Galveston Island State Park Review & Rating
Galveston Island State Park Overview:
Review and Rating of Galveston Island State Park
Galveston Island State Park is a 2013 acre park that spans the width of Galveston Island from the Gulf of Mexico to West Galveston bay. In 2008, Hurricane Ike almost leveled the park destroying a majority of the campsites, washed away several yards of beach, sand some buildings, covered some sites in sand, and dramatically altered the landscape. Over time the Park is slowly recovering and in 2017 there were 69 sites in operation. Additional camping and day use facilities construction will begin on the beach side of the park in 2018.
All the sites on the Gulf of Mexico side are a very short walk across the berm to the beach. From some sites you can see the Gulf and you can hear the waves from all the sites. The Park is about 15 miles from downtown Galveston. The terrain is flat and treeless and you camp here to enjoy Galveston and the beach.
Amenities and Fun Things To Do:
Galveston Island State Park has 33 sites is three sections along the berm in front of the Gulf of Mexico. All of these sites have a concrete shelter, 30 and 50 amp service, water, a picnic table, fire pit, and lantern holder. The sites are level but short and the hook-ups are at the back of the site. No trees and limited protection from the elements.
Across FM 3005 on the Galveston Bay side are two camping circles - 9 sites along Como Lake that have water only and 19 back-in RV sites in another circle with water and 30/50 amp service. These sites have views of Como Lake, are level, and most are short.
Some of the other park amenities include:
- restrooms and showers
- day use area along the beach with covered picnic tables and a rinse shower
- ponds for freshwater fishing, fish cleaning shelter, and one pond with covered picnic tables on a small lake
- two house rentals
- dump station
- bird blind and observation tower
There are three kayaking trails ranging from 2.5 miles to 4.3 miles in the bayous plus kayak launching sites. And there are nine different hiking and biking trail loops along the bay side of the Park that range from .19 miles to .53 miles.
A Typical Texas Outsider Day:
We come to Galveston State Park over Thanksgiving to enjoy the good weather and the beach. Typically, we'll spend one day on the beach, enjoying the water, flying kites, playing frisbee golf and bocce ball, and riding bikes along the beach. After a full day of sand blasting, Turkey Day is spent playing games, watching the Cowboy game, and feeding charcoal to the grill smoking the turkey. There is nothing better than enjoying a turkey dinner with all the fixings outdoors with friends and family while listing to the waves breaking in the background.
We also like to bike along the Galveston seawall and hit a couple of the bars and restaurants; bike or hike the 4 miles of trails on the bay side of the park; bike along the beach and head over the berms and bike through some of the unique housing developments; and spend some time walking and biking the Strand and historical district. You can read more about our Thanksgiving trip to Galveston in the Galveston Thank God For Weekends.
And of course we need to spend a day on the links. Moody Gardens Golf Course is a fun and challenging 18 holes that is 5 minutes from the State Park.
Cool Nearby Activities:
- Golf on the Island or between Galveston and Houston -- click here to find a course
- Moody Gardens has plenty to keep you busy for a day or more
- Schlitterbahn Waterpark is new to Galveston in 2006 and is the best water park in Texas and has an indoor portion that is open year round
- the Strand, which is downtown Galveston, has lots of shops, and nearby restaurants (on the bay) and bars plus a Tall Ship (Elissa) and The Ocean Star Museum to explore
- along the seawall are some excellent restaurants, fun bars, Pleasure Pier with lots of rides, bike rentals, miles of new beach, fishing piers, and more
- Overall Rating:
- Scenic Beauty:
- Things To Do:
Additional Pictures of Galveston Island State Park
Texas Outside uses a tough rating scale and it’s difficult for a campground to get a “10”. Each park is rated on:
- Scenic Beauty: a campground that is flat with no trees or character gets a “1” and hills, lots of trees, beautiful lake site, and lush ground cover gets a “10”
- Park Condition: the cleaner, well kept, and maintained campgrounds receive high scores
- Amenities: we are looking for lots of amenities like restrooms, dump stations, playgrounds, boat ramps, shelters, concession stand, rental toys, and more.
- Campsites: low scores are given for sites that are right next to each other (good for getting to know your neighbors, but not what we’re looking for when we’re camping); have no lantern holder, no water or electricity, no fire pit, no grill, or no picnic table (or it’s rotten wood); have no trees and no view; the ground cover is crushed rock (my bare feet hate that stuff!); and they require a lot of work to get your rig level.
- Things To Do: Bonus points are given for campgrounds that offer lots of fun things to do at the park or very nearby – this includes: biking, hiking, climbing, boating, entertainment, golf, swimming, fishing, volleyball, horseshoes, and more