Galveston Island: a great getaway for nature lovers

by | Jun 17, 2015 | Sports

By David Jenkins

Staff Writer

[email protected]

Close your eyes and imagine the feel of sand between your toes and the sound of waves hitting the shoreline.

No it’s not some tropical island, but Galveston Island State Park.

The park can be found on western Galveston Island in Galveston County, off the western Gulf Coast.

It spans 2,013.1 acres and was acquired in 1969 and opened in 1975.

The site was acquired from private owners under the State Parks Bond Program.

Now that you know where it’s located, lets delve deeper into what the park has to offer.



There are three different types of housing options.

They are tent sites (on the bay side at a cost of $15 per night), with water and electricity ($20 a night on the bay side) and premium with water and electricity (beach side at $25 per night).

The park also offers two types of cabins.

The ranch house is $200 per night and the Stewart House is $250 a night.

All of those options require a daily entrance fee, which is $5 for adults, while children 12 and under are free.

To make reservations call 512-389-8900 or register online at



Are you into hiking, then

Galveston Island State Park has you covered.

Water options for paddling are Dana Cove Points 1 through 3, Oak Bayou Points 4 through 7 and Jenkins Bayou Points 8 through 11.

Dana Cove offers a wide expansion of open water where seagrass beds once covered the floor of the Bay of Galveston.

Oak Bayou features open coves and seagrass beds to the wetlands restoration project.

For up-close views of many shore and wading birds make sure to visit Jenkins Bayou.

There are also multiple walking trails, such as the Caracara, Clapper Rail Loop, Clapper Rail, Duck Lake, Egret Loop, Freshwater Pond Loop, Freshwater Pond, Hernon’s Walk, Jenkins and Prairie.



The park offers a wide array of fishing options, whether it be from a boat, kayak or the beach.

There are many different types of fish present, such as the speckled trout, redfish and flounder, mackerel, jacks, drum, panfish, sand and gulf trout, whiting and croakers.

Along the bay side you can fish from the bank, water or kayak and speckled trout can be found in this location.

If you prefer not to bring tackle and bait, the park has you covered with the Tackle Loaner Program. Just check with the park office.

For more information on the program visit

Unlike other fishing spots, you don’t need a license to cast out a line in the state park.



There are seven different options within the park.

The east beach is located on the far eastern tip, and features a pavilion and boardwalk just to name a few; unlike many other Galveston beaches alcohol is permitted.

Cost of admission is $8 per vehicle and $16 for RVs.

For more information call 409-797-5111.

Stewart Beach can be found where the historic Broadway Avenue meets the Sewall and trained lifeguards are on duty. Admission to the beach is $16 for SUVs and $8 per vehicle.

Contact 409-797-5182 for more information.

Seawall Urban is situated on the well-known Seawall Boulevard.

It stretches more than 10 miles and has the longest continuous sidewalk.

The Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier amusement park stands on the pier of the Gulf of Mexico at Seawall and 25th Street.

For information on parking call 1-866-234-7375 or online at Parking is enforced by the city of Galveston.

Dellanera RV is a beachfront camping site and offers $1,000 feet of sandy beach with 65 full RV hook-ups and parking.

Summer office hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Rental rates are $42 for deluxe full, $38 for full and add an additional $5 for holiday and special events.

For non-RV vehicles the cost is $8 and $4 for 50-amp service.

For more information, call 409-797-51-2 or toll free at 888-425-4753; ex: 102.

Pocket Park offers three options; all are located off the West end of Galveston, at a cost of $8 per car and $16 for bus/RV (cash only).

Hours of operation for the summer are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and weekends are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Call 409-797-5102 or 888-425-4753; ex: 102 for more information.

Seawolf Park can be found on Galveston’s Pelican Island and is said to be home to one of the island’s most popular fishing piers, picnic areas and playgrounds.

Other attractions in the area are the USS Cavalia World War II submarine, the USS Stewart and remains of the WWI tanker S.S. Selma.

Selma is the longest ship made of concrete and is located on the Northwest side of the fishing pier.

The park is open year-round from dawn to dusk.

Parking per entry is $5 per car and $10 for RV’s.

Cost for fishing is $6 for adults (12-64 years of age), $3 for seniors (65-plus), $3 children (5-11) and it’s free for ages four and under.

Admission for the Cavalia and Stewart is $5 for adults (12 and older) and $2 for children (11 and younger).

For additional information call 409-797-5114.

Galveston Island is located on the West, with the Gulf of Mexico and Galveston Bay within reach.

The park is open year round at a cost of $5 per person.

For more information call 409-737-1222, for reservations 512-389-8900 or go online at


Driving tours

If you prefer to stay cool, then there is a driving tour with 10 stops.

They are the back dunes and swales, beach landings, Gulf of Mexico shoreline, Texas Coastal Prairie, Nature Center, Bayou and Wetlands, Observation Platform, Oak Mott, freshwater pond and some history and the Karankawa Reef.

Additional information can be found online at or by calling 409-737-1222.

Note: Information for this story was complied from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Galveston Island Beach Parks websites.


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