Galveston History & Tours


What better way to explore Galveston Island than by boat, duck, ferry, segway, even helicopter, or just hearing about the island's history... and the ghosts that are supposed to inhabit our island too!?!

Galveston-Bolivar Ferry

The Galveston-Port Bolivar ferry takes travelers on SH 87 between Galveston Island and the Bolivar Peninsula. Riders can choose to walk on or drive their vehicle.

The ferry is considered by some to be one of the must-do things in Galveston, and it's FREE! It`s a great site seeing activity; typically riders will see tons of seagulls, pelicans, even dolphins, and of course huge cargo ships and tankers traveling to and from the Port of Houston.

Location: 1000 Ferry Road, Galveston, TX 77550
Phone: 409-795-2230

Escape the Island

Enjoy this opportunity to put your cell phones away for an hour or so of uninterrupted time with family, friends or coworkers.

You will have five rooms to challenge:
  • Unlock the Hidden Treasures of Jean Lafitte
  • Escape the Raid from the Legendary Balinese Room
  • Escape the 1900 Storm
  • Escape Out of Order Elevator
  • Escape Galvez Room 501 - The Haunting of Audra

Be sure you know your history, as it may come in handy as you try to escape.

Location: 910 21st Street, Galveston, TX 77550
Phone: 832-221-8080

Tree Sculpture Tours

Sculpture artists have breathed a second life into something Mother Nature attempted to destroy on September 13th, 2008 when Hurricane Ike made landfall. Tidal surges and powerful winds and waves uprooted many trees, but ultimately the salty storm waters led to the demise of thousands of others.

Whimsical sculptures have replaced the majestic oaks that once lined many neighborhood streets and shaded homes. Tucked into gardens and nestled inside yards the sculptures are there for the public to enjoy.

Baywatch Dolphin Tours

On our 45-minute narrated tour of Galveston Harbor, you`ll see dolphins in their own natural habitat, a World War II submarine and destroyer, the Tall Ship Elissa, as well as drilling rigs, ferry boats, and the mighty ship channel.

Our boat has a covered interior and is a dolphin-safe tour boat. Our boat is a jet drive boat; there are no propellers. We bring you up close to view the dolphins in their natural habitat. The Baywatch I is powered by an economical 300 H.P. John Deer Marine Diesel engine. It is 34 feet long and is U.S. Coast Guard certified for 36 passengers.

Location: 2100 Harborside Drive, Galveston, TX 77550
Phone: 832-859-4557

SegCity Segway Tours

Make awesome memories. Have the time of your life! Tours are fun and creative.

There are many tour options available:
  • The Haunted Legends Tour
  • Magical History Tour
  • Tree Carvings Tour
  • Rat Pack Tour
  • Sunset Tour
  • Seawall Cruise Tour
  • Segway Experience

Safety is our top priority. Our highly trained professional tour guides will teach you how to comfortably ride a Segway. It may sound tedious, but learning to ride a Segway is not only fun, but it's also an exhilarating once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Location: 19 25th Street, Galveston, TX 77550
Phone: 409-692-6691

Galveston Duck Tours

Galveston Duck Tours starts on Seawall Boulevard, pointing out many exciting attractions. Then it`s off into the water at Offatt`s Bayou for 15 minutes. That's right, it really goes in the water!

Once the Galveston Duck Tours hits land again, you'll see some of Galveston's beautiful 1900's mansions and the historic downtown Strand shopping district. On the journey back to the Seawall you'll pass through the Silk Stockings historical homes district.

During the entire Duck Tour, you will enjoy a humorous yet informative tour narrated by our experienced captains.

Location: Seawall @ 25th Street, in front of Murdoch's
Phone: 409-621-4771

Galveston Helicopter Tours

Great Value Beach Tour starts at $50/person and is a 7-mile tour that takes you over the Pleasure Pier, along the seawall, to East Beach before returning to the helipad at Stewart Beach. A great tour for the first-timer or those who want to see what helicopter flights are all about.

Additional tour options:
  • Ship & Shore Tour: starting at $80/person
  • Best Selling Sea Life Tour: starting at $100/person
  • Around the Island Tour (most popular): starting at $150/person
  • Sunset Tour: starting at $175/person
Location: 201 Seawall Blvd., Galveston, TX 77550
Phone: 409-750-1699

Pier 21 Theater

Pier 21 Theater is a family-friendly venue that offers three documentary films for history buffs and curious visitors alike. The movies highlight the major events of Galveston Island including the 1900 storm that ravaged the island and chronicles of Galveston's beloved pirate history.

The Great Storm, is a 27-minute documentary that tells the incredible story of the deadliest natural disaster in the United States history through personal letters, photos, and articles.

Pirate enthusiasts are sure to enjoy the 18-minute Pirate Island chronicles the adventures of the infamous Jean Laffite who called Galveston home for three years.

Galveston - Gateway on the Gulf, is a 56-minute PBS documentary on immigration. This film gives a history of Galveston as a port of entry for more than 133,000 immigrants.

Pier 21 Theater is managed by the Galveston Historical Foundation and owned and operated by Mitchell Historic Properties.

