two cruise ships

Image by DocLawson from Pixabay

Howdy fellow cruisers-to-be! Now that you’re all set with your excitement for your first cruise adventure, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty details of packing. We have a whole list of essentials to ensure your maiden voyage goes off without a hitch!

Texans are lucky enough to have a cruise terminal in Galveston, so most of us don’t have to fly in. When packing keep airport requirements in mind if you must take a flight to port.

1. Travel Documents:

First things first, make sure you have all your travel documents in order. From your cruise tickets to your passport or birth certificate (depending on the destination), and any necessary visas—these should be securely packed in your carry-on luggage. Passport books are essential. Losing these can turn your dream vacation into a nightmare faster than you can say “anchors aweigh”!

Couple on beach

Image by tigertravel from Pixabay

2. Day and Evening Wear:

Whether you’re soaking up the sun by the pool or dining in the ship’s elegant restaurants, you’ll need outfits for every occasion. Many cruise lines have specific dress codes for dining areas, including formal nights, so be sure to check ahead and pack accordingly. And don’t forget comfortable attire for on-shore excursions!

3. Toiletries:

While most cruise ships provide basic toiletries like soap and shampoo, it’s always a good idea to bring your own. You never know if your hair will agree with the onboard products, and purchasing necessities onboard can cost you an arm and a peg leg! Pack sunscreen—lots of it—because nobody wants to resemble a lobster after a day on the deck. Plus, don’t forget items like conditioner and body lotion, as ship-provided options might not meet your preferences.

interior cruise ship cabin

Image by Ulrich Dregler from Pixabay

4. Tech Gear:

Whether you’re a tech-savvy traveler or prefer the simplicity of a good book, don’t forget your entertainment essentials. Tablets, e-readers, portable game consoles—you name it, pack it! And don’t skimp on chargers—there’s nothing worse than a dead battery when you’re trying to capture those Insta-worthy moments.

5. Bags Galore:

From beach bags to backpacks, you’ll need a variety of bags to tote your essentials around the ship and on the shore. A day bag for poolside necessities, a fanny pack for on-shore shopping, a small purse for evening adventures, and maybe even a waterproof bag for water excursions.

man selling bags on the beach

Image by Carolyn Moore from Pixabay

6. Excursion Extras:

Planning on exploring the ports of call? Make sure you’re prepared with all the necessary gear. Cameras for capturing memories, waterproof bags for protecting your valuables, and snacks to keep you fueled up during long excursions. And if you’re hitting the beach, don’t forget the sunscreen and beach necessities! Remember to pack specific items like snorkeling gear, beach towels, and sand toys if you plan on spending time by the shore.

7. Beverage Bonanza:

While most cruise lines have restrictions on bringing your own beverages onboard, it’s worth checking their policies. Some lines allow a limited amount of wine or non-alcoholic drinks, which can save you a pretty penny on onboard purchases. Just be sure to check for any corkage fees!

glasses on table

Image by Kai Sender from Pixabay

8. Cash Money:

Last but not least, don’t forget to stash some cash for tipping porters and purchasing souvenirs in port. Small bills are your best bet for tipping, and having a bit of extra cash on hand can save you from scrambling for an ATM in a foreign port.

And there you have it, folks—a comprehensive packing list for your first cruise adventure! Whether you’re setting sail from Galveston or flying to a distant port, these essentials will ensure you’re prepared for smooth sailing. Now go forth and conquer the high seas—adventure awaits!

Related: Let’s Travel to South Padre Island

Lisa Crow contributed to this article. She is a travel writer and lifestyle blogger based in Waco, Texas. Lisa is the Head of Content at Gigi’s Ramblings and Southern Bred True Crime Junkie. She spends her free time traveling when she can and making memories with her large family which consists of six children and fifteen grandchildren.

planting plants

Welcome to the joyous journey of cultivating your spring garden oasis! Whether you’re aiming for a burst of colorful blooms or dreaming of a veggie patch, these tips will guide you through the rewarding process of nurturing your garden to life.

