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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Life + Arts

Festivals, Ike recovery boosts Galveston tourism

As the usual Houston-area herald of summertime, Galveston beaches can’t help but draw crowds, arousing curiosity of what post-Ike Galveston has to offer.

The beaches are awash with the usual brown gulf water, but at least playing in the sand looks promising as the day for one of the world’s largest sandcastle competitions approaches.

Architects, engineers and designers will gear up for the American Institute of Architects’ 23rd Annual Sandcastle Competition from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 6.

Seventy teams will compete for the prestigious Golden Bucket. The bucket is the top prize, offered in addition to awards in eight themed categories.

The event will take place on East Beach, and although parking is $10 per car, the event is free to the public. More information is available at

Another unique and family-friendly experience for on and off land is the Galveston Duck Tour. Passengers travel in a half-bus, half-boat duck-looking vehicle, which loads at 25th and Seawall Boulevard then cruises to Offats Bayou, where it then enters the water for a quick cruise across the bayou.

Admission is cash only with a six-person minimum per tour, and costs $15 for adults, $10 for children ages 3 to 12 and free for children 2 and under. Visit for more information.

If looking at enormous sand art or touring Galveston by duck doesn’t sound appealing, try checking out the Strand. Parts of the Strand are still in disrepair, but many shops and confectionaries, such as Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, are open to feed the tourist’s need for shopping and sweets.

The buildings’ architecture also adds to tourist attractions, not to mention the marked ‘Ike water line,’ indicating by tape the height storm waters reached inside the buildings.
Galveston has plenty of history to discover on every corner, all without having to travel far.

Check out for more upcoming events.

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