Location: 2100 Harborside Drive, Galveston, TX 77550
Phone: 409-763-8808

Rosewood Cemetery

Rosewood Cemetery is Galveston's first burial ground designated exclusively for African Americans. The cemetery was established in 1911 by a group of African American citizens who organized themselves as the Rosewood Cemetery Association. The Rosewood Cemetery Association purchased the land from the Joe Levy Family and 86 shares were divided among 26 shareholders; including churches, associations, societies, and individuals, including the Wright Cuney Lodge.

On September 7, 1945, one of the shareholders sold 19 shares to Thomas Armstrong. In 1957, Armstrong purchased the remaining shares of the Rosewood Association. Upon Armstrong's death, his estate sold the property to the Saraccos.

Knowing when he purchased it that the property he planned to develop contained a burial ground, Saracco had the land fully surveyed for graves before development began. He then had the cemetery fenced so the graves would not be disturbed and donated the Rosewood Cemetery to Galveston Historical Foundation (GHF).

The original cemetery was approximately eight acres in size. Today, a space a little more than an acre in size is all that remains. 411 graves are listed in records as being located at Rosewood. However, markers only exist for only around 20. The first person buried was Robert Bailey on February 1, 1912, and the last burial was Frank Boyer on June 29, 1944.

The Texas Historical Commission has designated the burial ground as historic, creating a protection for the property requiring that it always be maintained as a cemetery.

Dwayne Jones, executive director of GHF said, It is very unusual for a historic preservation organization to become the owner of a cemetery, but it is a progressive idea. By doing this we are able to recognize the cemetery as sacred grounds for the families of those buried there as well as a valuable part of the cultural landscape for the whole community.

Location: 63rd Street Galveston, TX 77551, coordinates: 6292-0000-0002-000

Galveston Historic Tour

Galveston Historic Tours offers live narrated tours of Galveston in a twelve passenger electric shuttle that covers the Broadway Beauties, Downtown, the Strand, the Harbor, the East End Historic District, the tree carvings, and more!
Location: 2328 Broadway Avenue, Galveston, TX 77550
Phone: 409-789-9911

Karankawa Indian Campsite

Galveston is a city of firsts, and the first inhabitants of this peninsula by the sea were the Karankawa Indians, the fierce and independent Native Americans who lived along the Texas Gulf Coast.

In 1962, a historic Karankawa Indian Campsite was discovered - one of the few known campsites or burial grounds of the Karankawa. Now extinct, the Karankawa lived along the Texas Coast, where the sea provided their sustenance.

In 1528 they rescued Cabeza de Vaca, but from the time of La Salle`s expedition in 1685, they resisted all intruders. In 1825 Stephen F. Austin sent armed men to drive the tribesmen from the coast. The last survivors apparently migrating to Mexico in 1844, and descendants can also be found today in Louisiana.

The Karankawa built huts for villages of several hundred people and were well known for their fierce hunting skills to snag deer, rabbits, turtles, turkeys, and other prey.

If you were friendly towards them, they could be your best friend. Bring some mess, and they were more than willing to let you know the time of day with their imposing bows and arrows.

The Karankawa were heavily tattooed, pierced, and painted nomadic people. They made a strong impression on the Europeans who wrote of encounters. The men were strikingly tall, described as between six and seven feet. They were tattooed and wore shell ornaments. Many greased their bodies with alligator oil to ward off mosquitoes and other biting insects. The men pierced each nipple, as well as the bottom lip of the mouth, with small pieces of cane. Women wore their coarse hair long - down to their waist.
Location: Bob Smith Road & Jolly Roger, Jamaica Beach, TX 77554

Galveston Water Adventures

Join us for our one hour tour of Galveston's Harbor to see birds and marine life. We are usually able to get a close-up view of playful dolphins jumping. The tour is aboard Cruise-N-Time, our twin-engine open-air tour boat.

The entire family will enjoy the thrill and excitement of right-angle turns, accelerated speeds, and The Hamilton Spin, a maneuver that spins the boat 360° on its axis throwing a head-high wall of water into the air.

Join us for our two-hour sunset tour of Galveston's Harbor. Guests are welcome to bring snacks, beer, or wine (no glass) aboard to make the trip more enjoyable. Perfect for couples that want to sip champagne and watch the sunset or a group of friends just looking for something different to do, the trip will not disappoint. The tour is aboard Cruise-N-Time, our twin-engine open-air tour boat.

Note: Hard liquor is not permitted. Beer and wine may be taken aboard. No children under the age of 18, as beer and wine will be present.

Location: 100 21st Street, Galveston, TX 77550
Phone: 409-276-6116

Salty Soul Guide with Captain Sammy Flores

If you're unfamiliar with fishing in Galveston, then you may be surprised to learn about the wide variety of incredible angling opportunities that abound. Galveston has something for every fisherman, whether you've trolled the depths for marlin or like to fly fish for brookies in your favorite stream. Captain Sammy Flores would like to introduce you and your group to the Galveston area and will use his decades of acquired knowledge to put you on some of the best fishing you will likely ever experience. When you fish with The Salty Soul Galveston Fishing Guide Service, we provide your gear, your bait, and your tackle. All you have to do is show up at the marina and Captain Flores will do the rest.
Location: 715 N Holiday Drive, Galveston, TX 77550
Phone: 281-221-3461