In anticipation of a paranormal weekend coming up in Galveston, TX, I thought I would write about the city and all it has to offer guests and vacationers. I have visited the island many times, not just for paranormal events, but also for some fun and relaxation when I needed some beach time. I have also cruised out of the Galveston port a few times and I only wish they had a larger variety of itineraries out of this port.
Families will love Galveston for a number of reasons. First, there is Moody Gardens. They have several attractions that will appeal to all ages and interests. The Aquarium Pyramid, Rain Forest Pyramid, MG 3D Theater, 4D Special FX Theater, Colonel Paddlewheel Boat, and Discovery Musueum are just some of the things you and your family can enjoy. I like going during the Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday because they decorate the place so beautifully plus my kiddo really enjoys the Festival of Lights and Ice Land. If you buy tickets for each individual attraction, it can get pricey in a heartbeat so I recommend taking advantage of one of the daily combos to save a little money. If you anticipate repeat visits, you may want to consider an annual membership. I have never stayed at the Moody Gardens hotel but it seems to be full all the time.
I am the first to admit that Galveston doesn't have the most scenic or picturesque beaches BUT Stewart Beach is a nice option for you and the kiddos. They do have an admission price but they also have some nice amenities: pavilion, playground, showers, concessions, chair and umbrella rentals, and--my personal favorite--beach wheelchairs. Having a kiddo with multiple disabilities, this beach gets a thumbs up from me for the beach wheelchairs.
For those of you without families in tow, or if you just want a livelier scene, East Beach might be the place for you. Like Stewart beach they have a pavilion, showers, chair and umbrella rentals, etc.......but they also have festivals and summer concert events. Alcohol is also permitted unlike a lot of other Galveston beaches.
One of my faves is the historic area of downtown. The Strand offers a lot of shops, museums, and restaurants. The Tall Ship Elissa is a must see in my opinion as well as the "The Great Storm" at the Pier 21 Theater. There you learn about the 1900 hurricane that devastated the island and is noted as the deadliest natural disaster in the U.S. The last thing I will mention here is the Galveston Railroad Museum. I found this to be as enjoyable as my kiddo and definitely worth a visit.
Next weekend my friends and I will head to Galveston for a paranormal investigation at the Undersea Warfare Center. That is the home of the WWII vessels the USS Cavalla and the USS Stewart. The USS Cavalla is a submarine that sank a Japanese aircraft carrier, and the USS Stewart is a destroyer escort (the only one in the United States). We will be staying on board in the berthing areas while we run audio and night vision video in an attempt to document paranormal activity. This is our second investigation at this location and we are excited about it. You will be able to read about our experiences after the investigation next weekend. They have a cool haunted submarine event during the Halloween season that kids will love. Don't miss it!
The great thing about Galveston is you have plenty of options for overnight accommodations. Yes, there are a crap ton of hotels on the island as well as before you come onto the island. There are also an abundance of beach homes you can rent for you and your group. Airbnb shows a lot of beachfront homes that will accommodate parties of any size but, depending on the time year, you can pay a pretty penny for it. Still nothing compares to coffee on the balcony listening to the waves, or the convenience of walking out to enjoy the water. If you are new to Airbnb, you are welcome to use my link (www.airbnb.com/c/aporterfield1) to get $40 in travel credit when you sign up.