Galveston to Kick Off Summer Tourism Season This Weekend
Tourism Officials Expect Busy Season as Island Offers New Beaches, Attractions
GALVESTON, Texas (May 25, 2017) – After setting record visitation last year, Galveston is preparing for a busy summer with the start of its peak tourism season over Memorial Day weekend.
More than 6.5 million travelers visited Galveston last year (generating an economic impact of $1.1 billion), and tourism officials expect the trend to continue as the island offers newly replenished beaches and several new attractions this year.
“We are expecting 250,000 to half a million visitors to the island over the holiday weekend, assuming the weather cooperates,” said Kelly de Schaun, executive director of the Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We will be showcasing new beaches, new attractions and all of the traditional charm Galveston offers as a historic destination.”
Last week marked the completion of a $19.5 million Galveston beach expansion project that nourished and widened a four-mile stretch of seawall beaches. The project, which placed 1.2 million cubic yards of sand on the beach between 10th and 61st streets, created significantly more recreation space for beach-goers.
This weekend, Moody Gardens will unveil a $37 million renovation of its popular Aquarium Pyramid. The aquarium, which opens Saturday, features a variety of new exhibits, including a Humboldt Penguin Habitat, a Mangrove Lagoon touch tank that is home to stingrays and sharks, and a multi-level 30,000-gallon oil rig tank.
And, getting around Galveston will be a lot easier – and charming – this summer with the return of the island’s old-fashioned trolleys. Trolley fares will be free for the summer, 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 and will launch next month.
Additionally, visitors to the island will have plenty of new experiences to explore this summer, including:
- Princess Day at the Beach – May 27 at Stewart Beach
- Galveston Family Beach Challenge – May 28, June 18, July 23, Aug. 20, Sept. 3 at East Beach
- Sandcastle Days – June 4, July 8, July 22, July 29, Aug. 5 at Stewart Beach
- New shops and restaurants in historic downtown Galveston, including Hubcap Grill, Play on The Strand and Blu boutique.
- MASSIV, the world’s tallest water coaster, at Schlitterbahn Waterpark
For more information on Galveston tourism, visit www.galveston.com.