Island Attractions- Nature & Sight Seeing
Galveston Island is one of the top locations in the country for birding. It has a rich variety of habitats – beaches, wetlands, grasslands, woods, ponds, and bays – in a small area that are home to many common year-round species, as well as numerous others that visit briefly or for part of the year.Birds visit en-route from and to Central and South America, north in the spring, south in the fall. Most pass on through after stopping for food and rest, but some spend their summers on the Island and breed locally. Galveston in fact sits astride the 95th meridian, the dead center of the trans-Gulf migration route, and is just at the point in the circum-Gulf route where many birds veer northward.
The Island is also an important wintering ground for numerous species that spend most of the year farther north.
The Nature Tourism Council, in partnership with the Park Board, developed a guide to the area’s top birding locations. Different birding habitats such as beaches and bays, bay marshes and wetlands, coastal prairies and upland wood motts are described in detail. A map and seasonal checklist of birds sighted are also included. Click here to download a PDF of the Great Birding guide, or pick one up from tourism brochure racks throughout southeast Texas.
Galveston Water Adventures
The entire family will enjoy the thrill and excitement of right angle turns, accelerated speeds, and “The Hamilton Spin”, a maneuver that spins the boat 360° on its axis throwing a head high wall of water into the air.
Colonel Paddle Wheel Boat
Experience the elegance and romance of the paddlewheel from a bygone era aboard the Colonel, a triple deck sternwheeler. Her 650 passenger capacity makes her one of the largest paddlewheelers that has ever cruised the Houston / Galveston area. Plush carpeting, elegant draperies, colorful lighting, and uniformed staff members guarantee that your cruise will be a special adventure.
Hal Newsom’s Air Boat Tours
Discover the unspoiled beauty of Galveston Bay on board the Gator Getter, a one-of-a-kind 450 horsepower air-boat. On this trip of a lifetime, you’ll be face to face with marine life such as stingrays, fish, sharks and alligator gars; and you’ll soar along with some of the most beautiful marsh birds in the Coastal United States.
Galveston Island Duck Tours
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.
Galveston Island Ferry
The Galveston-Port Bolivar ferry takes travelers on SH 87 between Galveston Island and the Bolivar Peninsula. One vessel is in operation 24 hours per day. A second vessel will be placed in service at 6:30 a.m. After this departure, the two vessels will operate based on traffic volumes, and will space themselves to carry traffic as efficiently and safely as possible. A third vessel will be placed in service during the afternoon period in necessary. Up to five vessels may be operated for summer and holiday traffic.