Galveston, TX
  • Overview
  • Schools
  • Housing
  • Real Estate
  • Things to Do
  • Neighbourhoods

Before the first European settlements appeared in 1816, Native Americans inhabited Galveston Island. Settling of the island continued until Galveston was founded by Matthew Sabo in 1836. Galveston served as Texas’ capital until 1839, when the City of Galveston was officially chartered.

In the mid-1800s, Galveston became an international trade and immigration center with one of the busiest ports in the United States. During this era, Galveston evolved into the largest city and main business center in Texas and was given the moniker “Queen City of the Gulf.” However, the infamous hurricane of 1900 temporarily set back the city’s amazing progress.

From 1924 to 1957, the city of Galveston was known for gambling and amusement industries. After a crackdown by the state’s attorney general, much of the vice was halted, and with the adoption of a council/manager form of government, Galveston rose to its modern premier status. Galveston today is known for its port economy, medical school, tourism and financial institutions.

The City Experience
Rich History Wonderful Beaches Great Real Estate Good Schools Arts and Culture Excellent Shopping and Dining
  • Location
  • Commute


The City of Galveston is located within Galveston County on Galveston Island on the upper Texas coast of the Gulf of Mexico. The 32-mile-long island sits about two miles off the Texas mainland, fifty miles southeast of Houston. The Gulf of Mexico is on the east and south, Galveston Bay on the north and West Bay to the west. At the north end of the island is Galveston Harbor. Bolivar Peninsula lies to the northeast. The city of Galveston, the second largest municipality in Galveston County, is inside the Houston, Sugar Land and the Woodlands metropolitan area and is the county seat.


Galveston’s main access point from the Texas mainland is the Interstate 45 causeway, which crosses West Bay on the northeast side. Ferry service is available for those who want to commute from Galveston Island to Bolivar Peninsula. The San Luis Pass-Vacek Toll Bridge connects Galveston Island with the Bluewater Highway, which leads into Surfside Beach on the south. The average one-way commute in Galveston is about 20 minutes. About 23% of Galveston residents have an average commute time of about eleven minutes, and 3% have over an hour commute. William P. Hobby Airport is 40 miles from Galveston, and George Bush Intercontinental Airport is 70 miles from Galveston.


Galveston residents are young on average, with over 40% of residents at 35 years old. Of all households in Galveston, about 34% are married couples with a median income over $74,000 per year. Twenty-one percent of residents have children under 18 living at home. Roughly 43% of residents own their homes.

A working class city with a treasure of history, Galveston is one of the best places to live in Texas, offering a broad spectrum of art, theater and tourist attractions. From its historic 70-block downtown area to its galleries, museums and beaches, there’s something for everyone to enjoy, and there’s a lot of great dining and shopping available.

Local Government

The Galveston City Council includes the Mayor and six Council members who represent six districts within the city. Council member are elected to two-year terms and may serve three terms. The Council’s function is to establish policies and adopt ordinances. Members are Mayor James Yarbrough, Amy Carmen Bly, Craig Brown, David Collins, Jason Hardcastle, John Paul Listowski and Jackie Cole.

City Hall Council Chambers 823 Rosenberg, 2nd Floor Galveston, TX 77553<

Jim Yarbrough is Galveston’s mayor, serving his current two-year term. He is a native of Galveston and graduate of Ball High School. With a BBA from the University of Texas, Jim served as the Galveston County Judge before being elected as Mayor in 2014. He has received numerous awards, including the Galveston County New Citizen of the Year award.

City Hall 823 Rosenberg, Room 205 Galveston, TX 77554<

The Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce serves the city of Galveston. Founded in 1845 and with over 875 business members, the Chamber seeks to help businesses and the community through carefully planned programs for economic and community development, public affairs and legislative issues.

2228 Mechanic, Suite 101 Galveston Island, TX 77550<

The city of Galveston has twenty public primary schools and secondary schools within the Galveston Independent School District. Galveston schools offer magnet programs and certification programs designed to allow students to get living wage jobs before or after graduation. The middle schools provide Pre-Advanced Placement courses, and one of the high schools offers Advanced Placement classes and access to free or discounted dual credit hours for students who wish to attend Galveston College. Galveston schools also offer a full spectrum of athletics and fine arts programs.

