Pelican Island in Galveston, TX is its own island, distinct from Galveston—but as the island is only accessible via roadway from Galveston, and is part of Galveston City, it’s often considered to be part of Galveston Island rather than part of the mainland. Despite its relative isolation, Pelican Island offers a mix of activities, hosting campgrounds, fishing grounds, and old naval vessels at Seawolf Park.
Galveston’s Pelican Island is also home to Texas A&M University at Galveston, with much of its land being bought in 1965 and donated to the University. Despite this, most of the island is left fairly undeveloped, with only a single major road running across the island. This makes it a great place to get away from the noise and bustle of the city.
Cross the drawbridge along Pelican Island Causeway to reach the island itself, then continue down Seawolf Parkway for 10 to 15 minutes and you’ll be at Seawolf Park—the star attraction of Pelican Island. Once an immigration station site—an Ellis Island of the South, if you will—the Park now homes an unlikely combination of features: fishing grounds, picnic sites, and retired naval vessels.
Seawolf Park offers some of the most beloved fishing sites in Galveston. The Park allows alcohol (but no glass) as well as pets on leashes. The picnic spots are popular places to congregate amid a long day of going for the large haul. Open 24-hours a day, some people will even fish overnight when the summer evenings are gentle.
Parking costs $6 per car, and fishing bands cost $6 for fishers between 12 and 64, with discounts for children and seniors. It’s worth noting that currently, there is no electricity, water supply, or sewage systems available at the sites, so bring your own water bottles!
The American Undersea Warfare Center
Hosting the USS Cavalla and the USS Stewart, the American Undersea Warfare Center is another major attraction of the park. Google reviews adore the experience of entering the old World War II submarine, the Cavalla—a relic of one of the most devastating and far-reaching conflicts of human history, the Cavalla shows off first-hand the ground-breaking technology that now comes standard in naval vessels. The USS Stewart is also on display—it’s a fascinating ship because it is one of only three US destroyer escorts in the world. This unique designation gives it its own special features and considerations. While not part of the exhibits, people visiting the AUWC can also view the remains of the S.S. Selma, a tanker that is the largest concrete ship ever constructed.
Entry fees for the AUWC are $5 for adults and $2 for children, with group rates available for more than 15 people.
Finding Pelican Island in Galveston, TX
From west of Historic Downtown, take the Pelican Island Causeway to the Island. It’s your chance to get away from the city for a change!