Galveston Water Activities: Where to Play, Ride and Splash

Located on the Texas east coast sits Galveston Island, located on Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. This makes the city a prime spot for outdoor recreation, especially since the area receives over 200 days of sunshine per year and offers mild weather year-round. From dolphin tours to a huge waterpark, Galveston welcomes everyone to have a blast. Learn about the top Galveston water activities, and don’t forget the sunscreen.

6 Galveston Water Activities for Your Family’s Vacation

galveston water activities dolphin tours

See Dolphins Up-close

Family-owned and -operated Batwatch Dolphin Tours offers for groups up to 36 passengers. Each tour takes place on a jet-drive boat instead of propeller, keeping dolphins safe in their natural habitat. While on the boat, visitors see dolphins up-close and enjoy a scenic ride through the area. Each tour lasts around 45 minutes with tickets only $5 to $10 each.

Relax on a Kayak

For a laid-back adventure, plan a Galveston kayak tour with Beach Town Tours. The company offers single and tandem kayak tours Thursday through Monday, and reservations are required. Groups of six or less can kayak their way through the area, and tours last approximately two hours. In addition to daytime options, Beach Town also offers sunset rides and nighttime Christmas lights tours that explore the waters around Moody Gardens.

galveston water recreation surfing

Add Surfing to the Bucket List

Most people don’t think surfing when they think of Texas, but Galveston welcomes them to enjoy the Gulf’s waves. Two companies offer surfing lessons in Galveston: Ohana Surf and Skate and C-Sick Surfin’. Ohana offers three different lesson options and provides surfboards. C-sick focuses on smaller-group options with no more than three students per instructor. The company also provides soft-top boards, and lessons from both last around two hours. All ages are welcome, but make reservations in advance to secure a spot.

Take a Jet-boat Ride or Cruise

In spring and summer, Galveston Water Adventures welcomes large and small groups to book a jet boat ride or sunset cruise. Bring the family on the jet-boat ride, which lasts 25 minutes and speeds through the Galveston Bay. This option is best suited for ages 4 and older due to the pace and 360-spin.

The sunset cruise is only available for adults, as beer and wine may be present, but serves as a great date-night activity or anniversary present. The two-hour tour explores the bay on an open-air boat, and scenic photo ops are guaranteed.

galveston tx fishing trip

Fish With Local Experts

Galveston’s location makes it a top spot for fishing, which ranks among the most popular Galveston water activities. And there’s no better way to get the inside scoop than booking a fishing charter with a local expert. The area has several companies that offer fishing excursions, so we rounded up three known for great service and lots of catches.

Angler Charters ranks as one of the best in the area and caters to group needs. Trips include bay and jetty, offshore shark fishing, offshore federal waters and offshore state waters. All trips can be customized with catering, beverages, time extensions and sail time, providing the perfect adventure.

Captain Cody – an area native – offers bay and offshore fishing charters. He specializes in catching large fish close to shore but will take visitors as far out as 70 miles. Groups receive everything they need to enjoy a day on the water and catch target species.

Reel Men Fishing Charters also offers several options, such as jetty, near shore, and trips that target specific fish like sharks, flounder and trout. Guests can select the best option and gear up for a day full of reeling in the fun. Reel Men and Angler Charters also offer sunset and bay cruises.

Splash at Schlitterbahn

Grab the suit and head to Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark for indoor and outdoor water activities. Open only in the spring and summer months, the park offers rides, slides and thrills for all ages. Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark houses 30 different attractions, including fast and long slides, relaxing heated pools, lazy rivers, a zipline and kid’s areas.

Visitors also enjoy free parking, free inner tubes and life jackets, and free picnic areas for a day outdoors. Yes, bring the food and coolers right into the park. The waterpark offers both individual tickets and season passes, so groups can select the best option for their needs.

Find more things to do in Galveston and plan your Texas vacation.