Some of the top public schools in Galveston include Austin Middle School, Oppe Elementary School, Crenshaw Elementary & Middle School, Odyssey Academy and Renaissance Academy. One of the highest rated schools in Galveston is Oppe Elementary School, where 86% of students are proficient in mathematics and 92% are proficient in reading.

Private schools in Galveston include O’Connell College Preparatory School, Trinity Episcopal School, Holy Family School, Upward Hope Academy and Satori School.

School Districts
  • 01
    Galveston Independent School District (GISD)

More than 7,000 students from Galveston Island and Bolivar Peninsula are served by Galveston Independent School District (GISD). The geographical boundary of the district extends from Oppe Elementary in the west end of Galveston Island to Crenshaw Elementary/Middle School in Crystal Beach on Bolivar Peninsula. The district also serves several communities in unincorporated areas of Galveston County, including Port Bolivar.

Galveston ISD follows a “school of choice” model, rather than following rigid school zone boundaries. The model allows students to apply to any program that has an opening within the district. The GISD provides magnet programs, charter-based schools and neighborhood style schools.


Galveston elementary schools include Oppe Elementary, Crenshaw Elementary/Middle School, Burnet-ECU Elementary, Morgan Elementary Magnet School, Parker Elementary, KIPP Coastal Village School, Ambassadors Preparatory Academy and La Marque Elementary Math and Science Academy. Odyssey Academy serves Pre-Kindergarten through 11th grade students. An outstanding elementary school is Oppe Elementary, with 86% of students proficient in math and 92% in reading.

Middle schools serving Galveston are Austin Middle School, Scott Collegiate Academy, Coastal Village Middle School, Weis Middle School, Central Middle School, La Marque Junior High Math and Science Academy and La Marque Intermediate Technology Academy. One of the outstanding middle schools is Austin Middle School. Out of 514 Austin students, 97% are proficient in both math and reading.

Four high schools serve Galveston. Renaissance Academy has 158 6th through 10th grade students. Ball High School has 1,946 9th through 12th grade students. La Marque High School has 450 students in 9th to 12th grades. AIM College and Career Preparatory School has 91 students in grades nine through 12. The highest rated among these schools is Renaissance Academy.

Private Galveston schools include O’Connell College Preparatory, Trinity Episcopal, Holy Family, Upward Hope and Satori. O’Connell has 106 students in 9th to 12th grades. Trinity has 253 Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade students. Holy Family has 129 students in Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade. Upward Hope has 84 9th to 12th grade students. Satori School has 53 Pre-Kindergarten through 6th grade students.


Galveston’s neighborhoods offer many housing options. The city has one of the greatest concentrations of historic 19th and early 20th century homes, with thousands of historic homes. The older areas of Galveston offer smaller cottages, large and stately mansions and residential lofts in converted downtown buildings.

For home buyers who are interested in waterfront properties, the more modern homes on Offatts Bayou or raised beach homes offer beautiful views that come with seaside living. Many newly-built single-family beach homes are available in the area. Traditional ranch style houses built from the 1950s to the 1980s are also available in neighborhoods throughout the city of Galveston.

There are also many options in Galveston for those who want to rent, from traditional homes to loft apartments on the upper stories of downtown Victorian-style buildings. There are many large and smaller apartment complexes throughout the island as well as luxury townhomes.

Single-Family Homes
Single family homes are widely available for buyers and renters in the Galveston area in different styles ranging from mid-twentieth century ranch homes to nineteenth century Victorian-style homes. Modern, newly built beachside homes are also available. There are currently over 500 single-family homes for sale in Galveston’s most desirable neighborhoods with a median list price of $244,900.
New Construction
Much new construction in Galveston is beachfront property. These new constructions range in price from $298,000 for a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home to $825,000 for a four-bedroom, 2.5 bath home. An example of a new home in the middle of this price range is a two-story, three-bedroom, 3.5 bathroom home listed at $492,500.
High Rises
There are many high-rise units for sale and rent on Galveston Island. Two outstanding high rises are Diamond Beach and Palisade Palms Condos. Diamond Beach has 120 luxury units with a heated indoor pool and a Gulf view. Palisade Palms Condos offers 288 units, also with a view of the Gulf. Amenities include a pool, rooftop lounge and beach access.
There are over 20 apartment complexes in Galveston. Seaside Village Apartments offers beach access for up to $1,650 per month. Oceanfront Lofts provides a Gulf coast view and easy access to local healthcare centers from $949 per month. Parc at Marina Landing apartments offers waterfront views within close proximity to the University of Texas Medical Branch from $779 a month.
Buy Rent Sell

Galveston’s historic, mid-twentieth century and newer beachfront neighborhoods offer many options for buyers, with a median price of $314,900 and median time on the market at ninety-four days. The median price in Pirates Beach is $369,000. Homes in the East End Historic District the Sea Isle neighborhood are listing at a median price of $299,000. Old Silk Stocking Historic District homes are listed at a median price of $295,000.

The most expensive homes in Galveston are in the Pirates Cove neighborhood, where the median listing is $515,000. The lowest priced home are in the Central City area, where the median listing is $108,000. Waterfront homes list between $155,900 and $1,299,900.

The market has grown steadily since 2015. In January 2015, the median list price was $259,000. In January 2019, the median listing was for $314,900. The market peaked in February of 2016 and May 2018. The market took dips during the month of August in 2015 and 2016.


Although Galveston has more than 30 miles of beach, beaches are just the beginning of what this marvelous city offers. Some of the most interesting historical homes in the country are located in Galveston, and Galveston has fourteen museums and thirty art galleries. For those interested in amazing architecture, the Bishop Palace, the Moody Mansion and the Ashbel Smith Building are sure to astound.

For hours of family fun, the Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark is one of the best places to go, and great boutique shops and restaurants populate the Strand area. The Galveston Arts Center offers a showplace for established and new artists as well as an “Art for All” art education outreach program.

The island offers an endless variety of fine dining and ethnic cuisine, and for anyone looking to spark up the night, there are nearly countless choices of nightclubs, piano bars, breweries and wineries, bars and pubs and live music establishments.

Parks & Recreation
Galveston has several recreation areas and parks. The Wright Cuney Recreation Center provides family movies and entertainment for kids. The Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark has outdoor and indoor attractions that include rides like Dragon Blaster and Bahnzai Pipeline. Several municipal parks like Seawolf Park and Galveston beach are available. The vast Galveston Island State Park is great for camping.
Places to shop in Galveston are in great abundance. The Strand Historic District offers a wide selection of shops like The Marketplace, Flea by the Sea, and Old Strand Emporium. Murdoch’s is a well-known seaside shop that sells souvenirs and beachwear. Other popular shopping malls are Galveston Place, Broadway Shopping Center and Village One Town Center I.
Art & Culture
As home to six historic districts and more than 60 structures on the National Register of Historic Places, Galveston is full of culture and art. Some notable historic buildings are the Bishop Palace, the Ashbel Smith Building and the Moody Mansion. The city also hosts 30 art galleries and 14 museums, including the Lone Star Flight Museum.
Night Life
Galveston is home to scores of lounges, nightclubs, bars and live music establishments. Considered a “listening lounge,” Old Quarter Acoustic Café is a popular spot for acoustic musical acts and open mics. Rooftop Bar is a trendy lounge with beautiful view of Galveston from its open-air top floor. Other popular nighttime destinations are Island Pier Club and Bliss Lounge.
In Galveston there are a plenty of restaurants to satisfy everyone. For those who want seafood, steak, Mediterranean food or Mexican, Italian or Indian cuisine, it’s all in Galveston. The Porch Café is a fine dining establishment with delectable Gulf Coast seafood and Wagyu Texas beef. Other popular eateries include Number 13, Saltwater Grill and Rudy & Paco.
Learn About Galveston Neighborhoods
Galveston is comprised of 49 subdivisions, some of them historic and some modern. The more popular neighborhoods in Galveston include Pirates Beach, East End, Sea Isle, Lake Madeline and the Strand neighborhood.

The East End Historic District dates back to 1876. It features mainly midsize, reasonably priced houses, ranging from $74,000 to $975,000. The Sea Isle neighborhood was established in 1967. Its competitively priced, cozy homes list for $199,900 to $779,900. Pirates Beach was established in 1971 and features midsize homes priced from $158,900 to $827,000. The Lake Madeline neighborhood is a popular area with lots of coffee shops, restaurants and bars and homes that go for $103,000 to $899,900. The Strand neighborhood is a historical area where many buildings have been refurbished as condominiums and is popular for its shops and boutiques. Many buildings in the Strand area were constructed in the late 1800s. Condominium lofts in this neighborhood can sell for $160,000 to $490,000.

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