4th of July in Galveston

Celebrating the 4th of July in Galveston TX

Independence Day is just around the corner, and if you’re like me, you’re probably looking for some fun ways to celebrate the 4th of July in Galveston TX. Luckily, Galveston Island is just a short drive from the greater Houston area and offers plenty of exciting fourth of July activities. 

From parades and live music to fireworks and beach parties, Galveston has something for everyone. 

As a Houston native, I’ve spent many summers exploring Galveston and its festive celebrations, and I’m excited to share some of the best 4th of July activities in Galveston with you. So, grab your whole family and friends, pack a cooler, and let’s head to the beach for a day full of patriotic fun!

4th of July in Galveston, TX

Things to Do in Galveston for 4th of July

Galveston Island is one of my favorite places to spend the 4th of July with my family. There’s so much to do in this historic town and it’s only a short drive away from Houston. 

Here are some ideas for how to celebrate the 4th of July in Galveston, TX:

Annual Independence Day Parade

Galveston hosts a 4th of July parade that runs through the historic district and is a sight to see. The annual Independence Day parade is a fun way to end the day and celebrate with the community as you observe a procession of floats, performers, and military vehicles beginning at Seawall Boulevard and 59th Street. 

galveston 4th of july parade
Photo Credit: Visit Galveston

Plus, it’s a perfect opportunity to don your red, white, and blue gear, wave your mini American flags, and show off your best parade dance moves. Trust me; they’re watching!

This July 4th celebration is hosted by the Galveston Fire Department and Marine Corps League each year and is a great way to celebrate our nation as well as past and current military. 

Still not sure where to stand and watch the annual parade? Be sure to check out the entire parade route for begin and ending locations.

Firework Shows in Galveston, TX

One of the highlights of spending 4th of July in Galveston, Tx was always the fireworks display following the parade. You could watch the fireworks from your beach lawn chairs or from one of the many restaurants and bars near Seawall and 37th. 

These days, Galveston has replaced traditional fireworks after the parade with an interactive drone show. 

fireworks in galveston
Photo Credit: Buzz Magazine

If you’re dead set on seeing fireworks this fourth of July, you still have a chance. Moody Gardens still holds their live firework show for all of west end to see and enjoy so I suggest heading over there towards dusk.

Pleasure Pier

Looking for thrills and chills this Independence Day? Look no further than the iconic Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier. This amusement park on a pier offers a thrilling combination of exhilarating rides, classic carnival games, and delectable food options. 

Grab the Patriot Pass for $49.99 and get into the Downtown Houston Aquarium and Kemah Boardwalk too.

Take a ride on the Iron Shark roller coaster, challenge your friends to pier pileup, or simply indulge in some cotton candy while you soak in the panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a one-stop-shop for endless entertainment!

Drone Show

Due to public safety concerns and environmental impact, Galveston has ended their annual 4th of July fireworks show. Instead, they’ve started a new tradition of holding drone performances, which are really neat to see! 

Galveston 4th of July drone show
Photo Credit: KHOU 11

The interactive drone show includes over 200 drones in two twelve minute patriotic shows. If you haven’t seen it yet, don’t miss out this year! 

It won’t have the loud “pop” noises like traditional fireworks do, but it’s sure to be the highlight of your 4th of July.

Explore the Historic District

Take a step back in time and explore the historic Strand district in downtown Galveston.

This charming area is lined with beautifully preserved 19th-century buildings, including the Bishop’s Palace, Moody Mansion, and the Grand 1894 Opera House. It also houses an array of unique shops, art galleries, and restaurants. 

On the 4th of July, the Strand comes alive with live music, street performances, and a vibrant atmosphere. Grab a bite to eat at one of the local eateries, browse the quirky boutiques, and soak in the old-world charm of this captivating district as you learn about the cities rich history.

Beach day

What better way to celebrate the 4th of July than soaking up the sun, building a sandcastle, and catching some waves? Galveston boasts some fantastic beaches, and they’ll be buzzing with excitement on this patriotic day. 

4th of july in galveston tx

Head to Stewart Beach or East Beach, where you’ll find a lively atmosphere, volleyball courts, beach games, and plenty of sandy real estate to set up your base camp.

Seafood feast

No visit to Galveston is complete without savoring some mouthwatering seafood. From fresh Gulf shrimp to succulent oysters, the island boasts an abundance of delectable treats from the sea. 

Dive into a plate of fried shrimp or sample some Gulf Coast gumbo at one of the many seafood joints scattered across the island. Don’t forget to pair your meal with a refreshing beverage, be it an ice-cold beer or a zesty cocktail. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you!

Galveston Island State Park

For those seeking a more laid-back experience without the big crowds of the city, the Galveston Island State Park is a slice of nature’s paradise. 

Enjoy a day of hiking, birdwatching, or fishing in this coastal haven. Pack a picnic, spread out a blanket under the shade of the palm trees, and take in the breathtaking views of the Gulf. It’s the perfect escape from the holiday hustle and bustle, and a chance to reconnect with nature.

Dolphin Tours

How about celebrating the 4th of July in Galveston by making new friends? Galveston offers fantastic dolphin tours that allow you to get up close and personal with these intelligent and playful marine creatures. 

