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Galveston was established in 1839 and grew to national prominence in the mid to late 19th century; however, a severe storm in 1900 almost destroyed the city. Reconstruction efforts were made but failed to rejuvenate the city. City planners tried using immigration to restore the city and failed again, but in the process, created a diversity of cultures that still influences the city today.
Galveston's size is officially 209 square miles but much of it is underwater, making the actual land size 41 square miles. Search for an RV in Galveston and you are one step closer to other nearby towns, such as Freeport, Houston, Beaumont, Port Arthur and League City.
Galveston's economy is focused on shipping, financial industries, health care and tourism. It has a large, historically important collection of 19th-century buildings located over six districts, one of the largest collections in the United States. There are over 60 buildings that have been included on the National Register of Historic Places. Touring these districts in the best RV rental in Galveston combines city exploration and creature comforts.
It is also known as the “Oleander City”, after an evergreen shrub that is popular and common in the city. The oleander is a sturdy plant with minimal needs, making it perfect for a city affected by heat, ocean salt and hurricanes. Since 2005, May has been declared “Oleander Month”; tours are given educating visitors about the plant's history. Galveston is home to the International Oleander Society, which organizes a spring festival and maintains a city’s oleander garden. Don't forget to bring some souvenir plants back to decorate your Galveston luxury RV rental. Visitors could familiarize themselves with Glen Campbell's song, “Galveston”, a semi-poetic way to experience the city's vibe.
Given its island location, getting out into the great unknown is a little more difficult than usual, but travelers have a few options. McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge and Sabine National Wildlife Refuge, both near Port Arthur, offer some fresh air and foliage. Bring your Galveston camper rental along and combine the splendor of the outdoors with the comfort of your home on wheels. Sabine is a marsh habitat where birds can rest while migrating north or south; it has a popular visitor center and can provide a nice vantage point for viewing alligators in the spring and fall. McFaddin is a habitat for waterfowl. Individuals visiting McFaddin can fish and hunt, or hunt for the perfect shot with a camera. It is an ideal place for watching a wide variety of birds and animal life. To the west, Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge is a wetlands complex and wildlife refuge offering nature trails (for hiking only), fishing (bank fishing and from non-motorized boats) and bird blinds (for viewing and hunting).
Surprisingly, as Galveston is home to many older (and expensive) homes, the area around Galveston has quite a few RV sites welcoming visitors (or perhaps it is not so surprising, given that tourism is an important industry here). Two options near the city are Galveston Island RV Resort and Galveston Bay RV Resort & Marina.
Both resorts offer full hookups, 30/50 amp service, a swimming pool, pull-through sites, restrooms and showers, laundry, wireless internet, a clubhouse and are big rig friendly. Galveston Island also has wide paved roads, a lazy river, hot tub, a convenience store selling propane and renting golf carts. Park your Galveston RV rental here and take the opportunity to zip around in a golf cart. Galveston Bay additionally is pet-friendly, has a fishing pier, kayak rental, waterfront sites and is walking distance to the beach/shoreline.
The Crystal Palms RV Park, located on the Bolivar Peninsula (a short ferry ride away), has full hookups and 50-amp service. Its sites are double wide and covered, fully paved and a 10-minute walk from the beach. The Beach Front RV Park & Resort has sites with full concrete slabs, full hookups, 30/50 amp service, wireless internet, and picnic tables. It is within walking distance of the beach, where guests can rent kayaks, surfboards, paddleboards, bodyboards, skimboards, chairs and umbrellas.
There are a variety of things to do in Galveston and one would be hard pressed to not be entertained (unless deciding which of the multitude to engage in becomes an issue). There are guided city tours, golf courses and most of the familiar amusements that people will enjoy. For something slightly different and unique to Galveston, head for Moody Gardens, a series of pyramid-shaped domes housing an aquarium, a rainforest, a zip line and more.
This is not to be confused, though, with Moody Mansion, a local museum located in the family home of the Moody's, a powerful and wealthy Texan family. Tours here are self-guided, meaning you can complete the tour in as little or as much time as you want. The Bryan Museum is located in what was once the Galveston Orphans Home, and does a solid job of relating the history of Texas. The Galveston Railroad Museum is a good choice for both children and adults, and guests are allowed to walk through actual train carriages to view the displays.
As the day wears thin and the sun lowers, one's mind naturally turns to thoughts of food. This is Texas and, although there are a wide variety of cuisines on hand, one should take the opportunity to enjoy authentic Texan cuisine. Seafood restaurants are the most abundant here but there is also a good selection of steakhouses, barbecue and cajun/creole outlets. Prices range from cheap eats, to moderately priced and fine dining. Some restaurants, probably the more popular ones, recommend making a reservation online so as to not be disappointed. Portions are large in most of these eateries; don't be ashamed to ask for a takeout bag, to continue enjoying your meal later on in your motorhome rental near Galveston.