Whatever size room you receive, all guest rooms come outfitted with Marriott's signature "Revive" bed, which is (hopefully) the closest you'll ever experience to falling asleep inside a wedding cake. "Revive" mattresses are thicker than normal ones and have a plush topper for added comfort, along with a down comforter, extra pillows, and 300-thread-count sheets. It'll be a welcome respite after a day of sampling the many activities within convenient distance from the Marriott: shopping at Greenspoint Mall, loudly suggesting that racehorses run faster at the Sam Houston Race Park, or just swimming in the hotel's indoor pool. You'll also enjoy amenities such as an on-site fitness center, in-room coffee and tea, and gorgeous views of the Houston skyline in all its colors (Houston has more than half of the colors on the ROYGBIV spectrum).
The façades of Galveston homes may not appear menacing by day, but when night falls, pitch-black shadows hint at the secrets hidden inside. Tracy Richardson, a medium, paranormal investigator, and the owner of Texas Ghost Tours, unearths these lingering evils during her two-hour walking tours of the city’s haunted sites. As a member of the Haunted Society, National Paranormal Society, and Galveston Historical Foundation, Tracy’s knowledge of the local lore is nearly as daunting as the task her tours tackle: to educate visitors about the existence of paranormal activity. After sunset, she leads the way to nearby buildings imprinted with past horrors, and the dilapidated Normandy Inn. She dives even deeper into the supernatural during paranormal investigations, during which she dons a bed sheet and a Sherlock Holmes hat.
The boom swings lugubriously, its shadow slicing across the sun-steeped white deck of the Alternate Latitude. Water chuckles against the double hulls of the Voyage 440 ship. In four cabins, air conditioners purr as the boat cuts towards the azure horizon, dwarfing the other catamarans on Galveston Bay.
During chartered sailing trips, Captain Steve—who holds a 50-ton United States Coast Guard Masters License—and his crew steer the vessel as passengers lounge on trampolines on the deck and sip drinks. The ship, which was built in South Africa, now makes occasional cruises to the Virgin Islands. Queen-sized berths in each cabin cradle passengers during overnight trips and after chamomile-tea-drinking contests.
The boating experts at Carefree Boat Club empower their members to explore the region’s waterways at the helm of like-new, professionally maintained water vessels. Safety is paramount, so before club members can take the helm, they must attend a classroom training session and two on-the-water training sessions with Carefree Boat Club’s dock master. During these sessions, they learn navigation, docking, and boat safety. After receiving their safety certificates, members gain access to the fleet of deck boats, fishing boats, sailboats, pontoons, cruisers, and watersports boats.
The club’s dock staff also holds the water vessels themselves to high safety standards. They inspect boats weekly using a 50-point safety checklist, and outfit boats with safety equipment such as flares, horns, flotation devices, and earplugs for blocking out siren songs.
Escorting treasure hunters to the ends of rainbows since 1998, First Class Tours places a premium on safety, timeliness, and driver competence. Many of their coach commanders have more than 20 years of experience and sport sterling safety records. They pilot an ample armada of motor coaches, most of which are aged less than five years and driven at their peak flavor. The high-tech coaches are outfitted with GPS and two-way radios for maximum-strength communication, entertaining guests with XM Radio, DVD and CD setups, and up to seven television monitors that exclusively air the movie Speed.
The blades of Vertex Aviation Group’s Schweizer, Bell, and Robinson helicopters slice the sky as their team of pilots carries passengers to and fro throughout the South. The pilots provide a wealth of services via their aerial vantage point, from surveying land and power lines to eradicating agricultural pests. Meanwhile, the company’s FAA-certified trainers teach budding pilots to helm helicopters through ground instruction and hands-on flights, a curriculum more effective than the original helicopter training, running around in a propeller hat.