Galveston Oh Galveston!

Galveston Oh Galveston,

“I still here your sea winds blowing…”  We’ve all heard the song but have we felt her charm and warm waves crashing.  It’s one of Texas’ treasures with an abundance of things to do,  places to see and some of the best dining the gulf coast has to offer.

Did You Know..

 In the nineteenth century everything in Texas was done first in Galveston.  Galveston quickly became the most active port west of New Orleans and the largest city in the state. This small island actually built the state’s first post office, first opera house, first hospital, first golf course, first country club and so much more.

Imagine a  Fun, Exciting, Romantic, Island over loaded  with  History. This is exactly what you will find when visiting here.  Galveston is part Southern, part Texan, covered with towering oleanders of every color.  And stories 50 times bigger than this little isle herself.  Many people refer to her as a Republic of Texas, which is so unlike Texas, in her attitude and feel. 

 

 VRBO Very Affordable Condo and House Rentals on Galveston Island

VRBO

970*250 Vrbo

 

When the Europeans first landed in 1528 it was occupied by the Akokisa and Karankawa Indians who camped, fished and hunted the swampy land and buried their dead. It was discovered by Bernardo de Gálvez, a Spanish  general.  He was sent to chart the Gulf of Mexico from the Texas coast to New Orleans.  In  1786, Bernado  discovered an area near the mouth of a river and named it Galveston Bay.

It’s hard to resist a town who’s first occupants were pirates.  Capt  Jean Lafitte established a colony of Campeche on Galveston Island in 1817, with over a  1,000 salty scavengers.   Lafitte was eventually forced out burning his town behind him and Galveston as we know it was established, by  Samuel May Williams and ,Michel Menard among others. The homes of these early island pioneers are still standing.

 On September 8, 1900, Galveston was wiped off the map by the most deadly natural disaster in history known today as “The Great Storm.”

 One-third of the city was completely destroyed and the rest in shambles, 600 buildings were destroyed or left crippled uninhabitable, 6,000 people were killed, there were so many deaths , conventional burials were impossible. This horrific day still looms large in the island’s collective memory. The Great Storm a film documenting the events can be viewed at Pier 21 Theatre in the Strand district and  is well worth seeing.

The survivors that stayed banded together and raised the entire level of the city by eight feet, 17 feet at the Seawall, slanting the ground so water would run off into the bay. (Interesting note:   The engineering and hard work was so successful that when the next hurricane came in 1915 just as powerful  as The Great storm of 1900, the city was safe and only eight people were killed.

 

Once Houston dug it’s own ship channel in 1917 and with the beginning of the prohibition era , Galveston evolved into a gambling and drinking resort town.

At the high end was Sam and Rose Maceo’s star-studded Balinese Room,

and at the low end were numerous saloons for wayward sailors. This lasted until 1957 when the Texas Rangers raided the entire town. The island languished for years after.

Today The Magic is Back

Even after the devastating arrival of Hurricane Ike September 13, 2008

The World Famous Flagship Hotel crumbled into the sea and was replaced by The Pleasure Pier, an amusement park constructed on the same pier where she sat. We can highly recommend The Pleasure Pier from personal experience. Roller Coasters, a Ferris Wheel.  Sit in a swing and fly over the ocean over 200 ft in the air. Slide down a 44 ft water flume log ride, and so much more.
Flagship Hotel before Hurricane Ike
Flagship Hotel after Hurricane Ike
Pleasure Pier Today

 

Original Pleasure in 1903

Need a little nature?  Head out to the local crab hole just west of east beach, or spend the day fishing at the San Luis Pass.

 

If You Want To Try Your Luck At Crabbing, Go to the Red X on the Island map below.  Here is a previous link on what and how to do…

LETS GO CRABBING. CLICK HERE

Below is The Famous San Luis Pass – Great Shore Fishing or a Beautiful Day at the Beach!

 

Go north on a drive on the ferry to Bolivar Isle for some jetty fishing

 

and while your there take in the sites of Crystal Beach, and make sure to stop by The Crystal Palace Resort where portions of the movie Dusk Till Dawn was filmed.

Crystal Palace Resort -CREEPY-

They do however have a very clean chilled pool, that is perfect for a quick dip before getting back on the ferry to Galveston. No locks on gate!

Motor bike rentals, jeep rentals, pedal cars, bicycles, fishing trips, jet skis, and so much more are available right on the beach  and bay fronts. Or enjoy historic downtown and The Strand, a great place to chill, shop or dine in the late afternoon or evening.

HERE IS TRIPADVISOR’S 2020 BEST OF LIST WHEN IT COMES TO DINING ON GALVESTON ISLAND.     CLICK HERE
The Galvez
The San Luis
Hotels.com is actually cheeper than booking through either hotel yourself.
Here is a nice option for families that require no amenities just wedding a nice clean condo with a great pool.
VRBO is still the best bet when using the GoCheepNow.com philosophy. Here is their link.    VRBO-Galveston

 

Today’s Smile

Happy Travels!

Chris

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