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Old 09-06-2012, 02:03 PM   #1
Gina
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All Things Galveston (Updated - 5/21/14)

I hadn't seen a thread for this yet, and I know there are a lot of people who will be sailing out of Galveston now who have maybe never been there. Just thought I'd toss out whatever info I could think of that might help. Please feel free to chime in, and I'll add it to the list!

First stop: www.galveston.com
A treasure trove of info on everything from hotels, to dining, to shopping, to a calendar of events. Bookmark this one.

Galveston is a beautiful island city, with a fascinating history. (First European settler was a pirate -- what's not to love about that??) http://www.galveston.com/history/

Galveston has some *incredible* architecture -- In Budget Travel's list of top ten American castles that just came out, #3 was Galveston's own Bishop's Palace. Also check out the Moody Mansion and the Ashton Villa.

I love to just drive through the neighborhoods and stare in awe at some of the beautiful Victorian homes -- some gorgeously restored, some waiting for me to hit the lottery so I can buy and restore one.


There is a ton of fun, "tourist-y" type stuff to do in Galveston. Here's a short list:

The brand-new Galveston Pleasure Pier
And check out the new Weekend Pass! For $49.99, you get access to the Pleasure Pier, the Kemah Boardwalk, and the Downtown Aquarium in Houston. That's a seriously great deal. http://www.pleasurepier.com
Schlitterbahn (open year-round)
Moody Gardens (Check out the new ropes and zipline course!)
The Tall Ship Elissa
Pirates! Legends of the Gulf Coast
Galveston Duck Tours
Haunted Mayfield Manor
Rainforest Cafe
Pier 21 Theater for a film about the Great Storm of 1900, as well as features about the pirate Jean Laffite and about the cultural history of Galveston Island.
The Strand (wonderful little shops and dining places, right by the cruise terminal)
Ride the Galveston ferry, with or without your car (DS & I just park in the guarded lot and walk on) -- One of the most awesome and fun things to do and is totally FREE. Go in the daytime to watch the dolphins jumping in front of the ferry, and go at night to enjoy a peaceful ride and all the twinkling lights. Runs 24 hours a day!
Galveston Railroad Museum (LOVE this place!)


Wonderful places to stay: Harbor House -- A gorgeous little nautical-themed boutique hotel, and the closest hotel to the cruise terminal.
The Hotel Galvez, also known as the "Queen of the Gulf" or the "Grand Dame of the Island." One word: Stunning. Another word: Haunted! :-)
The San Luis Resort -- Beautiful in a more modern and stylish way.
The Hilton Galveston Island Resort, on Seawall Blvd., offers free parking for the duration of your cruise and a free shuttle to/from the cruise terminal. (Thanks, Mikehn!)

There are also a TON of hotels, both large chain and family-owned (such as Gaido's http://www.gaidosseaside.com ), as well as a large number of unique and wonderful Bed & Breakfast inns. Check out the charming Lost Bayou Guesthouse - They offer free cruise parking with a minimum 1-night stay!

And private condos for rent through Vacation Rentals by Owner, such as the beautiful Emerald by the Sea, as recommended by Tinkerbell2B!

So many great places to eat, that would be for a whole other thread! But a great place to start is here.

Miscellaneous hopefully helpful info:
Transportation -- Cornerstone Elite Limo
Galveston Limo Super Shuttle
Yellow Cab Galveston

Houston airport info for anyone flying in: http://www.fly2houston.com/
Real-time area traffic map for anyone driving in: http://traffic.houstontranstar.org/layers/

Here's a discount for Super Shuttle from either Intercontinental or Hobby airport, good for 15% off until the end of the year. Input code SJY9J, or just follow this link and it will prepopulate it into the quote screen:
http://www.supershuttle.com/default.aspx?GC=SJY9J


Maps and driving directions: http://www.galveston.com/maps/

Cruise parking:
EZ Cruise is the one I always use -- http://ezcruiseparking.com/ The owner and staff are so friendly and welcoming, they take care of you and your luggage the moment you pull up, and the lot is elevated, locked, and secure. Use the code "ANYSAIL8" online only for $10 off on parking.

Discount Cruise Parking http://www.discountcruiseparking.net/ -- They have indoor seating if the weather is bad, restrooms, a convenience store, a deli. I have used them as well, and it was an easy experience. Use promo code "8115" for an additional $5 off your parking.


Lighthouse Parking -- http://www.lighthouseparking.org/


Webcams -- Everything from watching cruise ships leave and arrive, to people watching, to watching penguins and seals frolic. http://www.galveston.com/webcams/

Weather forecast: http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/...:77550.1.99999

That's all I can think of right now... Hope this helps someone!
Please let me know if there's anything I can add, or if any pages/codes aren't working!



-gina-
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Last edited by Gina; 05-21-2014 at 10:44 AM.
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:05 PM   #2
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You are just awesome. I hate to hear that some are missing Galveston by staying in Houston by the airport. Galveston is such a cute little island.
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:11 PM   #3
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Thanks for the great info, Gina!
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:21 PM   #4
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Thanks for all the info. We are sailing on Oct. 27th. We have never even been to Texas so this is great. So far, I have the four points booked and a one way rental car. We are flying in the day before. Have we made good choices?
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:25 PM   #5
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Thanks Gina! I have been wondering where to park! Unfortunately Chris thinks we should drive up the morning of the cruise since it is only 4 1/2 hours!
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:29 PM   #6
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Does anybody have a experience with the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort? I have that booked mainly because I was able to get it on points.
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Old 09-06-2012, 03:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sissy_ib
Thanks Gina! I have been wondering where to park! Unfortunately Chris thinks we should drive up the morning of the cruise since it is only 4 1/2 hours!
DH and I are still debating whether to drive in the night before or the morning of. I started a thread asking for feedback about a week ago and the majority of replies recommended to spend the night before. I am leaning that way and looking at hotels now.

