Welcome to the first installment of my “Weekender Series!”
Most of you reading this probably know that I suffered a pretty horrific accident a few months back, so traveling was (tortuously) put on hold for a while. I finally felt good enough to venture beyond my “home-work-physical therapy-orthopedist” bubble that I’d built over the last few months, so we planned a weekend trip to Galveston.
Galveston was an easy choice since it had a beach and was a very quick 50 minute drive from the major airports in Houston. We booked our trip rather late – 3 weeks before we wanted to go – and were still able to get round trip flights from Dallas for $200. With a little more planning, you could probably get those tickets cheaper if you’re coming from somewhere in Texas, or about that price if you’re coming from farther. Galveston is also easily driveable from most of the major cities in Texas, if you fancy a road trip.
Where We Stayed
We chose the historic Hotel Galvez, which was built in 1911, a few years after a hurricane devastated the gulf coast and destroyed most of the properties there. It’s pretty impressive when you approach it from Seawall Boulevard, the main street that runs adjacent to the beach. It stands out in both architecture and size amid the other more modern-looking hotels and restaurants. The grounds were beautiful, and dozens of palm trees lined the various walkways on the front lawn. The lobby was full of charm, with old-fashioned industrial chandeliers, huge windows, black and white tiled floors, and rustic decorations. Our room was small but clean and well-kept, with a nice sized bathroom, and we even had a view of the beach and nearby Pleasure Pier. The hotel is right across from the beach, which was great for catching sunrises (and in our case, the blue moon that happened on the first night we were there!)
But the best thing about this hotel, and the reason we picked it? The pool. First, it was a saltwater pool, which was a nice surprise (and great for my slightly swollen leg). The pool deck was lined with tons of lounge chairs, there were cabanas for rent, towels were provided, misters kept you cool in the sweltering Texas sun….and then there was the swim-up bar. Honestly you could throw a swim-up bar next to a landfill and I’d probably still enjoy it, but this one was perfect; the bartenders were friendly, and the white sangria was so tasty, I had one too many and had a buzz by 11am.
Where We Ate
We spent most of both days at the pool, so we ate from the Hotel kitchen during the day and it did not disappoint, especially the fish tacos. The breakfasts were a nice spread of eggs, bacon, sausage, various pastries, coffee, teas, etc.
On Friday night we ate at BLVD Seafood, which was very unassuming from the outside, but was beautifully decorated on the inside. We had crab cakes, gumbo, and fresh red snapper caught that day, which was certified wild caught and local by the restaurant. I highly recommend this place if you ever make a trip to Galveston.
Our last dinner, we ate at the hotel restaurant because my leg was hurting and we wanted to make it easier for me. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food. We had a delicious campechena to start, and for my entree I ordered shrimp with crispy polenta in an ancho honey sauce…….my mouth is watering just writing about it. My Mom ordered a seafood platter that could probably have fed 3 people. We also got a cinnamon bread pudding that had a cream cheese icing drizzle on top that I will probably fantasize about for the rest of my life. The seafood was incredibly fresh, which automatically makes for a tastier dinner. Overall, we were very impressed with the food the hotel had to offer.
What We Did
Honestly, we didn’t “do” much besides lay by the pool, sit on benches on the seawall and watch the moonrise, and enjoy the ocean view from the hotel’s lounge chairs lined across its expansive front lawn. We took a brief walk around the historic Strand District in Galveston, which boasts several cute coffee shops, confectioneries, and trendy stores. I couldn’t do much walking around so I sat on a bench and people watched, which was fine by me!
Galveston isn’t the world’s best beach town or beach destination by any means, but it’s good for a weekend getaway if you just want to relax by a pool, drink a couple (or several) sangrias, eat delicious seafood, and enjoy the ocean air. And it was heaven for a traveling gal who’s been stuck in the house for the better part of the year!
Check out the photo gallery!