Galveston. Just the name is enough to stir memories from any Houstonian of summers playing in the waves or eating seafood by the seashore. It has been a full four years since Hurricane Ike’s path of destruction dragged across the Texas Gulf Coast and socked Galveston right in the mouth. The damage was severe, and it has taken a few years, but Galveston is back at full strength and ready to entertain you and your family again.
Just in time for Mother’s Day, OpenTable, the world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations, has announced the 2013 Diners’ Choice Award winners for Top 100 Best Brunch Restaurants in the United States.
Once known as the “Playground of the South,” Galveston Island was renowned for its sophistication and splendor in the early 1800s as an active port town that was also the location of the state’s first post office, the first hospital and even the first opera house, but the area became ravaged in 1900 after when it was devastated by The Great Storm. Those who stayed after the storm built a Seawall, a wall that was built slanting the ground so that water was unable to run off the bay.
In 2008, Hurricane Ike wreaked havoc on the Texas island city of Galveston. Among the casualties were thousands of trees, including the majestic oaks that had formed leafy canopies along the streets of the city’s historic district, decimated by high winds and extensive flooding from a storm surge. But what has emerged from the stumps and broken trunks of those trees speaks to the sense of renewal in Galveston, about a 45 minute drive south of Houston, and the ability of its residents to regroup and rebuild after the periodic storms that dominate its history and infuse every part of its culture.
Finding the perfect wedding venue is a bit like searching for a hidden treasure. Sometimes it is in plain view and closer than you might imagine. As Sonya and Desmond can attest, they wanted an elegant and romantic beach destination wedding. Much closer to home than they originally had in mind; they fell in love with The Veranda Ballroom at the Galveston’s Hotel Galvez.
After weeks of frigid temperatures in my Windy City of Chicago, I’m blown away by how good it feels to be enjoying sunshine and warm weather. I’ve arrived in Galveston, Texas, Disney’s newest port city, and I’ve got one day to explore this historic southern charmer. As in every port, I’m eager to dive into the history, and Galveston’s history lessons do not disappoint.
At 100 years old, the Galvez has never looked better. Inside the historical hotel is Bernardo’s, where Galveston families and visitors have been brunching for generations.
If you believe in ghosts, believe that Galveston is probably the most ghost-infested city in Texas. Plagued over centuries by deadly storms, cannibalistic Indians, pirates and pestilence, it’s seen a lot of people die in an untimely manner.
“Some ghosts may remain in the area of their sudden death, confused. Some are bound here because of their own fears, some because of unfinished business.” The guide paused. “And we the living may hold our loved ones here because we don't let go.”
Opened in 1911 as a triumphant symbol of Galveston’s rebirth after the devastating 1900 hurricane, the coast’s premier beachfront hotel unveiled an $11 million face-lift last year on the occasion of its hundredth anniversary. So while you’ll find much-needed upgrades throughout, the Queen of the Gulf still radiates the same splendor that made the landmark building the center of Galveston’s social life in its heyday.
Galveston Hotels on YouTube
This channel takes a close look at Galveston Island in Texas featuring activities at Hotel Galvez & Spa, The Tremont House and The Harbor House Hotel & Marina.You are invited to step inside these historic properties and meet our staff and guests.
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