Coordinates: 29.300129° N, -94.795845° E
Distance from Baton Rouge to Galveston: 278.6 miles
Flying Time: 1 hour, 12 minutes
Driving Time: 4 hours, 30 minutes
Why Galveston? When we think about escaping on an island vacation, our thoughts turn towards Hawaii, the Bahamas, or the Caribbean, yet little thought may be given to this island that’s just a day’s drive from Baton Rouge. That’s right–Galveston is an island located in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, an hour from Houston. Fishing, surfing, boating, cruising, great dining–there’s so many ways to play here, so let’s plunge right in to see what adventures we can find.
Where to Stay
If you’re seeking an all-inclusive destination that offers lodging, attractions, dining, and a water park, Moody Gardens Resort definitely fits the bill. Spacious overnight accommodations include rooms with queen and king-sized beds, pull-out sleepers, Wifi, mini refrigerators–the works. The hotel is surrounded by 242 acres of luscious tropical gardens. You’ll never want to leave.
Where to Eat
Ocean-view dining is always a treat, so experience the sun and surf at Fish Tales. Start your meal with their hot shrimp kisses, bursting with pepper jack cheese, fried to perfection and wrapped in bacon. After your starter, it’s time to reel in one of their main selections, such as the seafood gumbo with fish, shrimp, oysters and andouille sausage or the Galveston Bay Fried Oysters. Fresh fish lovers will want to dive into their mahi-mahi, grilled salmon, or Caribbean tuna. End your meal with chocolate mousse cake, homemade pecan pie, or key lime pie, oh, my!
Jimmy’s on the Pier
Take a stroll along Galveston’s famous fishing spot and head to Jimmy’s on the Pier, where you’ll find a boat-load of fine food prepared with the utmost attention. Jimmy’s is known for fine southern and seafood cuisine. If you love tacos, Jimmy’s has a wide variety–including Gulf Redfish Filet, Jumbo Shrimp, fajita beef, and chicken. Fresh fish selections include gulf snapper, gulf shrimp, crab, and a seafood basket.
Hey Mikey’s Ice Cream
If you want to skip dinner and dig right into dessert, then head to Hey Mikey’s Ice Cream. They serve up Texas-sized scoops of caramel crunch, salted caramel, chocolate peanut butter–well, you get the idea.
What to Do
Traveling by train is always a treat, but if you can’t catch a ride on one then you can do the next best thing by visiting the Galveston Railroad Museum. This delightful spot is economically priced, with tickets ranging from $5-10. Permanent exhibits include locomotives, freight cars, the incredible Santa Fe War Bonnets and the Gallery of Rail History. If you time your trip just right, you can experience some of their fun events that they host throughout the year, such as their Polar Express Train Rides during the holiday season.
There’s water, water everywhere–so take advantage of the fun offered through Galveston Water Adventures. Galveston Water Adventures offers two-hour sunset tours of the harbor, dolphin sightseeing tours, and an awesome 25-minute jet boat thrill ride that will have your whole crew dipping and spinning through the waters.
Take a day and kick back with your family on Galveston’s Stewart Beach. There are great activities and amenities available–helicopter tours, volleyball courts, and a playground. During their summer Sandcastle Days, you can learn how to build your own sandcastle. If you’re really looking to relax, then just dig your toes in the sand and take it all in.
Have you ever wanted to surf, or paddleboard, but just couldn’t find the time? SUP Gulf Coast is here to help, where you can rent a board and participate in mini or private lessons. Early risers can participate in two-hour sunrise paddle excursions where you can view dolphins and catch a glimpse of other sea life.
The entire family will have a blast on the historic Pleasure Pier. You can spend the entire day twirling on rides like the Cyclone or Galaxy Wheel. Experience their 5D movie adventure, The Mysterious Underworld and Shark Attack, and shop for sweet souvenirs. Lots of restaurants and amusements await you on the Pier.
If you need another excuse to find a place to cool off, then your gang will really love heading to Schlitterbahn Waterpark Galveston. This humongous park features the most exciting collection of rides in Texas. There are wave rivers, water coasters, water slides, a heated pool, zip lines, and even a splash pool for the tiny tikes, and a white water beach. Splish splash–let’s go!