During its heyday, the story goes that Galveston Island was the "Playground of the South," catering to the fanciful whims of visitors with over thirty miles of beaches, exciting destinations, and a variety of attractions. Though the golden age of Galveston has passed, the history, culture, and beautiful beaches have only grown in the hearts and minds of the traveling public. With a wide diversity of options and attractions, Galveston may be the perfect destination for your upcoming educational student trip. Check it out!
1. Moody Gardens
Home to the two massive, iconic glass pyramids, Moody Gardens is perhaps Galveston's most popular tourist destination. With everything from animal exhibits to 3D movie theaters, museum galleries, water rides, and more, Moody Gardens is a wonderland of excitement. We recommend you start by visiting the pyramids where, in one, you'll find a massively entertaining and educational aquarium featuring penguins, Texas marine wildlife, and a variety of fish, and in the other, a tropical rainforest filled with monkeys. Check out the Moody Gardens special events for added fun.
2. Historic Homes
As Galveston's golden age came during the booming late 1800s, the city's personality is elevated with a glorious jeweled necklace of historic homes and mansions. Out of the many, two stand out for their beauty and available tours. Visit Bishop's Palace and the Moody Mansion Museum, gorgeous and gigantic mansions of Victorian charm. Both have historical and architectural significance, making it a prime student trip destination.
3. Water Based Activities
With 32 miles of beaches, there's no way to ignore Galveston Island's beach activities and oceanfront attitudes. The tempting blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico draws in millions of visitors every year, as does the variety of public beaches and ocean-based activities. Relax on the sand or playing in the surf at Stewart Beach, East Beach, or Galveston Island State Park where you can walk along the boardwalks, view the island wildlife, and even watch for dolphins from the shore.
4. Lone Star Flight Museum
A world-class aerospace museum, the Lone Star Flight Museum is home to more than 40 aircraft of historical value along with several hundred supporting artifacts and documents. From dioramas to full size airplanes, the Lone Star Flight Museum is nationally ranked as one of the best aerospace museums. The museum is now making your educational experience even more exciting with "trainer flight experiences" on three possible planes.
5. Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig and Museum
A museum dedicated to the offshore oil and gas industry, the Ocean Star educational site offers a unique inside look into this profitable and necessary enterprise. Guests are given an inside look into what it's like on board an actual oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, educated with inspirational displays on a number of subjects including the protection of marine wildlife, among a number of other fascinating features. You can even take training courses on a variety of subjects to become an honorary oil driller.
6. The Grand 1894 Opera House
The most historically significant theater in the Gulf region and named "The Official Opera House of Texas" by Texas legislature, The Grand is a national treasure. Built in 1894 and surviving numerous incidents of hurricanes and inclement weather, The Grand has been restored and preserved to continuously encourage an appreciation for theater. Visit for a historical tour or stay for a performance like you've never seen. The Grand also does a number of educational and youth activities to raise interest in opera, history, and the performing arts.
7. Seawolf Park
A memorial to the USS Seawolf, Seawolf Park features the WWII submarine located on nearby Pelican Island. Accidentally sunk in friendly fire during WWII, the Seawolf was a fierce fighter, a submarine of indomitable force. Visit the memorial and then hop on over to the American Undersea Warfare Center to learn about submarine warfare, see a variety of exhibits, and learn about other WWII submarines that fought valiantly.
8. Texas Seaport Museum
As it resides on the Gulf of Mexico, Galveston does have a heightened history for seaworthy significance dating back several centuries. The Texas Seaport Museum applauds and preserves more than one era of ships and centers around the celebration of the 1877 tall ship Elissa, a historical and national treasure. Board the wooden vessel, tour the exhibits on the "Ellis Island of the West," and learn more about the Elissa at the museum and theater.
9. Galveston Children's Museum
If you're looking for a great educational destination for younger students, the Galveston Children's Museum may be your answer. Located on the first floor of the historic Moody Mansion, the Children's Museum caters to the development of young minds and the growth of imagination. Let your young students run and play in the wildly interactive spaces where they can do everything from create science projects to making LEGO masterpieces, art projects, and more. (The Galveston Children's Museum caters to students ages 2-10)
10. Just Plain Fun!
Although it may not be entirely educational, Galveston has plenty of exciting and alluring destinations including the historic Pleasure Pier, a boardwalk full of amusement, carnival fun. You can also find in Galveston the Schlitterbahn Waterpark, a Texas favorite and one of the best waterpark franchises in the world for its variety of exciting rides and innovative additions. Stop off for an afternoon at one of these exciting attractions or spend a day making amusement park fun educational.