We have here the best 7 free things to do in Galveston. The island of Galveston, Texas, can be found in the Gulf of Mexico, to the south of Houston.
Travelers from all around the world, not just Texans, flock to this popular tourist spot. Also, there are a ton of family-friendly activities in Galveston.
There are paid attractions in Galveston, but the city also offers many free activities for visitors. Here are seven quite enjoyable zero-dollar activities to enjoy in Galveston.
The Best 7 Free Things to do in Galveston
1. Saengerfest Park is the Place to Hang Out
Saengerfest Park is a public park located on historic Strand Street in downtown Galveston (23rd and Strand). The park features a big, playable chess set, wooden benches, and the famous Greetings from Galveston Island artwork.
2. Visit a Forest and Admire the Sculptures
On September 13, 2008, the island was inundated by a saltwater tidal surge caused by Hurricane Ike, killing hundreds of old oak trees. Sculptors eventually flocked to the island with the intention of turning the tree trunks into pieces of art.
The East End districts of Galveston are home to a number of tree sculptures, many of which pay homage to the past residents of individual houses.
In front of King Vidor’s childhood house, for instance, there is a tree sculpture of the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz. When Vidor was a young boy growing up in Galveston, he saw firsthand the destruction that the Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900 caused.
As an adult, he directed the movie’s iconic cyclone sequence. The Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce, located at 2228 Ship’s Mechanic Row, is where you can get a map with explanations and locations of the sculptures.
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3. Visit Galveston’s Harbor
Galveston’s Historic Strand Seaport Area is home to Pier 21, waterfront entertainment and dining complex. You can stroll among the legendary Mosquito Fleet, which leaves in the wee hours to fish the Gulf for the seafood that will likely end up on your lunch and dinner plates.
If you look closely, you can probably spot dolphins playing in the bay. A flock of pelicans has gathered nearby in the hopes of snatching a bite of the catch from the passing fishing boats.
Moreover, the Tall Ship Elissa, which was built in 1877, is currently berthed at Pier 19. Some of the library’s collections consist of artifacts from Galveston’s and Texas’s early history.
4. Watch For Turtles
Is there anyone who doesn’t adore turtles? Throughout the island, approximately twenty brightly colored statues of Kemps ridley sea turtles have appeared during the past few years, delighting turtle fans of all ages.
This public art exhibit, titled “Turtles About Town,” highlights the work of the Turtle Island Restoration Network to protect turtles and other endangered species.
The Galveston Island Visitor Center, 2228 Ship’s Mechanic Row, is a good place to pick up a booklet with information about turtles and other attractions.
5. Take the Ferry to Galveston Island
Galveston Island and the Bolivar Peninsula are connected via the Galveston-Port Bolivar ferry. These vessels operate around the clock, so drivers, walkers, and cyclists can use them whenever they’re convenient.
All of the ships’ fascinating backstories will be revealed during your voyage. Seawolf Park, where the USS Cavalla and USS Stewart are docked, as well as the Galveston Naval Museum, will pass beneath you.
During your thirty-minute voyage, you will view the sunken concrete ship USS Selma, which is now a reef, and you will almost certainly come face to face with some playful dolphins. It’s a fun, free, and round-trip boat excursion, so hop off and on again.
6. Travel to the Rosenberg Library
Who goes to the library when they have time off? You do! Rosenberg Library in Galveston is the oldest public library in Texas, and it’s so much more than a book lending facility.
There is a museum within the library that houses a priceless collection of artwork, maps, and manuscripts. Some of the library’s collections consist of artifacts from Galveston’s and Texas’s early history.
Henry Rosenberg, in whose honor the library is named, is memorialized with a statue outside the structure. The orphanage he built, as well as the Texas Heroes monument at the corner of 25th and Broadway, are just a few of the many things he gave to the island of Galveston.
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7. Visit The Strand
The Strand, a popular destination for visitors to Galveston, also offers some of the city’s top free attractions. Located in the heart of downtown, the five blocks that makeup Strand Street are lined with stores, museums, restaurants, and more, all of which offer stunning views of the harbor.
There is a lot of beautiful Victorian architecture here, so be sure to bring your camera to capture some memories with your loved ones.
Of course, buying things cost money, but a walk down the Strand or a visit to Saengerfest Park on 23rd Street, where you can play chess on a life-size board, is completely free.