Galveston Texas City Guide
Researching Galveston city? Here is a complete guide with the most up to date information about city of Galveston!
Galveston City Limits
History: Located right along Texas’s southeastern edge and surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico is Galveston, Texas, a historic and family-friendly city with unique charm. Galveston has a long history that is reflected in the city’s historical districts and locations. The city is a popular tourism destination, and the economy also is dominated by the healthcare and financial industries. This resort city is located roughly 45 miles southeast of Downtown Houston, and although the city is located on an island, daily commutes to and from Galveston are considerably under the state’s average.
Galveston’s location means residents have convenient access to the Greater Houston area, in addition to nearby waterfront attractions, outdoor parks, expansive preserves, and various nature trails. Galveston attracts residents from a wide range of walks of life, and many young professionals feel at him in the city, as do young families. Compared with other Texas residential areas, Galveston’s economic diversity, job market, and cost of living are especially attractive.
Top City Highlights
- Healthy local economy
- Diverse job market
- Popular coastal city
- Varied housing options
- Multiple outdoor locations
- Great retail scene
- Historic city
Location: Galveston is a coastal city that consists of about 210 square miles and acts as the seat of Galveston County. The city is situated on Galveston Island, and 41.2 square miles of the city are land, while 168.1 square miles are water. As a coastal city, Galveston is surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico to the east and south. The West Bay borders Galveston to the west, and Galveston Bay is found on the city’s northern side. Goat Island is northeast of Galveston, while Texas City, League City, and Pearland are neighboring cities located on the mainland. Freeport, Lake Jackson, West Columbia, and Angleton are south of Galveston.
Commutes: The reported mean commute time for Galveston residents 25 years old and over is 18.7 minutes, which is almost half as long as the commute times found in the southeastern Texas area. Interstate Highway 45, which crosses West Bay on Galveston Island’s northeastern portion, connects Galveston to the mainland northwest of the city. Termini-San Luis Pass Road winds along Galveston’s southern border next to the coast, and Stewart Road is another well-connected roadway in the city. To give a specific idea of commutes, it takes about an hour to reach Downtown Houston, Baytown, or Sugar Land from Galveston. The Louisiana Border is also about 2 hours from the city.
Culture: Around 50,000 residents live in Galveston, Texas. About 30% of the city’s residents have some college education or hold an associate’s degree, while 17% of the population has earned a bachelor’s degree. From there, 12% of Galveston residents have a master’s degree or higher. 47% of the population is White, and 30% of residents are of Hispanic backgrounds. 18% of residents are African American, and 3% of residents are Asian. About 2% of Galveston’s population is biracial or multiracial. The city’s poverty rate tracks around 20%, and Galveston’s unemployment rate is 4.4%. The city’s estimated median household income is $45K, and the median individual income tracks around $25K.
The city council of Galveston consists of 6 council members who each represent a district of the city. Members are elected to serve for 2-year terms with a term limit of 3 years. The city council acts as the legislative branch of the city and works alongside the mayor and the city manager to establish municipality policies and budgets.
Address: 823 Rosenberg, 2nd Floor Galveston, TX 77553
The mayor is elected on an at-large basis to serve for a 2-year term. The mayor oversees the municipality’s administrative affairs and works alongside the city council to elect officials such as the city manager, who acts as the chief executive of the city. Among various other responsibilities, Galveston’s mayor represents all of the municipality’s residents in a governmental capacity.
Address: 823 Rosenberg, 2nd Floor Galveston, TX 77553
Chamber of Commerce
The Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce includes over 875 members. This award-winning chamber of commerce works to promote, advertise, and advocate for small businesses, companies, and entrepreneurs in and around Galveston to improve both the local community and economy. This chamber of commerce provides a number of benefits for its members and also represents its members in a governmental capacity.
Address: 2228 Mechanic St #101, Galveston, TX 77550
Overview: The Galveston Independent School District covers the entirety of Galveston’s public schools, and the city also includes other educational options for students. With an average student-teacher ratio of 16 to 1, Galveston ISD schools tend to have small class sizes. According to state test scores, 74% of students in the district are at least proficient in math, while 65% are at least proficient in reading. Public schools in Galveston tend to feature diverse student populations, great academic records, well-rated teachers, and various student clubs and extracurricular activities.
This school district educates around 7,000 students across grades pre-kindergarten-12. Galveston ISD consists of 6 elementary campuses, 2 middle schools, and 1 high school campus. The district also includes a magnet middle school. The city contains other state-funded charter schools that are not affiliated with school districts, which are campuses like Ambassadors Preparatory Academy and Odyssey Academy. Other local schools that aren’t a part of Galveston ISD include multiple religious educational institutions.
