Spring Break 2021 on Galveston Island

As the weather warms up, Galveston is excited to welcome Spring Break visitors to enjoy the island’s sandy beaches, thrilling attractions, and more.

Spring break is right around the corner which means it's time to celebrate spring with some “coastal distancing” fun at the beach. Galveston’s beach parks will open on March 13, and that’s just the beginning of what visitors can experience on the island this season.

family on stewart beach

pictured: Stewart Beach-goers by @karina_obregon89 on Instagram.

Kick-off to Beach Season in Galveston

While Seawall beaches are open year-round, the island’s largest public beach parks – Stewart Beach and East Beach – will open on March 13 for the 2021 beach season, offering a variety of special amenities.

Visitors to the beach parks can also take advantage of restrooms, showers, beach chair rentals, volleyball courts, snack bars and other concessions, including horseback riding and helicopter tours.

Galveston Beaches

Stewart Beach’s well-tended restrooms and showers, souvenir shop, snack bar and beach wheelchairs are convenient for young and old. Lifeguards keep a close watch on swimmers, and there are volleyball courts, as well as rentable chairs and umbrellas for those content to enjoy the sights. Alcohol is not permitted.

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Galveston Beaches

Known for its festivals, live concerts and annual sandcastle competition, East Beach is the ultimate party beach. Offering showers and restrooms, concessions, umbrella rentals and volleyball courts, plus a boardwalk, a game room, concert stage and an outdoor bar, it’s also one of the few beaches allowing alcohol. It’s also the biggest beach in Texas, with room for fishing and bird watching alongside the revelry.

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Galveton Beaches

With 32 miles of shoreline and a variety of parks, Galveston Island offers something for every kind of beach-goer.

With warm Gulf of Mexico waves from spring through fall, there’s plenty of time to explore each beach’s unique personality. Whatever your sun-seeking fancy, Galveston has a beach for you.

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Stewart Beach Offers Gigantic Obstacles, Games

Giant battleships, huge bean bags and limbo showdowns are coming to Stewart Beach for the return of the Galveston Family Beach Challenge.

The challenge, which will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the dates listed below, will transform a portion of Stewart Beach into a gigantic obstacle course, allowing families to compete in life-size versions of classic favorites like giant Jenga and dominoes, sack races and sandcastle building.

Participants will have the chance to win the grand prize of a $500 gift card plus tickets to popular Galveston attractions.

The Galveston Family Challenge will be held on second Sundays in March, May, June, July and August and on Sunday during Labor Day Weekend.

Galveston Family Challenge Dates

March 21, 2021 - Register Here

May 9, 2021 - Register Here

June 13, 2021 - Register Here

July 11, 2021 - Register Here

September 5, 2021 - Register Here

Galveston Offers 2,000+ Vacation Rentals and Plenty of Hotel Options

With thousands of beach houses and vacation rentals available on Galveston’s 32-mile coast, booking a remote stay may be closer than you think.

If you’re looking for a vacation rental, the island offers everything from beachfront mansions and waterfront condos to historic cottages and luxury high rises.

For information, visit our Galveston vacation rental guide and click here. If you’re more of the resort sort, choose among seaside, bayside or downtown hotels, from historic to modern, to make your spring break special.

Popular Attractions Open for Spring Break

Many of Galveston’s popular attractions will be open daily during spring break.

At Moody Gardens, visitors can experience a living rainforest with free-roaming animals at the Rainforest Pyramid, and one of the largest aquariums in the state at the Aquarium Pyramid, and a golf course are among numerous other attractions.

The Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier amusement park will be open daily March 12-21 as well as Fridays through Sundays the rest of the month.

The island’s many historic mansions and museums, such as The Bryan Museum, Moody Mansion and Bishop’s Palace, are also open throughout the season.

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Open Attractions

Step back in history at the Galveston Naval Museum. Here, visitors can tour the USS Cavalla, a WWII submarine that sank a Japanese aircraft carrier involved in the Pearl Harbor attack, and the USS Stewart, the only Edsall-class destroyer escort preserved in the United States. The museum offers guided and self-guided tours.

