Galveston Island doesn't only attract tourist for our beaches. Our island is rich in history, and there are plenty of museums to tour and learn all about it!

American Undersea Warfare Center

American Undersea Warfare Center

Visit the Galveston Naval Museum and immerse yourself in our National Heritage. Take your time exploring these historic WWII vessels on a self-guided tour or with one of our tour guides. Capture the experience as a predator patrolling underwater in the Pacific or as the protector of Allied forces in the North Atlantic. Gain a unique memory of being on the USS Cavalla, a World War II submarine that sank a Japanese aircraft carrier involved in the Pearl Harbor attacks, or the USS Stewart, the only Edsall-class destroyer escort preserved in the United States.

Located on Pelican Island just north of Galveston, the American Undersea Warfare Center (AUWC) houses the USS Cavalla, a decommissioned submarine, one of the most accomplished World War II vessels open to the public today, and the destroyer escort USS Stewart, once presidential escort and the last of its class anywhere. Visitors to the AUWC in Seawolf Park can round out a tour of the sub and the destroyer escort with fishing in the bay or even a sleepover on board one of the ships. Hours vary for different activities, so use the information below to plan your trip to this incomparable and fascinating exhibit of American nautical history.

Location: 100 Seawolf Park Blvd. Galveston, TX 77550
Phone: 409-770-3196
Bishop's Palace

Bishop's Palace

Galveston's grandest and best-known building, the Bishop's Palace is an ornate delight of colored stone, intricately carved ornaments, rare woods, stained-glass windows, bronze dragons and other sculptures, luxury materials and furnishings, and impressive fireplaces from around the world, including one lined with pure silver!.

Built by lawyer Colonel Walter Gresham and designed by Nicholas Clayton, Galveston`s premier architect, this Victorian castle was cited by the American Institute of Architects as one of the 100 most important buildings in America. The home was built from 1886 to 1892.

Location: 1402 Broadway Avenue, Galveston, TX 77550
Phone: 409-762-2475
Bryan Museum

Bryan Museum

The Bryan Museum, located in the historic Galveston Orphans Home, houses one of the world's largest collections of Texas and the American West with a special emphasis on the Spanish influences in the region. In addition to its permanent galleries, the museum also includes rotating special exhibits, a library, and an archive.

Visit The Bryan Museum today and discover the great diversity of experience that forged the American West and the compelling stories told there.

Location: 1315 21st Street, Galveston, TX 77550
Phone: 409-632-7685
Galveston Children's Museum

Galveston Children's Museum

To provide a unique hands-on environment where children explore, investigate, create and discover.

Now more than ever the formation of a child's academic, social, and problem-solving skills are critical for lifetime success. We know with the help of advancements made in pediatric neuroscience the conditions necessary for building a better brain. Beginning with a tiny spark in infancy, a child's brain develops through experience and direct interaction with her environment; in a word, through play. The Galveston Childrenís Museumís mission is to fuel that spark, to respect each child's unique identity and give them permission to be playful, curious, creative, inspired and inspiring; people who have the ability to think outside the box, and know they can meet challenges and overcome them.

Location: 2618 Broadway Avenue, Galveston, TX 77550
Phone: 409-572-2544
Galveston Railroad Museum

Galveston Railroad Museum

The Galveston Railroad Museum is dedicated to the restoration, observation, and re-use of its historic facilities and equipment for the development of educational and interactive programs, which support railroading and transportation initiatives serving our regional community.

The People's Gallery is located in the former Gulf, Colorado, and Santa Fe depot. It features 31 plaster statues in early 1930s dress. The statues were created for the museum by Ivan and Elliot Schwartz of StudioEIS in 1981, using live models and real clothing for the molds. Each statue tells a story about the role of railroading in Galveston.

Our interactive timeline shows a history of railroad development in Galveston and the United States. It covers the early railroads of the 1830s, as well as the rise and fall of passenger service in the 20th century.

Besides the Warbonnets, the museum also has a number of steam and diesel locomotives:

Center for Transportation and Commerce #1983
Union Pacific Engine #410
Center for Transportation and Commerce #555
Waco, Beaumont, Trinity, & Sabine Railway #1
Southern Pacific #314
Oregon, Pacific, and Eastern Engine #112

The museum's two F-7 locomotives were built by General Motors' Electro-Motive Division in 1953. The locomotives served on railways including Southern Pacific, the Port of Allegheny Railroad, and the Connecticut Department of Transportation before coming to the museum in 2011. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe granted the museum permission to use Santa Fe's iconic red and yellow Warbonnet Scheme to commemorate the passenger train, Texas Chief. The Texas Chief trains number 15 and 16 operated between Galveston and Chicago from 1948 to 1967. The museum's F-7 locomotives were 300 series - so numbering these 315 and 316 honors both these pieces of our history. You may notice some not-quite-ATSF things about these, but we hope that you will enjoy them as much as we do.

Location: 2602 Santa Fe Place, Galveston, TX 77550
Phone: 409-765-5700
Moody Mansion

Moody Mansion

Restored to its turn of the century splendor, the 28,000 square-foot, four-story structure was completed in 1895. Today, our guests visit 20 rooms on a tour that depicts the home life of a powerful Texas family. The Moodys established one of the great American financial empires. Based on cotton, it grew to include banking, ranching, insurance and hotels.

W.L Moody Jr. bought the home from the heirs of the original owners soon after the great hurricane of 1900. Mr. and Mrs. Moody and their four children celebrated the first of more than eighty Christmas seasons in the house in December of that year. The house remained home for Moody family members until 1986. Today, its rooms are filled with the furnishings and personal effects of the family.

The philanthropic legacy of the Moody family of Galveston is carried on today by the Moody Foundation and the Mary Moody Northen Endowment. Both charitable foundations are major forces in health care, education, historic preservation and the arts.

Location: 2618 Broadway Avenue, Galveston, TX 77550
Phone: 409-762-7668
Ocean Star Offshore Drilling

Ocean Star Offshore Drilling

Visitors board the retired jacked-up drilling rig and view a video about the offshore industry. The museum features three floors of models and interactive displays illustrating the story of offshore oil and gas from seismic technology to exploration and production. Scale models of production platforms, actual drill bits and remotely-operated vehicles (ROVs) as well as videos and exhibits explain drilling, geology, seismic, well servicing and production.

Following a leisurely tour inside the museum, visitors can take the skywalk out onto the drill floor of the rig, or visit the exhibits on the pipe deck from the first floor of the museum.

Location: 2002 Wharf Road, Galveston, TX 77550
Phone: 409-766-7827
Rosenberg Library & Museum

Rosenberg Library & Museum

The Rosenberg Library is not just a library! With so much history and the exhibits, it's an amazing museum!

The Rosenberg Library, the successor to the Galveston Mercantile Library which was founded in 1871, is the oldest public library in Texas in continuous operation. The Rosenberg Library opened in 1904. A year later it absorbed the collections of the Galveston Public Library, thus formalizing its new role as the public library for the city of Galveston.

From the beginning, the Rosenberg Library has been more than a simple book repository. Its early history reflects its cultural importance. Led by the board of directors, the first librarian, Frank C. Patten (librarian from 1904 to 1934), initiated several programs that emphasized community involvement. Early lecture series, for example, often attracted audiences of 700. Patten and the board worked together to develop collections that went far beyond the scope of most public libraries.

As a result of their work and that of succeeding boards and staff, the library has compiled outstanding collections of manuscripts, maps, artifacts, and printed items. The Galveston and Texas History Center, for example, collects materials relating to Galveston and early Texas. Major manuscript collections include the papers of Samuel May Williams, Gail Borden, John Grant Tod, Jr., and James Morgan; the records of several nineteenth and early twentieth century businesses, including those of Harris Kempner, Henry M. Trueheart, and J. C. League; the records of several organizations and churches in the area; and twentieth-century collections reflecting recent events and activities in Galveston and the upper Gulf Coast. The map collection includes maps and charts of Texas, the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, and adjacent coasts dating from the sixteenth century to the present.

Holdings of the museum department include historical artifacts pertaining to Galveston or early Texas, paintings of Galveston subjects or by such local artists as Julius Stockfleth and Boyer Gonzalez, and a sizable collection of Russian and Greek icons. The Fox Rare Book Room contains incunabula, first editions, and examples of fine printing.

The library staff and boards of directors have continued the tradition of varied library services. In addition to developing special collections and circulating over 250,000 books annually, the library offers art and historical exhibits, lectures, film series, computer classes, and meeting facilities for over 100 groups a year. Since 1941 the city and county of Galveston have contributed to the support of the library. About three-fourths of the operating budget comes from public funds, while the remainder derives from private endowments and gifts.

The Rosenberg Library is the headquarters library for the Galveston County Library System, a structure in which the head of the Rosenberg Library is also the county librarian.

In 1967 the library board of directors launched a campaign to build a wing that more than doubled the size of the original library building. Funded by the Moody Foundation and countless gifts from other sources, the Moody Wing opened in 1971, 100 years after the Galveston Chamber of Commerce established the Galveston Mercantile Library.

Galveston and the Great War Exhibit
Galveston: Treasure Isle of the Gulf Exhibit

Location: 2310 Sealy Street, Galveston, TX 77550
Phone: 409-763-8854
Texas Seaport Museum & 1877 Tall Ship Elissa

Texas Seaport Museum & 1877 Tall Ship Elissa

Galveston Historical Foundation partnered with the Texas Navy Association to retell the elusive story of our local naval maritime history. Highlighting the fleet of ships that kept the shores of the Gulf Coast safe from invaders, both foreign and domestic, this exhibit takes the public back to a time of cannon fire, sailing ships and adventure on the high seas. Focusing on the 1st and 2nd Texas Navies, museum-goers will see artifacts and paintings of the time, as well as ships models, including the infamous topsail schooner Independence. Please visit the second floor of the Texas Seaport Museum to learn more about Broadsides in the Gulf.

Located in the historic port of Galveston, the Texas Seaport Museum also tells the story of a rich legacy of seaborne commerce and immigration. Look for ancestors with a one-of-a-kind computer database containing the names of more than 133,000 immigrants who entered the United States through Galveston, The Ellis Island of the West. Join the Museum's staff and volunteers as they bring the past to life through special exhibits and educational programs.

Share the adventure of the high seas at the Texas Seaport Museum, home of the celebrated 1877 tall ship Elissa. Explore the decks of this floating National Historic Landmark which has also been designated one of America's Treasures by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Walk Elissa's decks and imagine the days when daring sailors challenged the world's oceans. In the adjacent museum and theater, witness the story of Elissa's dramatic rescue from the scrap yard and her meticulous restoration.

Location: 2200 Harborside Drive, Galveston, TX 77550
Phone: 409-763-1877
Seawolf Park

Seawolf Park

Seawolf Park is located on Galveston's Pelican Island on a former immigration station site. The park offers one of the island's most popular fishing piers, picnic sites and a playground. The park is also home to tourist attractions, including the WWII submarine the USS Cavalla and one of only three destroyer escorts in the world, the USS Stewart. The remains of the tanker S.S. Selma, the largest concrete ship constructed, can be seen northwest of the park's fishing pier.
Location: 100 Seawolf Park Blvd., Galveston, TX 77550
Phone: 409-797-5114