Highly rated pre-kindergarten-4 campuses in Galveston include Oppe Elementary Magnet Campus of Coastal Studies and Morgan Elementary Health, Medical Science, and Engineering Magnet School. Parker Elementary and Burnet STREAM Magnet Elementary School are other respectable pre-kindergarten-4 schools in Galveston ISD. Rosenberg Elementary School educates grades pre-kindergarten-3, and Moody Early Childhood Center is a public preschool campus in the city.
Galveston ISD includes multiple middle schools, and Austin Middle School and Collegiate Academy have especially outstanding reviews and records. Austin Middle School and Central Middle School are both 5-8 campuses. Collegiate Academy is an upstanding 5-9 campus, while Crenshaw Elementary & Middle School is a pre-kindergarten-8 campus with great reviews from parents and students.
Galveston ISD’s high school campus is Ball High School, which has an average 87% graduation rate, low student teacher ratios, and solid college preparatory programs. Meanwhile, AIM College and Career Prep is an alternative 6-12 campus that has small class sizes and attentive teachers. Texas City High School is another nearby 9-12 campus located about 25 minutes northwest of Galveston.
O’Connell College Preparatory School is one of the top Catholic high schools in this part of Texas. Holy Family School is also a Catholic pre-kindergarten-8 campus. Meanwhile, Trinity Episcopal School is a private Episcopal pre-kindergarten-8 campus in Galveston. Upward Hope Academy is a private alternative school that covers grades 9-12, and Heritage Christian Academy and Seaside Christian Academy are Christian campuses.
Overview: An estimated 57.4% of properties in Galveston are rented residences, which indicates that 42.6% of properties in the city are owner-occupied. Galveston’s vacancy rate is notably high and nears 35%. 18% of properties in the city were built in or before 1939, and another 28.4% of housing options were built between 1940-1969. Another 40% of Galveston residences were built between 1970-1999, and 13.6% of properties were built after the turn of the 21st century.
24.5% of Galveston properties have 1 bedroom, and 36.7% have 2 bedrooms. Another 27.6% of housing options have 3 bedroom layouts, while 9.5% have 4 bedroom layouts. Less than 2% of options in the city have 5 or more bedrooms. 55.7% of the city’s residences are single family detached homes. Roughly 2% of properties are condominiums and attached residences. Apartment complexes account for 31.2% of properties, and 11.2% of other residences are smaller apartment buildings.
Small 1-2 bedroom houses in Galveston can typically be found for around $120K and up. 3 bedroom properties also can start around this price point, and 4 bedroom properties may be found for lows around $170K. That said, multimillion dollar homes are commonplace in Galveston, as well as mid-tier priced family houses, so detached properties in the city vary greatly.
Seeing as new properties with 1-2 bedrooms are rare in Galveston, a newly built 3 bedroom property in the city can typically be listed between $360K-$640K. Larger newly built homes with 4 bedrooms may be found for around $900K, and recently constructed 5 bedroom properties may be worth well over $2 million depending on factors like size and location.
1 bedroom condos in Galveston can generally be found for prices around $150K and up. Meanwhile, 2 bedroom attached properties have costs starting around $280K, and it’s not uncommon for this type of property to be listed around $500K and over. 3 bedroom condos in the city can be expected to start around $360K and reach highs of about $700K.
The overall average apartment rent in Galveston is $925. A Galveston studio apartment comes with an average monthly rent of $640. Slightly larger 1 bedroom apartments in the city average around $925 per month. 2 bedroom apartment layouts average at $1,070 per month, and more spacious 3 bedroom apartments in Galveston have an average monthly cost of $1,500.
Galveston has a number of condominiums, apartment complexes, and houses located along the coast. Oceanfront houses in the city can be expected to go for around $1 million. Attached residences on the beach with 3 bedrooms can also be listed for around $1.2 million. 2 bedroom apartments with beach access tend to reach highs of $2,000 per month.
Homes for Sale
If you’re interested in buying a home in this area, we invite you to search homes for sale on our website. You are also welcome to check out the following resources listed below. If you would rather speak directly to a professional and licensed Realtor, feel free to contact Morales Team.
List of Galveston Real Estate Listings by Property Types
List of Galveston Real Estate Listings by Popular Searches
If you’re interested in selling your own property, contact Morales Team, your go-to local real estate company, by clicking the link below:
Overview: Galveston’s estimated median home value is $205K, which is high relative to Texas and also the national average. Galveston’s housing market is considered a buyer’s market, seeing as there are generally more listings than there are active buyers. 6.5% of properties in the city are worth under $64K, and another 20.6% of Galveston real estate varies between $64K-$128K. 41.6% range between $128K-$256K, while 15.2% of properties vary between $256K-$384K. An estimated 8.5% of other properties range between $384K-$512K.
