I get around: Galveston transportation options
With more than 32 miles of beaches, the long, flat barrier island has a lot to see. And like the rest of Texas, Galveston is very car-based. But there are some alternatives, and in some cases, places where your car is secondary in the scheme of things.
The Galveston-Port Bolivar Ferry is a free service that gets you and your vehicle from the northeast tip of the island to the Bolivar peninsula (or vice versa), connecting two segments of SH 87. The 2.7-mile trip averages 15-20 minutes and runs 24/7/365. For more info, check out: www.txdot.state.tx.us/MNT/ferryops/ferryops.htm#gal
The Galveston Island Trolley takes a grand circle tour through the historic Strand in the north, then down and across to the Seawall to the south. It meanders and click-clacks its way around one-way loops through both areas, and covers a long two-way stretch in between along Broadway (25th Street) crossing the island. The round trip is about 5 miles, and depending on the day of the week and time of year, runs anywhere from every 20 minutes to every hour. Island Transit, the folks behind Galveston's city bus system, operate this old-fashioned mode. For more schedules and map, check out web.presby.edu/~jtbell/transit/Galveston and www.islandtransit.net/main.htm.
Horse-Drawn Carriage Service in the Strand and East End Historical District is provided by Island Carriages and Seahorse Carriages. It's the bygone way to tour this bygone part of this bygone island ... doggone it. Both companies offer rental services with reservations for large events, as well.
Island Carriages 2528 Postoffice St., 800/979-9201 or 409/765-6951
Seahorse Carriages, 409/925-3312
Bike, Scooter, and Surrey Rentals are offered by various Seawall merchants. The latest things are chopper bikes and "Rent Me" cars... you know, those funny little bubble-shaped golf carts with the "rent me" signs on the back that are popping up all over tourist zones. Most of these joints rent seven days a week throughout the summer months and stay open late into the night. Call for hours, selection, and availability:
Beach Bike Rental 3114 Seawall Blvd., 409/765-8579
EZ Rentals 1718 Seawall, 409/763-0705; 4712 Seawall, 409/765-7574; 1020 Seawall Blvd., 409/766-7000
Goody Bike Rentals 2402 Seawall Blvd., 409/621-1062