Stephen Hartshorne does an amazing job depciting all the qualities of Galveston and the Gulf Coast in Galveston: The Indomitable Island. He even states in the beginning paragraph how it truly is a destination for everyone, and he proves that in his thorough overview of the notably beautiful, fun areas on the Gulf. Not only is it tropical, and it is rare for someone to not love something about the tropics, but there is history, art, museums, and more. Sadly, Hurricane Ike in 2008 stormed through this beautiful area full of culture, but it is all being rebuilt. Again, one of the most and another very intriguing article with beautiful pictures to blog about this week.
In Galveston you can really feel the grandeur of Spain, most notably in the Hotel Galvez that fronts boldly on the Gulf of Mexico, named for Governor Bernardo de Galvez, one of the most interesting characters in the history of the Gulf Coast.I also love historic American architecture, and Galveston’s position as the commercial center of the Gulf in the late 1800s led to the building of block after block of magnificent Victorian mansions. More than 2,000 buildings in Galveston are listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.
There are miles and miles of beautiful beaches, possibly the best birding and fishing in the world (FDR came here to fish for ten days), as well as surfing, sailing, kayaking, shopping, antiques, art galleries, fine dining, you name it. Not to mention the Galveston Railroad Museum, the Lone Star Flight Museum, and the Texas Seaport Museum, home to the 1877 tall ship Elissa.
There are train tours, paddlewheel boats, duck tours, harbor tours and aerial tours. Or if you’re in a romantic mood, try a moonlight ride in a horse-drawn carriage. In the fall there’s a motorcyle rally that draws more than 500,000 riders. And, on top of all that, there are three destinations you just can’t miss: Moody Gardens with its Aquarium Pyramid, its Rainforest Pyramid and its Discovery Museum; the Moody Mansion, a fascinating trip into the life of a very wealthy family during America’s Gilded Age; and Schlitterbahn Galveston, a 26-acre state-of-the-art waterpark that really has to be seen to be believed.
Then there are more than 30 attractions, some of them four stories high, that twist and turn and percolate according to your level of intrepidity. There’s even an endless wave for boogie boarding and body surfing. There are lots of tubes and slides and shallow-water attractions for little kids and a swim-up bar for the grown-ups.They’re closed in January and February, but during the “heated indoor season” (October to December and March and April) a huge convertible roof covers twelve of the water features in a tropical oasis.
To me the Hotel Galvez evoked the grandeur of Spain. Walking through its circular grand entrance into the lobby with its cathdral ceilings, ornate mouldings and hand-painted stencilings, I was reminded of the movie Don Juan DeMarco, which also celebrates the romance and enchantment of the Spanish nobility. We dined at Bernardo’s Restaurant where the chef came to our table to chat and explained the combination of searing and slow-baking that gave our sea bass filets such exquisite flavor and texture.