Galveston is Texas’s most popular beach getaway destination and one of the best places to enjoy the magic wrought by the mixing of the Gulf’s warm waters with the calls of its avian population. Fifty miles southeast of Houston’s city center, Galveston is a barrier island with sandy beaches on one side and an intercoastal bay rich in marine life.
Heavenly beaches aside, Galveston is famous for its piers, naval bases (and, these days, naval museum), and beautiful houses, a few of which appear on the list below.
Once famous as a den of vice populated by gamblers, rogues, and smugglers, today the island is a family-friendly destination offering all manner of enjoyable activities for visitors of all ages. Some come for the thrill of driving on the beaches, others prefer a day out fishing or a quiet afternoon on the sand.
Accessibility Note: Given the threat of hurricanes, most houses on the island are built on stilts atop a garage or storage areas, so guests will need to climb a set of stairs to access their waterfront refuges.
To facilitate your next beach holiday, here is a list of 10 Vrbo vacation rentals in Galveston.
Be Here Now$1,442/nightly avg
The name given to this beachfront estate is most appropriate, as even the most cursory look at the grounds and structure will prove. Who would want to be anywhere else? Located near the eastern tip of Galveston Island, the home is adjacent to the local beach walkover, a piece of carpentry as ornate as the house itself.
The house rental is part of a private community and guests earn access to the communal pool. It is just minutes from grocery stores and restaurants, including Porch Cafe and many others in the island’s Strand District.
Seen from the inside, the home looks just as grand as the ocean does from the property’s gorgeous wrap-around balconies. Highlights include opulent bathrooms and creative accouterments like ionic column coffee tables and a stylistically diverse set of chandeliers. The home has a number of living rooms, workspaces, and children’s rooms, so there really is something (and some place) for everyone.
Water’s Edge — Designer Home In Pirate’s Beach$1,065/nightly avg
A unique home enhances any vacation. The oceanfront Water’s Edge is one such beach house with the power to improve your trip even to as fine a destination as Galveston. Striking from inside and out, it is a luxury five-bedroom (each has ocean views) property sleeping up to 15 and includes a modern hot tub overlooking the beach.
Pirate’s Beach is an excellent neighborhood, the perfect distance from the more crowded areas to the east. It also borders the island’s laudable state park. Another great benefit of staying at Water’s Edge is the private beach — only residents and those staying locally are permitted to enjoy its sand and surf.
Historic Villa On The Seawall$800/nightly avg
A house with a history, this beach view property is genuinely unique. Built one year before the devastation of the 1915 hurricane, the home has survived every storm since. It is, the owners boast, the only house which stands atop the island’s formidable seawall by virtue of its age and the pedigree of the original builder (a major investor in the island).
It is located in a great location, central Galveston, half a mile from the famous pier. Sitting on the seawall, it is obviously quite close to the water. The home features a courtyard, a third-story deck for sunbathing, and storied furnishing. There are six queen bedrooms and a number of lofts and nooks and crannies fitted with beds, sleeping spots the youngest of guests tend to love best.
The Pelican Perch$391/nightly avg
A vacation home with character, The Pelican Perch is a bright blue three-story marvel. Notable features include the tower, which provides an outdoor space on every floor of the building. Whether or not you are bringing young ones with you, the home affords guests plenty of privacy.
There are two king rooms, a queen on the floor above, and a kids’ room with two bunk beds on the highest level. Sleeping spots for two more can be arranged in the living room. Pelican Perch is characterized by its bright colors and joyful atmosphere. The home is in an upscale neighborhood a few miles west of Galveston’s center and is a short walk to the beach.
Penthouse On The Gulf$1,275/nightly avg
Soar above the fray by staying in this luxurious beachfront condo. A part of the San Luis Resort, guests are granted access to all the facilities amenities, including the spa, fitness studios, and more. But everything you’ll need can also be found within the condo. Enjoy nearby shopping and the resort’s four restaurants, including the highly favored Italian fare found at Grotto.
The beach is of course just a stone’s throw (and a long drop) from any of the penthouse’s four balconies. Suitable for up to six adults and two children, the condo is spacious and smartly furnished.
Beach Cottage Mar A Sol$598/nightly avg
Newly opened to the public, this Jamaica Beach cottage is another great place from which to enjoy Galveston Island. Located on Jamaica Beach’s large residential marina, it is perfect for boaters and anglers. It comes with four kayaks and two underwater fishing lights. The marina leads out to the bay but Jamaica’s Gulf beach is just 5 minutes away by car (or 25 on foot).
The home has a pristine backyard and a large deck covering the boat launch below. The home has two queen bedrooms (one of which also has a twin) and a bunk bed room, making it suitable for a family with children.
My Little Sunshine$225/nightly avg
Named for the majestic beauty of sunrises over the Gulf seen from the property’s porch, My Little Sunshine is another great place to enjoy the beaches of Galveston Island. Located on an isolated patch of land 20 miles down from the city, it is ideal for a couple or small group keen to avoid crowds.
That said, there is a grocery store, a few restaurants, and a marina within a few miles of the property, so you don’t need to drive far to get the essentials. Enjoy direct access to the beach and all the joy that entails. The home is comfortably furnished with a full kitchen and king and queen bedrooms.
Thirty steps from the sands of Pirate’s Beach, SeaScape is a newly-renovated home ready to provide your family and friends with a rejuvenating beach vacation and gorgeous gulf views. Noting that dogs tend to enjoy beaches just as much as people do, the owners have opened their dog-friendly property up to guests of both species.
The home has plenty of outdoor space, not only balconies but also the kind of manicured lawn usually seen in more inland suburban areas. The kitchen features brand-new appliances and plentiful prep and meal areas.
Beach Therapy$1,143/nightly avg
Next door to the local community’s beach access point, this family-friendly waterfront property is perfect for those who have no illusions about their trip to Galveston: They’re coming for fun in the sun. It comes stocked with all the supplies you’ll need for a day on the sand so guests need only arrive with the right attitude.
The home has six bedrooms, most of which have ocean views and access to the property’s large deck area. Enjoy the privilege of being able to focus on the important things. With grocery stores, watersport rental companies, and restaurants like Nate’s all within walking distance, nothing will cause you to stray from your mission of pursuing a strong course of Beach Therapy.
Fisherman’s Fantasy On The Bay$525/nightly avg
Whether you’re at peace casting a line, paddling a kayak, or watching tourists pour into Galveston Island from afar, Nautical has what you need. Located on the shores of West Bay with views of Tiki Island and the bridge that reaches out from the mainland, the property is ideal for those who enjoy more than just sitting in the sand.
Make use of the private fishing pier and boat launches for those renting a kayak or larger vessel. Being on the bay, it is also better for birdwatching than Gulf-facing homes. Life on the bay doesn’t preclude beach time on the Gulf, however, as Galveston’s sandy Gulf beaches are reachable within 15 minutes by car.
To browse more beautiful beach vacation rentals on the Gulf, check out: