Hey y’all! This is Jasha here, trying to get caught up on the travel blog. This Road Trip Queen has been busy with at least one trip a month since January. Needless to say, I’m falling behind with travel updates due to ALL the travel, life, kids, hubby, work, school events, etc.
I have been wanting to blog about Galveston for awhile now, even before I started a blog. I always hear so many negative things about this place and it really saddens my heart because I LOVE it SOOOOO much! Everyone has their own opinion, I just hope my views may encourage more people to give this amazing place a chance! You just have to keep in mind that no, the water is not clear/blue and the sand is not soft and white. But overall, a beach is a beach and if you want a quick, fun getaway packed full of memories, this is the place to go! My kids have been to beaches in TX, California, Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, Cabo San Lucas, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel and will tell anyone that asks that Galveston is their favorite! I think that part of it is because they are so familiar with the area and feel so comfortable when we’re here. We also go so often that we don’t really make plans. It’s usually pretty chill and we sleep in and sometimes just hang out in the condo. It’s more relaxing because we’ve done most of the touristy things already and we just rest and relax and reconnect as a family when we’re there instead of being on the go constantly. I hope you enjoy reading about our first ever winter visit to Galveston with our favorite travel buddies!
Our second trip of the year was to Galveston, TX in February 2019. I grew up going here and my family goes a couple of times a year, but this was Carrie and her kids first trip to the island! We were so, so, so excited to take them to our favorite places! My family has actually never gone in February, so it was kind of a first for us, too. And as always, we really had a great time!
This trip was a quick one and was literally planned on our way home from a birthday party. My oldest son Jett LOVES Galveston! Right now he even wants to go to the college down here when he graduates HS! He’s grown up traveling and has visited several different beaches (in the US and Caribbean) since he’s been born. Hands down, Galveston has always been his favorite! It also holds a very special place in my heart, too! My parents do not fly anywhere, so I grew up traveling to Galveston every year. I continued the tradition with my husband and later our boys. Jett also loves eating crab legs and we always make sure to eat fresh seafood when we’re in Galveston. So, on our way home from a friend’s birthday party we noticed that Joe’s Crab Shack in Plano had closed down. So of course we joked about needing to go down to Galveston for crab legs. This was on a Sunday, I asked Carrie if they could go on a quick getaway on Tuesday, and by Friday we were heading down south to the coast!
We have stayed in the same place every trip for the past 8 years and love it! We rent a condo (unit 2301) at Seascape Condominiums which just so happens to be owned by my Dad’s buddy! This place is on the beach side of the Sea Wall and has it’s own beach area. If you’ve ever been to Galveston you know that most hotels are across the Sea Wall and you have to cross a busy 4-lane road to get to the beach. My family did it for years, but this place is the best because you don’t have to cross the street and lug your beach stuff around! It has 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 balconies, a kitchen, living room, washer/dryer, and bunk beds built in the hallway. Overall, it can sleep 8 people comfortably. (I will find more pictures of the condo and post later).
So, we left right after school on Friday, February 1st. It only took us 4.5 hours to get from McKinney to Galveston! We packed in a lot of fun in the 2 full days we had there. We packed most of our food and took it with us so we didn’t have to stop when we got there. But there is a Walmart nearby and we usually get groceries there when we visit in the summer and stay longer. We arrived at the condo by 8:30 and went to the pool for a night swim. Luckily the pool is heated in the winter! Like I mentioned earlier, we have never visited Galveston in the winter and didn’t really know what to expect. The temperatures were in the 60’s the whole time and it was really cloudy/overcast. My kids loved it because I didn’t have to coat them in sunscreen this trip! One of my favorite things about the condo is that there’s a washer/dryer in the master closet. It’s really nice to be able to throw our towels and swimsuits in the dryer after each swim!
The next morning we woke up early and I made us bacon and eggs before heading down to the beach/pool for the day. It was chilly, but the kids played for hours, both in the sand and out in the ocean! It was way too cold for me to get in the water, but the kids had no trouble at all swimming and splashing. We warmed up in the heated pool to finish our day at the beach.
After spending the day at the beach/pool, we decided to to take our friends to our favorite souvenir shop in the ENTIRE WORLD! Murdoch’s has always been and will always be my happy place! Being a teacher and loving all things science, it seriously wasn’t uncommon for me to plan a quick trip with Jereme (before we had kids) to Galveston just to hit up the souvenir shop for seashells and other beach themed items before teaching an ocean unit in my classroom. I loved this shop when I was a kid and my little sister and I have a series of pictures sitting out on the front steps each summer we were there. I was a sobbing mess when I watched live footage of Hurricane Ike destroy Murdoch’s in May 2008. Luckily for all of us, Murdoch’s was rebuilt even bigger and better than before! They have an excellent selection of items from beach toys to snacks/drinks, picture frames, home decor, t-shirts, hats, shoes, Christmas ornaments, and hermit crabs (and yes, we’ve left there a time or two with new pets in tow hahaha).
Then we finished the night with dinner at the the Rainforest Cafe. We had a great seat, the kids got balloon animals and were entertained by a magician before the food arrived. Overall it was a fantastic dining experience!
Saturday was so fun because we got to have one of our girls nights and do girly stuff while the boys played video games! This is one of my favorite memories with the Morgan girls!
Sunday morning we had to get up and check out of the condo, ugh vacations are never long enough! But we’re lucky that we don’t live too far away! We still spent the whole day showing the Morgans some of our other favorite places! We started with lunch at a new favorite of ours, Fisherman’s Wharf. This restaurant is near The Strand and the cruise terminals. It sits right on the water and we were able to see a huge Carnival cruise ship loading up passengers before setting sail. We have really enjoyed the food here and sometimes eat there multiple times during our summer vacations in Galveston! If you take your parking ticket inside, they will validate it and then parking is free. After eating, we usually spend the day or night walking around The Strand. There’s shopping, places to eat and drink, and photographic opportunities (like the Greetings From Galveston postcard pictured above). My kiddos love going to La Kings Confectionery and watching saltwater taffy being made, eating ice cream, and buying candy there! The Strand reminds me of New Orleans, just a little tamer!
After spending some time at The Strand, we headed to Moody Gardens to explore the aquarium! We didn’t have time for all of the activities there, but were able to squeeze in a fun visit for a few short hours before the drive home. We especially love the stingray & jellyfish encounters because you get to touch real stingrays and jellyfish in their tanks!
After spending some time at the aquarium, we had no choice but to head home. I think we left Galveston around 4:00 pm and made it home around bedtime. It was a nice, quick getaway. Vitamin Sea is always good for the soul!
- List of Galveston Favorites:
- Historic Pleasure Pier
- Moody Gardens
- The Strand
- Ferry to Bolivar Peninsula
- Tour Historic Mansions
- Galveston Island State Park
- Murdoch’s Bath House
- Rent 4-seater bikes and ride along the Sea Wall
- Schlitterbahn Galveston Waterpark
- Deep Sea Fishing Charters
- Boat Tours
Stay tuned for more Galveston posts! The Fosters and Morgans went back for a longer weekend in April and brought the Dads along! We will also be going back for 10 days in July!
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