Family beach vacation? Discover the quiet side of Galveston, Texas with a Galveston Beach Vacation
I’ve never lived near the beach, but Dallas to Houston is only about 4 hours. And from there it’s just another hour to the Gulf of Mexico. Growing up I had an Aunt who lived near Galveston and we would go visit her every summer. Maybe that’s why it doesn’t feel like I can let a summer pass without making my way down to the beach.
In an off-hand comment the kids mentioned they wanted to go to the beach. We didn’t have a beach vacation on the calendar, but from the moment it came out of Oldest Twins mouth I knew we had to go.
Galveston Beach Vacation
I visited a lot of Texas beaches including Padre and Corpus Christi. But if it’s a short road trip, then Galveston is the quickest way to the beach from Dallas. (Galveston also happens to be where many of the cruise ships leave from, including the Caribbean Cruise I took last year!)
Where to Go
Even within Galveston there are a variety of beaches you can visit. There are plenty of busy public beaches where all you need to do is park along the side of the road (pay for your parking spot) and then walk down the steps to the beach. There is also a paid beach, Stewart Beach, with lots of amenities. Stewart Beach is one I have visited several times, but can become very crowded. For this vacation I really wanted some peace, quiet, and a place where the kids could explore. We found that at Crystal Beach on Bolivar Peninsula.
Take a look at that view! At Crystal Beach we had the chance to spread out and not be completely surrounded. If you’re traveling with kids that meant I felt free to let the kids dig in the sand and splash in the water without disturbing anyone right next to us.
A smaller number of people does mean a beach with fewer amenities. There are bathrooms every few entrances, and you do need to purchase a sticker to enter the beach. We purchased ours from a local gas station, but they did require cash to purchase the pass.
While the kids splashed in the waves I walked along the beach, chatted with the seagulls, and found some new seashells to bring home. Maybe I’ll make another wreath with them, or add them to the one I already made.
How to Get There
To get to Bolivar Peninsula you simply take the free Ferry! Bonus, the ferry doubles as an extra fun excursion. Get out of the car once the ferry starts and take in the view. We saw dolphins jumping alongside the ferry during our visit.
Where to Stay
There are plenty of gorgeous beach houses where you could stay right on Galveston island. But, if you want to save a little money, it’s easy to stay in Houston. It’s less than an hour from Houston to the beach and Houston has tons of additional attractions to visit during your stay. We found a vacation rental where our whole family could stay comfortably. I loved having a kitchen where I could make dinner and keep snacks for the kids.
Houston Road Trip Stop
I think it’s impossible to go to Houston without a stop at the Sam Houston road side statue.
Park at the visitors center and then walk over to the statue for a photo with the world’s tallest statue of an American hero. Sam Houston stands 67 feet tall on a 10-foot sunset granite base!
Tesla Road Trip
We added one extra surprise for our kids for this trip. We rented a Tesla! I can’t really begin to describe how much my kids (and husband) love Tesla. For Littlest’s eighth birthday all he wanted was to ride in a Tesla. My Mom came through with a friend who picked him up and took him for a spin. His older brothers got the same treat as part of their 16th birthday celebration. And all the boys have Tesla shirts. Littlest even picked this to wear on our trip before he knew about the car rental! Because we were taking a short vacation this seemed like a really fun way to amp up the vacation experience and create a memory they would remember.
After our latest trip I’m convinced, more than ever, that I am a beach person.
When it comes to vacations, are you a beach person or a mountain person?