Who says Spring Break stops when you graduate college? No one, that’s who! And if they do, then boo to them. You don’t need that type of negativity in your life!
We weren’t quite sure where we wanted to adventure to this spring (2019), but one thing we knew for sure was that we needed a quick break from reality. Quick, unfortunately, being the key word here. And since we are planning a wedding and tackling lots of home projects, it was important that our trip didn’t break the bank. Quick, relatively cheap, somewhere new and warm… Galveston, Texas! A quick 4 1/2 hour drive south from Dallas and on the ocean. I toyed around with the idea of hopping on a cruise ship, but that would have kept us from exploring around town for a true Galveston Spring Break vacation.
How to Spend an Adult Spring Break in Galveston, Texas
Road Trip From Dallas To Galveston
Most of the times I call shotgun on a road trip, but this time I around I decided to drive. Largely due to the fact that we were taking the new Toyota Rav 4 Adventure down south, not our normal vehicles. Something about a new car, man, it excites me! I have zero regrets driving down to Galveston, in fact, I drove the entire way home, too.
We left Dallas around 12pm on a Friday, and I would have to say that’s the latest you should leave DFW to head down south. If I was going to do it over again, I would probably leave more like 11:30/11:45am. Houston traffic is the real deal. I mean BRUTAL, y’all. We had already planned to stay the night in Houston Friday and meet up with friends (it was my first time to Houston!), but I wanted to explore the city a bit before dinner, which didn’t happen. We were making great time and then out of nowhere, on the outskirts of Houston, the GPS display went from 20 minutes to destination, to 30, to 45, to 50. Woahza. Also, had I been to Houston before I probably would have tried some alternative routes, but Waze said to try the service roads, so that’s what we did.
If we weren’t in a hurry trying to beat (#FAIL) Houston traffic, we would have stopped at a few places that caught our eyes during the drive! Listing them here in case you have more time to leisurely drive to Houston.
Pit Stops on I-45
If you want to make a fun road trip out of your drive, there are plenty of places to pop in at.
Cooper Farms Country Store at 301 West I-45 Fairfield, TX 75840 is open year round. You can stop by the Bluebonnet Trails in Ennis, Texas. There are actually quite a few things to do in Ennis if you have the time! If you want to stop in Huntsville, you can go to the Texas Prison Museum, located at 491 Hwy 75 N Huntsville, TX 77320.
And of course, there’s Buc-ees! We stopped in at this famous gas station on the way home, thank goodness! The brisket tacos are *chefs kiss*. They have multiple stops along the I-45 route from Dallas to Galveston.
Spending the Night In Houston
We stayed at the gorgeous Autograph Collection hotel, Hotel Icon, in downtown Houston (read more about what My Curly Adventures’ thinks about it). It was a quick walk down the road to dinner at Moonshiners. Pro tip: order the Strawberry Breeze and thank me later. I downed two of ’em before dinner came. WHOOPS.
After dinner we walked back towards the hotel and got drinks (kidding, we had a drink, not drinks, because we’re old) at Angel Share Houston.
Honestly that’s all we explored because going back to the hotel to take a bath was calling my name. I mean, look at this setup. Could you blame a girl for wanting to relax in a cool Houston hotel?
Galveston Spring Break Activities
We arrived in Galveston on Saturday, a little before lunch time, so we decided to dive straight into exploring. First stop: Downtown Galveston.
Historic Downtown Galveston
Now that everything is said and done, I can confidently say this was my favorite part of the trip. There is so much character at every corner! The shops, the people, art, food, it was all the best. We found a parking lot (corner of Postoffice St and Michelle Ave) that was $8 per day (as of the time we visited) and conveniently located in the middle of the area we wanted to explore.
There were so many cute boutiques we walked by, but for some reason we only made it into a few. You can easily walk around and go into places that intrigue you, or if you want to plan ahead, here are a few: Salty Southern Chic, Fullen Jewelry, Tina’s On The Strand and Tangerine Boutique.
We had some freakin’ delicious ice cream at The Gypsy Joynt. I ordered The Unicorn in a Box because life’s too short not to eat glittery ice cream out of a Chinese takeout box. Everything (except the ice cream) is homemade. The cake that was part of my dessert is homemade by someone’s mom (by someone I mean the guy who helped us). We will absolutely be back to one of their two locations on our next Galveston Spring Break trip.
The team at Gypsy Joynt pointed us in the direction of Vintage Crown, located at 215 23rd St, which had this slushy-Bloody Mary-esque alcohol beverage. It was mainly used for a cool photo, but I did have a few sips! It was just a little too sweet to eat right after ice cream and before we ate lunch…
Unfortunately El Jardin was closed while we there, but we heard it was the best hole in the wall Mexican food in Galveston. They only serve breakfast and lunch, so plan accordingly.
Beyond all the great things to eat in Downtown Galveston and the shopping, there’s some cool art! This is one thing we want to go back and explore more of next time, because we only saw a few murals. The Greetings from Galveston mural featured here is located at Saengerfest Park, 23rd and The Strand.
Galveston Pleasure Pier
I am so sorry to burst anyone’s bubble here… But if we could do anything different, we wouldn’t have spent the $22 to walk on Pleasure Pier. If you are planning to ride the rides, more power to you, but I can’t justify paying $10+ taxes/fees to walk around the pier. There weren’t amazing food places, just your typical carnival food, or anything else besides the games/rides. Not even a super cool photo spot which was my honest expectation. If you plan to ride rides, you can get a wristband for around $25 for unlimited rides.
Where to Eat in Galveston
One thing I noticed about Galveston, there aren’t many foodie accounts to use for inspiration! I’m a big fan of using Instagram (obviously) to find places to eat in new cities, but that didn’t provide much luck on this trip. There is one place I want to try next time called The Spot. And of course, the previously mentioned El Jardin.
Staying at Grand Galvez in Galveston, Texas
Honestly, this is when we put the “adult” in the “adult spring break” concept. Since we did so much exploring Saturday, our plan was to wake up Sunday for our couple’s massage and then spend the afternoon day drinking at the pool and/or beach. Such a spring breaker thing to do, yeah?
In reality, we went to our massage and then had muffins (there was a huge Sunday Brunch at the hotel, but since it was Easter it was $65 a person and we couldn’t justify that). And with the best intentions, we changed into our swimsuits and headed down to the Grand Galvez pool. We stayed at the pool for a few hours, had a few drinks each, ate lunch and made our way back to the room. I napped, hard. Talk about a self care day.
Galveston Spring Break Final Thoughts
Would we go back to Galveston? Totally! Would we go every summer? No. I love that we got to explore a new part of Texas and enjoy some sunshine, but Galveston isn’t somewhere I would vacation to every year. It’s a smaller town, so you can explore quite a bit on a single trip vs bigger cities where you need weeks to check everything off your bucket list.
Will I drive the Rav4 Adventure again? In a heartbeat. It was hands down the smoothest, most stress-free road trip I have ever embarked on. And I drive a lot! I could get used to having the lane detection assistance and a cruise control that automatically updates based on the cars in front of you. I touched the gas pedal/brakes a total of 3 times in 3 hours of driving… Austin kept asking if the changes were me or the car, and 9/10 times I could confidently say it was the car. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a total game of trust, but once you believe in the car, magic happens.
Thanks to Toyota for sponsoring this trip. All opinions are my own.