Where to Stay in Galveston 2024→ 4 Areas + TOP-Rated Hotels

An aerial view of a city and the ocean.

Thinking about where to stay in Galveston, TX? It sounds like you’re planning a fun vacation on the Mexican Gulf Coast, and I’m here to help! I’ve compared all the TOP options so you don’t have to!

The best area to stay in Galveston is by the Seawall.

The city of Galveston is quickly growing into a popular tourist destination due to its long beaches, lovely architecture, and family-friendly attractions. Whether you’re visiting Galveston Island with friends, family, or as a couple, you’ll find an area for every need and preference.

My research showed me that popular Galveston hotels actually have many small nuisances that pile up, leading to a slightly lower rating than I like. This is why I decided to pull up a list of only the highest-rated properties for you! So book your accommodation ASAP. The good hotels and rentals tend to send out quickly, and I want you to get the best room possible.

If you are in a hurry

Can’t stay till the end? Check out the best hotels around Seawall, the best area to stay in Galveston, TX, if you’re traveler visiting for the first time.

luxury hotel
A bedroom with a bed, dresser, and a ceiling fan.
mid-range hotel
A living room with couches and a coffee table.
budget hotel
A small house with a white picket fence.

Sun Splashed Condo

Best affordable accommodation in the center

A pool with lounge chairs and palm trees.

Golden Pearl

An Airbnb with amazing reviews

Watch my video, it will give you a visual explanation of all the areas:

Here is a map to help you visualize the four best areas where to stay in Galveston:

Where to stay Galveston MAP2
  1. The Seawall: for first-timers:
  2. Downtown & Midtown: for city fun:
  3. East End: for convenience:
  4. West End: for relaxation:

1. Around the Seawall – where to stay in Galveston for first-timers

A beach with rocks and a cloudy sky.

Overlooking the Gulf of Mexico’s waves, the Galveston Seawall was built to prevent the strong Gulf winds from damaging the city. It’s 10 miles (16 km) long and is now among the city’s most popular tourist attractions.

The Seawall is also the longest sidewalk in the whole of the US!

Galveston Seawall is the most popular area for tourists, perfect for beachfront relaxation on this part of the Gulf Coast. People flock here from across Texas, including tourists staying in Houston, for the clean beach and a fun day on the sand.

Other than the easy beach access, Galveston Seawall is your go-to lively place with tons of fine dining options, including the most highly-rated Miller’s Seawall Grill and iconic Gumbo Diner.

Regarding accommodation, the area around the Seawall has some of the most luxurious but also practical options. You can choose to stay near the beach or closer to the historic center for your convenience. I highly recommend staying here for first-timers, couples, and families with older children looking for an active stay.

Luxury hotel
collage with 3 pictures of a hotel with a pool, lounge on the terrace and a bedroom

The Virginia Point Inn is your time capsule to the 1900s luxury mansions, only wrapped in a hotel edition. It provides a mix of modern and vintage charm and features an outdoor pool. This beautiful property also serves complimentary breakfast and has a convenient location near the Seawall Urban Park.

Other accommodation options in the Seawall area

A living room with wood floors and a tv.

This heavenly cottage has a great location and the coziest setting and is favored by guests with kids

A swimming pool with lounge chairs and palm trees.

Apartment with a private balcony, 2 swimming pools, free Wi-Fi, just a short walk from the Seawall Urban Park

A living room with furniture and a ceiling fan.

Beautiful and stylish apartment with a flat-screen TV, ocean view, and a fully-equipped kitchen

Things to do in the Seawall area

  • Walk down the Seawall known for sea-breeze-filled evenings
  • Visit the Pleasure Pier amusement park
  • Eat with style at BLVD Seafood

2. Downtown & Midtown – where to stay for the city fun

A glass pyramid with palm trees in front of it.

The Downtown area is where all the fun is. Stroll down the Postoffice District, get lost in the colorful and bohemian storefronts and quirky boutiques, and be surrounded by vibrant local art scenes.

If you’re coming to town for partying, most of the city’s clubs are downtown around the Historic District. Given that Downtown is to the north of the island, you won’t find any beaches here, but you can still enjoy staying close to the water overlooking the Galveston Channel and the city harbor.

And if you’re visiting with the kids, don’t miss the Moody Gardens activity center! They have tons of activities year-round, like penguin exhibits, light festivals, ice skating rings, skeleton play areas, and so much more.

Other places of interest (and picture-perfect spots!) include the West Market, Pier 21, and Moody Mansion.

Whether you’re into restaurants, art, or partying, or are coming to town as a cruise ship traveler, the Galveston Downtown and Midtown areas have got you covered for a pleasant stay. You’ll be just a short walk from festivals and events.

NOTE: this area is also where some of the best hotels in Galveston are located!

Luxury hotel
A collage of 3 pictures of a hotel lobby, bedroom and restaurant area with a bar

The most chic Galveston hotel in the area and beyond offers an authentic taste of Southern hospitality! The Deluxe King Room has a city view and a truly sophisticated setting. The location is convenient as it’s steps from the Historic Strand District, where all the action is. The hotel also serves American breakfast. It doesn’t feature a pool, though.

