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Galveston, a small city 50 miles away from Houston, is the place where the 16th TXDLA conference is held this year. Thus, I finally had an opportunity to visit the island, after having been living in Houston for 2 years and after I had moved to Austin for a year.
 

Moody Gardens

To be honest, I didn’t go inside but luckily I am staying in the Moody Gardens Hotel and my window view is the Moody Gardens and the bay. Great view and I have to share it with you.

 
 
Moody Gardens have three pyramids, and there’s a theme for each pyramid, with the biggest one being a aquarium, the pink one in the distance being a 3D/4D theater, and the middle sized one being a rainforest pyramid. If you ever get to come to Galveston, this should be the No. 1 place you want to visit. Even if you don’t go inside the pyramids, walking around those pyramids and have a view of the bay is a nice experience.
 
 
Every year, between Thanksgiving and New Year, there’s the festival of lights in Moody Garden. That might be another time you can come to visit Moody Gardens.
 

Island Ferry

First of all, it’s free! The ferry is between Port Bolivar and Galveston Island. You can either park your car on the ferry or you can park it beside the ferry boarding pier and take the ferry without the car. You make the decision. If you are regular traveler you may not feel that impressed by the ferry, but well, you may not choose to visit Galveston in that case. If you do come to visit Galveston for tourism, try the island ferry and go see the bay. You may spot some dauphins close to the Port Bolivar pier. I saw several and people say it’s very common to see dauphins there.

Strand Historical District

Have some time to walk around and do some window shopping? You might consider the Strand Street.

 

 
Again, don’t compare it with the French Quarter in New Orleans but it is nice to just walk around and kill some time by shopping in those shops. Driving from the direction from Houston, when you are on 87 and get close to the Strand Historical District you will actually see some really nice houses. You can actually drive around and enjoy the views. 

Historic Pleasure Pier

Sea Wall Blvd. is Galveston’s scenic-drive – driving with the ocean view. You can either park your car at road side and walk on the beaches whenever you want to, or you can stop by the Historic Pleasure Pier which is located at the cross of the Seawall Blvd. and the 25th street. 



The historical pleasure pier is like a pier of carnival. You do need to pay an entrance fee, though.


I didn’t have a chance to visit any of the state parks on Galveston yet but my colleague went with her husband for hiking and saw many birds in the park. So, if you are a nature lover you can also spend some time exploring the Galveston Island State Park. Or, just come here for fishing. I am sure you will find plenty of things to do if you want to come to Galveston for a day trip. 

Restaurants

Ok. Last but not the least, try these restaurants if you also are foodies. 

We tried two restaurants in the Strand Historic Area. Mediterranean Chef is, just like its name, a Mediterranean restaurant. I tried the gyro there. Very nice! The service is pretty good, though. Warm service but also give you plenty of time and personal space.

Another restaurant we tried tonight was Rudy & Peco. Delicious food, wonderful service, a lot of seafood choices, but the food is a little bit pricy. About $50 per person.

Have fun!
  

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