Fun, Free Stuff to Do in Galveston This Summer

Fun, Free Stuff to Do in Galveston This Summer

In a previous post, we broke down the benefits of renting a BeachBox vacation home— including saving a bundle on hidden fees, not spending a ton of cash on restaurant meals, and splitting the bill on a big house with family and friends. But let’s face it, any vacation— including an affordable BeachBox getaway— can be a bit rough on the ol’ wallet. 

On those days when you want to explore and see the sights without breaking the bank, we’ve put together a list of our favorite, totally free, completely entertaining things to do in Galveston. So put your wallet away, slip on your walking shoes, and let’s have some fun.

Galveston-Port Bolivar Ferry

1000 Ferry Road North, Galveston

This completely free ferry boat ride is a public service of the Texas Department of Transportation. At least one ferry runs 24 hours a day, with multiple ferries running during busy times. The ferry takes passengers from the tip of Galveston proper north to the Bolivar Peninsula. You can explore the peninsula once you arrive, but passengers of the ferry say the boat ride is fantastic and totally worth the 45-minute round-trip just by itself.

Most of the glowing five-star online reviews include frolicking dolphin pod spottings— so keep your eye out! There’s also a lot of other local ship traffic to see while you’re cruising the waves. You can drive your car right onto the ferry or walk on, and you might want to bring a few pieces of bread with you to feed the seagulls from the top deck.

Rosenberg Library

2310 Sealy Avenue, Galveston

Visiting a local library is always a smart, free activity for any family— particularly those with young children. One of the best libraries in Texas, the Rosenbergwoman reading book with little boy Library is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon in Galveston. Completed and opened to the public in 1904, the Rosenberg Library is the oldest, continually operating library in the state.

Besides the usual books to lend, this library also houses an impressive tech center with printing capabilities, several meeting rooms that can be reserved by the hour, and various, quiet areas for study or to complete some remote work. They also have a fabulous children’s section with lots of lego blocks and a lizard mascot named Rose!

Tree Sculptures

Multiple Locations, Galveston

In 2008, Hurricane Ike ravaged our beautiful island city with a tidal surge. Fortunately, we were able to recover, but the resulting saltwater from the storm damaged a number of old-growth trees around town and resulted in their heartbreaking demise. 

Galveston artists to the rescue! Instead of uprooting the large tree stump around the city, the Galveston arts community began sculpting them into stunning, whimsical statues that now fill the city with even more magic than before. There are dozens of tree trunk sculptures to find, and we suggest making a fun, family scavenger hunt to discover them all— click here to see a map of the exact locations. There’s an angel, a diving pelican, a guitar, a Great Dane, and a mermaid, just to name a few. It’s a great way to see the sites of the city while appreciating our local artistic talents. 

Galveston Arts Center

2127 Strand, Galveston

With a mission to celebrate and support modern, visual art, the Galveston Arts Center is a vibrant, artistic hub located right on the bustling Strand. Filled with dynamic exhibits and educational offerings, this gorgeous space is a must-see. 

The art exhibits rotate throughout the year and are completely free to visitors that want to browse and appreciate contemporary art. There are also a number of classes and workshops in areas like pottery and painting that are available for a small fee or a donation. 

The Galveston Arts Center also offers free Artwalks that are held every few weeks. This summer, they’ll be an Artwalk on June 5, July 17, and August 28. The Arts Center partners with local galleries, antique stores, and other businesses to present art in existing public spaces. And there’s wine too! After taking a one-year hiatus for the pandemic, we’re so excited to have this event back on the community calendar. Be sure to check it out if you’re in town. 

The Strand

Avenue B AKA the Strand, Galveston

Filled with eclectic shops, art galleries, historic architecture, and delicious restaurants, the Strand is a fun, free place to stroll and window-shop. And although the walking is free, you might want to keep a bit of cash on hand and make a pit stop into our favorite ice cream parlor on the Strand— La King’s Confectionary. With a fun, throw-back vibe to the 1920s, the candy counter at La King’s seems to go on forever. On a hot day, stop by for a scoop of ice cream or watch the mesmerizing taffy pull.

And Of Course… The Beach!

Multiple Locations

Mother Nature’s ultimate freebie is often the main reason to visit the Texas Gulf Coast! With tons of options to access the shore up and down the coastline, BeachBox has vacation rentals in every area. Take a look at our homes in Jamaica Beach, Pirates Beach, Terramar Beach, Sea Isle Beach, and Surfside. Then, slip into your swimsuit, throw a beach towel over your shoulder, and enjoy a free, fun-filled family day building sandcastles and frolicking in the waves. 

Make BeachBox Your Galveston Bestie This Summer

When you’re looking to save a little cash on your next trip to the Texas Gulf Coast, there are plenty of free things to do and see. 

Take a quick look at some of our beachfront vacation rental homes that will put your whole family front and center to the beautiful beach, and close to all of the fun, free attractions we mention here. For more info or to simply chat with one of our local experts, give us a call or drop us a line. We’re always here to help make your next family getaway to Galveston affordable, effortless, and chock full of summertime fun.

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