Sometimes simply called “The Strand District” or even just “The Strand,” Galveston’s Strand Historic District is a part of the downtown area. Like many downtowns, it features buildings of a bygone era as well as many small businesses that offer unique treats, hidden surprises, and an atmosphere that cannot be duplicated anywhere else on Galveston Island.
The term “Historic” was earned in two ways. For one, the shops themselves are inspired by old Victorian-style buildings. The architecture hearkens back to a post-Civil War day where America was recovering even as it was expanding its wealth and influence in the world. In short, the architecture is a treat to look at, and even walking down the Strand is a lovely way to spend an hour or two.
The other reason the Strand in Galveston, TX is called Historic is the museums. It’s home to the Texas Seaport Museum, for one—just as Ellis Island and Angel Island welcomed immigrants through the east and west respectively, Galveston has a history as an Ellis Island of the South, with information on over 130,000 immigrants stored at the Seaport Museum. It’s also home to the 19th-century tall ship Elissa. The Ocean Star Offshore Energy Center and Museum is another worthwhile visit, as it covers a variety of topics crucial to Texas’s and America’s economy today. Finally, the Strand is home to the Galveston Island Railroad Museum, full of life-sized displays.
Take a break in Saengerfest Park if your feet are tired. It’s a pleasant square that has hosted numerous choral competitions. It’s also a unique opportunity to play a game of chess with pieces the size of a child!
Naturally, no downtown is complete without a bunch of small restaurants, and the strand in Galveston, TX is no different. The area has attracted many enterprising chefs in settings that put the customer at the heart of the operation. The variety means that you’re sure to find something to satisfy your cravings, whether it’s for a quick snack in the afternoon or a nice place to sit and dine in the evening, or whether you’re craving Mexican, Italian, Greek, or burgers. It’s especially a treat if you want fresh seafood from the Gulf—it may not be as renowned as Alaskan salmon or New England clam chowder, but that doesn’t make it any less fabulous!
Find Your Way to the Galveston Strand
A subset of the downtown area, you can find the Strand near 25th Street and Harborside Drive. If you’re at the intersection of 23rd and Strand Street, then you’re in the heart of the Galveston’s Strand district. You can find public parking off of 25th Street and Santa Fe Place, with more parking located northwest of Harborside Drive off of 22nd Street. Park your car and walk around—it’s a great place to spend the day out and about.