Travel & Destinations

Destination Texas: Galveston, Texas

Dickens on the Strand and more

Along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, Galveston, Texas, is a coastal destination that is an easy weekend getaway for North Texans that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and fabulous events for the whole family. 

Experience A Holiday Tradition

Dickens on the Strand transports you to a bygone era of elegance, whimsy, and pure Dickensian delight. It is an extraordinary annual celebration that brings the timeless charm of Victorian England to life on our Texan shores.

This year marks the festival’s 50th anniversary, and it promises to be a special tribute to the enduring legacy of Charles Dickens. Experience the essence of Dickens’ novels with Victorian-themed decorations, participants and visitors dressed in Victorian attire, carolers, musicians, the scent of roasted chestnuts, and a costume contest. 

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Historic buildings in the Strand District and a popular cruise port

Historic Strand District 

At the heart of Galveston lies the Strand District, a National Historic Landmark. This iconic area was once the bustling center of commerce and trade in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and was nicknamed the “Wall Street of the South” due to its vibrant economy and financial influence. Today, the Strand District offers a glimpse into Galveston’s storied past with a nod to the present with shops, historical museums, art galleries, and restaurants. The beautifully preserved buildings, adorned with gas lamps and ornate facades, create an authentic Victorian atmosphere.  

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Galveston shoreline

A Premier Beach Destination

With over 32 miles of coastline, Galveston Island boasts an array of stunning beaches that cater to every preference. Find a tranquil spot to relax, soak up the sun, or enjoy a game of beach volleyball and water sports. Families can make memories by building sandcastles, while couples can enjoy romantic walks along the shoreline.

Fishing enthusiasts flock to the island to try their luck. From the numerous fishing piers dotting the coastline to the charter boats available for hire, anglers have endless opportunities to cast their lines and reel in the perfect catch.

Fun on the Pier

The Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier is a beloved attraction that combines thrilling rides with a nod to the city’s history. After being destroyed by Hurricane Carla in 1961, the pier was rebuilt and restored to its former glory. Today, it offers a nostalgic experience with classic amusement park rides, games, and breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico.

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The Moody Gardens Aquarium

A Must-See Experience 

Moody Gardens includes beautiful gardens, a golf course, a water park, and a sprawling complex with three pyramid-shaped structures that offer their own unique experiences. The Rainforest Pyramid showcases tropical environments, the Aquarium Pyramid presents marine life, and the Discovery Pyramid offers interactive exhibits. In mid-November, it transforms into a winter wonderland with a festive light trail, hot cocoa, and fireside treats. Experience Ice Land: Rain Forest Holiday featuring fabulous ice sculptures and a unique ice slide through the rain forest.

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The gracious Moody Mansion and Museum | Photo:

Arts, Culture, and Festivals

Galveston’s cultural scene is rich and diverse, with the Grand 1894 Opera House hosting various performances and the Galveston Arts Center showcasing local artists. The Galveston Historical Foundation celebrates the city’s heritage through its opulent historic homes, such as the Bishop’s Palace and Moody Mansion.

Galveston hosts events and festivals throughout the year, including Mardi Gras, the Galveston Island Food & Wine Festival, and The Galveston Island Beach Revue, celebrating vintage glamour with bathing suit contests and more.

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Colonel Paddleboard cruise boat and Moody Gardens Pyramids

Honoring its Past while Embracing its Future 

Galveston is a city that beautifully blends its captivating history with modern attractions and cultural offerings—a destination that pays tribute to its past while embracing the present. Whether exploring its architectural gems, indulging in local cuisine, or immersing yourself in its cultural scene, Galveston promises a unique and memorable experience for all who visit. For more information, check out

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All dressed up in Victorian style

Dickens on the Strand Holiday Street Festival 

Where: On the Strand, Galveston, Texas

When:  Friday, December 1 – Sunday, December 3

Phone: 409.765.7834



Sharon Kurtz

Sharon Kurtz is a freelance writer and photographer. Her passion is travel, telling stories, and tussling with her four-legged friends. As a baby boomer who loves adventure, she welcomes opportunities to share stories of people, places, food, and flavors around the corner or around the world. A regular contributor to fyi50+ Magazine, she's published 200 articles in various digital and print publications. Austin, Texas, is home with her husband and three spoiled dogs when not searching out new adventures. You can follow her travels on Instagram and Facebook.

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