Located in Galveston County, right in the heart of the Bolivar Peninsula, the city of Crystal Beach, Texas is known as the premier vacation spot for visitors from near and far. With seven miles of beach that stretches along Texas State Highway 87, it’s easy to enjoy the sandy shore. Vacation rentals in Crystal Beach range from small private homes to lovely beachfront properties. The attractions in and around Crystal Beach abound like swimming in the surf, fishing on the pier, or touring the historic refuge and wildlife sanctuaries. Keep your kids occupied and adults entertained while vacationing in Crystal Beach with these top 15 things to do.

1. Visit the Point Bolivar Lighthouse

Built in 1872, the Point Bolivar Lighthouse towers approximately 117 feet above sea level and is easy to spot when traveling from your Crystal Beach vacation rental. Stop by the privately-owned lighthouse for a picture-perfect moment with the family. Afterward, explore the nearby Crystal Beach area with a boat tour when reserving a watercraft from Galveston Harbor Tours.

2. Slide Into Fun Spot Waterslide

If your crew wants some fun in the sun with a refreshing splash, then Fun Spot Waterslide is the place to go. Venture down the slides that have entertained families for nearly 40 years at this amusement park.

3. Spend the Day at Moody Gardens

Known as a tropical destination near Crystal Beach, Moody Gardens offers plenty of opportunities for you and the kids to learn more about the rain forest and underwater sea creatures. Take in a show in the IMAX theater or visit the museum to see the aquariums filled with fish. Moody Gardens is also home to a white sand beach for you to sink your toes into while wading in the sea.

4. Tour the San Jacinto Monument and Museum

Teach your kids about the American West with a tour of the San Jacinto Monument and Museum. This monument is the world’s tallest war memorial, making it ideal for a family photo op. Walk the battlefield, too, to learn more about the history of the area or browse through the artifacts at the museum. Stop in at Monument Inn afterward for some fresh seafood.

5. Ride the Bolivar Ferry

Take a trip by boat between Galveston Island and the Bolivar Peninsula with a fun-filled ride on the Bolivar Ferry. This free ferry offers service for both motorists and pedestrians, courtesy of the Texas Department of Transportation. After seeing the sights, stop by nearby Willie G’s Steakhouse and Seafood for dinner.

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6. Get a Thrill at the Kemah Boardwalk

Take a leisurely stroll and enjoy the seaside shows when visiting the Kemah Boardwalk. This unique area features amusement rides, retail stores, and waterfront restaurants. Ride the Ferris wheel to get an aerial view of Crystal Beach or visit the boardwalk during one of its many festivals of the season. After your stroll, grab a bite to eat at Landry’s Seafood House or a sweet treat at Sweet Scoops.

7. Get Wet and Wild Indoors

Don’t let a rainy day put a crimp in your vacation plans when your vacation rental is located within minutes from the Schlitterbahn Waterpark. This indoor waterpark features water coasters, wave rivers, water slides, and more. Bring a picnic lunch or grab a snack at the restaurants on site before grabbing a free tube and heading for the water attractions.

8. Explore Space

Head over to nearby Houston to give the kids a space-themed adventure for the day with a visit to the Space Center. Serving as the official visitor’s center for Johnson Space Center, this recreational facility is home to museums, interactive rides, and artifacts that provide you and your kids with information about the space program.

9. See the S.S. Selma

History buffs love touring the S.S. Selma, a concrete ship from World War I that settled on the coast of Galveston. This ship is visible above the water line and features a concrete tanker for you to see up close. With its close proximity to Pelican Island, you can also see the ship’s remains while traveling on board an airboat when signing up for a tour with Capt. Bob’s Airport Adventure Tours.

10. Get in a Game of Golf

Whether you are a beginner or expert golfer, you can showcase your skills at Rancho Carribe Golf Course, a PAR 35 regulation course with nine holes. Join in on one of the weekly tournaments or warm up at the driving range before your game. This premiere Crystal Beach golf course also features a club house so you can grab lunch or dinner after your win.

11. Dive into Beach Activities

Build a sandcastle with the kids or dip your feet into the cool waters on the pristine beach surrounding Crystal Beach and the Bolivar Peninsula area. If you’re seeking a surf adventure, grab the gear you need from Latitude 29.2 Surf Shop or rent a kayak from A Shore Venture to paddle your way through the waters near your beachfront vacation rental in Crystal Beach.

12. Bird Watch at the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge

Serious birding enthusiasts love the views at the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge that spotlights a variety of fauna and flora. If you time your visit in the fall and winter, you’ll get a chance to spot snow geese, roseate spoonbills, and Sandhill cranes while walking through the refuge. Head to the visitor’s center to take part in the educational workshops, festivals, and exhibits on site.

13. Fish Away the Day

The gulf waters are chocked full of speckled trout, redfish, flounder, and black drums to enhance your fishing adventure. Stock up on the bait you need and even rods and reels at the Way Out Marina Bait Camp or opt for a chartered fishing trip with one of the sea experts for the day.

14. Take in the Sights at Fort Travis

Fort Travis is a must-see if you are a history buff. This historical sight includes oil tankers and cargo ships for you to tour as well as the remains of a fort that was built in 1898. Climb up to the bunker’s top to catch the sites of the Houston Ship Channel.

15. Tap Your Toes to Live Music

Crystal Beach offers a variety of clubs and restaurants for dining and dancing, but if you want some toe-tapping live music, head over to the Stingaree Restaurant and Marina for a live show from rock and roll and country bands. Nearby HardHeads Icehouse and Grill also hosts free live shows right on the beach.

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