The Gulf of Mexico can be mean sometimes. There are dangerous sea life, rocks, and tides. Therefore, on top of the life guard stands are flags.
Green-everything is good
Red-be very cautious and do not go beyond waist-deep water
Orange/Blue-dangerous marine life found (jellyfish!)
Make sure that you take caution when playing at the beach. Always make sure you look on the sand for sharp shells, in the water for jellyfish, and at the surging of the water. Don't get too far out, either. That water can really pull you out and get you stuck!
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It's Texas, so your logic is telling you it's hot, I hope. It is very hot. However, sometimes the heat can be disguised by the cool water and breeze that comes off the gulf.
Always wear sunscreen!! Take a hat, sunglasses, etc.
You know yourself if you'll burn easily or not. However, sometimes I can burn within 20 minutes! Yes, it's a triple wammy. Sun beating down, glare from the sand, glare from the water. All three of those are taxing your skin.
And, yes, the sun doesn't even have to be present! One of the worst sunburns I got was on a CLOUDY day. Alas, the sun beating down is not always a requirement.
So be safe! Sunscreen!!!!!
Attack of the Sea Gulls!!
Sea gulls are all over Galveston and have never harmed anyone I know. However, if you're on the beach and drop a crumb you'll soon meet 5,000 of the lovely birds! We used to throw Cheez-Its out our hotel room and they would swarm our balcony.
Kids love it. But, watch the white rain!
Just beware if you feed one, a million will show. Soon it's a huge white rain, poopy party!
Hurricanes Happen Here!
I know a lot of news stations like to sensationalize weather alerts and some choose not to listen to the advice. However, they happen in Galveston. Major ones seem to happen about every 8 years. Ike was the last one, taking out most of the outer island in September 2008. I'm not saying that another won't come in the next eight years. But, you need to be very careful and check ahead for weather if you're traveling here from afar. And, if you come for a vacation and are hestitant to leave...don't be stupid. When the authorities tell you to clear out, listen to them! It's not a joke.
I've included pictures of the latest damage from Hurricane Ike, taken 6 months later in February of 2009.
Galveston is not known for having a beautiful beach. There are some years where you can hardly even see the sand on the public beaches because of all the seaweed. It's also hard to find really good shells. So, just beware, that Galveston has many things to do if you don't like the seaweed everywhere...
Safe areas of Galveston
Crime happens at night after 11p.m. and not targeted toward tourist. Don't walk the beach late at night - just a precaution - it could be perfectly safe, but it is a tourist town. Look up events in town before you book your stay. Several event weekends are purely for getting intoxicated with plenty of police to keep you safe. It just would not be any fun for you to get around the Island and see the sights and food. The third weekend in April is an unofficial event that takes over the Island. I would hide inside my home and not leave. The police brought in national guard and extra police for this event that is not advertised. The reason - they don't book any rooms - and if they do they trash them - a national fraternity hook up event with stand still traffic for two days. I lived there for 20 years and managed a hotel for 14 years - we would not rent to anyone that weekend because of the damage was higher then any income we received. 22 gallons of trash just from the grounds after one evening....not the next day or evening - unreal
Two lower income housing areas in Galveston - and they have gangs each. The bloods and the cribs. They don't mess with tourist and all hotels and areas are not in the area of the housing projects.
- National/State Park
High rate of Homeless
Galveston being an island attracts a huge number of homeless (I see many more here than my past home of New Orleans). Most of them will not bother you and I dont hear if many cases of theft, but a few asaults here and there. So like in the big city don't make eye contact. If you would like to help donate to the Salvation Army, not to individuals.
Watch the flags on the beach that warn of sea conditions. When we were there the red flag was hoisted the whole time with the pending hurricane in the gulf.
Also Alcohol is not permitted on the beach.
Galveston is a tourist city. ...
Galveston is a tourist city. It is located on the Gulf of Mexico, and boasts swimming, surfing, boating, etc.
Take the normal security precautions, and be aware of your surrounds, and of the people around you. In many instances, you may find a language problem if you do not speak or understand some Spanish.
In addition, be aware of the season you are there. Galveston is not hurricane proof. Check forecasts regularly.
DONT UNDERESTIMATE THE HEAT DOWN HERE!!
I really love the heat but the humidity here is really something else!!. I looked so forward to my return trip down here but didn't give the heat too much thought at all.
Obviously due to its location the temperature and humidity is high but I think when you throw wetness into the mix...it becomes a little overpowering. Of course the first thing is your clothes are constantly wet and is always that battle to cool off ..this of course can be a lot of fun also. Humidity seems to be harder to handle than just high temperatures of dry heat.
One thing though when out in the heat of the day make sure that you have a good reliable sunscreen at least 30 +and wear a hat and sunglasses.. also drink plenty of fresh water as dehydration can creep up on you if you are not replacing the lost fluids.
Always take care care in extreme heat it can be very dangerous.
- Beer Tasting
- Hiking and Walking
- Road Trip
Poachering is a big problem on marine wild life. Any one fishing needs to have a fishing license. Often times I see poaching on the East end of the island. The same people poaching are also leaving their trash, hooks, and fish remains anywhere and everywhere. Nothing upsets me more than seeing fish caught out of season or size ranged being scaled on the areas people have fished. You can report poachers by calling the Game Warden at 1-800-792-4263. Taking pictures with your iPhone or Smart phone is a good idea to save evidence. Another thing, Sunny beach towards the West End after Woody's, watch out for people fishing in the water. They don't care if one of their hooks happens to catch your kid in the water. I really wish they would ban fishing where people are in the water swimming with their kids.