1. Plan Your Garden Layout:

Imagine the canvas of your garden. Sketch out a plan, taking into account the sunlight each area receives. For vibrant flower gardens, think about the heights and colors that complement each other. In the vegetable patch, consider companion planting to maximize growth.

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

2. Choose the Right Plants:

Selecting the right plants is crucial. For a delightful flower garden, consider classics like daffodils, tulips, and daisies. In the vegetable patch, tomatoes, peppers, and herbs like basil and rosemary are excellent choices. Research your region’s growing conditions for optimal results.

3. Prep the Soil:

Healthy soil is the cornerstone of a thriving garden. Loosen the soil, removing weeds and adding compost for nourishment. Flower beds may benefit from well-draining soil, while vegetables often prefer nutrient-rich soils.

Image by Maria from Pixabay

4. Seed Starter Kits:

Kickstart your garden with the UTYLNE Seed Starter Kit. Its peat pots are perfect for herbs like cilantro and chives, while the larger cells accommodate tomato seedlings. The humidity dome ensures your little green family gets the best start.

5. Watering Wisdom:

Master the art of watering. Flowers like consistent moisture, so invest in a soaker hose. For veggies, provide deep watering, allowing the soil to dry slightly between watering sessions. The UTYLNE kit’s moisture-absorbing peat pots aid in maintaining an optimal environment for seedlings.

6. Mulching Magic:

Introduce SuperMoss Coco Mulch for an eco-friendly mulching solution. Lay it around flowers like roses and hydrangeas to regulate temperature and retain moisture. In the veggie patch, it prevents soil erosion and suppresses weeds.

7. Pruning Practices:

Pruning isn’t just for looks; it’s for health. Trim spent blooms from flowers like geraniums and marigolds to encourage continuous flowering. For vegetables, prune overcrowded branches to improve airflow and prevent diseases.

Image by aedrozda from Pixabay

8. Protect Your Garden:

Safeguard your garden with garden netting to deter birds and pests. In flower gardens, it protects delicate blooms like sunflowers and zinnias. In the vegetable patch, it preserves your hard-earned produce from hungry critters.

9. Fertilize with Care:

Choose a balanced fertilizer and tailor it to your garden’s needs. Flower gardens may benefit from a phosphorus-rich mix, while vegetables thrive on a well-balanced blend. Follow recommended guidelines to avoid over-fertilizing.

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

10. Enjoy the Harvest:

As your garden flourishes, revel in the bountiful harvest. Cut fresh blooms for a fragrant indoor bouquet or gather homegrown tomatoes, peppers, and herbs for a flavorsome meal. Your garden is a testament to your nurturing care.

With these tips, your spring garden will transform into a tapestry of colors and flavors. Happy gardening and enjoy the wonderful journey of seeing your garden bloom and thrive.

Related: Let These Children’s Books Inspire Your Next Family Adventure

Lisa Crow contributed to this article. She is a travel writer and lifestyle blogger based in Waco, Texas. Lisa is the Head of Content at Gigi’s Ramblings. She spends her free time traveling when she can and making memories with her large family which consists of six children and fifteen grandchildren.

Log cabin in winter

Nestled in the heart of the Ouachita National Forest, Broken Bow, Oklahoma, has emerged as a hidden gem for winter vacation enthusiasts seeking a perfect blend of serenity, adventure, and natural beauty. Boasting a myriad of outdoor activities and breathtaking scenery, this picturesque destination has captured the hearts of many, making it an irresistible spot for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Welcome to Beavers Bend State Park sign

Flickr: Brad Holt

One of the main draws of Broken Bow is its pristine nature. Beavers Bend State Park, located near the town, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. The park offers a plethora of activities, from hiking and bird watching to fishing and boating. The crystal-clear waters of Broken Bow Lake, surrounded by lush forests, create a tranquil setting that is especially enchanting during the winter months. Visitors can experience the thrill of trout fishing in the Mountain Fork River, or simply unwind by taking a leisurely stroll through the park’s well-maintained trails.

For those seeking a more adrenaline-pumping experience, the Hochatown area is a hub for adventure. Broken Bow is home to several zip-lining opportunities, providing an exhilarating way to take in the stunning winter landscapes. Zip through the treetops and feel the crisp winter air as you admire the panoramic views of the forest-covered hills.

