On the coast of Texas about 50 miles south of Houston is the city of Galveston, Texas. It’s a city with tight-knit small town friendliness, but also equipped with the amenities of a larger city. Thirty-two miles of beaches, excellent medical facilities, a vibrant historic downtown, and a subtropical climate—this city is a slice of paradise.
The Historic Districts
There are six historic districts in Galveston, waiting for your admiration. Consisting of mainly Victorian era buildings, the area is known as one of the largest and most well-preserved concentrations of Victorian architecture in the county. The Strand National Landmark District (spanning from 20th to 25th Streets in downtown) is a National Historic Landmark District. Many of the Victorian buildings on the five blocks have been adapted into use as restaurants, antique stores, historical exhibits, museums, and art galleries.
Known as one of the most important buildings in America, the Bishop’s Palace (also Gersham’s Castle) is Galveston’s best known building. Built by Colonel Walter Gresham and designed by Nicholas Clayton, the house features beautiful colored stone, stained glass windows, and impressive fireplaces (one is lined with pure silver!) along with other fascinating details. You can tour this house daily, the funds going to the preservation and restoration of the house.
This iconic pier is built 1,130 feet over the Gulf of Mexico, where the original pier stood until 1943. Here you’ll find exhilarating rides—some even sending you out over the water! Iron Shark, the park’s 100 foot tall roller coaster, has four inversions and a back stretch that cantilevers over the Gulf. The Texas Star Flyer also sends riders out over open waters—230 feet above the Gulf to be exact. And if you need a break from the rides, there’s a Bubba Gump Shrimp restaurant situated conveniently on the pier.
For 120 years the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) has been serving the people of Texas. Having grown from a one-building-23-student-13-faculty member department established in 1981, the health care center has since expanded to 70 major buildings, 2,500 students, and 1,000 faculty members. The medical branch offers a range of healthcare, its 84 acre campus housing four schools, a major medical library, and a network of hospitals and clinics providing you with a full range of primary and specialized medical care.
This is a non-profit destination in Galveston, designed to educate its visitors about conservation and wildlife. The garden’s grounds house three main pyramid attractions: Aquarium Pyramid, Rainforest Pyramid, and Discovery Pyramid. The aquarium is one of the largest in the region, giving visitors the chance to see approximately 10,000 marine animals. In the Rainforest Pyramid you’ll see an array of tropical plants, animals, birds, butterflies, and reptiles. There are even free-roaming monkeys! And in the Discovery Pyramid you’ll find science-oriented exhibits and activities.
Also in Moody Gardens is Palm Beach, a water park with a landscaped white sand beach with freshwater lagoons, a lazy river and tower slides, among other attractions. Or you can skip the water park and play golf on the par 72 golf course. During November and December, guests can enjoy the Festival of Lights themed to holiday music.
The best part about Galveston is that it has its own community, nestled right on the east end of the island. Emerald, the newest condominium on the east end is the perfect place to take up residence in this charming Texas city. You’ll have access to all the excitement going on in town, as well as be able to enjoy unobstructed views of the area no matter which direction your condo faces. And for the guests that will be sure to visit you here in your little paradise, Emerald has a collection of guest suites. So, are you thinking of moving to Galveston?