Top 14 things to do in Galveston Texas with teens

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Galveston, Texas, is a perfect destination for families with teenagers. With its sunny beaches, rich history, and vibrant culture, there’s no shortage of activities to keep everyone entertained.

Galveston with Teens has everything from thrilling adventures to educational experiences if you want a memorable family getaway.

Travel planning for Galveston

Hotels Icon Booking hotels and apartments in Galveston: We use and recommend and Trivago for hotels and plum guide for apartments.

Airplane Icon Book planes and trains to Galveston: We use and recommend Hopper for flights and Omio for trains and Discover Cars for car rental.

Tour Icon Booking tours in Galveston: The two best sites for booking activities are Viator and Get Your Guide.

Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier

The famous pier with its amusement rides is popular in Galveston with teens
Galveston Pier is popular with families.

Kick off your Galveston adventure with a visit to the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier. This iconic amusement park, situated right along the beach, promises thrills and fun for teenagers and the whole family.

The Pleasure Pier boasts fantastic amusement rides, carnival games, and delectable treats. It’s not just the heart-pounding roller coasters but also the iconic Ferris wheel that will leave your teenagers exhilarated.

And while they’re enjoying the rides, parents can soak in the panoramic views of the Gulf Coast.

Spooky, horror and history tours in Galveston

Galveston’s history includes epidemics, wars, fires, storms, and pirates, contributing to its haunted reputation that today allows you to participate in any of a handful of different Ghost Tours running in the town. Some of the best Ghost tours include:

Historic Galveston Ghost Tour

Discover the darker side of Galveston on a ghost tour. Explore the island’s secrets and haunted history dating back 150 years on this evening experience after dark. Book this experience today.

Ghost on the Strand Tour

Learn about Galveston’s history and its association with hurricanes, pandemics, wars, fires, and pirates. Explore key locations with paranormal activity, including the Tremont House, Railroad Museum, and more. Book today to secure a spot.

Galveston Old City Cemetery Tour

Galveston Old City Cemetery Tour” scheduled for 2024, with 351 reviews and photos on Viator. The tour is a 1.5-hour exploration of Galveston’s Old City Cemetery, promising a historical experience.

Relax at Galveston Beach

Galveston’s extensive 32-mile coastline is the ultimate playground for beach lovers.

a teenager taking a surf board into the water in Galveston
Teens in Galveston learning to surf

Galveston Beach has it all, whether your teenagers prefer swimming in the gentle waves, sculpting intricate sandcastles, or testing their mettle with various water sports.

Consider renting a beachfront property to make the most of your beach experience. Galveston beach rentals offer easy access to the sun, surf, and sea breeze.

Spend your days basking in the sun, building memories with your teenagers, and enjoying the tranquillity of the Gulf of Mexico.

Explore Moody Gardens

The Moody Gardens in Galveston is a captivating destination for the entire family. The Aquarium Pyramid is a highlight, offering a chance to get close to penguins, sharks, and vibrant coral reefs.

Meanwhile, the Rainforest Pyramid immerses visitors in a lush world filled with exotic plants, animals, and tropical birds.

It’s an educational and entertaining experience that will intrigue teenagers and adults alike. The various ecosystems and interactive exhibits provide an excellent learning opportunity while having fun.

Moody Gardens is a must-visit for families seeking a blend of education and entertainment during their Galveston trip.

Have Fun at Schlitterbahn Waterpark

Schlitterbahn Waterpark is the place to be for a watery adventure that’s sure to thrill your teenagers. This expansive waterpark is a fantastic destination for families.

Having fun on a water slide
Having fun at waterparks in Texas

Whether your teens are adrenaline junkies or just looking to cool off on a hot Texas day, Schlitterbahn has something for everyone.

The park boasts thrilling water rides, lazy river adventures, and splash zones. The Master Blaster, a water coaster, is a favourite among older kids and teens, offering an exhilarating experience.

There are also relaxing options, such as the Torrent River, where you can unwind as you float along the lazy river.

Discover the History at The Bryan Museum

Galveston’s history comes to life at The Bryan Museum, making it an excellent choice for families with teenagers. The museum houses an extensive collection of historical artifacts, art, and documents, offering a unique and engaging way to explore Texas history.

Teenagers can dive into the past, learning about the rich heritage of Texas through interactive exhibits and carefully preserved relics.

The Bryan Museum’s diverse collection includes everything from rare maps and weapons to artwork and personal memorabilia.

A visit here provides valuable insights into the history of Galveston and the surrounding region, offering teenagers a chance to connect meaningfully with the past.

Galveston Island State Park

The Galveston Island State Park is a perfect fit if your family enjoys outdoor adventures. You can escape into nature and explore the island’s diverse ecosystem here.

Hiking trails wind through the park, leading you to discover coastal habitats and native wildlife. Bird-watching is a popular activity, and your teenagers might be surprised by the variety of birds you can spot.

If you’re feeling more adventurous, consider kayaking along the calm waters of Galveston Bay.

Tree Sculptures

Galveston’s tree sculptures are a unique and artistic way to explore the island. These beautiful sculptures are created from damaged trees left after Hurricane Ike, showcasing the community’s resilience and creativity.

A leisurely walk through the city reveals these stunning pieces of art scattered throughout the town. Each sculpture tells a story, making it a great conversation starter for teenagers interested in art and history.