The Beavers Bend Wildlife Museum is another must-visit attraction. This educational and entertaining venue showcases a diverse collection of wildlife exhibits, offering a fascinating insight into the region’s natural inhabitants. It’s an ideal spot for families or anyone with an interest in the local flora and fauna.

log cabin

Pixabay: ArtTower

As the sun sets, the allure of Broken Bow continues with its cozy cabins and lodges. Nestled amidst the woods, these accommodations provide a warm and inviting atmosphere, making them the perfect retreat after a day of exploration. Imagine sipping hot cocoa by a crackling fireplace, surrounded by snow-covered trees—a quintessential winter experience.

The town’s vibrant local scene also contributes to its charm. From quaint cafes serving hearty comfort food to artisanal shops offering unique souvenirs, Broken Bow’s small-town hospitality adds an extra layer of warmth to the winter vacation experience.

Flickr: Thomas & Dianne Jones

Broken Bow, Oklahoma, is a winter wonderland waiting to be explored. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, quiet moments of reflection, or a combination of both, this charming destination offers a perfect escape. Embrace the tranquility, revel in the natural beauty, and create cherished winter memories in the heart of Broken Bow.

Related: Wishing Upon a Salem Moon: My October Dream

cyber monday

Gigi’s Top Picks for Little Girls

My smaller granddaughters love anything Disney and boy have I found some deals! Here are some of my top Christmas picks for little girls 6 & under on this lovely Cyber Monday:

Minnie Mouse Toddler Canopy Bed – this super cute bed is a steal right now on Amazon for under $100. You have the option of purchasing with or without the mattress. A bed might now be a typical gift, but it is definitely practical.

If you have a tiny princess that loves to get her groove on, check out this Frozen Dance Mat

The Minnie Mouse Bow-Tel Hotel is a must-have for any Disney-loving little girl. The playset is two-sided and complete with lights and sound.

Every little fashionista needs Minnie’s Fashionista Backpack! This set contains all the hair accessories a girl could want.

Huffy’s Minnie Mouse Scooter is the perfect way for the princess to get around. Scoot in style!

Gigi’s Top Picks for Little Boys

My little grandboys range in age from 1 to 7 years of age. Here are my Cyber Monday Picks for the littlest of my guys:

DINOBROS Dinosaur Toy Pull Back Cars are sure to be a hit around here! They come in a pack of 6 and look rugged enough to withstand the punishment my guys will put them through. The best part, they have been marked down 44% for today’s sale.

The Tyrannosaurus Transport Car Carrier Truck is another exceptional offer for dino-lovin’ kids. If the picture is accurate, this thing looks huge! Choose between a T-Rex and Triceratops.

If your boys are like mine, they have had plenty of Nerf-type guns. These foam gliders offer a cool option for a timeless gift.

If you are looking for sensory toys, check out these Transformable Fidget Spinners. These are perfect for building hands-on ability, hand-eye coordination and logical thinking. Did I mention they are under $10??

Gigi’s Top Picks for Bigger Girls

Here are some of my top Christmas picks for bigger girls 8-12 years old on this lovely Cyber Monday:

How about an age-appropriate tea party? Thoughtfully Gourmet, Mini Boba Party Set, Makes 16 Tasting Portions Of Bubble Tea, Includes 4 Flavors.

Boho Stackable rings for the jewelry-loving pre-teen.

For the crafty girls, the Original Stationery Ice Cream Slime Kit  is the perfect gift idea. This massive gift set is a great buy!

Their parents may kill me, but I can totally see my grandgirls rocking this YLL Kids Karaoke Machine. I have an entire group of superstars on my hands.

My older girls are just getting to the age where they are starting to journal. I really like the Hapinest DIY Journal Set. It comes with tons of accessories and the price is right!

Gigi’s Top Picks for Bigger Boys

Here are some of my top Christmas picks for bigger boys 8-12 years old on this lovely Cyber Monday:

This Battling Tops Box Set by Gigimelon is an amazing price today at only $36. The set includes 12 spinning tops, 2 launchers and a portable box!

