We love to travel as a family. Since we took a long trip in the fall to go visit my sister in Boston, we decided we might need to keep our travels simple this summer and stay in Texas. We headed to Kemah, TX earlier this summer, and we came back to the Texas coast for a little beach relaxation on Galveston Island.
I'll be honest with you. I grew up coming to Galveston on family vacations, and while the memories are sweet, I'd rather be visiting a Florida beach. My memories of Galveston beaches weren't calling me back to visit. However, since my husband grew up in Galveston, and we had a THSC Convention in the Woodlands to attend, we decided to make Galveston our destination for our summer getaway.
I've experienced a whole new side to Galveston that has changed my opinion completely, and I can't wait to share it with you. Growing up, we always stayed at a hotel right on the sea wall. This year, we decided to meet my in-laws on the island and share a beach house...which ended up being a condo in the Pointe West Beach Club.
Pointe West Beach Club
Built on over 1,000 acres on the far west end of Galveston Island, the Pointe West Beach club offers amazing amenities for homeowners as well as guests who would just like to stop by for a visit. Our condo overlooked the Galveston bay, yet was only a golf cart ride away from beautiful beach access. The kids were thrilled with the two bedroom condo overlooking the Sunset Beach pool with a lazy river.
We loved having a full kitchen to easily prepare meals (by we, I mean my mother-in-law...she's amazing). Every evening we enjoyed floating around in the lazy river while watching the sun set. It was a spectacular view.
Galveston Beach Access
In the heart of Galveston, the beaches can be a bit crowded. Down on the west end, you can drive on to the beach. Primarily we used the golf cart to access the beach, although I did drive the minivan on one day, and let's just say that my husband successfully drove it off the beach. I won't be doing that again any time soon. You can rent a golf cart from the resort, and it was so nice to have.
The sand was really nice and clean for sand castle building. My son spend a good bit of time on building a masterpiece with his grandma and dad.
My girls loved to collect sea shells. Even though the water isn't clear like Florida beaches, you can still find some beautiful shells! Just make sure to check them before you take them home. One shell my girls found was still occupied by a hermit crab!
It only takes a little over thirty minutes to make it back to The Strand Historic District of Galveston Island. My father-in-law attended medical school in Galveston, and my husband's family grew up down the street from this historic downtown. They would participate in the Dickens on the Strand festival every Christmas. It was fun to take our kids back to see some of their dad's childhood history.
There are also so many fun souvenir shops right on the beach. Murdochs was one I remembered visiting when I was a kid. It has been rebuilt since Hurricane Ike, and it is beautiful!
My girls were specifically impressed with the amazing display of shells for sale. Sadly, we didn't purchase any, but we took a few pictures as souvenirs!
If chilling on the beach isn't entertainment enough, there are so many fun restaurants to visit you could stay busy eating for days. Since all of our meals were taken care of, we splurged on ice cream at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. The homemade waffle cones were so good, and the ice cream hit the spot on a hot summer day!
Although we drooled over all of the amazing chocolate throughout the store! Wow!!
If you ever visited Galveston before Hurricane Ike, you'd remember the iconic USS Flagship Hotel that was built out over the water on the foundation of the historic pleasure pier that was destroyed in 1965 by Hurricane Carla. When Hurricane Ike hit in 2008, the USS Flagship was severely damaged, and work began on restoring the Pleasure Pier on it's old footings. It's open for business and perfect for alternative entertainment in Galveston Island.
We had a wonderful time resting and relaxing on Galveston Island. I was pleasantly surprised by the growth and revitalization of Galveston since Hurricane Ike. They've done an amazing job of rebuilding a beautiful destination for families to travel to and enjoy.
If you're looking for some historic learning adventures in Galveston, check out these great ideas:
- Submarine Unit Study
- Top 15 Educational Spots in Galveston and Houston
- Galveston Field Trips for Learning and Family Fun