During the cooler autumn months, there is a lot more to do in Galveston than just hit the beach and go for a swim. Galveston is home to several different attractions and amusement parks. We’ve got the inside scoop on what to do at each of our favorite spots.
Moody Gardens has enough attractions to keep kids entertained for days. The iconic gardens are separated into three pyramids. The first is a marine pyramid, with one of the largest aquariums in Texas. You’ll find several different types of freshwater and saltwater fish swimming in the huge tanks.
Next up is the rainforest pyramid. Here you can gaze at several different types of plants and animals that only exist in the untouched rainforest. One of the most interesting plants is the corpse flower, which stands several feet tall and has a potent odor to repel predators in the wild. This flower is definitely a shocking sight to those who are used to flowers standing no taller than a rose bush. There are also some free-roaming monkeys and sloths that may greet you while you’re walking around.
Last is the discovery pyramid, which contains rotating exhibits focused on science and wildlife conservation.
Coming up at the end of the year is Moody Gardens’ famed annual event, the festival of lights. Through November and December, you can walk through the park’s one-mile trail that has over one million lights and an outdoor ice skating rink. If you’re looking to take a weekend trip this holiday season, Moody Gardens is the perfect destination.
Pleasure Pier is Galveston’s newest amusement park, opening in the summer of 2012. This pier is based on the first rendition of a pleasure pier that was located in Galveston until it was destroyed by Hurricane Carla in 1961. Today’s new amusement park pays homage to the original and has some stellar rides. We recommend hitting the Pier Pileup, which is a classic bumper car ride with a nostalgic feel. If you’re especially brave (and haven’t had a big lunch) we recommend hitting the Texas Star Flyer next. This ride swings you over the water a full 230 feet in the air. If you are able to open your eyes, you’ll never forget the view.
Schlitterbahn is a beach away from the beach. The Galveston park is open every month of the year and has more rides than any of the other Schlitterbahn parks. The most notable ride is MASSIV, the world’s tallest water coaster. Standing at over 81 feet tall, this ride has a daunting view at the top. The park has a kiddie pool and looping lazy river for the kids as well as a swim-up bar for the adults. This park is especially great for big families as they aren’t going to nickel and dime you throughout the day. The park offers free parking and free tubes. Once you’re in you’re ready to for a day of fun.