Let them try out their flying skills with the Dwi Dowellin 4.9 Inch Mini Drone. The description says it’s crash proof; I’m not so sure. Equipped with 3 speeds to make it easier to learn to navigate.

The Pokemon TCG: Scarlet & Violet Elite Trainer Box includes everything the Pokemon player or collector needs. This is a random box so you will either receive content for Koraidon or Miraidon. Today’s price can’t be beat for everything included.

I love this ultra-sleek  Pokemon card binder that Juleuisu is offering. The perfect place for little man to keep all his cards safe. It isn’t part of the Cyber Monday Sale, but is still affordable at just under $20.

To finish off the Pokemon-themed gifts, I recommend PPark’s Anime Pull-over Hoodie. The kiddos need to stay warm when out on their Pokemon adventures.

These are just a few of the Amazon deals I found tempting for Amazon’s 2023 Cyber Monday Sale.

Salem Witch Sign

Every October, as the world outside my window transforms into a kaleidoscope of autumn hues, I find my thoughts drifting towards a place filled with enchantment, history, and a touch of the mystical. Salem, Massachusetts, a town shrouded in whispers of witches and echoes of the past, has always been a beacon of fascination for my October-born soul. Although my bags remain unpacked and my footsteps have yet to grace its cobblestone streets, my heart is set on one day embarking on a magical adventure to this bewitching town, especially during the spellbinding month of October.

A Dash of Salem’s History: Salem, with its roots deeply embedded in colonial America, has a tale that transcends time. The infamous Salem Witch Trials of 1692, a moment of mass hysteria and tragic consequence, have woven an eerie charm into the town’s identity. The stories of those accused, the whispers of the past, and the old buildings lining the streets create an atmosphere that feels both haunting and captivating.

Why Salem in October? Picture this: the aroma of spiced cider wafting through the air, leaves crunching underfoot, and the town of Salem adorned with pumpkins and witchy decor. In October, Salem transforms into a Halloween haven. It’s a time when history meets fantasy, and the town becomes a magnet for those who revel in the spirit of the season. Whether you’re tracing the footsteps of the accused witches or simply indulging in the magical ambiance, Salem in October is a dreamy experience for any fall aficionado.

Must-See Attractions:

  1. Salem Witch Museum: Step into the past with life-sized figures and dramatic storytelling, reliving the chilling moments of the Witch Trials.
  2. The House of the Seven Gables: This historical treasure, made famous by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, is a glimpse into the past, offering a dash of haunted allure.
  3. Salem Witch Trials Memorial: A serene yet powerful tribute to the victims of the Trials, reminding us of the town’s haunting history.
  4. Witch House: The residence of Judge Jonathan Corwin, this house offers a peek into the life of a 17th-century magistrate, connecting you directly to the Trials.
  5. Hocus Pocus Filming Locations: For movie enthusiasts, these locations add a sprinkle of cinematic magic to your Salem adventure.

Embracing the Spooky Spirit: In Salem, October isn’t just a month; it’s a state of mind. Ghost tours, tarot readings, and charming shops filled with mystical curiosities await. And oh, the Salem Haunted Happenings! A month-long extravaganza culminating in the grandeur of Halloween night, where the town truly comes alive with bewitching revelry.

So here’s to the dreamers, the lovers of fall, and those enchanted by history’s mysteries. As I close my eyes, I can almost hear the whispers of Salem calling my name, promising a future adventure filled with spooky tales, historical wonders, and the irresistible charm of October in Massachusetts. Until then, I’ll keep dreaming of that enchanting Salem moon and the magic it holds. 🌕🍂🔮

Related: Crafting Spooky Magic: Behind the Scenes with Mama Crow’s Halloween Wax Melts

Related: Embracing the Fantastic Feels of Fall: Cool Temps, Football, and All that Pumpkin Spice Goodness


As the air turns crisp and the leaves transform into a kaleidoscope of fiery hues, it’s that time of the year again – Halloween! Here at Mama Crow’s, we’ve been working tirelessly to bring you a bewitching collection of Halloween Wax Melts that will infuse your space with the essence of the spookiest season. Join us on this eerie journey as we unveil the secrets behind the creation of some of our spine-tingling favorites.