It’s a fun, offbeat experience that lets you appreciate the island’s creative spirit and ingenuity.

Catch a fish

Being located on the water makes Galveston an ideal place to try your hand at fishing. Galveston Fishing Pier at 6101 Seawall Blvd offers fishing rod rentals and bait purchases.

Exploring Magic Carpet Golf

Visiting Magic Carpet Golf is a colourful and enchanting adventure that promises fantastic family fun. This unique mini-golf course in Galveston is a haven for families with teenagers.

As you enter the course, you’ll be greeted by a whimsical landscape of vibrant, larger-than-life figurines and challenging holes that will ignite your competitive spirit.

Magic Carpet Golf is a delightful way to spend quality time as a family, fostering teamwork and friendly competition. Navigate the course’s imaginative landscapes and conquer the challenges it presents. You’ll create lasting memories that your teenagers will cherish.

Dolphin Tours: A Fascinating Marine Encounter

Families on a dolphin tour in Galveston
Evening Sunset Dolphin Cruise in Galveston with teens

Galveston with Teens offers an array of thrilling experiences for families, and one that stands out is the opportunity to embark on Dolphin Tours.

A boat lets you and your teenagers get up close and personal with some of the ocean’s most intelligent and captivating creatures – dolphins.

These tours take you to the dolphins’ natural habitat, providing a unique opportunity to witness these majestic marine mammals in their element. It’s not just an adventure; it’s an educational and awe-inspiring experience that will leave a lasting impression on your teenagers.

Family fun adventures in Galveston – Segway Tour

Nothing is more fun than zipping around a city on a segway, capturing every thrilling moment with an action camera strapped to your helmet. For teens, this has to be one of the best things to do in Galveston.

A Segway Tour is a great opportunity to have fun and learn about Galveston, Texas, all while recording incredible memories with your action camera. Prepare to make unforgettable videos and capture the laughter and joy as you and your family explore the city together!

Know before you go. Galveston travel tips for families with teenagers 

Travelling to Galveston with teens can be a fun and relaxing experience for the whole family. Galveston is one of the top family destinations on the Gulf Coast and is popular with families wanting a beach vacation

Knowing helpful travel tips and information about your destination is crucial as it can greatly enhance your family’s holiday experience. Information on the best places to stay, how to get around the city, which currency to use, and more is extremely important.

Our know-before-you-go tips allow you to plan your itinerary effectively, ensuring a smoother and more enjoyable trip to Galveston with teens.

Where to stay in Galveston with teenagers

Great vacations with teens start with some great vacation planning. When planning a trip to Galveston with teens, you’ll never be short of options for your family’s accommodation.

Hotels and Apartments close to the beach in Galveston Texas

You will find a range of hotels, apartments, and hostels for families on holiday. You will be sure to be able to find something to fit singles, couples, families, and groups on every budget on your family trip to Galveston.

Here are some recommendations for places to stay with family rooms or suites, a swimming pool, and a gym

  1. Hilton Galveston Island Resort:
    • Beachfront property with family-friendly accommodations.
    • Offers a pool overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.
    • Includes a fitness centre and on-site dining options.
  2. Holiday Inn Resort Galveston – On the Beach:
    • Beachfront location with family suites.
    • Features a pool, splash pad, and lazy river.
    • Offers a fitness centre and on-site restaurant.
  3. The Tremont House:
    • A historic hotel in Galveston’s Strand District.
    • Offers spacious rooms and suites.
    • While it may not have a pool, it’s centrally located for exploring attractions.
  4. SpringHill Suites by Marriott Galveston Island:
    • Offers suites with separate living areas.
    • Features an outdoor pool and a fitness centre.
    • Located close to the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier.

If you’re not keen on any of our picks below or have specific needs for your teen travel holidays, we recommend using Agoda and Trip Advisor to find the best prices in Galveston for your accommodation.

Galveston apartment alternative for your stay

If you prefer a home away from home-style accommodation on your trip with teenagers to Galveston, then an apartment is the best choice for your family vacation. There are so many options for singles, families, and budget-friendly options. You can search VRBO for apartments in Galveston.

How do I get to Galveston?

Galveston is located on Galveston Island, a barrier island off the coast of Texas in the Gulf of Mexico. The island is situated approximately 50 miles southeast of Houston, Texas.

By Plane: The nearest major airport to Galveston is William P. Hobby Airport (HOU), about 40 miles away. You can also consider George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), approximately 70 miles away. You can rent a car from the airport or take a shuttle service to Galveston.

By Car: If you’re driving to Galveston, it’s accessible by major highways. The primary route is I-45 South from Houston. The drive takes about an hour, depending on traffic. If you’re coming from other parts of Texas, you can plan your route based on your starting location.

By Bus: Greyhound offers bus services to Galveston. The Greyhound station in Galveston is located at 2100 Broadway Street. Check the Greyhound website for schedules, routes, and ticket prices.

Galveston, Texas, is a fantastic destination for a family vacation with teenagers. Whether your kids are adrenaline junkies, history buffs, or nature lovers, there’s something for everyone.

Plus, with the added convenience of Galveston Beach rentals, you can ensure a comfortable and memorable stay on this beautiful island. So, pack your bags and prepare for an unforgettable family adventure in Galveston!

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