Hotel at a Glance: Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Galveston West-Seawall
This quiet Holiday Inn Express is located on the scenic west seawall of the coastal city of Galveston. From here, you can get nice views of the water, and the beach is within a few minutes’ drive. There’s an upscale feel to the place, too—it has marble floors, chandeliers, and an outdoor pool that looks over the Gulf of Mexico.
- A room with a view: Many rooms overlook the crashing waves of the Gulf of Mexico and all rooms have balconies.
- Go swimming: Popular Stewart Beach is a 15-minute straight-shot drive up scenic Seawall Boulevard. There’s also an outdoor swimming pool overlooking the ocean.
- Most important meal of the day: The complimentary hot breakfast buffet starts the day out right, with menu items such as cinnamon rolls, eggs, and sausage.
- Must-see nearby: The Grand 1894 Opera House. This beautifully preserved early Texan theater has a rotating lineup of theater productions, from The Addams Family to performances by the Galveston Ballet.
- Good the kids: Schlitterbahn Waterpark, which is five minutes away, with attractions like a lazy river and hair-raising speed water slides.
Galveston, Texas: Family-Friendly Resort City on the Gulf
Located 50 miles southeast of Houston, Galveston has long been a resort destination for vacationing Texans. It’s set on a thin island with views of the Gulf of Mexico and clean sandy beaches. A good place to spend a day in the sun: Galveston Island State Park. The crowds aren’t unmanageable, and you can hike and bike miles of trails crisscrossing the park.
For families, Moody Gardens is worth a visit. Parrots, sloths, and white-faced saki monkeys live inside its re-created rainforest, set inside a 10-story glass pyramid. There’s also an aquarium, an IMAX theater, and a replica 1800-style paddleboat that cruises passengers across Offatts Bayou.
After the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 essentially wiped out the town, the little island community rebounded remarkably well—there are still scores of Victorian buildings that are well-preserved, enough to fit in six historic districts. One of the best places to see Galveston’s Victorian architecture is the Moody Mansion, a 28,000-square foot brick palace completed in 1895 for a powerful Texas financial family. Located five miles from the hotel, this completely restored mansion is furnished with the family’s original possessions; you can take 60-minute guided tours of the house and grounds.
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