GALVESTON ISLAND, Texas (May 20, 2020) – Memorial Day weekend has long been considered the official start to summer in Galveston but amid the coronavirus pandemic, it looks and feels very different this year. While businesses and attractions are beginning to open, Galveston Island tourism officials are encouraging travelers to remain vigilant in their hygiene practices, maintaining safe social distances and wearing a mask when able. For those who intend to visit the island for the three-day weekend there is still plenty to do in a safe and socially distant way. Here are the activities and attractions currently open:
- Beaches are open as of May 1
- Hotels and vacation rentals are open as of May 1
- Retail shops can open at a 25% capacity as of May 1
- Museums can open at a 25% capacity as of May 1
- Restaurants can open at a 50% capacity as of May 22
- Bars can open at 25% capacity as of May 22
- Swimming pools can open at 25% capacity as of May 22
- Attractions such as aquariums and zoos can open as of May 22
With 32 miles of sand, social distancing is a breeze. At beaches along the seawall look to the sky for best practices as a plane towing a banner will be circulating overhead reminding people to stay six feet apart. Visitors will also have access to public restrooms and paid street parking is $1 an hour or $8 per day. Two pay stations are open to allow cash payments for parking. The pay stations are located at 61st Street and 89th Street piers. The island’s public beach parks – Stewart Beach and East Beach offer a variety of amenities. Visitors to the beach parks can take advantage of restrooms, showers, beach chair rentals, volleyball courts, snack bars and other concessions, including horseback riding and helicopter tours. Park entrance fees are $12 Monday-Thursday and $15 Friday-Sunday. The fun does not stop at the beach after Memorial Day. Summer activities continue every weekend with volleyball, giant Jenga, cornhole and more. Then, starting June 6 sandcastle lessons will take place every Saturday at Stewart Beach.
Island Restaurants Bars and Retail
Many island restaurants, bars and shops have re-opened their doors but at limited capacity. Dining rooms will fill up quickly. Guests are encouraged to call ahead, make a reservation or take advantage of curbside pick-up. They can enjoy it at the beach, hotel room or vacation rental. Many retail shops, clothing stores, specialty shops and galleries will be open at a limited capacity. Shop like a local and take advantage of places offering online shopping, curbside pick-up, and local delivery. For more information on store hours and online offerings check the businesses Facebook page or visit www.galveston.com.
Attractions & Museums
Moody Gardens attractions will open Saturday, May 23 inviting guests to return for the first time in 10 weeks. Visitors can enjoy the Aquarium Pyramid, Rainforest Pyramid, MG3D Theater, 4D Special FX Theater, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: An Interactive Adventure, Colonel Paddlewheel Boat, and the new Dinos Alive exhibit. Many other museums and attractions around the island have also begun opening their doors as the phased approach to re-open Texas is under way. This includes the Tall Ship ELISSA, 1892 Bishop’s Palace, Pier 21 Theater, Bryan Museum and more. As re-opening continues, capacity, sanitation procedures and hours of operations are being updated daily, please visit the musuem’s and attraction’s individual websites for current offerings. For more information on Galveston tourism, visit www.galveston.com.
About Galveston Island
Galveston Island is a historic beach town located on the Gulf of Mexico just 50 miles from Houston. The island is best known as a vacation destination, offering 32 miles of beaches, a variety of family attractions, Texas’ premier cruise port and one of the largest and well-preserved concentrations of Victorian architecture in the country, including several National Historic Landmarks. Galveston Island is home to popular amusements such as, Moody Gardens and Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark, as well as a variety of museums and recreational activities from surfing to birding. For more information on Galveston Island visit www.galveston.com or call 1-888-GAL-ISLE.