The City of Galveston stands in the shadow of nearby mega-city Houston. However, the Port of Galveston is an important port of entry and popular tourist destination for ships and people from all over the world. Being on an island, the Port of Galveston offers many beaches for fun, sun, and sand. It also holds many beautiful 19th-Century homes, a variety of specialty museums, and endless fun. For information on the many things to see and do at the Port of Galveston, visit the Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau website.
Galveston Island is a barrier island between the Gulf of Mexico and the Texas mainland. To the south and east is the Gulf of Mexico. To the west is West Bay, and to the north is Galveston Bay. The Port of Galveston is hot and humid in the summer and cool in the winter. Spring and autumn are brief and comfortable. Temperatures range from an average high of 32 °C (89 °F) in July and August to an average low of 10 °C (50 °F) in January.
Visitors to the Port of Galveston will want to visit Moody Gardens a non-profit city-owned tourism complex operated and funded by the Moody Foundation. It features three major pyramid attractions that include the aquarium, the rainforest, and discovery/science pyramids as well as an attraction called Palm Beach. The Aquarium Pyramid is one of the biggest in the world and is home to about eight thousand species of fish and other sea life from the Pacific, Antarctic, and Caribbean regions. The Rainforest Pyramid contains tropical plants and animals (like ocelots, coatimundis, etc.) and displays like a bat cave within waterfalls and huge trees and plants. The Discovery Pyramid contains science-oriented activities and exhibits that include computers for kids. Palm Beach is a landscaped area, primarily for children, with sandy areas and freshwater lagoons. The par 72 Moody Gardens Golf Course, not for kids, is a complete re-do of the city's municipal golf course.
The Port of Galveston's Texas Seaport Museum at Pier 21 is home to the 1877 Elissa and several historic ships that visitors can tour. Adjacent to the ships is the museum and theater where visitors learn about immigration and seaborne commerce. The museum contains a computer database with the names of more than 133 thousand people who came to the United States through Houston.
Another must-see in the Port of Galveston is the Strand National Historic Landmark District on the east side of the island. The area contains many old buildings and historic markers, as it was the Port of Galveston's major commercial area during the late 1800s, and many of the buildings that remain have been restored to their original Victorian period beauty. The buildings include homes and businesses from the era, including the 1884 Moody Building built by the famous Colonel W.L. Moody, a cotton broker, banker, and Texas state legislator.