Other accommodation options in Galveston Downtown & Midtown

A hotel room with orange walls and a bed.

Extra large beds, free Wi-Fi, offers views of the bustling harbor activity, and rooms with disability access

A house with stairs leading up to a palm tree.

Tropical mansion with unique decor suites, central location, and great value for money

A living room with a couch and a coffee table.

Fully renovated studio in a three-apartment building, just a short walk from bars and restaurants, offers free parking off-road

Things to do in Downtown & Midtown

  • Catch an 1894 Grand Opera show (calendar)
  • Visit the Moody Gardens activity center with the family
  • Enjoy the Texas Seaport Museum and Galveston Railroad Museum

3. East End – where to stay in Galveston for convenience

A ferry docked in the water near a building.

East End is great if you want the best of all Galveston has to offer, plus to take a ferry and explore nearby islands. The city’s ferry terminal is located at the end of Port Road, making the area super convenient for curious guests who wish to see more.

This is the best area if you want to be close to Pleasure Pier’s attractions, and it is also where one of the most beautiful beaches in the city is located, East Beach. Do note that you have to get here by car (parking is around US$13). If you don’t have a car, you can rent one via Rentalcars.

TIP: visit the East Beach if you plan on drinking while chilling by the ocean. This is one of the few beaches in Galveston Island that allow booze.

I love the sights of beautiful historic homes adorning the area’s streets. You can stroll past the neighborhood and witness colorful Victorian, Greek Revival, and tons of other architectural styles from the 19th century, along with scenic sunset views.

History buffs can spend time at the Bryan Museum to admire some 70,000 artifacts from the Southwest.

Luxury hotel
A collage of 3 photos showing a bedroom, living room and hotel's building

Relax with style in the mansion’s King Room with a Private Balcony and feel like royalty (my first thought was Louis XIV). The property dates back to the 19th century and has ultra-comfortable beds and complimentary drinks. You can also rent golf cars here.

Other accommodation options in the East End

A swimming pool with palm trees in the background.

A tourist-favorite hotel in Galveston with a pool that includes breakfast and rooms with ocean views

A porch with blue adirondack chairs on it.

Nestled near historic Victorian-era homes, this rental has a garden, 2 bedrooms, and a fully equipped kitchen

A room with a bed and a table.

A neat, clean, and comfortable apartment conveniently located between the Seawell and the East Beach

Things to do in the East End

  • Admire the historical buildings and architecture
  • Enjoy the wildlife of the Lagoon Nature Preserve
  • Take an Insta-perfect photo at the Beach Town White Bridge
  • Hop on the Galveston Port Bolivar Ferry to the nearby Bolivar island

4. West End – where to stay in Galveston to relax

A wooden bench in the middle of a grassy field.

If you’re after a more secluded stay with friends or family, West End could be your ideal area. Nearing Jamaica Beach and Sea Isle, this area has fewer crowds than other neighborhoods. Beach access is super easy and you can even rent golf carts to explore the surroundings!

Visitors love the West End for its convenience regarding RV camping and beach home rental. The area is adjacent to untouched nature, ideal for fishing fans and those practicing birding sports. It’s suitable for extended stays for the elderly but also for families with children.

Here, you’ll find 2 important conservation areas, the Galveston Island State Park and the Coastal Heritage Preserve, both with stunning biodiversity!

BBQ and picnic lovers, you can have the best time staying in the city’s lush parks and gardens. The Pocket Park 1 or Pocket Park 2 are just a short ride away. You can even drive the car on the sand of West End beaches to easily access your belongings, coolers, and other picnic equipment!

You can probably guess that most accommodation options here include home rentals, except for this one:

Luxury hotel
collage with 3 pictures of a bed, pool with sunbeds, and a golf course

Pick the Signature Room for the best luxury amenities on the West End! This room can fit 6 people, has a view of the Gulf of Mexico, a kitchen, and 2 bedrooms. The hotel also has a gym, a swimming pool, and a restaurant. Best of all, it’s located right on the Kahala Beach!

Other accommodation options in the West End

A bedroom with a ceiling fan and a bed.

This entire home unit has a private beach, spacious rooms (3 bedrooms), and beautiful surroundings

A living room with couches and a coffee table.

5-bedroom rental home 2 minutes from Jamaica Beach, has a children’s area and a fully-equipped kitchen

A beach house with stairs and a deck.