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Open Attractions

All aboard! Visit the Galveston Railroad Museum to see a 1932 art deco depot located on five acres featuring more than forty different vintage railcars and locomotives. Here, visitors can discover what it’s like to be aboard a rail postal car, a mid-century sleeper car, or a pullman sleeper car. Climb aboard one of the two steam locomotives and experience the size and power of these giant iron horses. The museum’s depot has been restored to its glory days of rail travel and looks as it did when it served as the hub for Galveston’s passenger rail service.

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Open Attractions

Learn about the oil and gas industry on an actual offshore rig with a visit to the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig and Museum. Built in 1969 and crowned the Ocean Star, she drilled hundreds of wells in the Gulf of Mexico before her renovation into a museum. The museum illustrates the history and technology of the offshore oil industry and is one of the only places in the world where visitors can stand on a real drill floor and see authentic vintage drilling equipment up close.

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Open Attractions

Yes, there are dolphins in Galveston! And these playful creatures are almost always up for a photo-op. Leaving from Pier 21, you can catch a boat ride with Galveston Water Adventures, BayWatch Dolphin Tours or the Galveston Historical Foundation to see dolphins up close and learn about the island’s historic seaport.

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Visit Galveston App Features New African American History Tour

In Galveston, you can explore African American history in living color thanks to a new interactive tour app offered by the Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The tour, found on the new Visit Galveston app, allows visitors to take a self-guided journey to learn about the island’s many historically black institutions and monuments celebrating black accomplishments.

To access the tour, visitors can either download the Visit Galveston app on Android or Apple devices or visit the website at galveston.visitwidget.com.

The African American History Tour itinerary can be taken as is or customized based on a person’s interests and time allocation.

Download The Visit Galveston App
Visit Galveston App
Visit Galveston App
Visit Galveston App

Cultural Experiences in Galveston’s Downtown Cultural Arts District

The Galveston Downtown Cultural Arts District, an official cultural district designated by the Texas Commission on the Arts, offers an intriguing selection of theaters, shops, restaurants, and museums that are well worth visiting.

The Victorian architecture of Strand Street, widely known as "The Strand," makes for a charming stroll as you shop for unique finds or grab sweets at LaKing’s Confectionery.

Saengerfest Park at 23rd and Strand is a free family park home to a life-size chessboard, Insta-worthy selfies in front of an iconic Galveston mural and regular live entertainment.

Be sure to also check out the district’s 20-plus art galleries, displaying fine art, sculpture and photography in beautifully restored historic buildings. Many can be found on Postoffice Street.

Spring Activities at the Galveston Island State Park

The Galveston Island State Park offers a wide variety of outdoor activities that are free to participate in. While each person over 12 must pay a $5 entry charge to get into the park, families can enjoy beachcombing, geocaching, kayaking, birding, nature field trips and fishing at no cost.

Save With the Galveston Island Pass

Galveston Island provides visitors with a special passport to adventure and savings with the Galveston Island Pass. The pass allows visitors to experience multiple Galveston attractions on one ticket and save 40 percent off regular admission prices.

Participating attractions:

For more information and to purchase a pass, visit GalvestonIslandPass.com.

A Message Regarding COVID-19 in Texas

The Texas Governor has recently lifted mask mandates and capacity limits throughout the state (beginning March 10, 2021). However, the health and safety of residents and visitors in Galveston remain a priority for the Galveston Conventions & Visitors Bureau and the Galveston Park Board. Our employees will continue to wear face masks for the protection of our staff and guests. Rigid sanitization protocols will remain in place throughout Galveston’s beach parks. The Park Board strongly encourages guests to follow health and government recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while visiting Galveston, including social distancing and using the hand sanitizer stations provided at park grounds and facilities. Individual businesses on the island may still require masks to be worn for entry and service and/or uphold capacity limits as they deem necessary.

For more information, visit our March COVID-19 blog.

For more information on Galveston Island explore more blogs here on VisitGalveston.com or call 1-888-GAL-ISLE.

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Visit Galveston

The Galveston Island Convention and Visitors Bureau (GICVB) is the official destination marketing organization for Galveston Island, Texas.