If you are planning to travel to Galveston, Texas, you should consider staying in one of the hotels near Galveston Island State Park. This is one of the top attractions in the city, as well as being named one of the best Gulf Coast beaches by the Travel Channel. It not only features a sandy beach and crystal blue water, but many other activities. The park includes bird walks, nature field trips, kayak tours, and lots of fishing. You can even camp on the beach if you choose to. There are also many shopping, dining, and attractions close to the Galveston Island State Park.
History of the Galveston Island State Park
Galveston Island has been around for about 5,000 years, with its known history dating back to 1520 when Cabeza de Vaca and his crew got shipwrecked. A government was established on Galveston Island in 1817, though storms would slow the progress. There was a major hurricane on the island in 1900 that destroyed many large buildings and killed up to 10,000 people. This is when the Galveston Seawall was built to block out future storms. The Galveston Island State Park was built in the 1970s shortly after the land was acquired from private owners, so be sure to book one of the hotels near Galveston Island State Park so you can visit this one-of-a-kind attraction.
The Galveston Island State Park has a daily admission for adults and children 12 and younger are free. It is open year-round, 7 days a week, with the exception of warnings of hurricanes and other major storms. It is busiest during the weekend between March and October. The park has a variety of coastal habitats with various wildlife, including birds, mallard ducks, armadillos, marsh rabbits, and racoons. The fishing spots have black drum, redfish, sandtrout, spotted seatrout, and flounder. There are more than 2,000 acres of barrier island land at the park. The ecoregions include beaches, wetlands, lagoons, and prairies.
Activities at Galveston Island State Park
There are many things to do when you stay at one of the hotels near Galveston Island State Park. Here are some fun activities to enjoy:
Swimming – The state park is right on the coast where you can enjoy swimming in the beach. There is a rinse shower, restrooms, and plenty of sandy area for setting up your umbrella and beach chairs. However, keep in mind there are no on-duty lifeguards.
Camping – You can also camp at the island state park for a reasonable fee.
Fishing – There are designated fishing spots at the bay shore and beach. You can also wade in and fish from the Galveston Bay. There are multiple bait and tackle shops nearby, as well as a fish cleaning station.
Kayaking – Galveston Bay has a launch area for kayaking for people that are experienced. There are also regular kayaking tours with a guide.
Hiking and bird watching – You might also enjoy one of the many nature hikes available at the Galveston Island State Park. Go on different trails and see birds as you do so.