One of the great things about the Bolivar Peninsula is that while it feels miles away from every day life, it’s actually just short drive or a fun ferry ride away from some exciting local attractions. With Galveston Island and the beautiful Bay Area to the west, and some of the country’s wildest natural preserves to the East, there are plenty of fun day-trips within reach from your beachside base on Bolivar Peninsula.
You’ll find a wealth of fun day-trip experiences on Galveston Island. From touring the historic neighborhoods of the East End or strolling on the Seawall, to the family attractions and rides at Moody Gardens and Pleasure Pier, there’s something fun for everyone. Just drive on the Galveston-Bolivar ferry for a trip to nearby Galveston Island. Keep your eye out for dolphins, an old shipwreck (the 1919 SS Selma) and ships from around the world as the ferry passes through the Galveston ship channel to the island. You’ll pass one great day-trip idea along the way – the American Undersea Warfare Center at Seawolf Park, on Pelican Island. You can’t miss the battleship and submarine as the ferry turns to pull into the landing on the Galveston side.
History buffs can immerse themselves in Galveston’s rich past with historic home tours of the Bishop’s Palace or Ashton Villa, visits to the Bryan Museum, the Galveston Island Railroad Museum or the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Museum located off Pier 21 in the bustling Strand District. Once known as the “Wall Street of the South”, the Strand is now home to unique shopping and some of the island’s finest eateries. Kids young and old will enjoy a trip to La King’s Confectionary - a traditional, handmade candy shop featuring the oldest ice creamery in Texas.
After the devastation of the 1900 hurricane, Galvestonians proved their resilience by constructing the 10-mile long seawall which faces the Gulf of Mexico, protecting the island from the threat of future storms. It is an engineering marvel in and of itself, and has since become the focal point of Galveston’s beach lifestyle. Cruise down the “wall” today and you’ll find visitors and locals alike taking in the expansive Gulf views while enjoying a meal at one of the many seaside restaurants, renting pedal cars or paddleboards, or experiencing a day of fun and rides at the exciting Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier.
Galveston’s west end features a number of fun, family attractions. Number one on most visitors’ lists is Moody Gardens, whose glittering pyramids hold an aquarium, thriving rainforest environment and 3D, 4D and Ridefilm experiences. Also on the grounds are a zip-line rope course, a water park and a white sand beach featuring Friday-night bands and fireworks over Offatts Bayou all summer long. Within sight of Moody Gardens is Schlitterbahn Galveston, a 26-acre oasis of waterpark fun. For those seeking a more reflective experience the Lone Star Flight museum is also nearby, honoring Texas’ extraordinary aviation history. Get back to nature with a coastal hike or kayak trip at Galveston Island State Park before heading back to Bolivar just in time for a beautiful sunset ferry ride.