes.

3602 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX 77550, 409-762-3232

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21.Nick's Kitchen and Beach Bar

Nick's Kitchen and Beach Bar
© Nick's Kitchen and Beach Bar


Nick's Kitchen and Beach Bar offers a great seaside location, the freshest ingredients possible, and one of the island’s largest selections of beer. The restaurant boasts that everything here is made in house, from sauces and dressings to buns and breads made fresh daily. Vegetables are hand cut every morning and Nick's Kitchen and Beach Bar takes a lot of pride in serving fresh seafood of the highest quality. The menu includes Gulf of Mexico shrimp, crispy seafood, a wide variety of appetizers, soups and salads, sandwiches and burgers, an array of seafood specialties, chicken, steaks, and more.

3802 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX 77550, 409-761-5502

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22.Fisherman's Wharf

Fisherman's Wharf
© Fisherman's Wharf


A “Texas-sized” dining establishment, Fisherman's Wharf is ideally located next to Galveston’s Historic Strand District, providing guests with a waterfront dining experience. With a legacy going back to the 1940’s and considered to be one of the city’s best seafood restaurants, Fisherman’s Wharf offers leisurely meals in both outdoor and indoor dining areas and views of the bay. The restaurant is well known for its “Shrimp Kisses,” their famous dish of shrimp stuffed with spicy jalapeño Jack cheese and wrapped in bacon. The menu at Fisherman's Wharf also features signature combination platters, daily fresh fish, steaks, pastas, chicken, and more.

2200 Harborside Dr, Galveston, TX 77550, 409-765-5708

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23.Salsa's Mexican Restaurant

Salsa's Mexican Restaurant
© Salsa's Mexican Restaurant

Salsa's Mexican Restaurant is a locally-owned and operated restaurant and popular dining spot among locals in Galveston, Texas with award-winning margaritas, good service, delicious food, great views of the Gulf of Mexico, and abundant parking. The menu at Salsa’s includes a variety of classic Mexican dishes, such as nachos, big burritos, stuffed shrimp jalapenos, chipotle enchiladas, garlic butter shrimp, red snapper del mar, fish tacos, and shrimp, beef, or chicken fajitas. Two different salsas are served with crispy, light tortilla chips at every table. Salsa's Mexican Restaurant has also been noted in local publications for “Best Margarita” and “Best Mexican Restaurant.”

4604 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX 77551, 409-621-2630

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24.Shrimp & Stuff Downtown

Shrimp & Stuff Downtown
© Shrimp & Stuff Downtown


Shrimp & Stuff Downtown has been referred to as “the place where the locals love to eat” and its food has been a part of Galveston, Texas since 1976. The downtown location offers a delicious variety of po’ boy, salads, and gumbo, as well as broiled and fried platters of seafood, including salmon, flounder, catfish, and snapper. The menu also features daily specials, an array of breakfast dishes on the weekends, sandwiches, burgers, shrimp and fish tacos, chicken dishes, pasta, ribeye steaks, and housemade desserts. Monday through Friday, guests can also visit Shrimp & Stuff Downtown for Happy Hour specials.

2506 Avenue H, Galveston, TX 77550, 409-974-4609

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23 Best Restaurants in Galveston, Texas



Attraction Spotlight: Moody Gardens

Located in Galveston, Texas, Moody Gardens focuses on connecting visitors to nature through conservation, education, research, and recreation. Visitors will find a huge variety of activities to enjoy including an aquarium, world-class theaters, a paddlewheel boat, a museum, and even zipline courses. There are also many educational and recreational programs available year-round for visitors of all ages.

History:

Founded in 1986, Moody Gardens was originally meant to be used as an equestrian center with a focus on developing a riding program for people who have suffered head injuries. The center quickly evolved into one of the most premier recreational and educational facilities in the southern United States.

From its humble beginnings, many additions were made over the years including the opening of the Rainforest Pyramid in 1993, the opening of the Discovery Pyramid in 1997, the opening of the on-site hotel and spa in 1998, and the opening of the Aquarium Pyramid in 1999. Most recently, Moody Gardens added a golf course and a conference center.

Attractions:

Aquarium Pyramid: This exhibit contains more than 10,000 marine animals on display in a variety of sanctuaries. The exhibit features species from the South Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean, and the North and South Pacific. The goal of this exhibit is to engage and inspire visitors to connect with the sea and protect its delicate and endangered ecosystems.

There are many new additions to the aquarium including a Gulf of Mexico Rig, a Jellyfish gallery, the Mangrove Lagoon, and the Flower Garden Banks. Visitors can also witness penguins playing in their habitat and walk through a glass tunnel surrounded by hundreds of sharks and sting rays.

Rainforest Pyramid: This exhibit features hundreds of birds, towering trees, and blooming flowers that visitors can get up-close-and-personal with as they learn all about their natural habitats and habits.

Theaters: Moody Gardens features two world-class theaters for visitors to enjoy, an MG 3D theater and a 4D special effects theater. There are a variety of educational and entertaining shows for visitors of all ages. Prices and show times vary – visit the website for more information.

