Trolleys, New Beaches & Upgraded Attractions Coming to Galveston Island This Summer
GALVESTON ISLAND, TX (March 21, 2017) – Heading to the Galveston coast is a popular summer pastime for families throughout Texas, and this year the beach is just the beginning of what the island has to offer. From trolleys and replenished beaches to upgraded and new attractions, visitors will have plenty of reasons to head to Galveston this summer.
Here’s a look at what’s new in Galveston for the 2017 vacation season:
Old-fashioned Trolleys Return to Galveston
Getting around Galveston will be a lot easier – and charming – this summer with the return of the island’s old-fashioned trolleys. The trolleys are scheduled to be in place in May, offering routes along the seawall and downtown to provide easier access to main tourist attractions. The rubber-wheel trolley system was previously offered in Galveston before Hurricane Ike. Trolley fares will be free for the summer. Additional details will be released in the coming weeks at http://galvestontx.gov/trolleys.
Galveston to Sport Beach Makeover, New Seawall Amenities
Galveston will be sporting a brand new beach makeover for the 2017 summer season. In May, the island will unveil four miles of replenished beaches along the seawall between 12th and 61st streets, providing upgraded and expanded recreational space for visitors. The makeover is part of a $19.5 million beach nourishment project. In addition, the seawall will offer new amenities, including restrooms, outdoor showers, and beautified landscaping. www.galvestonbeachinfo.com
Moody Gardens to Unveil $37M Aquarium Renovation
One of Galveston’s most popular attractions is undergoing a massive makeover. The Moody Gardens Aquarium Pyramid is in the process of a $37 million, multi-phased renovation to be unveiled in May. Upon completion, there will be a variety of new exhibits and surprises, including the addition of jellyfish and tropical penguins. The Moody Gardens aquarium is one of the largest and most diverse aquariums in the U.S., and features marine life from four regions of the world, including the Gulf of Mexico to South Atlantic, the South Pacific, the North Pacific and the Caribbean. www.moodygardens.org
Giant Obstacle Course Coming to East Beach
Giant Jenga blocks, huge dominoes and sandcastle showdowns are coming to Galveston this summer with the launch of a new family event series at East Beach. The Galveston Family Beach Challenge, which will take place monthly throughout the summer, will transform a portion of East Beach into a gigantic obstacle course, allowing families to compete in life-size versions of classic games. The course will include eight stations, featuring family favorites like Jenga and dominoes as well as tug of war, sandcastle building, beach volleyball, foot golf, sack races and more. The event is free and participants will have the chance to win prizes. Family Beach Challenge will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 23, May 14, June 18, July 23, Aug. 20 and Sept. 3. For rules and to register in advance, visit www.galvestonchallenge.com.
New Shops, Restaurants in Historic Downtown Galveston
Galveston’s historic downtown offers more than picturesque views and majestic Victorian architecture. It also offers plenty of tasty places to eat and unique shops, including a few new spots to try this summer. On the Strand, Hubcap Grill is drawing meat-lovers to its menu of delicious burgers while Play on The Strand is drawing kids of all ages to its arcade and specialty toy store. On Postoffice Street, the new Blu boutique offers coastal chic clothing and jewelry.
Galveston Now Home to World’s Tallest Water Coaster
Thrill seekers are in luck! Galveston recently became home to the world’s tallest water coaster. The new ride, MASSIV, opened at Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark during the summer of 2016, offering one of the most daring experiences across the globe. At 81 feet and six and three-quarter inches tall, MASSIV sends riders on several downhill and uphill thrills before blasting them into a refreshing pool. The entire ride lasts about 60 seconds. In addition, Schlitterbahn is home to more than 35 other rides for visitors to enjoy. www.schlitterbahn.com/galveston
'Jacks or Better' Casino Ship Opens in Galveston
A brand new casino cruise ship is scheduled to open in Galveston. The three-level Jacks or Better Casino will open April 7, offering cruises from the Galveston Yacht Club. The casino ship features 180 slot machines as well as Las Vegas-style table games plus an a la carte food menu and full service bar. www.jacksorbettercasino.com
About Galveston Island
Galveston Island is a historic beach town located on the Gulf of Mexico just 50 miles from Houston. The island is best known as a vacation destination, offering 32 miles of beaches, a variety of family attractions, Texas’ premier cruise port and one of the largest and well-preserved concentrations of Victorian architecture in the country, including several National Historic Landmarks. Galveston Island is home to popular amusements such as Moody Gardens and Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark, as well as a variety of museums and recreational activities from surfing to birding. For more information on Galveston Island visit www.galveston.com or call 1-888-GAL-ISLE.