Galveston Island was so much more than I anticipated, and what impressed me the most was the different forms of Vintage that bring the island to life.
If you are curious to how a real pirate ship was designed, a visit on the Elissa is an ideal way to envision life as a bootlegger. The ship stays docked at Pier 21 and admission is $8 for adults. Guests can see the captain’s quarters, the engine room and even pretend to steer the ship themselves.
The Lone Star Flight Museumis history, vintage and adventure all mixed up and served to you fast. While the museum itself consists of restored war aircrafts that still run, they run bomber and trainer flight experiences in their B-17 Flying Fortress, B-25 Mitchell, T-6 Texan and PT-17 Stearman planes. I’ve always wanted to experience flying a plane, so I might have to come back and test it out myself.
I happened to find some pretty hip looking cars while walking down Post Office Street (home or art galleries, quirky shops and The Grand 1894 Opera House). Whoever painted these is pretty talented in my opinion. The other cars roaming around the island are more mainstream but this one definitely represents the vibrant personalities of the local residents.
If you are looking for the art scene in Galveston, head straight to Post Office Street. The foot traffic is less and there are several international art galleries showcasing impressive exhibits. Every sixth Saturday there is an Art Walk in which locals browse through the galleries, wine in hand.
*Affaire d’art (2227 Post Office Street) is a gallery I highly recommend visiting.
In true bohemian fashion, I had a field day exploring the many vintage stores on Post Office Street. I also met some eccentric store owners who served as my entertainment for the afternoon and also found some very interesting items throughout the different shops.
*I recommend visiting La Maison Rouge Antiques (418 22nd St.) and the Twins Antiques (2120 Post Office St.), run by two lovely twin ladies from Peru.
If it’s nature you want, it is nature you will get in Galveston. Besides the popular birding tours, the most interesting form of nature takes the form of a tree sculpture. In the East End Historic District, there are incredibly detailed tree carvings of animals, mermaid and even the Toto and the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz. The sculptures were created from Oak trees destroyed by Hurricane Ike.
*The Pod of Dolphins & Mermaids sculpture is at 902 Ball and The Geisha is at 171 Ball.
The Victorian architecture represented in Galveston is one aspect of the island that immediately caught my attention. A walk through the historical district is the best way to really appreciate all that has taken place here. Moody Mansion and Bishop’s Palace are two museum-style attractions that take you inside these old homes so visitors can visualize life years ago. Audio guides are offered and it is a good way to get a grasp on the history of the island.
It’s hard to visit Texas and not enjoy the local cuisine. I was only in Galveston for a few days but I still managed to eat my way through town. Gumbo Bar is an affordable dining option that samples different gumbo recipes while La King’s Confectionery is an old-fashioned ice cream parlor and candy factory offering an assortment of treats. EatCetera has the most bang for your buck, with unique soup, salad and dessert recipes created by owner Andrea Hunting, a European trained nutritionist.
Galveston Island is home to numerous festivals and many of them that appeal to avant-garde travelers. Some of these include Mardi Gras (third biggest party in the country), Reggae music festival this April and a sand castle competition every June.
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