Pier 21 in Galveston is perfect for a romantic getaway, a fun and exciting day with the kids, or an evening out with friends.
Here are 10 great things to do:
Spend the weekend. You won’t even have to leave Pier 21 if you book a room at Harbor House Hotel and Marina, plus you’ll get access to the beach and pool at the Hotel Galvez & Spa. They also offer free shuttle rides to wherever you want to go (within reason, of course). This is the only hotel that overlooks the island’s port, and it sits on the site of Galveston’s old Steamship Terminal. The views are wonderful and you’ll be within walking distance of a number of attractions, shops and restaurants.
Experience history aboard the Elissa, a historic three-masted, iron-hulled tall ship built in Scotland in 1877. No replica, the Elissa is the real thing. Take the fascinating audio tour to learn more. You’ll find Elissa right next to the Texas Seaport Museum on the Pier.
And while you’re there, take a tour of the museum. The Texas Seaport Museum provides you with the rich history of the area. There is a fun computer database where you can search for your ancestors (it contains the names of over 130,000 immigrants who entered the US at Galveston). During the summer, the museum puts on a Summer at the Seaport program for young people, who get hands-on experience on the historic ships to find out what it was like to live on the sea during the 19th century. If you have kids, this is a must!
Go to the movies! After a day of sightseeing and shopping, kick back, relax and take in a film. The Pier 21 Theater offers several different documentaries for those who would love to learn more about Galveston’s history. Learn about the Great Storm of 1900, the pirate Jean Lafitte or the immigration stories of Galveston Island.
Shop ‘til you drop! The Pier is full of great stores. There are antique shops, jewelry boutiques, clothing stores, bookstores, novelty shops and more. Check out Island Relics for cool nautical antiques—they make excellent souvenirs!
See some dolphins. Make sure to take a dolphin tour with Baywatch Dolphins. They’re located right in front of the Harbor House Hotel and they give you a 45-minute tour of the area where you’re sure to see plenty of dolphins.
In the summer, be entertained by belly dancers. All through the summer the Olympia Grill provides some fun entertainment. They have authentic belly dancers who perform during dinner. The Olympia Grill offers classic Greek dishes along with delicious fresh seafood.
Experience live music as you dine. Nonno Tony’s Seafood Kitchen offers live music on Wednesday afternoons and evenings and their bar, Paulie’s Bar, is fully stocked to offer something for everyone.
Tour an oil rig. Touring an oil rig is not something many people can say they’ve done, but you can on Pier 21. The Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum offers you a look into the offshore oil industry. There’s a self-paced museum tour, a skywalk that takes you out onto the drill floor of the rig and a pipe deck full of interesting exhibits.
Finally, it’s always nice to simply watch the sun go down and the sunsets off the Pier are gorgeous. One of the best places to view them is from the patio of Willie G’s Seafood & Steaks. A great meal, a beautiful sunset, what better way to wrap up the day?
Enjoy all the Pier has to offer this season!