'...a happening place for beachgoers that serves as a gorgeous backdrop to a variety of shops, restaurants, attractions and gear rental stores...'
You will undoubtedly encounter the Galveston Seawall during your visit, with many of the most popular attractions in the city lining Seawall Boulevard, the street that runs right beside the seawall itself.
The Galveston Seawall is a 10-mile long, 17-feet high gulf coast wall that was first built in 1902 as a defense mechanism after the infamous Galveston Hurricane of 1900. 6,000 people lost their lives in this hurricane, so architect Henry Martyn Robert began building this wall to prevent such large future losses. The wall still serves as a protection from large crashing waves of violent ocean storms.
Today the area is considered to be the 'longest continuous sidewalk in the country and the world's longest mural', the wall a popular fixture in the city both for defense and recreation. Runners, cyclists, skaters, and walkers enjoy walking the seawall, and beachgoers populate the beach to the side of the wall regularly.
There is a marker you can visit that was erected in 2001 by the American Society of Civil Engineers, a monument dedicated to the 1900 hurricane and the lives lost in it, as well as the popular monument pictured below.