Small, charming bungalow-style home with beach access, free Wi-Fi, and ultra-comfortable beds

Things to do in the West End

  • Spend a family day out BBQing at the West End beaches 
  • Visit the Galveston Island State Park 
  • Go on a kayak adventure
  • Have the best pizza around in Way West Grill & Pizzeria
👑 Luxury price:US$300
💵 Mid-Range:US$160
🛏️ Budget:US$100
📍 Best area:Seawall
🛎️ Best luxury hotel:Virginia Point Inn
💵 Best mid-range hotel:Bright Modern Cottage
👛 Best budget hotel:Sun Splashed Condo

BONUS: Best VRBOs in Galveston

Are you looking for affordable accommodation in Galveston? If so, I may have some great deals for you. Check out the VRBO selection of the best apartments in Galveston for a memorable and budget-friendly trip.

collage of 3 pictures of a living room with a couch, armchair next to a lamp and a bed.

1. Kwik Kabana “Where the Beach Counts”
If you want to stay close to Seawall Beach, look no further than this place. The beach is a 2-minute walk away, while the Galveston airport is a 10-minute drive. The Kwik Kabana has a lovely patio, dining area, 1 bedroom and can fit up to 4 people.

2. Cottage in the Heart of Galveston
This fully-equipped cottage has 2 bedrooms and can fit 4 people. The property is conveniently located between the Seawell beach and the Strand Historic District, so it doesn’t take more than 15 minutes to get to both sides on foot. You get a whole home with all the amenities you could ask for (beach toys, garage, Netflix, towels, and the essentials).

3. 391 Ocean View Beach Front Condo
This modern condo is located on the 61st Street Fishing Pier and is 2 minutes from Seawall Beach. It’s also one of the most affordable accommodation options in Galveston! There’s a convenient barbecue grill if you feel like BBQing after an eventful day in the city. It’s perfect for families and features 2 swimming pools in the complex.

collage with 3 pictures of a bed, couch, chairs and a deck.

4. Cozy Centrally Located Apartment
This exceptionally-rated apartment is located in the heart of the city. It features 1 bedroom (with 1 queen bed and 1 double futon), a kitchen, a garden, and a flat-screen TV. You get your own private bathroom with all the amenities, too! Basically, this deal gets you all the comforts of a home, only this home is minutes away from the beach!

5. Family and Pet-Friendly House 
Nature lovers, pay attention! This home that sleeps 9 people is only a 14-minute walk from the Galveston Island State Park on the island’s West End. It’s also close to the Pocket Park 3 and the Pirate’s Beach. This is an ideal home for large families or groups of people who are in the area for a secluded, natural-sights-packed vacation!

FAQs about where to stay in Galveston, TX 

A green trolley is on the tracks in front of a building.

⛱️ What is the best part of Galveston to stay?

West End is popular for family-friendly stays (especially the Holiday Inn Club Vacations) and offers tranquil settings for relaxation. Downtown (Harbor House notably) is ideal for an active sightseeing-centered stay, while the Seawell and East End Historic District are best for beach vacation.

✖ Where not to stay in Galveston, TX? 

You may want to avoid the Church Street neighborhood. It’s often linked to high crime rates. It’s the area between Broadway Ave, Harborside, 26th Street, and 19th Street. In terms of water safety, avoid the waters around Bolivar Beach (Bolivar Island).

🏖️ What is the prettiest beach near Galveston, TX? 

Stewart Beach is definitely one of the prettiest beaches in the area! Emerald by the Sea Retreat is the closest available accommodation I recommend. The East Beach is the second most popular and it’s just a 5-minute ride from this rental unit too!

🌊 What are the best places to stay in Galveston on the water?

Courtyard Marriott is by far the highest-rated Galveston hotel by the ocean, and it’s located in the Seawall area. If you want to stay close to the best beach in town, the East Beach Cozy Historic Home is the highest-rated property nearby.

🏨 What are the best Galveston hotels on the beach with a balcony?

Courtyard Marriott and Best Western Plus are the most highly-rated hotels on the beach with private balconies. San Luis Resort Spa has a slightly lower rating than I like, so I didn’t include it in the article above, but it has excellent sea-view rooms with balconies. 

❓ Is East or West Galveston better?

It depends. East Galveston is better for a city-style action-packed vacation, while West Galveston has more to offer to nature lovers. Both have great accommodation options, like the 17th Street Mansion in East and Vista of Palm Beach in West Galveston. 


A pier with a ferris wheel.

Hooray, you have made it to the end of our quest for where to stay in Galveston for your next trip! I have made sure to include all the places that offer the best combination of sights and things to do, like beautiful beaches, fancy restaurants, and top-notch accommodations.

If you’re still having second thoughts about which Galveston hotel or property to choose, I’ll share with you my 2 personal favorites:

  • 17th Street Mansion – a Victorian-style place with a special charm and convenient location in the heart of the city.
  • Harbor House – recommendation for couples who want to stay close to where the action is, also favored by maritime history enthusiasts.

Hopefully, you have a solid idea about where to stay in Galveston now! Even though the city isn’t among the top popular tourist spots in this part of Texas, the good hotel rooms and home rentals can sell out quickly. So I highly recommend you book your stay in advance!

Do you have any questions about your upcoming travels? Share your concerns or remarks in the comments below and I’ll be happy to answer!

Have a memorable Galveston Island trip,


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amusement park on a pier

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