Find a Variety of Activities to do Along the Beach
Story & Photos By Lori Thompson
Galveston has miles of beaches, long sunny days, and a fabulous nightlife. But there are a variety of activities other than beach combing available to fill your days.
If you enjoy the Seawall and beach, you can stop in at Island Bicycle Company at 1808 Seawall Blvd. Island Bicycle Co. rents surreys, kayaks, surf and boogie boards, metal detectors, fishing poles & gear, binoculars and telescopes, and of course, all sorts of bicycles.
You can rent by the hour, 1⁄2 day, full day, or even for a week. Island Bicycle is the only shop in town that has roadside service. If your bicycle has problems and/or breaks down, they will come to you to fix or replace it. One exclusive feature that Island Bicycle offers is a tour. Either guided or self-guided with a map, you will ride all around town, visiting the historic district, downtown, ferry ride, and enjoy lunch at one of Galveston’s many cafes downtown.
Island Bicycle is also a full-service bicycle shop. New and used bicycles, beach cruisers, all bicycle accessories, and custom built bikes can be purchased and delivered anywhere from Galveston to as far as San Antonio. Manager Shawn Buckley calls his shop the “most fully-stocked customized bicycle shop between here and Dallas.”
Be sure to stop in and see what they have to offer! They are located at 1808 Seawall Blvd., (409)762-BIKE (2453), islandbicyclecompany.com
For the surfing enthusiast, head down to Underground Surf Depot, at 4700 Seawall Blvd. Owner Alice Chabe is proud of her self proclaimed “hard core surf shop.”
You can rent surf boards, skim boards, body boards and paddle boards, by the hour or for all day at very reasonable rates. Underground Surf Depo also carries high-end waterproof watches, flip flops, kids’ clothes, hats, skate boards, wax and new and used surfboards for sale.
While Alice was showing me around the store, she pointed out the trophies her teams have won. For example, this June her squad won Overall. Championship in the Team Division in South Padre Island. Underground Surf Depot is open 7 days a week, from 9-8 in the summer and 10-7 in the winter.
They are located at 4700 Seawall Blvd., (409)763-4036
For other outdoor diversions, visit Magic Carpet Golf at 9030 Seawall Blvd. Giant dragons and colorful castles decorate the courses, and the animated twists and turns add to the entertaining and exciting atmosphere.
They feature two mini-golf courses for different skills levels. The ocean side is the easier course; for beginners. The jungle side is a bit more challenging.
The most visible and unique attraction is the Bungee Ride Vertical Accelerator. This fast-paced ride is for the brave and adventurous! The 100 foot tall towers soar riders up to 130 feet above the Seawall in a safe, open “pod” that is shot like a sling-shot up in the air.
It goes from 0-70 in 1.5 seconds, with flips and spins on the way. This ride is perfectly safe for kids and adults alike, although you must be at least 4’9” tall and 10 years old.
Golf games cost $7 for adults and $6 for children. The bungee ride is $20 per person. Open day and night, 7 days a week.
They are located at 9030 Seawall Blvd., (409)740-2000.
Jamaica Beach RV Park also features a mini-golf course—Pirates Treasure Adventure Golf. Complete with a giant shark hanging at the entrance, the entire course has a pirate theme.
Each hole presents a different challenge—including putting into a shark’s mouth, through a pirate ship, and around a skeleton. Owner Ron Gustafson is proud of another game at the park; Water Wars.
Opponents shoot water balloons at each other with an oversize slingshot. Hitting the bull’s-eye will soak your opponents. What a refreshing game on a hot summer day!
Pirates Treasure is open 10-10, 7 days a week. At night the course is illuminated by low-level lighting and strobe lights. They are located at 1720, (409)632-0200, piratestreasureminigolf.com
One of the most popular attractions on the Seawall is the Rainforest Café. The Rainforest Ride is a lazy river boat ride that takes passengers through three “rainforests”.
Sound effects and intermittent thunder storms add to the realistic scenery. Animated animals watch the boats go by and if you’re not careful, a snake may surprise you, dropping from a tree, and at the end, spiders!
Inside the restaurant is a gift shop full of unique, themed souvenirs. While I was there, I experienced one of the thunderstorms that happen periodically. On weekends, carnival-like games take over the outside courtyard and live bands play on weekend nights. There is even a volcano that erupts every 1⁄2 hour after dark.
If all of this isn’t enough, you walk under a fish tank on your way to sit down for a delicious meal in the restaurant.
Galveston is a popular beach-town, but there is just so much more to offer if you take the time to explore and enjoy!