Galveston is the perfect destination for your family weekend getaway. Why? This scenic coastal city offers great year-round temperatures and endless ways for your family to spend your weekend vacation. And since it’s only an hour’s drive from Houston, it’s fantastic for Texas families, but it’s also worth the trip if you’re from out of state.
Whether your family enjoys being on the beach, splashing at a waterpark, taking in the historic sights or eating succulent seafood, Galveston has your whole family and long weekend covered. Below is our recommendation for how to have some family fun during your three-day stay in Galveston.
Friday family fun
Since Galveston is a coastal city, your family most likely wants to spend their first day here at the beach. Stewart Beach is just the beach to accomplish that feat. It’s the premier family beach on the island because of all it offers in addition to soft sands and warm saltwater. There’s a children’s playground, concessions, chair and umbrella rentals, volleyball courts and a gift shop. Stewart Beach also sponsors family events during the summer, like sandcastle competitions.
After swimming and building sandcastles with your kids all day, it’s time for a delicious seafood dinner at Olympia Grill on the Seawall. Their menu has all the good seafood options — crab balls, a Shrimp Boy sandwich, Gulf shrimp, grilled salmon and more. And for your younger kids, they have a kid’s menu that appeals to every kind of kid’s appetite.
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While on the Seawall, enjoy all the sights and sounds of the area as you and your family take a stroll down America’s longest continuous beachfront sidewalk on Seawall Boulevard. There’s plenty to see on this scenic walk, as well as places to shop at. This walkway is an ideal spot to see a beautiful Galveston sunset with your family, and it’s just a fun, relaxing way to enjoy the city, its people and the ocean scenery at night.
Saturday family fun
Start your day off right by treating your family to a fresh, homemade meal complete with the friendliest service at Mosquito Café. The quiche, corned beef hash tacos and Mosquito Benedict are great breakfast options, and they even have a “Kiddos Breakfast” menu for your little ones.
Spend your Saturday morning and afternoon checking out some of Galveston’s museums. There’s a handful to choose from, but we suggest making Pirates! Legends of the Gulf Coast and the Lone Star Flight Museum the two your family sees. Take your kids aboard the first museum for an interactive learning experience about the legends and myths of pirates. There’s a scavenger hunt where you earn treasure at the end for completing, which makes for some added fun for kids as they explore through the museum.
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The Lone Star Flight Museum is home to a vast collection of restored aircraft and aviation exhibits. Their collection includes WWII fighter planes and bombers. It’s an educational and informative history museum but also a chance for you and your family to see some really old and impressive aircrafts.
If your family isn’t too tired, spend your night at Pleasure Pier. First, get some dinner near the pier at Fisherman’s Wharf. Another tasty seafood spot, this Galveston restaurant serves the freshest fish and fried seafood around and has some mouth-watering house specialties. Once dinner is complete, get ready for one wild night at Pleasure Pier. This amusement park has all kinds of games and rides for every age. Several of the rides even have you soaring out over the Gulf of Mexico. There’s no better place to spend your family’s Saturday night than at Pleasure Pier.
Sunday family fun
Sadly it’s your last day in Galveston, but that just means you need to make the most of it!
First on the day’s itinerary is breakfast. Stop in at Jimmy’s on the Pier for fluffy pancakes, hot breakfast burritos or Southern biscuits and gravy. The food is good, but the panoramic views of the gulf from the restaurant and its deck are even better.
Next on the list is another fun day in the sun at Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark. Stay refreshed and cool during the summer months on their more than 30 water adventures and rides for families of all ages. Tube down winding waterslides, float in the Torrent River, play in the Treasure Island Kids Pool and so much more. Summer never has to end here because even during the cooler months, Schlitterbahn has a heated indoor waterpark that has slides and tube rides for your family to go on.
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That adventure-filled day at Schlitterbahn is sure to make you all hungry, so have a nice slice of pie — pizza pie that is — at Mario’s Ristorante. It’s the oldest Italian restaurant in the city and serves up delicious pizzas, pastas, sandwiches, soups and desserts. Don’t eat too much pizza to have to skip out on dessert though. You want to save room for a cannoli or a piece of one of Mario’s scrumptious chocolate cakes.
There are few places better to take your family on a weekend getaway than Galveston. Make sure you also explore Galveston’s Best Kept Secrets on the Waterfront or find a restaurant with an relaxing waterfront view.