Fantastic Reasons to “Fall” For Galveston

Fall is the time of year when Texas (finally) get a break from the heat of summer and the aromas of pumpkin spice-flavored drinks fill many a coffee shop.

Not only is this a great season for RV travel, it’s an even better time to visit Galveston Island. The season’s cooler temperatures make it the perfect time to relax on the island’s 32 miles of sandy beaches, catch a few fish, and enjoy the outdoors.

Murals depict the early history of Galveston. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Murals depict the early history of Galveston. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Not only that, fall is full of awesome festivals and you can discover Galveston’s spooky history on one of the many ghost tours. When you’re ready for a break from all the adventure, browse the one-of-a-kind shops and treat yourself to some delicious food at the unique restaurants located throughout the Downtown Historic Strand Seaport District.

While Texas’ summer swelter gives you all the motivation you need to cool off in the inviting waters of the Gulf of Mexico, there’s even more to love about Galveston in the fall. Not only is the weather much cooler (daily highs rarely exceed the low 80s), the humidity drops off as well, making it an exceedingly pleasant time of year. Add in all that beachside sunshine Galveston is famous for and you’ve got all you need for a spectacular vacation on the Texas Gulf Coast.

Bishops Palace was built from 1887 to 1892 for Colonel Walter Gresham and his wife Josephine, with whom he had nine children. An attorney and entrepreneur, Gresham came to Galveston from Virginia following his service in the Civil War. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Bishops Palace was built from 1887 to 1892 for Colonel Walter Gresham and his wife Josephine, with whom he had nine children. An attorney and entrepreneur, Gresham came to Galveston from Virginia following his service in the Civil War. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Fall in Galveston is filled with parades, music, and all the food you can handle. Savor the oh-so-succulent flavors of beef souvlaki, gyros, and other traditional foods served during the Galveston Island Greek Festival on October 13th and 14th.

Then sink your teeth into some strudels and bratwurst and sip a pint of delicious German and Texas craft beer at The Island Oktoberfest on October 26-27. This celebration of Galveston’s German roots, held at the First Lutheran Church of Galveston, has been an island tradition for more than 35 years.

Step back into the past, when Galveston was known as the Wall Street of Southwest. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Step back into the past, when Galveston was known as the Wall Street of Southwest. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Believe it or not, all of this is just in October! If you’re here in November or December, check out the 50 days of events that make transform Galveston into the Winter Wonder Island, including Ice Land at Moody Gardens (November 17, 2018-January 6, 2019) and the always popular Dickens on the Strand (45th annual, November 30-December 2, 2018).

Throughout its turbulent—and sometimes tragic—history, Galveston has been home to cannibalistic Indians and marauding pirates, and it has also weathered the deadliest natural disaster in American history, the 1900 Storm having killed an estimated 8,000 Galveston residents.

If you’d like to soak up the ambiance of Galveston’s past that has melded with the future, you won’t want to miss a trip to the 70-block Historic Downtown District that includes The Strand and Post Office Street. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If you’d like to soak up the ambiance of Galveston’s past that has melded with the future, you won’t want to miss a trip to the 70-block Historic Downtown District that includes The Strand and Post Office Street. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

No wonder it’s one of the most haunted cities in the country. What better time to experience the island’s spooky side than Halloween season? Fortunately, there is an abundance of captivating ghost tours that will give you all the spine-tingling chills you could ask for.

Galveston has many sites that are considered haunted, including an 1867 building that served as a morgue after the 1900 Storm. Visit some of the creepiest locations in the Strand Historic District, or embark on an eerie journey into the Old City Cemetery, the resting place of Civil War soldiers and victims of The Great Storm of 1900.

Galveston has one of the largest and best-preserved concentrations of Victorian architecture in the U.S. Must-see historical attractions include the 1859 Ashton Villa, 1861 Custom House, 1885 Moody Mansion, and 1892 Bishop’s Palace. The first of Galveston’s great Broadway “palaces”, 1859 Ashton Villa (pictured above) set the standard for the magnificent homes that followed. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Galveston has one of the largest and best-preserved concentrations of Victorian architecture in the U.S. Must-see historical attractions include the 1859 Ashton Villa, 1861 Custom House, 1885 Moody Mansion, and 1892 Bishop’s Palace. The first of Galveston’s great Broadway “palaces”, 1859 Ashton Villa (pictured above) set the standard for the magnificent homes that followed. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Take a ghost tour of the 1859 Ashton Villa for a chance to see the spectral form of former resident Miss Bettie Brown. Or, step aboard the USS Cavalla for a Haunted Sub Experience at Seawolf Park’s Galveston Naval Museum. Meanwhile, a sunset cruise to some of the island’s mysterious places is a gripping way to learn about Galveston’s supernatural past.

For a first-rate concert or to see a Broadway show live, look no further than one of Galveston’s cultural institutions, The Grand 1894 Opera House. Fall is the beginning of the opera house’s nearly year-long season, and there are plenty of upcoming shows that you won’t want to miss.

Or watch a historic documentary at Pier 21 Theater. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Or watch a historic documentary at Pier 21 Theater. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Given the friendlier fall weather, this goes without saying. But in Galveston, the transition from summer to fall creates a slew of new opportunities. For starters, autumn is one of the best times to go fishing on the island. Flounder, red drum, and trout are especially active as they start feeding for the winter.

Fall is also bird migration season and Galveston sits in the heart of the trans-Gulf migration route. Get your binoculars and explore the island’s shorelines, prairies, and waterways.

Seawolf Park is located on Galveston's Pelican Island on a former immigration station site. The park offers one of the island's most popular fishing piers, picnic sites and a playground. The park is also home to tourist attractions, including the WWII submarine the USS Cavalla and one of only three destroyer escorts in the world, the USS Stewart. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Seawolf Park is located on Galveston’s Pelican Island on a former immigration station site. The park offers one of the island’s most popular fishing piers, picnic sites and a playground. The park is also home to tourist attractions, including the WWII submarine the USS Cavalla and one of only three destroyer escorts in the world, the USS Stewart. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

All of this is just a taste of why you should visit Galveston this autumn. The island’s happening nightlife, unique shops and restaurants, remarkable historic sites, and incredible attractions serve up plenty more reasons to “fall” for Galveston.

Worth Pondering…

Galveston, oh Galveston, I still hear your sea waves crashing
While I watch the cannons flashing
I clean my gun and dream of Galveston.

—Glen Campbell

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