If you’re planning to escape the cold weather and head to Texas this spring, don’t miss the beautiful Gulf Coast in Galveston! The warm water and picturesque beaches, combined with a friendly, laid-back island atmosphere, are reason enough to go.

Easily accessible from nearby Houston, Galveston is a great destination for seniors to travel to. From the relaxing beaches to touring historic homes and visiting the area’s museums, there are plenty of activities both indoor and outdoor to choose from. You can also learn more about the interesting oil industry as well as the area’s maritime tradition.

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What to do in Galveston: A Guide for Seniors

1. Plan a Beach Day

From the exciting outdoor summer concerts at East Beach to family-oriented Stewart Beach, you will be blown away by the spectacular beaches and warm, inviting water. Bring a picnic, and food to barbecue - you are allowed to have a barbecue pit, which greatly adds to your beach experience! Stewart was named one of the 10 best family beaches in 2013 by Family Vacation Critic, and there are onsite umbrella rentals to keep you protected from the sun. You can also walk along the Seawall, which is right near the best restaurants and hotels, as well as an amusement park pier.

2. Visit the Lone Star Flight Museum

A great activity when you need a break from the sun, or in less-than-favorable weather, you’ll love the Lone Star Flight Museum! The museum is surprisingly big with about twenty historic aircraft on display and you can learn about the history of the planes, and their crew. Several of the planes served in World War Two. This is a particularly great museum to visit with grandchildren and family.

3. Relax at the Spa at Hotel Galvez

Treat yourself to an afternoon spa experience at the elegant Hotel Galvez, which gets excellent reviews for customer service. Located right near the beach, you can enjoy a variety of massages and spa treatments to relax, and sip soothing cucumber water in the relaxation room. The hotel also offers an outstanding weekend brunch, which you can incorporate into your day!

4. Take a Tour of Bishop’s Palace

Imagine what life was like for the wealthiest residents of Galveston at Bishop’s Palace. This ornate Victorian-era structure is one of the best-known and beloved buildings in Galveston and definitely worth a visit. Built entirely of stone, the mansion was sturdy enough to withstand the Great Hurricane of 1900. Today, it is beautifully preserved and open for tours on weekdays. Call ahead to reserve a private tour of this iconic and opulent local landmark.

5. Walk Along The Strand Historic District

Galveston’s historic downtown district is a destination for Texans from near and far. Walk along the beautiful streets and poke your head into the charming shops along the way. Make sure to take a break from your beach day to come try the ice cream in the heat of the day. In the evening, you have plenty of great dining options to choose from, but we recommend trying fresh Gulf Coast seafood, especially at Saltwater Grill and Little Daddy’s Gumbo Bar.

Enjoy your stay in Galveston! You’ll return home relaxed and refreshed from breathing the fresh salt air and spending time in the uplifting sunshine.

This article was written by Cathy Trainor.