Galveston’s Pleasure Pier has been a tourist’s dream come true for decades, as it has stood in Seawall Boulevard for over 40 years. At one point, the Pleasure Pier was utterly destroyed by Hurricane Carla, but has since been rebuilt, better than ever, as a world-class amusement park with rides and entertainment suitable for all ages.
First built in the late 1940s as a spot for recreation and leisure for the military to enjoy, it was turned over to the city after the end of World War II, and it was at this point that it was aptly named Pleasure Pier. As such, it operated as a family destination until 1961, when the hurricane hit. Hurricane Ike also did significant damage in 2008, but in 2012, the Pleasure Pier reopened as a nostalgically themed park and marked a return to glory for this famous spot.
In 2013, Amusement Today awarded the park the Golden Ticket Award as recognition for being one of the world’s top five seaside parks. Extending 1,130 feet over the Gulf of Mexico on a long pier, the area is also home to Texas’ very first Bubba Gump Shrimp Co, along with a number of other shops and well-loved restaurants.
There are many thrilling rides to enjoy on Galveston’s Pleasure Pier, including the “Pirate’s Plunge,” a watery boat adventure, the “Iron Shark Rollercoaster” that takes riders up a steep hill and plunges them straight down, the “Gulf Glider,” the “Galaxy Wheel” light up Ferris wheel, the “Cyclone” coaster, a kidding carousel, the “Frog Hopper,” the “Texas Tea,” which is similar to Disney Land’s teacup ride, the “Texas Star Flyer” for a high swinging adventure, the “Pier Pileup” bumper cars, and so much more.
Find plenty to eat at the Pleasure Pier, including Texas’ first Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Carousel Court Sweets, Slices & More for plenty of fresh, hot pizza, Big Top Bites, and a full Brew Station. Restaurants within a quick drive or walk include Saltgrass Steak House, Fisherman’s Wharf, Landry’s Seafood, Rainforest Café, Fish Tales, and Chick-Fil-A.
It’s important for visitors to plan ahead as the ride hours are seasonal and subject to change without notice. Summer hours often leave the park open until 10 pm. Call ahead at 855-789-7437 for daily hours and ride information. The Pleasure Pier can be found at 2501 Seawall Blvd., Galveston Island, Texas 77550.
Photo By Allen Sheffield – Flickr: Galveston – Pleasure Pier, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23309998