Galveston Island and Coast
Galveston Island, on the Gulf Coast less than an hour south of Houston, is much
more than just a resort town. The small city has a long history to match its
rich beauty and charm—it has been the home of buccaneers and tycoons and was
once called the “Wall Street of the South” because of the wealth and prosperity
the city garnered as the nation’s second most prosperous port.
Galveston’s historic elegance is often
compared to that of Charleston,
and New Orleans, and, like these sister cities, Galveston welcomes new
residents with gracious hospitality and a cultural identity
all its own.
With architectural examples from every era since Galveston’s inception in the
1820s, the homes, mansions and commercial buildings on the East End preserve the
island’s past and present as a cultural center of the Gulf Coast. Organizations
like the Galveston Historical Foundation work tirelessly with the city and local
residents to ensure these buildings are protected, while also maintaining
several mansions open to public viewing. Visitors can explore the original
rooms, furnishings and artifacts of several grand estates, like the Bishop’s
Palace and Moody Mansion.
On the island’s West End, the homes take to the skies, perched safely on a solid
footing of beams and pilings. For those who elect to call these wonderful
beachfront and waterfront properties their homes, the sand and sea are never
more than a few steps away, and the lifestyle is one that can be hard to
describe: equally relaxing, inspiring and exhilarating.
A strong connection to nature features prominently in Galveston, with views of
the beach and bays, endless preserved marshlands, clear skies and open space.
The Gulf of Mexico creates miles of clean, uncrowded public beaches with warm,
gentle tides. Outdoor sportsmen and sportswomen will find the island to be a
paradise, featuring some of the best birding in the country, as well as
excellent fishing and other recreational pursuits.
Drs. Meredith and Todd Masel come from different places but share a love for their family life in Galveston.
Just behind the shoreline stands Galveston’s famous Seawall, a protective wall
that also acts as the island’s main boulevard and promenade. With shops,
restaurants and a large, accommodating sidewalk that runs a hefty length of the
beach, the Seawall is a place to run, bike or simply relax and enjoy the
Island’s unrivaled Gulf views.
At 25th St. and the Seawall, Galveston’s Pleasure Pier extends
1,130 feet out over the Gulf of Mexico. The large park has multiple shops, game
booths and rides, including a neon-lit Ferris wheel and coasters.
On the bay, the three pyramids of Moody
Gardens punctuate the skyline. Here, guests can walk through a tropical
rainforest, experience various IMAX films and explore a large aquarium.
Though the Gulf waters are easily Galveston’s most recognizable feature, the
island has much more to offer to local residents and visitors. Downtown, the
Strand and nearby streets are filled with wonderful shops and cafes, live music
and several annual events unique to the Island.
In December, the island hosts Dickens on the Strand, a weekend-long holiday
festival that revisits the tales of Charles Dickens and the charm of England’s
Victorian Era. Mardi Gras Galveston!, Texas’ largest Mardi Gras celebration,
brings grand parades, great bands and tons of visitors food and fun for two
weeks in February. Throughout the year, the Strand sees several other large
events like the Yaga’s Wild Game BBQ Cookoff, the Lone Star Biker Rally,
Oktoberfest and the multi-week Art Walk.
Downtown is also the epicenter for the arts in Galveston. The Grand 1894 Opera
House, a fully-restored theater that is listed on the National Register for
Historic Places, hosts several A-list performances throughout its season. Just
blocks away, the East End Theater Company, the county’s only professional
repertory theater company, runs a several-show season each year with outstanding
local actors and producers. Throughout downtown, several art galleries display
the talents of local artists. From oil paintings to wood sculpture to mixed
media creations, the island art scene is thriving through the visions of
creators, many of whom have relocated to island to draw inspiration from its
With its rich history, natural assets, unrivaled beauty and distinctive culture,
Galveston Island is an extraordinary place to call home. The community is
founded on a collective appreciation for its individuality and a sense of
hospitality fills every aspect of life on the island.
Hear a little more about life in Galveston from the Masels and Tim Schilling.
While Texas has great schools, large and small, locals love to share what makes Galveston ISD special. They speak about the best of both worlds: a first-class education with highly qualified, caring staff members and a community environment with an "everyone knows your name" atmosphere.
Galveston Independent School District (GISD) is very proud and appreciative of the support its parents and community have given throughout the years. Students and staff enjoy an excellent learning environment, both in the classroom and through extra-curricular activities.
Other Schools and Day Care
For Prospective Parents
Galveston Island and the adjacent coastal areas offer a wide variety of home and housing choices. Check the resources below for current information, including current listings for home sales and rentals, for this region. Please read our disclaimer about the links below, and visit our links page for additional information and tools related to relocation.
Galveston Island ZIP codes