Family-Friendly Guide To Galveston, Texas

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Advisor - Erica Gould
Curated By

Erica Gould

  • Nature Escapes

  • Galveston

  • Beaches

  • Family Travel

  • Galveston

  • Texas

  • Beach Town

  • Sightseeing

  • Outdoors

Two kids standing Infront of a big aquarium with light blue fishes.
Curator’s statement

Galveston is a charming beach town along the Texas Gulf Coast and is the perfect place for a Texas getaway. A vibrant destination filled with local flavor and culture, there is something to please everyone. Even in the mild Winter months, Galveston offers plenty to do and see. My family visits often as it is the perfect place to relax and have fun.

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Where to stay in Galveston, TX

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Things to do in Galveston, TX

A board displaying Dolphin Bay Watch in front of a body of water.

The Beach

You can't go to a coastal town without visiting the beach! There are plenty of beach spots in Galveston, but my favorite is farther away from town, towards the West End (Jamaica Beach, Pirates Beach, Sea Isle and Terramar Beach, to name a few). Those areas are more family-friendly, cleaner, and quieter.

Visit the Pleasure Pier

This historic amusement park has rides, games and food options for the whole family.

Take a Dolphin Cruise

This is one of my family's all time favorites. Departing near the cruise terminals, you will spend about an hour with a guide, not only searching for dolphins, but learning all about the area. Kids who love seeing big ships will also adore this adventure. These tours are offered year-round. I recommend using Baywatch Dolphin Tours for the best experience.

Walk The historic Strand district

This area features historic buildings, shops, and restaurants-make sure to check out La King's Confectionary-an old fashioned candy and ice cream shop!

Explore Moody Gardens

Moody Gardens offers year round entertainment for all ages. Enjoy the aquarium, rainforest pyramid, 3D theater and more.

Play a round of putt putt at Magic Carpet Golf

This location offers two different courses both with views of the ocean!

Take a Ghost Tour

Galveston is known for its haunted history, and there are several kid-friendly ghost tours available. And if you're there in October, it's all the more frightful!

Visit the Galveston Island State Park

This park has campgrounds, hiking trails, and beaches across its 2,000 acres of dunes, estuaries, wetlands and more.

Places to eat & drink in Galveston, TX

A colorful building with a sign Coffee near ocean.


Galvez Sunday Brunch at Hotel Galvez - Brunch here is not just a meal, it's an event! Their spread features everything from pastries, to omelets, to seafood, desserts and everything in between. Sure to please even the pickiest eaters.

Sunflower Bakery and Cafe - This bakery and cafe is a local favorite for breakfast, offering a variety of pastries, breakfast sandwiches and coffee

Miller's Seawall Grill - This restaurant is known for its breakfast plates, including pancakes, waffles and omelets


Gaido's Seafood Restaurant - This seafood restaurant has been a Galveston institution since 1911, offering fresh seafood and Gulf Coast favorites, located directly across from the Gulf.

The Spot - This beachfront restaurant offers burgers, sandwiches and seafood, as well as a rooftop bar with ocean views

Katie's Seafood House - This restaurant is located near the cruise ship terminal and their patio is right over the water. They have a fabulous lunch menu-check out their fresh catch of the day and hush puppies!


Rudy & Paco Restaurant & Bar - This is hands down my favorite restaurant on the whole island. This Latin American restaurant offers seafood, steak, and other dishes with a Latin flair. Their service is impeccable and makes for a more upscale dining experience. Reservations are highly recommended, which I can help you get.

Grotto Ristorante - This Italian restaurant offers pasta dishes, seafood and steak, as well as an extensive wine list

West End Marina and Restaurant - Located in the Sea Isle neighborhood, this restaurant offers a casual vibe. If you're craving fried shrimp, this is the place to check out! And your kids will love watching the boats go in and out of the canals, as well as seeing the pretend pirates hanging nearby!

Waterman's Restaurant - A cozy seafood restaurant located overlooking the Galveston Bay. Waterman's offers stunning views and a relaxed atmosphere. Their menu is filled with coastal dishes from fresh fish and shrimp to soups, salads, burgers, pasta and chicken.

Need to Know

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, How to Spend 1 Week in NYC with Tweens.

Advisor - Erica Gould

Travel Advisor

Erica Gould

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Texas.