Colonel Paddlewheel Boat: This paddlewheel boat is an exact replica of the ones from the 1800s. Visitors can enjoy an hour-long cruise complete with dinner, drinks, and dancing. Tickets and cruise times will vary, reservations are required.

Spongebob Subpants Adventure: This exhibit, located in the Discovery Pyramid, is special for the younger visitors to enjoy. Young sea captains will be immersed in a 3D film complete with special effects and all kinds of surprises! The best part? The adventure and interactions are different every time! Ticket prices for this family fun adventure vary.

Discovery Museum: Moody Gardens is proud to feature a world class museum with rotating exhibits. Visitors will be immersed in educational exhibits featuring engineering, art, flight, music, hydraulics, light, and much more.

Ropes Course & Zipline: This exciting area allows visitors to test their agility, strength, and balance. A 5-tier ropes course positioned high above the ground is even complete with a zip line! This exhibit is open daily during the summer months.

Palm Beach: This area is a great place to take a relaxing trip around the lazy river, enjoy a water slide, or play in the wave pool. This area is open daily throughout the summer months and is sure to entertain members of the whole family.

Upcoming Events:

There are a wide variety of educational end exciting vents hosted year-round at Moody Gardens, some upcoming events include the Gardens’ Giants Pre-K Camp on July 22, the Boy Scout Merit Badge Day on July 26, and the weekly summer event Bands on the Sand. Be sure to check out the Moody Gardens event calendar for more information on all upcoming events.

Educational Programs:

There are many educational programs available at Moody Gardens including a kid’s camp during the summer, an overnight camp, workshops, scour programs, and a variety of resources for educators. There are home school programs, special curriculum resources, and an annual open house for educators.

Visitors are encouraged to get involved with conservation programs, volunteering, and internships. There are also a variety of outreach programs, field trips, and various activities hosted year-round including scavenger hunts and animal shows / experiences.

The website is filled with resources including a webcam of the animals, a blog about their past events, and an upcoming events calendar.

Additional Information:

Moody Gardens, One Hope Boulevard, Galveston, Texas 77554, Phone: 800-582-4673

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Attraction Spotlight: Galveston Railroad Museum

Located in Galveston, the Galveston Railroad Museum has been serving the community as well as its numerous visitors for the last 30 years. This institution is a nonprofit organization committed to preserving, displaying, and restoring various historically significant locomotives. In addition, the Galveston Railroad Museum offers educational and interactive opportunities that underline the impact that railroading has had on American history and culture.

Education

The museum provides ample social and educational opportunities for local children and their families. The space can be rented out for special occasions, such as birthday parties, weddings, and photoshoots. Educators can schedule field trips that include a ride on the caboose, interactive lights and cross bucks, and a tour of the model train theatre. In addition, the museum has a unique program for Boy Scouts hoping to obtain railroading-related merit badges. The museum also supports Eagle Scouts interested in restoring the older railcars by providing materials for this type of work.

Permanent Exhibits

The Galveston Railroad Museum has a 4-acre railyard, which contains five tracks of rail cars. Most notably, it houses the world’s largest collection of railcar dining ware. The railcars on display offer an interesting perspective on how railroads and railcars have changed and developed over time. Their oldest locomotive on display is the Fort Worth and Dallas Caboose, which was first constructed in the last decades of the 19th century and remained in service for nearly 100 years. The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Caboose is emblematic of its time due to the year in which it was constructed. It was built in the late 1920s, at a time when Santa Fe was beginning to promote steel trains in place of wooden ones. Railroad aficionados will appreciate the way in which the Southern Pacific Box Car, built in 1917, with its efficient use of wood and steel, serves as a predecessor for trains built during WW2, when steel was scarce.

The stylistic differences of the railcars allow visitors to appreciate the different ways that railroading shaped America. Visitors can learn about early versions of air conditioning on trains by examining the Glen Fee Sleeping Car. In the 1930s, ducts were added to this rail car, allowing air to pass over blocks of ice, which produced a cooling effect. Similarly, the Western Fruit Express Refrigerator Car, which was constructed in the late 1930s, transported perishable food items by virtue of the fact that it could hold up to 10,000 tons of ice.

To get a sense of how the movers and shakers of the day got around during the roaring twenties, visitors can examine the Anacapa Private/Business Car. It consists of three bedrooms, servants’ quarters, shower facilities, dining room, observation deck, kitchen, and parlor. The ornate design and the luxurious amenities speak to the optimism and innovation of the era.

The Galveston Railroad Museum also has two trains painted in the well-known Warbonnet paint scheme. The Warbonnet trains were first introduced during the 1930s, in a period now referred to as the streamliner era. Their unique design was the brainchild of Leland A. Knickerbocker of General Motors. Even today they stand out due to their colorful red, yellow, and silver paint as well as design features that pay homage to Native American culture.

Past Exhibitions

The most recent exhibition at the Galveston Railroad Museum was titled The Waco, Trinity, Beaumont and Sabine Railway. This exhibit was curated by Ellen Rider and featured photos and documents of former workers.