3.6% of properties fluctuate between $512K-$640K. 2.6% of properties in the city range higher, specifically between $640K-$959K. 1.3% of Galveston real estate is worth around $1 million and up. The city’s real estate appreciated 51.28% between January 2010 and January 2020, which breaks down into an average home appreciation rate of 4.23%. This number places Galveston’s rate squarely in the top 20% of appreciation rates nationally.
Things to Do
Overview: Galveston has many things to do around its neighborhoods beyond sunny beaches and iconic tourism sites. The Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge, the San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge, and the Justin Hurst Wildlife Management Area are all short distances from Galveston. The city’s own Galveston Island State Park is another expansive outdoor area worth visiting, and Galveston Beach is a must-visit. Galveston includes 6 historic districts that contain more than 60 structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Texas Commission on the Arts designates the Galveston Downtown Cultural Arts District as an official Cultural Arts District. Regularly-occurring festivals, community events, and live performances mean that something special is always right around the corner for Galveston residents. Shopping around the city is also a pleasure, and local nightlife venues, eateries, and cafes are sure to delight visitors. However, if Galveston’s many attractions aren’t enough, then the many incredible destinations in and around Houston are also available to Galveston residents.
Retail & Entertainment
Parks & Recreation
Moody Gardens is a 242-acre park with an expansive aquarium, fun zip lines, a spa resort, and waterfront activities. Plus, Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark is open year-round. Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier is an iconic part of town that features fun rides fit all ages and boardwalk establishments. Galveston Beach, Johnny Romano Skatepark, and Lasker Park are also local favorites.
Galveston Place, Galvez Shopping Center, Old Galveston Square, and Broadway Shopping Center are several of the many shopping malls across Galveston. Lucky Charm Antique Mall, Antique Warehouse, and Big House Antiques have unique selections. Lone Star Heroes: Comics & Toys is a popular comic book store. Tangerine Boutique, Blu Boutique, Conversation Pieces, and Tina’s On The Strand are several upscale boutiques
Art & Culture
The 1895 Moody Mansion, Galveston Naval Museum, Galveston Railroad Museum, Galveston Children’s Museum, 1892 Bishop’s Place, and Texas Seaport Museum are several frequented local museums that are sure to entertain and educate visitors. Meanwhile, The Grand 1894 Opera House houses a variety of regular performances, the Galveston Symphony Orchestra provides frequent shows, and Galveston art galleries showcase stunning local works.
Nick’s Kitchen and Beach Bar has a high-energy atmosphere, while Tiki Bar and Rum Shack both have classic, colorful surroundings and drinks. Float Pool & Patio Bar is known for having impressive DJs, and 23rd Street Station Piano Bar features live music and game nights. Hard Times & Misery Saloon, Gizmo Bar, Bliss Lounge, and Brews Brothers are also highly rated establishments.
Hubcap Grill & Cocktail Bar serves incredible burgers, while Mosquito Cafe specializes in breakfast. Number 13 Prime Steak and Seafood is an upscale establishment that serves sizable portions. Gaidos Seafood Restaurant, Fisherman’s Wharf, The Spot, and Miller’s Seawall Grill have beachside locations and fresh seafood. Other tasty eateries include Rudy & Paco Restaurant and Bar, Salsas Mexican Restaurant, and Galvez Bar & Grill.
Overview: Galveston consists of around 50 neighborhoods, including both residential and commercial areas. Galveston’s western area is referred to as the West End. These midtier neighborhoods have a median real estate price of $278K. Notably, this number is more costly than roughly 80% of residential areas in Texas and 62% of areas in the United States. Meanwhile, eastern communities include neighborhoods like Fort Crockett, Bayou Shore, Carver Park, San Jacinto, and Lake Madeline.
The East End, Cedar Lawn, Denver Court, Fort Travis, Silk Stocking District, and Seawall Boulevard are all historic neighborhoods. Overall, Galveston’s eastern and coastal neighborhoods track as highly expensive areas to call home. These affluent parts of the city have median real estate prices around $400K. This median ranks as being more costly than 82% of Texas neighborhoods and almost 70% of neighborhoods across the country. Western Galveston neighborhoods tend to have more favorable crime statistics than their eastern counterparts, but central neighborhoods have the highest crime rates.