Hop aboard a dolphin-watching boat tour and set sail on the sparkling waters of the Gulf. As you cruise along, keep your eyes peeled for the graceful arcs and splashes of dolphins as they swim alongside the boat. 

It’s a truly magical experience that will leave you with lifelong memories and a renewed appreciation for the wonders of the ocean.

Beachside Bonfire

If you’re looking to add a cozy and memorable touch to your 4th of July celebrations, why not organize a beachside bonfire? 

Many beaches in Galveston allow bonfires, so gather your friends and family, bring some marshmallows, and enjoy the warm glow of a crackling fire as you watch the fireworks illuminate the night sky. 

It’s the perfect setting for storytelling, laughter, and good ol’ fashioned s’mores.

Galveston Historic Tours

For the history buffs out there, Galveston offers a treasure trove of fascinating stories and architectural wonders. Explore the city’s rich past with a guided historic tour, where knowledgeable guides will walk you through the stunning Victorian homes of the East End Historic District or regale you with tales of Galveston’s pirate-infested past. 

It’s a great way to learn about the city’s heritage while enjoying a leisurely stroll through its charming streets.

Catch a Sunset Cruise

As the day winds down and the sky paints itself in shades of orange and pink, embark on a sunset cruise for a serene and romantic experience. Board a boat and set sail along the coastline, feeling the gentle sea breeze against your skin as you watch the sun sink below the horizon. 

4th of july in galveston
Photo Credit: Galveston Sea Adventures

It’s the perfect moment to unwind, relax, and reflect on the day’s festivities while enjoying the tranquil beauty of Galveston’s coastal scenery.

Places to Stay in Galveston for the Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is a popular time to visit Galveston, TX so be sure to plan ahead if you’re wanting to stay over night. 

Here are my personal recommendations for the best places to stay in Galveston this summer.

Grand Galvez

The Grand Galvez is the only historic beachfront hotel on the Texas Gulf Coast. It’s known for it’s top notch location and for being one of the finest Galveston hotels on the beach. 

They offer courtesy bike rentals to encourage island exploration and fun on two wheels. Plus there’s other great amenities like a swim up bar, award winning spa services, and some of the best food in town.

For those seeking a touch of history and charm, Hotel Galvez & Spa is a true gem. With its stunning architecture, beautiful gardens, and proximity to the beach, it’s the perfect blend of old-world grandeur and modern comfort.

San Luis Resort

The San Luis Resort can be found perfectly beach front off Seawall Blvd and nestled between all the hot spots on Galveston Island. 

You can truly experience island time as you enjoy the glamorous pool with a zipping water slide, award winning dining, and luxurious spa experiences. 

The San Luis Resort has it all and is an outstanding place to stay during 4th of July in Galveston, TX.

Moody Gardens

Begin your July 4th weekend by checking into a local family favorite, Moody Gardens. From animal encounters, to splash pads, to 3D and 4D theaters, Moody Gardens has tons to do onsite. 

Moody Gardens 4th of July

Just be sure you spend your evening listening to live music and seeing the fourth of July fireworks show on Moody Gardens’ Palm Beach. 

If money is tight you can always watch the fourth of July fireworks show for free as a spectator near the west end of Galveston. It’s a perfect spot to watch the show during your 4th of July celebration.

Pointe West Beach Club

One of my top recommendations of fun places to stay in Galveston is at Pointe West. 

The Pointe West Beach Club is a small resort community with loads of extras found inside. With your stay at any Pointe West vacation home you’ll have direct access to the bay and the non-drivable part of Galveston beach. 

Pointe West Galveston

Just bring a wagon and unload your toys and canopy for the day to have a fun 4th of July celebration. There’s also a lazy river, hot tub, several pools, and so many more hidden gems to make your holiday weekend spectacular. 

For those seeking a tranquil and exclusive beach experience, Pointe West Beach Club is a fantastic choice. The pristine beaches and serene atmosphere make Pointe West an idyllic retreat for a peaceful and relaxing 4th of July getaway.

AirBNB or Beach Front Rentals

For a more personalized and intimate stay, consider renting a beachfront condo or any of the beach houses listed on platforms like Airbnb. Galveston offers a wide range of vacation rentals with stunning ocean views, private pools, and direct access to the beach. 

It’s a fantastic option for families or groups of friends who want to create their own little oasis during the 4th of July festivities.

The Tremont House

Nestled in Galveston’s historic Strand district, The Tremont House offers a unique and boutique experience. 

This meticulously restored 19th-century building blends modern amenities with classic charm. Enjoy stylish rooms, a rooftop bar with panoramic views, and easy access to the Strand’s shops, restaurants, and entertainment.

Summarizing 4th of July in Galveston TX

Galveston, with its sun-kissed beaches, vibrant festivities, and charming coastal charm, offers an unforgettable experience for anyone seeking a fun-filled 4th of July celebration. Whether you’re basking in the sand, enjoying thrilling rides at Pleasure Pier, exploring the city’s history, or marveling at the drones display, Galveston has something to offer for everyone.

This Independence Day, ditch the regular routines and head to the island city for a day of sun, sand, and spectacular fun. Galveston will welcome you with open arms, and you’ll leave with memories that will last a lifetime. Happy 4th of July, y’all!

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