Visiting in 2021
As the weather warms up and visitation increases to the island, the City of Galveston is prepared for crowds. Whether you live here or are planning a visit, please keep in mind the following information and tips.
The City of Galveston is accepting special event applications for those wishing to host an event in Galveston. Please keep in mind that all large gatherings occurring on public property, including roadways and parks, require a special event permit. Unpermitted large events will be subject to code violations.
Interested parties may access the special event permit at galvestontx.gov/specialevents or call 409-797-3705.
The City of Galveston and its Tourism Partners at the Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) will not tolerate deliberate attempts to block access to roadways, neighborhoods, businesses and attractions or to impede traffic in any way.
- Emergency Crews must have clear access on roadways and points of entry along the beaches.
- Events that are not officially sanctioned will be asked to disperse.
- City and CVB officials are prepared to assist organizations in planning and managing large scale events on the Island.
- Galveston has a zero-tolerance policy for racial intimidation, public intoxication, nudity, lewd behavior, alcohol on the beach (with the exception of East Beach) or vandalism.
Remember that alcohol is not allowed on most Galveston beaches and littering is prohibited.
Additionally, a city ordinance (No 19-017 Secs 8-27) prohibits leaving umbrellas or beach set-ups on the sand overnight, so please don't leave any items, including umbrellas or lawn chairs as they will be discarded. More than 120 bollard signs have been placed along the beachfront to inform beachgoers about the ordinance, which is intended to protect aquatic animals and keep Galveston beaches clean.
As always, practice beach safety by observing the flag system posted by the lifeguards to determine water conditions and swim near a lifeguard whenever possible.
As public safety needs dictate, there may be temporary closures of parking areas along the seawall to ensure the access of emergency vehicles and access for public safety staff. Beginning Friday, April 23 to Sunday, April 25, parking will be restricted at Diamond Beach on the western terminus of the Seawall and at Fort San Jacinto on the eastern end.
Please bear in mind, Seawall parking fees have increased to $2 per hour, and paid parking is enforced between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily. We have annual passes available on the PayByPhone app for $45 for the year as an affordable option if you're a resident or staying a while.
The Park Board also offers annual passes, which cover a greater area, including the beach parks. A $50 beach parks pass provides for admission to Stewart Beach, East Beach, Dellanera and pocket parks on the island’s west end. An Ultimate Beach Pass combines admission to seawall parking and beach parks and costs $95. These passes are currently available and may be purchased at the beach parks or at the Park Board offices located at 601 23rd Street.
There are also paid parking areas downtown. In paid spaces, downtown parking is $1.50 an hour, and enforced Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Drivers displaying handicap placards or disabled veterans are exempt from paid parking fees.
The rubber-wheeled trolleys returned to service on Friday, April 2 as a fun and convenient way to travel along the Seawall and downtown.
The rubber wheel trolleys are operating on their downtown and Seawall routes on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The trolleys will continue operating on weekends (Friday-Sunday) throughout April and hours may be extended beginning in May.
The fare for the rubber wheel trolleys is $1 for adults, while minors accompanied by adults ride free. Drivers are unable to make change so please have the exact fare ready. The rubber wheel trolleys service both downtown and the Seawall, and routes are available online at galvestontrolley.com.
The City will have enhanced safety measures in the busiest areas, including additional lighting on the seawall between 27th and 39th streets. The Galveston Police Department will strictly enforce DWI laws.
Golf carts are a popular way to get around the island. If you’re driving a golf cart on the island, please be mindful of the rules of the road.
Registered golf carts are allowed on many City streets where the speed limit is 35 mph or less. Golf carts are not allowed on Broadway, which is a state highway. East of 103rd Street registered golf cart passengers must wear seatbelts. West of 103rd Street, children under the age of 7 require seatbelts.
On the Seawall, golf carts are prohibited east of 6th Street, and west of 61st, which is part of the state highway system. Golf carts are also prohibited on Harborside Drive and Avenues O and P. Please use caution and be aware that DWI laws apply to golf carts.
Under new state rules, businesses may decide if masks will be required in their establishments. Many Galveston businesses require masks and we ask that everyone respect the wishes of business owners. We encourage wearing of masks in public spaces and social distancing.
In addition to 32-miles of sandy shoreline, Galveston has a vibrant and historic downtown, museums and a multitude of dining options. For information about how to best experience Galveston, visit https://www.visitgalveston.com/, download the Visit Galveston phone app or stop by the visitor’s center at 2228 Mechanic.
CITY RULES TO KNOW
Leave No Trace - Items left on the beach overnight will be discarded.
COVID-19 Regulations - The state has lifted COVID-19 restrictions, though businesses may still require masks. Please respect business rules.
Seawall Parking - Most spaces on Seawall Boulevard are paid spots between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily.
Noise violations - The City enforcing for noise violations. The code spells out the rules, but generally-speaking your music should not be audible to neighbors.
Littering - Littering on Galveston beaches is a Class C misdemeanor and you could be fined up to $500.
For visitor information on all things Galveston, head over to visitgalveston.com