I am torn between the Tremont House and the Hotel Galvez. I came across some websites that said that Hotel Galvez is really haunted. I'm worried that I will be up all night looking for ghosts and won't get a good night's sleep. But it looks so nice.
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tajz90 View Post
I hate to hear that some are missing Galveston by staying in Houston by the airport.


Me too... I cringe every time someone posts that and want to tell them to A.) get in a cab, on a bus, in a car, or tape enough peanuts to your arms to attract pigeons to fly you, and B.) GET THE HE## OUT OF HOUSTON. Period. As quickly as possible, lol.

If I didn't work here, I'd be happy to never set foot in Houston again! Galveston is amazing, and we never ever run out of things to do and see there, even being there at least a couple of times a month.
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:11 PM   #9
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I grew up in the D/FW area and Galveston was vacation for us. I have fond memories!!

Sent from my iPad using DISBoards
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gina
I hadn't seen a thread for this yet, and I know there are a lot of people who will be sailing out of Galveston now who have maybe never been there. Just thought I'd toss out whatever info I could think of that might help. Please feel free to chime in, and I'll add it to the list!

First stop: www.galveston.com
A treasure trove of info on everything from hotels, to dining, to shopping, to a calendar of events. Bookmark this one.

Galveston is a beautiful island city, with a fascinating history. (First European settler was a pirate -- what's not to love about that??) http://www.galveston.com/history/

Galveston has some *incredible* architecture -- In Budget Travel's list of top ten American castles that just came out, #3 was Galveston's own Bishop's Palace. Also check out the Moody Mansion and the Ashton Villa.

I love to just drive through the neighborhoods and stare in awe at some of the beautiful Victorian homes -- some gorgeously restored, some waiting for me to hit the lottery so I can buy and restore one.

There is a ton of fun, "tourist-y" type stuff to do in Galveston. Here's a short list:

Schlitterbahn (open year-round)
Moody Gardens
The brand-new Galveston Pleasure Pier
The Tall Ship Elissa
Pirates! Legends of the Gulf Coast
Galveston Duck Tours
Haunted Mayfield Manor
Rainforest Cafe
Pier 21 Theater for a film about the Great Storm of 1900, as well as features about the pirate Jean Laffite and about the cultural history of Galveston Island.
The Strand (wonderful little shops and dining places, right by the cruise terminal)
Ride the Galveston ferry, with or without your car (DS & I just park in the guarded lot and walk on) -- One of the most awesome and fun things to do and is totally FREE. Go in the daytime to watch the dolphins jumping in front of the ferry, and go at night to enjoy a peaceful ride and all the twinkling lights. Runs 24 hours a day!
Galveston Railroad Museum (LOVE this place!)

Wonderful places to stay: Harbor House -- A gorgeous little nautical-themed boutique hotel, and the closest hotel to the cruise terminal.
The Hotel Galvez, also known as the "Queen of the Gulf" or the "Grand Dame of the Island." One word: Stunning.
The San Luis Resort -- Beautiful in a more modern and stylish way.

There are also a TON of hotels, both large chain and family-owned (such as Gaido's http://www.gaidosseaside.com ), as well as a large number of unique and wonderful Bed & Breakfast inns.

So many great places to eat, that would be for a whole other thread! But a couple great places to start are here and http://www.b4-u-eat.com/eat002.asp?Z...ton&H=0&N=&S=N

Miscellaneous hopefully helpful info:
Transportation -- Cornerstone Elite Limo
Galveston Limo Super Shuttle
Yellow Cab Galveston

Houston airport info for anyone flying in: http://www.fly2houston.com/
Real-time area traffic map for anyone driving in: http://traffic.houstontranstar.org/layers/

Maps and driving directions: http://www.galveston.com/maps/

Cruise parking: Galveston Park n' Cruise -- Offers both indoor and outdoor secure parking, and is the closest lot to the cruise terminal (right across the street -- no shuttle necessary!) http://www.galvestonparkncruise.com/
EZ Cruise -- http://ezcruiseparking.com/
Lighthouse Parking -- http://www.lighthouseparking.org/

Webcams -- Everything from watching cruise ships leave and arrive, to people watching, to watching penguins and seals frolic. http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/findweather/getForecast?query=zmw:77550.1.99999

That's all I can think of right now... Hope this helps someone!

-gina-
I live in the area and posted a good amount of info. You can message me if you want and I'm willing to help with whats needed.
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:41 PM   #11
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I'm looking for which hotels offer free parking for the length of the cruise. Also of those which of those offers a shuttle.

There are various threads that have some info but all in one would be awesome!
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Old 09-07-2012, 04:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmcford View Post
I'm looking for which hotels offer free parking for the length of the cruise. Also of those which of those offers a shuttle.

There are various threads that have some info but all in one would be awesome!


Holiday Inn Resort...free parking and shuttle. A friend of mine stayed last month and said it was great. We are staying 20-22.
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:46 AM   #13
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Thank you!
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:51 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by RodNicPena View Post
Enterprise will but the one way fee alone is like $250! I checked because we thought about a rental instead of driving our cars but too much $$$ sad but true...gas is cheaper!

2 weeks till cruise!
I called Enterprise and reserved a 2-day, one-way rental from Houston Hobby to Galveston for May. There is no drop fee, and the total charge for 2 days will be $120.99 for an economy car.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:44 AM   #15
Gina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RodNicPena View Post
Holiday Inn Resort...free parking and shuttle. A friend of mine stayed last month and said it was great. We are staying 20-22.

Hi, quick question: Do you mean the Holiday Inn - On the Beach, or the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort? So I can link the correct one. Thanks!
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