Courtesy of Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau

Beach it in this favorite Texas getaway town.

Travel + Leisure
April 17, 2014

Galveston has been a choice beach getaway for generations of Houstonians. Along with yacht clubs and gated communities dotted with pastel cottages, there is a historic downtown loaded with shops and inns, as well as piers full of family-friendly diversions ranging from carousels to roller coasters. And with 32-miles of beach, there’s plenty of room for the sporty (surfers and volleyball players) and the serene (sunbathers and swimmers).

Olympia Grill

Opt for an outdoor table—an ideal spot for kiddos to look out for dolphins—at this Galveston Harbor-front restaurant. Healthy menu options include heaping Greek salads, lentil soup and, for your little picky eaters, grilled cheese pitas.

The Harbor House Hotel

All 42 rooms at this marina-front property have new beds, furnishings, and a fresh coat of paint. In-room fridges and microwaves are great family amenities, as are complimentary WiFi and the continental breakfast. Guests are also within walking distance of local restaurants and shops.

Stewart Beach

Of the area’s 32 miles of beach, this is one of the best for families thanks to picnic tables, lifeguards, public restrooms, volleyball tournaments, and sandcastle building competitions.

Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier

This multi-million dollar entertainment zone is loaded with amusements and rides such as the Iron Shark Rollercoaster, Texas Teacups, and Pier Pileup bumper cars. Kids can line up for fair foods such as funnel cakes, pizza, and turkey legs, and mom and dad can head over to the Brew Station for beers on tap and margaritas.

La King's Confectionery

Meet Ernest Torres, a master candy maker, as he pulls saltwater taffy—and if you’re luck, he’ll throw you a treat. House-made fudge and malts from an old-fashioned soda machine are other favorites at this Galveston staple.

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