Galveston Island, Texas will always be one of my favorite vacation spots. Galveston holds a special place in my heart, partly because it’s where I first saw the ocean on vacation with my aunt and uncle in July 2013, and partly because it’s where Colton and I honeymooned in May 2018.
The town’s rich history, amazing restaurants, unique boutiques, friendly people, and peaceful beaches make it a go-to getaway for me.
Where to Stay
I’ve chosen Hotel Galvez for our stays in Galveston two years in a row and I honestly wouldn’t stay anywhere else. First and foremost, the resort and spa stands water adjacent with only a street in between it and a spacious beach. The convenience of being able to grab my beach bag and walk across the street to the beach in less than five minutes makes Hotel Galvez a no-brainer for me!
The hotel itself is gorgeous with a rich history and strong connection to the island. The rooms are spacious (a must for Colton), updated, and very clean. We had an ocean view suite for our trip in 2018 and a city view for our trip this year.
Although we haven’t tried the hotel restaurant, we’ve ordered room service and had drinks at the lobby bar and loved both.
Where to Eat
Miller’s Seawall Grill
This small family-owned and operated seafood restaurant is situated right next to Hotel Galvez, which is one reason we decided to try it out on our first trip to Galveston in 2018. The Miller’s menu includes an all-day breakfast (with the booziest mimosas I’ve ever had – so good!), burgers and steak, and a wide variety of seafood fare from calamari to crab.
The restaurant is very small with limited seating, so get in line at least 30 minutes before you want to eat! If you’re lucky enough to get one of the window seats like we were both times we ate there, you’ll enjoy your meal overlooking the surf across the street.
I recommend: The Jean Lafitte (French toast) with a mimosa (for breakfast); shrimp quesadillas (for dinner)
Colton recommends: Moby Dick (for breakfast); Seawall Special (for dinner)
Located in the Beachtown community in Galveston, Porch Cafe is the perfect spot for a quiet, intimate dinner away from the bustle of tourists further down the island. I can’t take credit for discovering this beautiful place; that honor goes to Julian of I Love Us Photography. Julian snapped our honeymoon photos in Beachtown in 2018 and let us in on the secret of this hidden gem. We ask for a table on the porch so we can enjoy the fresh air and watch the palm trees sway in the breeze.
I recommend: Thai chicken salad, crab cakes, parmesan truffle herb fries
Colton recommends: Shrimp and grits
Where to Shop
Head to Footsies
I discovered Head to Footsies after a quick Google search for locally owned boutiques in 2018. Located on the main street of downtown Galveston known as The Strand, this adorable boutique has the sweetest owner and cutest selection of summer and beach ready clothes and accessories. I found one of my favorite rompers there in 2018 and I’ve brought home unique jewelry for my mom both times we’ve visited.
Luna Home + Gifts
Colton and i were going to visit Luna on the last day of our honeymoon in 2018, but I was heartbroken when we got there and it was closed! So I made it a point to visit during our short trip this year. And it was totally worth the wait! I fell in love with Luna’s selection of home decor and unique gifts and jewelry. I honestly wanted everything! I settled on buying a beautiful wooden tray and colorful glasses for our new bar cart waiting for us at home. The owner is extremely nice and it was fun to talk with him about the island.
Murdochs has stood on Galveston’s sea wall for over 100 years and it’s the perfect place to shop for last minute beach essentials and your typical souvenirs. Here you’ll find commemorative island t-shirts, flip flops, shot glasses, and everything seashell.
The building is separated into two wings with an open-air veranda in between where you can eat ice cream or drink a beer with a beautiful view of the ocean.
Where to Play
I’ve found my favorite beach on the island is Seawall Beach, directly across the street from Hotel Galvez. It’s convenient to walk to from the hotel and close enough to Murdochs if you need to make a snack or beach essential run. The best part is that it’s usually less populated than the other beaches along the shore, so you’re more likely to have the ideal, relaxing beach experience you want.
The Galveston Pleasure Pier is a mini carnival gem filled with roller coasters, arcade games, and greasy fair food. Colton and I visited at the end of our honeymoon week to ride the ferris wheel at the furtherest end of the pier. We loved seeing the island and the ocean from our rotating high perch. If you’re looking to inject a bit of fast-paced fun into your vacation, the Pleasure Pier is the perfect place to do it!
Beachtown is a idyllic community of private beach houses on the east side of Galveston island. It’s also the perfect place to snap a few vacation photos. We took our honeymoon photos there with Julian of I Love Us Photography and I absolutely love the way the photos turned out! So naturally, Colton and I returned to take a few photos of our own on our trip in 2019. The luxury beach houses are gorgeous to look at and the community is so peaceful for a quiet evening stroll in the ocean air.