Activities

In addition to the main exhibits, there is much to see and experience at the Galveston Railroad Museum. The restored semaphores, murals, and historical train car interiors all make for interesting photo opportunities.

Railroad enthusiasts often marvel at the model train layouts on display at the Galveston Railroad Museum. The museum is currently displaying an HO and an O-Gauge layout of model trains. These can be seen in the Sullivan Room, which was dedicated to Russell Sullivan, a mechanical engineer whose family donated 400 pieces of his model train collection to the museum after his passing.

In addition to viewing the model trains, visitors can also hitch a ride on the Harbourside Express train. These rides typically run until 1:45pm in the afternoon and are only available on Saturdays. It is advisable to check the schedule for these rides on the museum’s website prior to planning your visit as they are only available on certain dates and are subject to change due to weather conditions.

2602 Santa Fe Place, Galveston, TX 77550, Phone: 409-765-5700

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Attraction Spotlight: The Bryan Museum

The Bryan Museum in Galveston, Texas is home to one of the largest collections of artwork and artifacts relating to Texas and the American West in the world. The museum presents a history of Texas in chronological order with emphasis on Spanish Colonial influences. The Bryan Museum is home to The Bryan Collection which was begun by J.P. Bryan when he was just 10 years old with the purchase of a Moore’s Revolver and a Derringer.

History

Bryan’s father, J.P Senior was a prolific collectors of Texas maps and documents which he sold in 1966 to the University of Texas. Bryan began amassing a collection of rare books soon after and acquired Judge Lewis Wilson’s collection of Texas literature. The collections expanded quickly with the addition of fine arts with a focus on Texas and American West art. By 2011, the collection took up 25,000 square feet of office space at the Torch Energy Advisors Inc and was called “The Torch Collection.”

The former Galveston Orphans Home was purchased in 2013 and restoration commenced to make the historic structure suitable for housing the collection that Bryan had amassed. The Bryan Museum was opened to the public in the summer of 2015 with 20,000 feet of exhibit space presenting the chronological history of the American West and Texas in permanent galleries.

Permanent Exhibitions

The permanent exhibitions at The Bryan Museum educate visitors on the history of Texas and the West through chronological exhibits. There are also special and temporary exhibitions on a rotating schedule. More details on temporary exhibits can be found on The Bryan Museum website.

Orientation-This small gallery welcomes guests into the Bryan and tells the pre-Columbian through Mexican Revolution history of the American West. The central case features a video that interacts with JP Bryan. Other cases represent the history of Galveston, the fire of 1885, Texas colonization and the Galveston Orphans Home.

Spanish Colonial Era- This gallery spans thousands of years of the Spanish Colonial Era and features Native American and French influences as well as the Spanish influence on Texas and the West. The Spanish Mission System is featured in this exhibit.

Texas Frontier- Anglo-American influence over the West is featured in this exhibit that explores Mexico’s governing rule over Texas and history of American Statehood that was the Spanish-American War. Artifacts in this gallery are from 19th century.

Statehood and Beyond- American slavery and the Civil War is explored in this gallery that also how Texas moved away from slavery and developed the cowboys. This exhibit shows the Wild West during the late 19th century, Confederate Texas, Siege of Galveston and cattle ranching.

Rest of the West- This collection lines the hallway and staircases and features artwork from New Mexico and California, the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains. The gun display showcases some of the best and most rare guns that have ever been made and features weapons that were popular amongst cowboys, outlaws, and lawmen.

Texas Masters- Artists that are born in Texas or have left an impression on Texas are featured in this gallery that includes work from Jose Arpea y Perea, Robert Onderdonk and others. Mediums include oil paintings, sculptures, pastels, and illustrations.

Galveston Orphans Home-Paying homage to the historic landmark that houses The Bryan Museum, this gallery commemorates past and restoration of the Orphanage. A children’s hideout that was discovered during renovations can be explored in the staircase and view treasures found hidden in the walls and attic of the home.

Touring

Regular tours of the museum are available to visitors with museum admission and do not require advance registration. Volunteers are on hand to guide visitors through the galleries on weekends during 1.5-hour tours. Self-guided tours are always encouraged with visitors free to take as much time as they need to explore the galleries.

Group Tours- Adults may preschedule private tours for 10-50 guests to be guided through museum exhibits. Tours take a minimum of two hours. Group tour include discounts in the museum shop. Youth tours are also available and can be customized to grade level or curriculum. Tours can be requested online.

Special Events

There are many special events that make The Bryan a great resource for the community.

Wine in the Bryan Gardens- Every Thursday adult guests can enjoy live entertainment and adult beverages in the evening while touring the conservatory and botanical gardens behind The Bryan Museum.

Speaker Series- Lecture series are presented at The Bryan by art professionals. These talks feature special guests with more details being found online. RSVPs are encouraged.

An Evening at The Bryan- An annual fundraising gala held at and to benefit The Bryan Museum.

1315 21st Street, Galveston, TX 77550, Phone: 409-632-7685

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