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Sunday, May 4, 2014

Galveston Island, Texas - Tips for Visitors

Although I've visited Galveston Island several times (before a cruise) this is the first time I've spent several days there. It's the closest beach destination for those living in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

If you arrive before 5:00, stop at the Visitors Center at 2328 Broadway (behind Ashton Villa ). Be sure to pick up the Galveston Visitors' Guide (there are discounts on the page that folds out from the map). This is also where you can take an Historic Tour in a 12-seater electric shuttle bus ($1 discount in the Visitors' Guide) Tours are currently 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. We had a wonderful guide, Joseph, who was very knowledgeable and he gave us tips on places to eat. The tour takes you through the Historic District, The Strand and past many of the tree sculptures.

Two of the historic homes we visited are Bishop's Palace (10% discount in the Visitor's Guide for the gift shop) and Moody Mansion. Both were interesting and lots of history to soak up. Note: a Bishop's Palace brochure has a $1 off admission for up to 6 people.

Of course shopping at The Strand is a must.

Our first meal was at Fishermans Wharf with a view of the harbor and the ship Elissa moored behind the restaurant. We rated the restaurant top of our list for ambiance with mixed views of the meal, but I think we all agreed it was a good choice to eat there.
We did try to eat at Nonno Tony's which wasn't a good experience. They were reluctant to seat us without a reservation. The hostess did show us to an area with a coffee table which we didn't think was a great idea to eat a meal. We chose to leave and the gentleman at the door asked why we were leaving and pointed to several empty tables outside the front of the restaurant. After we were seated one of our party commented that the restrooms weren't clean. We didn't have a comfortable feeling about the place and finally decided to leave and eat elsewhere. I will say the manager was very pleasant and was apologetic that his staff weren't more welcoming.
Mosquito Cafe
Mario's Ristorante was a much better choice where we ate pizza and salads. The only disappointment here was that they wouldn't honor the free gelato (with a meal) that was offered in the visitors' guide.
Our last evening we ate at Gaidos. This restaurant is always busy and it's advisable to make reservations. Again, our group had mixed views of the meal. I had seared tuna salad which was wonderful.
We all agreed our favorite meal was breakfast at Mosquito Cafe on the corner of Winnie and 14th Street. This was a recommendation by Joseph from the Historic Tours Shuttle.

On houses and businesses that have survived the hurricanes, there are diamond plaques next to the door. The rectangular plaques show the height the water rose with the name of the hurricane.


Carole Anne Carr said...

Thanks for that, I would love to have visited.

Mason Canyon said...

Galveston is such a beautiful place. I've visited there a couple of times, just day trips. Always had fun. Even have a photo of a baby shark I made on the beach on one of the trips.

Joanne said...

sounds like a great visit. I do want to visit Moody Gardens someday. Last time I went to Galveston the water was awfully murky - but that seems to be that part of TX.

LindyLou Mac said...

I enjoyed the virtual tour as Galveston is somewhere I have heard of, probably because of a certain song. :)

K9friend said...

I can't think of Galveston without thinking of Glen Campbell. Looks like an interesting place to visit.

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