Can you hear it? The call of the snowbird is echoing through the crisp air all around us, imploring us all to follow the geese southward to greener pastures and new adventures.
If you can heed the call, and crave an oceanic nest for a little while, Galveston, Texas, is a sweet, sandy spot with plenty to offer.
First off, the town of just over 47,000 is an angler’s dream. Fishermen and fisherwomen can cast their line right on the beach or find a boat for hire to experience some of the best saltwater fishing in the gulf. With scores of guides, any angler can choose their prey. From a 500-pound shark to a pile of delicious speckled trout and some of the the biggest tarpon in the Gulf, Galveston sits at the edge of a thriving aquatic ecosystem.
If fishing doesn’t catch your interest, Galveston also offers a slew of world-class cultural attractions.
The island features one of the biggest and most well-preserved collection of historic airplanes in the country. The 100,000-foot campus of the museum houses some 40 historical planes and has its own airfield. Most everyone has seen old planes, sure, but what sets the Lone Star Flight Museum apart is the fact that most of planes can still fly. Have you ever seen a B-17 bomber rumble into the sky? Visitors can see just that and more during the museum’s regular air shows.
Maybe you’d prefer something closer to the ground, or the water? Galveston also features a pair of World War II submarines which are open to visitors at Seawolf Park. Not far away, the Galveston Railroad Museum gives a detailed look into those iron horses that helped tame Texas so many years ago. Visitors can even experience a trip on the lavishly renovated Harborside Express on most Saturdays.
For something a bit more modern, visitors can simply pick a direction and run into an art gallery or public sculpture. With several guided and self-guided city art tours, Galveston is a hotbed for established and emerging artists. Anyone looking for an art overload should look into the Galveston ArtWalk — the semi-regular event winds through the entire city of galleries and other art spaces.
Snowbirds looking to reconnect with nature can do some birding, swimming or hiking in the massive 2,000-acre Galveston Island State Park which features plenty of trails and astounding views of the Gulf of Mexico. The park also contains bay and beachside campgrounds for tents and RVs. But book early, snowbirds tend to flock to the area and campsites can get sparse.
There’s no mystery to why Galveston is a must-see destination. The blend of culture, history and nature give any traveler a reason to stop. And when the mercury drops to temperate levels, it only gets better.
For more information on Galveston sites, follow these links: