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From Our Editors
Galveston is a skinny barrier island off the coast of southeast Texas, but there's a lot of history packed into its small square-footage. There's the fully-restored downtown area, for starters, which was once a bustling cotton-trade district dubbed "The Wall Street of the Southwest", but now boasts a slew of popular shops and restaurants. Or the stunning East End, where visitors can marvel at the meticulously maintained Victorian mansions that were once private residences, but now house museums.
You can learn more about the history of the isle on a guided excursion from Galveston Historic Tours. The fleet of 14 passenger climate control van embarks on several sightseeing tours per day, rain or shine, taking riders past some of Galveston's most notable attractions, including the East End Historic District, the estates known as the "Broadway Beauties," and the Strand, the island's commercial center. Along the way, tour guide and owner Joseph R. Pellerin relays anecdotes, facts, and humorous limericks about the sights, relying on his professional expertise—he's an American history professor with a Bachelor's and Master's degree in history—as well as his own personal pedigree: he's a third-generation Galvestonian who was born on the island.