Against Galveston’s sea-misted sky, a revived rendition of Pleasure Pier’s amusement park glows brighter than a lighthouse. It’s a beacon that keeps company with spectacular, storm-surviving architecture and a flourishing entertainment district—all of which shed light on the island’s perseverance as a Southern playground. Chartered as a city in 1839, three years after Texas won independence from Mexico, Galveston’s location on the Gulf Coast makes it ideal for beachside leisure.
Eclectic shops, local restaurants, and enticing art galleries line downtown Galveston’s beloved Strand National Historic Landmark District, more commonly known as The Strand. A variety of festivals throughout the year also contribute to the district’s high-energy atmosphere. More than 200 boutiques, eateries, galleries, and other distinctive haunts fill the lively 36-block area.