Allisyn writes about tarot, astrology, angel therapy, aromatherapy, feng shui, interior design, and human and animal behavior.
Galveston: A Diamond in the Rough
There is something special about the Island of Galveston. I know that it isn't the most beautiful beach in the world, but it's that almost ruggedness that gives it charm. Galveston has so much culture and history on such a small little island. There is something mystical about it. I've had some of my most intuitive dreams while vacationing on the island.
Downtown Galveston has the charm of the 1800s with its brick sidewalks and ice cream tables in front of shoppes. Whether you are looking to relax or soak up some history and possibly see a ghost, Galveston is the island to go to.
A Little History
Galveston Island has gone through riches, hurricanes, rebuilding and even cannibalism.
The first settlers in Galveston were cannibals. This started the island to be the most haunted in the United States. The Karankawa people were Native Americans that settled along Galveston to Corpus Christi, Texas. They did blood and cannibalistic rituals. Exposure to new infectious diseases, annexation of territory, conflict with the newly arrived Europeans, and war forced them to intermarry or relocate to missions before 1860.
In 1825, the Port of Galveston was established and became the main port for Texas Navy ships during the Texas revolution. Galveston was founded in 1836 by Mathew Sabo and became the capital of the Republic of Texas. And the battle of Galveston was fought on Galveston Bay during the American Civil War. Until the storm of 1900 when the island was totally wiped out.
Galveston became the busiest port and immigration trade for the U. S and around the world. Later in the 1920s and 1930s, it became known as sin city and a major tourist island. Casinos and venues such as the Balinese Room. Illegal businesses got shut down in the 1950s and Galveston became economically stagnant again.
Galveston emerged once again as a tourist spot and continues to grow today.
The Great Storm of 1900
The hurricane, known as the great storm of 1900, holds the most devastating and deadliest record in the U.S. It happened early in the morning on Sept. 8. A meteorologist had warned the islanders but to no avail. By 4 pm, waves as high as 15 ft slammed onto the island with a wind speed of 125 mph, killing 6,000–12,000 people. After the storm, it was decided to build protection from hurricanes and built most of the island up 17 feet and a seawall on the main parts of the beach.
Galveston is one of the most dog-friendly islands that I've ever been to. My dog Watson has been there so many times that he thinks he owns the beach. I have been able to take him to restaurants, shoppes, and just for a walk downtown. There are plenty of other dogs for him to meet on the island. Most of the islanders have their dogs romping on the beach with or without a leash depending on how well behaved they are.
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There are dog-friendly bars that have water dishes and treats waiting for your dog. Most lodgings allow dogs without a deposit. Hotel Galvez has a pet-friendly environment if you are looking for an upscale hotel. If you are wanting to go to the beach with Fido, Galveston will welcome your dog with open arms.
If you are looking to get away from the beach for a while, a walk through downtown Galveston will be a treat. Meet the local islanders in the quaint shoppes and restaurants. I buy a new hat almost every time that I go to Galveston and I go downtown to find one.
All of the shoppes are reasonably priced and so friendly. Stop in and have an ice cream at the local creamery (my dog Watson's favorite stop). There are also great little clubs and bars downtown if you are wanting to get away from the Seawall crowds in the evening.
Ghosts in Galveston
Galveston is considered to be the most haunted Island in the U.S. The reality show Ghost Hunters did a show about the island. They say that the cannibalism along with the hurricanes and wars contribute to making the island haunted. There are so many stories of hauntings that I would never be able to list them all.
But I will tell a story about when I took my son there one year for his birthday. I had booked a ghost tour for us to take and unfortunately, we were rained out. So still needing to find our ghosts, we went to Hotel Galvez. It is a very nice hotel with ballrooms and gold elevators. We sat at the bar and talked to the bartender who told us the story of a lady who checked into Room 500 where she was waiting for her love to come back from the sea. She got word that his ship went down and he had died. She refused to believe that he was dead and waited for a month for his return. In despondence, she returned to one of the turrets on the top of the hotel and hung herself. In a sad twist of fate, her love returned looking for her a month later. He had not died after all.
There have been reports of equipment malfunctioning in Room 500 along with sightings of a woman in the ladies' room who disappears when you approach her. They say that visitors who check into Room 500 have had many reports of paranormal activity. I've yet to book that room but would love to do it one day just to get a glimpse of her.
Seawall Boulevard for Dining, Lodging, and More
Seawall Blvd. is the tourist spot to find dining, hotels and shops. Rent a bicycle for two and pedal down the Boulevard or just sit on one of the many benches with your coffee and meditate with the water. It is a hustle and bustle during tourist season. I love to go during off season when it is a little quieter. Not as much is open but the hotels are less expensive and we tend to have the beach to ourselves and the locals. The nightclubs and bars are always booming and there is always an off chance that you will find some excellent live music talent.
Take the ferry over to Bolivar and drive down the Peninsula. Most folks drive a few miles and turn around to get back on the ferry but they don't know what they are missing. Check out the Bolivar Point Light House and stop in for a bite to eat at one of the quaint pubs. It has a true rugged beach kind of scenery.
Take the family to Pleasure Pier for some fun rides. There are excellent spots to eat and just fun everywhere that you look.