To be honest I thought about not even doing this blog post since I recapped our Galveston trip in detail last year in this post. Then I remembered that sometimes I do these posts for me, to have a place that is like a family scrapbook where I can look back and think “Oh I remember that year!” because while we do a TON of the same things year after year every time it’s just a bit different.
You can also see a quick trip highlight in this VIDEO
This year was the year that Cider got to meet the ocean for the first time and we put in an offer on buying our own beach house. Yup I said it. It’s been a bit of a secret and nothing I shared online because I was so hoping that it would work out and I could have this grand surprise but at the last minute we lost the house to an all cash offer.
While my heart was crushed the entire time that we were on vacation it was wonderful thinking that we could be here more often. Unfortunately that will have to wait a bit longer but until then here again are some of our favorite places and things to do.
WHERE WE EAT
Thank goodness this year our favorite Blue Crab place, Benno’s had fresh crab the entire trip (so we went twice!) I get the Garlic Butter but the fried is really good as well. While you would think ugh fried crab its the outside shell that is battered and fried leaving the inside meat delicious and not too dry.
Garlic Buttered Blue Crab from Benno’s
My husband and I also always get a date night and while I should try another restaurant once I found Number 13 with the beautiful views of boats and delicious food I look forward to it every year.
Fit tips: Dress tts, L // Heels size up, 1/2
The other restaurant we never miss is Katie’s Seafood. This year we left it to our last night and when we arrived with no reservations were told that it would be about a 45min wait (oops!) Luckily we found a table in the bar area that we were able to squeeze around and get our favorites.
Dress | Heels | Girls Gap Dress | Girls Strappy Sandals | Boys Target Polo
Katie’s Seafood Golden Tile Italian style
OUR FAVORITE RESTAURANTS
- Benno’s Cajun Seafood I still say this place is the BEST for blue crab, the only issues is it’s IF they have them available. This year we lucked out with them having crab the entire week. My daughter now has a plate of her own and while my son SAID he wanted crab we came to find out really he just wanted to break them with the hammer but wanted to eat French fries.
- Katie’s Seafood House Katie’s has such incredible food, everything is caught fresh with their own boats (even other restaurants in the area use their fish like Fisherman’s Wharf). This year I finally snapped a pic of my favorite dish, Golden Tile Italian style, it’s incredible!
- Jimmy’s on the Pier We nearly always go to Jimmy’s our first night on the island. The views from their rooftop restaurant are incredible and feeling the sea breeze whip through my hair immediately makes me feel relaxed. Fortunately this year there was no wait and we had an incredible server that took such great care of us! I’m a big fan of oysters so I get the combo po boy with fried oysters and shrimp (get the onions rings they are awesome!) along with a margarita, y’all I’m drooling now.
- Tortuga Mexican Kitchen For years my in-laws took us to The Original Mexican Cafe and it was ok, but last year we found this Mexican restaurant and it’s my new favorite! They have great food, right on the seawall and darn good margaritas. Ask for the refried black beans for your side, delicious!!
- Number 13 Prime Steak & Seafood This is our date night restaurant that has incredible views of the Pelican Rest Marina. This is more of an upscale dining experience but the food and ambiance is amazing. Their seafood tower is soo good but even if you aren’t that hungry it’s impossible to say no to the complimentary warm popovers. I highly recommend making reservations in advance or you can walk up and grab a drink on the casual terrace. I got the trio with crab cake, shrimp and filet medallion.
- Way West Grill & Pizzeria On our date nights my in-laws typically order in pizza from this local place down in Jamaica Beach. I’ve only had it as leftovers and it’s pretty good so it must be awesome fresh!
- The Original Mexican Cafe It’s been a few years since we have been back to this famous tex-me restaurant but it will always have a warm place in my heart. My son’s first trip to Galveston he came down with hand foot mouth on the way to the island. He didn’t eat solid food for several days the the first “real food” he finally ate was the rice and beans from The Original Mexican. I still really like their chaupula plate.
- Fisherman’s Wharf This restaurant is owned by Landry’s and if you are a club select card holder you can get faster seating which came in handy because even at 4pm the wait time was 1.5 hours. We actually didn’t go to this restaurant this year since we didn’t have the best luck with food quality or wait times last year but it’s still always on the list.
WHAT WE DO
Now I know that 30a in Florida is like THE PLACE to vacation in summer but I’ll be honest I love our Galveston and over the past few years more shops and restaurants keep popping up. We have been going for so many years that there are some great activities that my kids have aged out of but make it a great destination for families with kids of all ages.
- La King’s Confectionery When I posted a pic outside of this famous candy shop I had so many of you message me and say it’s one of your favorite stops too! We always get root beer floats and it’s super fun to be there when the salt water taffy is getting pulled since they will throw a few samples into the crowd!
- Pleasure Pier This year the Pleasure Pier redeemed itself, all the rides were open and the lines were not too long. It was so fun that both my kids are tall enough to ride all the rides… TOGETHER! No more mom ride this with me. Although we never miss the log ride as a family and we rode it twice!
- Magic Carpet Golf Last year was the first time we took the kids to play mini golf and while they loved it they also fussed at each other about who was winning, it’s hot etc. This year we had hopes that it would be better, nope. So great place for kids that love mini golf I’m not sure if those are my kids lol!
- Galveston Children’s Museum This basement Children’s Museum was our go-to for rainy days for YEARS when the kids were younger. They have tons of fun hands on play like a fishing boat, dress up stage, building area and art room. As my kids have gotten older I feel like they have aged out of this activity but it is a great stop for younger ones.
- Moody Gardens Rainforest & Aquarium Pyramids Up until last year this was a MUST do on our Galveston list but after we had seen the aquarium for 8 years straight and then they had much of the rainforest pyramid under construction last year we skipped it this year.
- Shopping the Strand Let’s be real after all the eating I do in Galveston I need some major steps to walk it all off! This area of historic downtown has some of the cutest shops including a toy store my kids love, a Christmas shop where about half our ornaments are from and some adorable boutiques that I find the coolest stuff in. We also never miss a trip to Murdoch’s on the Sea wall this gift shop has everything you could think of but it’s sitting on the deck with a drink that’s the real attraction.
- Fishing in the Bay Luckily we have some family that have a home on the bay side of Galveston that allow us to us their pool and boat dock to fish. The kids bring their fishing poles and spend some quality dad time catching fish like catfish, redfish and speckled trout.
fishing in the bay
Fit tips: True to size, L
Rootbeer Floats at LaKing’s
Dress | Sunglasses | Dolce Vita Sandals
enjoying the breeze at Murdochs and the fun shopping
WHY WE COME
Spending time at the beach is the entire reason we come to Galveston!! Spending time with my kids on the same beach that my husband grew up visiting is the most special time of our year. From babies making sure they weren’t eating the sand to now bigger kids making their own sandcastles and dominating the waves on boogie boards it’s the best!
Lands End Swimsuit (12 D cup) // Quay Sunglasses
Spanx Swimsuit (XL) use code RYANNEXSPANX for 10% off // Quay Sunglasses
Yummie Square Neck swimsuit (12) // Quay Sunglasses
Over the years we have edited our must haves down to the most used items but somehow always seem to also find some new item that makes the trip even easier. Here is what we brought this trip!
Beach Chair | Kindle | Brumate | Tent | Wagon | Beach Tote | Shovel | Wet Bag | Sand Toys
Quick Dry Towel | Towels | Sand Buckets | Seashell Holders | Boogie Board | Under Armour Cooler
For even more of our Beach Vacation Favorites check out this video!
CLICK TO WATCH
This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own! Read more about my site, privacy, and disclosure policies here.