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Review of Galveston

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Montrose, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
347 reviews
225 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 June 2009

We had decided to go to Galveston before Ike struck it, and felt that as part of the recovery, Galveston, needed tourists to still go there. We have very mixed feelings about that decision. The Tourist Office said the city was over 80% recovered, which is just not the case, we would say not much over 50% and it did affect our visit. The main problem is that the hotels on the sea wall, which are mainly running as normal, are no longer connected to The Strand, which was badly hit. The reason is that the trolleys or trams are still not running. As far as we could make out, the rails lookede OK, but we were told "probably the cars were damaged, but never mind the parking meters don't work either."
After 8 months, it would have been an idea to have some kind of small bus or mini-bus running the route instead and linking the two as the Strand area is dead, no matter what time you go there.

Privately owned businesses are working so hard to get back to normal, a number of bars, cafes and shops are up and running. It seems to be the official clean-up that is slow, piles of debris still lying around, no trolleys, the Railway Musuem still closed, no pparking meters (a source of much-needed revenue) etc. It will take time and there is still Moody Gardens which is up and running, along with the Colonel Paddle Steamer. We found that a 3-day stay was too long, particularly as we decided not to sail to Boliver Island which took the brunt of the storm. Give it time and Galveston will fully recover, just check reports before you actually visit. If you just want to relax by the Gulf in a lovely hotel, then the Sea Wall area is fine.

1 Thank Joyce S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Admaston, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
110 reviews
68 helpful votes
“Galveston Island”
Reviewed 1 June 2009

The Island has been badly affected by the Hurricane Ike in Sept 2008 so a lot of the tourist areas are not open to the public due to repairs.
Moody Gardens is worth a visit, but the Rainforest Pyramid wasn't open.
The beach is very littered, water is warm but full of jellyfish!

Thank naved
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
1 helpful vote
“Memorial weekend 2009”
Reviewed 28 May 2009

My first time to Galveston, Texas. We arrived around noon on Memorial Day drove around and found a good parking spot, within minutes and we were in the water. The weather was in the 90's, beautiful, sunny and full of happiness from all the beachgoers. Seen alot of grills going and the smell was wonderful. We walked along the beach and checked on the fishermen. Seen a few fish caught, one little boy was just thrilled he caught one. We put on the 70spf lotion a few times, not to get burnt. What a fun day it was. On our walk along the beach we picked a few shells, not as many as i hoped to get, but a free souvenior anyway. Later we changed clothes and went across the street to Landrys for supper.It was delicious. Never before had the oysters rockafeller but i thought it was the wonderful. Gregg had the twin lobster and twice baked potato, I had the thai shrimp salad. Both agreed it was very good. Great service too. We ate our supper outside. The entire bill for the two of us was 70, and well worth it.
Thank you Texas, hope to visit again. Visitor from Illinois

1 Thank IllinoisKarin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arlington, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
98 reviews
237 helpful votes
“Galveston back in business?”
Reviewed 26 May 2009

We just got back from Galveston for Memorial Weekend and we finally got to see what was back in business and what wasn't. We haven't been there since the week before IKE and our gills were quivering to go back.

Here's the poop.

The main hotels/condos are back in business and have been restored. Hotel Galvez, Guido's, Dawn, Victorian, Casa Del Mar, Commodore, etc are all looking sharp again.

Flagship Hotel, Ramada, and Sandpiper are dead (really dead).

On the Seawall, Murdocks, Hooters and Balinese Room are gone. Murdocks is rebuilding right now, Hooters is soon to follow, but currently still just pylons in the water. Most of the restaurants are open.. .Guido's, Caseys, Fishtail, Wendy's, Joe's, the Spot, Kettle, Cafe Micheal, McAlisters, were all open. Some of the t-shirt stores are gone.

The Texas State Seashore Park is only open on the bay side for day use. The campsite is scheduled for total demolition and rebuilding by this October 2009.

On the Strand, Yagas is open, as is Willie G's and Fisherman's Wharf with the Elissa.

Fuddruckers , Phoenix bakery, Bistro Le Croy, Luigi's, Waterwall, Sasparillas, are dead. Fuddruckers looks like it might get restored, but the rest are just empty places.

Storewise, on the strand, it is now more hit than miss. 7 stores reopened last week just in time for Memorial Weekend. So, Gracie's, Admiralty, Mo Betta Market, Tina's, the Chocolate Factory, are all open, as is Col. Bubba's. Handley market was open, but had 2 tables of stuff. They had literally just opened Saturday. Admiralty has a stencil on the wall where the water went up to. The surge went over the bay side and put the Strand underwater about 15 feet. Most of the places didn't think they were going to get that much water, so they didn't actually take all their inventory out of the stores...unfortunately. Col. Bubba's Army Navy Store smells like mildew, and there are swatches of empty shells of stores.

Anyway, I posted pics so you cane see for yourself. Definitely time to go back.

3 Thank boilinginTexas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 6 Contributor
171 reviews
183 helpful votes
“Galveston is pretty much back to normal April 2009 after IKE”
Reviewed 28 April 2009

I'm mainly writing this to let everyone know that the island is pretty much back to normal (about 80-90%) since Hurricane Ike hit last fall. The city has completed its projects and put together a task force to study the problem and make sure it doesnt happen again (or at least not as bad), and it was completed 3/31/09. Some areas like the Strand (old town) stores are still being renovated, and the 3 historic mansions are either not open or have limited hours. The rainforest has just reopened. Moody Gardens (entertainment park $47) is open. The beaches got about 8 ft. of sand dumped on them, and the seawall/boardwalk is looking good. The beach is normally not as pretty and a bit grey, but with the new sand, it looks better than ever. A few homes still need repair, but hotels are mostly back in shape with a fresh coat of paint. Call & ask them direct & dont just book a room. One hotel/condo was being used by construction workers, so you need to know that. It's a pretty quiet island and seems to host a lot of Texans.

1 Thank ColoradoCat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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