The central access point from the mainland is the I-45 causeway over Galveston Bay, which turns into Broadway Avenue J once on the island. The cruise line’s Terminal 2 is about five miles from the island’s point of entry.
More than 1.8 million cruise passengers come through the Port of Galveston each year. The port town has welcomed cruise liners since 1974.
Less than half a mile from the terminal is the Historic Strand District—36 blocks of over 100 cute boutiques and sidewalk cafés. Next, head to Seawall Boulevard for some beach-themed shopping for must-have souvenirs.
Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier
A modern take on a classic from yesteryear, this waterfront amusement park on the pier marks one of the bustling parts of town. Located on Seawall Boulevard and 25th Street, nostalgia sets in as the smells of pizza slices and cotton candy fill the air. In the 1940s, this was one of the largest shoreside pier parks of its kind. Today the attractions include 16 rides, midway games, restaurants, and retail shops.
Perhaps one of Galveston’s most family-friendly destinations, it is an endless playground of learning about nature and science, while having a blast. Three massive glass pyramids—Aquarium, Rainforest, and Discovery—house aquatic animals, exotic and endangered jungle creatures, and mysteries of science. Moody Gardens also has a waterpark, ropes course, zip lines, botanical gardens, paddlewheel boat cruises, and more.
Texas Seaport Museum
Celebrate a high-seas adventure at Pier 21’s Texas Seaport Museum, the final homeport for Elissa, a three-masted, barque, sailing ship built in 1877 in Aberdeen, Scotland. Her 19 sails cover more than a quarter of an acre in surface area. All aboard the floating National Historic Landmark, for her decks are open to explore. The adjacent museum also has a one-of-a-kind computer database with the names of more than 133,000 immigrants who entered the US through Galveston—sometimes called the Ellis Island of the West.
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