Galveston Island Texas
Galveston Island is a large border island found in the Gulf of Mexico on the Texas coast. Galveston Island is a part of the city of Galveston, although it maintains a culture distinct from the mainland metropolitan areas. Galveston Island covers a total of approximately sixty four square miles, with a population of about sixty thousand residents. Galveston Island is relatively flat, as are many other barrier islands, with its highest point measuring in at about twenty feet above sea level. Galveston Island was originally inhabited by Karankawa and Akokisa Native Americans, and eventually fell under Spanish and subsequently American control. The first known European settlement on Galveston Island was established in the year 1816 by Jao de la Porta. However, a more memorable part of Galveston Island’s history was headlined by the pirate Jean Latiffe, a notable privateer who eventually ran afoul of American authorities and was forced to leave the area. Galveston Island began to attract more residents after the Texas Revolution, and was actually the most heavily populated part of the state of Texas until the early 1900s. The reason for the island’s and city’s population decline in the early 1900s was Galveston Hurricane, a massive natural disaster that killed more than six thousand people and devastated the economy of the city.
Galveston is by far the largest population center found on Galveston Island and, like the island, takes its name from the Count of Galvez. Although it never fully recovered from the 1900 hurricane, the city of Galveston has a modern and diverse economy with a variety of different sectors, ranging from commerce and finance to health care and tourism. Some of the most popular attractions in Galveston are historical sites, including several dozen buildings noted on the National Register of Historic Places. Many of the buildings are concentrated in the East End, Cedar Lawn, Silk Stocking, and Denver Court Historic Districts. The Strand National Historic Landmark District is home to a number of historical sites in addition to many of Galveston Island’s best shopping and entertainment. Galveston enjoys a subtropical climate, meaning that the average temperature for any given month rarely surpasses ninety degrees Fahrenheit in the summer or falls below fifty degrees during the winter.
The Port of Galveston plays host to thousands of cruise ship customers during any given year, especially from the Carnival line of cruise ships. Plans are underway to create more Caribbean routes starting from and returning to Galveston Island, which is currently rated as the number one cruise ship port along the American Gulf Coast. Galveston Island is home to a number of festivals and cultural celebrations throughout the year, including Dickens on the Strand, Mardi Gras, and the Galveston Island Jazz and Blues Festival. Galveston Island and a number of surrounding ports are also home to the Texas Seaport Museum and Seawolf Park, which boast a number of historic ships. Other notable tourist attractions on Galveston Island include the Moody Gardens, the Galveston Schlitterbahn water park, the Lone Star Flight Museum, and the Galveston Railroad Museum.