A Destination that's "shore" to PleaseGalveston Bay, where the shoreline is dotted with towns perfect for dining, recreation or repairs. It is a great place to stop on a cruise, if that is something that interests you. Galveston itself is a multifaceted city with a colorful history.
Jean LaFitte, one of the most feared pirates of the 19th century, lived here for a time, and the city was also an important site during the Texas Revolution and the CivilWar. The Strand, a 36-square-block historic district, has Victorian houses, shops and cafes and is lined with gaslight street lamps.
Moody Gardens, one of the largest and bestknown attractions on Galveston Island, features a 1.5-million-gallon aquarium pyramid, a 3-D IMAX theater and a tropical rainforest pyramid. A 180-degree wraparound theater makes for thrill-ride-type fun (1 Hope Blvd., 800-582- 4673, www.moodygardens.com).
What to do
Pirates! Legends of the Gulf Coast is a pirate-themed family experience where visitors can learn about the legends, myths and stories of the last buccaneers. The interactive entertainment venue features the deck of a pirate ship, a captain's cabin and actors portraying the notorious Jean Laffite and his brother Pierre, as well as the life that all pirates led. (2313 Harborside Drive, 409-762-6677, www.piratesgulfcoast.com/)
The Galveston Duck Tour is a unique way to see Galveston Island. On the Duck, you'll travel 40 blocks on Seawall Boulevard - overlooking the Gulf of Mexico - to Offats Bayou, where you'll then enter the water for a cruise across the bayou!
The Duck exits the water at Heards Lane, and then will take you past several historic mansions, through the Strand Historic District, and the Silk Stocking District, as it proceeds back to Seawall Boulevard. During the entire Duck Tour, you will enjoy a humorous-yet-informative tour given by an experienced captain. (2500 Seawall Blvd., 409-621-4771, www.galvestonducks.com/)
Where to DineO’Malley’s Stage Door Pub (2022 Post Office St., 409-763-1731) is a popular watering hole that serves more than 100 imported bottled beers.
The Mosquito Cafe (628 14th St., 409-763-1010, www.mosquitocafe.com), tucked away in Galveston’s charming East End, is a local favorite for its inventive salads, sandwiches and pastas.
Cafe Michael Burger (11150 Termini San Luis Pass Rd., 409-740-3639) is a beloved beachside joint with first-rate burgers, German beers and terrific gulf views.