Gulf Coast Birding Trails
Although I don't really engage too much in the birding trails of the gulf coast Galveston is a central place for those who love it. Among Fort San Jacinto to the east and along the Seawall are many signs posted for the birding trail that outline birds found in the area.
Check out the pictures to see various plaques around Galveston :) http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/wild/wildlife_trails/coastal/
Fort San Jacinto/Fort Crockett
First off, Fort San Jacinto has changed names many times. In addition to to Fort San Jacinto it was named Fort Crockett and even Fort Travis. It was used from the Texas Revolution all the way to World War II.
"Fort Crockett is a government reservation originally built as a defense installation on Galveston Island overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. The fort was originally built to protect the city and harbor of Galveston and to secure the entrance to Galveston Bay, thus protecting the commercial and industrial ports of Galveston and Houston and the extensive oil refineries in the bay area. The facility is now managed by the US NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, and hosts the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries Laboratory, the Texas Institute of Oceanography, as well as some university facilities. The area still contains several historical buildings and military fortifications.
During the Texas Revolution, Galveston harbor and the entrance to Galveston Bay was secured by a small fortication located at the north east side of Galveston Island, which corresponds to the west side of Bolivar Roads, the entrance to the bay. This was originally named Fort Travis in honor of William Barret Travis, the commanding officer of the Alamo.
In the late 1800s, the entrance to Galveston Bay was secured by two new fortifications, one on each side of the mouth of the bay. The "Fort Travis" name was transferred across Bolivar Roads to a new fortification on Point Bolivar, the tip of the Bolivar Peninsula, which forms the east side of the entrance to the bay. An additional new fortification was built on the north east tip of Galveston Island, and was named Fort San Jacinto in honor of the final battle of the Texas Revolution, which established Texas' independence from Mexico.
At the end of the 19th century, Fort Crockett was established as headquarters for all three facilities. Located west of the city of Galveston, its long-range guns could command the entire area. By the first half of the 20th century, Fort Crockett had the basic equipment believed needed to defend the Galveston area from attack from air or sea."
-Taken from Wikipedia
Shanna decided to keep driving east down the Seawall to see where the island ended. There were a few cars around so we stopped to see if there were any photography shots. We could see plenty of sailboats and ships coming into the port of Houston. It was.....ok.
But there is a national landmark there so if that is your sort of thing than go for it! Remember, it's very hot during the summer! If it were cooler it might have been nice to walk around the beach below or maybe pull out a book and enjoy the area.
Tex-Mex on the Island, But Nothing Extraordinary
Ok, I have to admit, I am very critical when it comes to Tex-Mex restaurants. Growing up in Texas, I guess it is very natural though with an endless selection of them to choose from. I'll start out by saying there is nothing particularly wrong with Salsa's restaurant, there's just nothing that makes it stand out from any other Mexican place that I have been to. Located right off of the Seawall, it does have some excellent views of the Gulf of Mexico, and their fairly sizeable outdoor patio area is nice to dine on when the weather is nice. The menu though is just so "stereotypical Tex-Mex" it doesn't have anything that I couldn't get around the corner from my home in Houston. Enchiladas, Tacos, Burritos, Tamales; they are all prepared fairly well, and the taste is not too bad. They also have some not-so-Mexican items on the menu, mainly seafood since it is located along the gulf coast! And to be fair, the prices are not bad, and the lunch specials they have are down-right cheap! So all and all, I would say Salsa's is a decent place to get your basic Tex-Mex food while on the island, and at a reasonable price as well. But just don't expect anything out of the ordinary. I would have to say the Fajita Chicken Enchiladas Poblanas. I will eat Fajita seasoned chicken anywhere!!! :)
Great view, Classic Location
If you've visited Galveston chances are you've been to Gaido's on Seawall. Its been around for 90+ years due to great food and great location. Expect a wait when you go there. On my last visit I got their price-fix shrimp and while the shimp serving was a little small, I was very full from all of the other food included in the deal I didn't much care.
The Strand district is actually downtown Galveston, located just off the docks of Galveston Bay towards the eastern end of the island. It's a great area to do a variety of things. Many retail and eclectic shops are located here. There are quite a few museums around to sample some of the history that the island has witnessed. Hungry? Well, you're in luck! There are several restaurants here, especially along the piers right off the bay. Many bars and pubs are also here if your looking for a little nightlife. One very simple way to enjoy the Strand is just to walk all around and see all of the old buildings, many of classic Victorian style, and also check out a few of the many art galleries as well. All throughout the year there are many festivals put on in the Strand district, including Dickens on the Strand in December, and Mardi Gras
in February. But regardless of what part of the year it is, the Strand is a must see on anyone's visit to Galveston!