You’ve just landed in Galveston for some much-needed R&R and glance out the hotel patio window at the Gulf of Mexico. Instead of the sunny skies and balmy weather that the meteorologist promised, it’s looking more like rain, high winds and choppy seas are on tap the next few days.
So what’s a free-spirited Island tourist to do? Not to worry. There’s plenty of fun-filled activities in Galveston that don’t require our trademark sunny skies. Consider these 7 things to do on a rainy day in Galveston:
Pier 21 Theater
Pier 21 Theater is located at 21st Street and Harborside Dr., above Willie G's. There are three shows for your enjoyment:
The Bryan Museum
The Bryan Museum (1315 21st St.) offers an unforgettable experience by opening a gateway to the rich cultural history of the Southwestern United States. The museum is committed to the preservation, education, and promotion of the history and art of the American Southwest through engaging exhibitions and programming.
Assembled over a lifetime by Mary Jon and J.P. Bryan, the collection spans more than 2,500 years and boasts some 70,000 items, ranging from ancient Native American cultural artifacts to modern 21st century pieces.
The collection includes rare documents in German, French, Spanish and English, exquisite saddles and spurs, antique firearms, rare books, fine art, religious art, folk art, portraits and rare maps. And there’s also a museum shop with everything from books, jewelry, educational toys, T-shirts and other gifts.
Giant Screen 6P Laser Projection System at Moody Gardens
To check out Texas Big, step into the MG 3D Theater at Moody Gardens Galveston Island. The theater has the world’s first 4K 3D giant screen 6-Primary laser projection system on the largest screen in Texas – a 60-by-80-foot white screen almost three and half times brighter than normal theaters.
The new laser projection system captures mind-boggling vibrant colors with new 3D glasses technology, and boasts a top-of-the-line 11.1 surround sound with Auro 3D. I got a chance to check out “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” at Moody Gardens’ MG 3D Theater. When I put on the new 6P glasses, I found myself ducking rocket ships that shot by, while marveling at laser sounds that shot from one end of the theater to the other.
Galveston's grandest and best-known building, the Bishop's Palace is an ornate delight of colored stone, intricately carved ornaments, rare woods, stained-glass windows, bronze dragons and other sculptures, luxury materials and furnishings, and impressive fireplaces from around the world (including one lined with pure silver).
Built by lawyer Colonel Walter Gresham and designed by Nicholas Clayton, Galveston's premier architect, the Victorian castle was cited by the American Institute of Architects as one of the 100 most important buildings in America. The home was built from 1886 to 1892.
Founded in 1871, the Rosenberg Library is the oldest public library in Texas in continuous operation.
With funding provided through a bequest from Henry Rosenberg, the Rosenberg Library Association was organized in 1900 as a private corporation to give free library service to all Galvestonians.
After the Rosenberg Library opened in 1904, it absorbed the collections of the Galveston Public Library, thus formalizing its new role as the public library for the city of Galveston.
Holdings of the museum department include historical Galveston and early Texas artifacts, paintings of Galveston subjects, and a sizable collection of Russian and Greek icons. And the Fox Rare Book Room contains rare books, first editions, and examples of fine printing.
Galveston Railroad Museum
Close your eyes and you can almost hear the train whistles beckoning passengers during a bygone era at the Railroad Museum, a complex of historic facilities and unique attractions.
Located at the head of the Strand at 25th Street, the vast Railroad Museum boasts one of the largest restored railroad collections in the Southwest, and is one of the five largest in the country. With numerous railroad memorabilia and exhibits, including more than 40 pieces of locomotives and rolling stock, the museum is a national treasure.
Most Saturdays, the museum offers rides aboard the "Harborside Express" train between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., boarding every 20 minutes.
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