Vogue Vampire: Our enchanting Halloween lineup wouldn’t be complete without the alluring fragrance of Vogue Vampire. This scent is like a seductive dance with the supernatural, starting with the tantalizing top notes of Blood Orange, Ruby Red Grapefruit, and Mandarin. It then dives into middle notes of Geranium, Bourbon, Oak Moss, and Dark Patchouli, finally resting on notes of Black Amber, Sandal Tree, Cashmere, and Musk. With Vogue Vampire, we’ve captured the essence of a creature of the night, elegant yet mysterious.

Vampire Vogue Halloween themed wax melts

Werewolf: In the moonlight, things take a beastly turn with our Werewolf Wax Melts. This scent is sexy and animalistic, with fresh citrus highlights dancing around the heart of lavender and ylang. An earthy signature of patchouli and spiced wood leads to a base of warm animal tones, while leather and musk balance with balsamic undertones, and hints of powdery vanilla complete the blend. Inspired by the transformation under the full moon, Werewolf is a thrilling olfactory adventure.

Halloween inspired wax melts

Boogeyman: Just in time for the spooky season, Boogeyman Wax Melts bring a little sweet and a little spicy to your Halloween festivities. This fragrance opens with notes of geranium, bergamot, cinnamon, and rich Indian spices, creating a spellbinding aroma. The earthy notes of amber and woods, combined with a hint of musk, add an alluring depth to the scent. Boogeyman is the perfect companion for those who love a touch of the macabre.

Bitches Brew wax melts

Bitches Brew: When crafting our Bitches Brew Wax Melts, we knew we needed something truly mystical and captivating for the Halloween season. The result is a bewitching blend of Fresh Brewed Coffee, Orange Zest, White Tea, Blonde Woods, Cranberries, and Cinnamon. It’s a concoction that’s as enticing as a witch’s brew simmering in a cauldron. With this fragrance, we’ve summoned the spirit of Halloween’s most enigmatic spellcasters.

Bite Me wax melts

Bite Me: Sink your teeth into the irresistible aroma of Bite Me Wax Melts. Dracula himself would fall in love with this scent that begins with fresh citrus notes of lime and orange, sparkling with effervescent highlights. This leads to a luscious blend of berry and cherry, while leafy green accents intensify the fragrance. A base of vanilla creates sweet tones that linger like a vampire’s kiss. With Bite Me, we’ve captured the essence of timeless seduction.

Trick-or-Treat: Our Halloween journey wouldn’t be complete without a nostalgic nod to the classic tradition of Trick-or-Treat. These Wax Melts are a unique and fun blend that embodies the spirit of Halloween and beyond. With top notes of pumpkin, persimmon, and apple, and middle notes of blueberries, elderberries, currants, orange, and cinnamon, it’s a scent that evokes the excitement of Halloween night. Base notes of sugar cane and vanilla add a sweet finishing touch, like the joy of indulging in Halloween treats.

Creating our Halloween Wax Melts collection has been a spellbinding experience. Each scent was carefully crafted to transport you to a realm where witches, vampires, and werewolves roam freely. We’ve mixed ingredients like Blood Orange, Patchouli, and Cinnamon to bring the essence of Halloween to life, crafting fragrances that capture the spooky spirit of the season.

As we prepare for the most haunting night of the year, Mama Crow’s invites you to embrace the magic of Halloween with our Wax Melts collection. Light them up, let the scents fill your space, and transport yourself to a world where every day is Halloween. So, what are you waiting for? Dive into the enchantment and let Mama Crow’s Halloween Wax Melts cast a bewitching spell on your senses this season!

fall leaves and benches

Hey there, fellow fall lovers! Get ready to vibe with me as we celebrate the leaf-covered streets and that irresistible scent of pumpkin spice lattes – yes, it’s that magical time of the year again, my pals. So, grab your comfiest hoodie and kick it with me. Okay, maybe I’m jumping the gun a little, but I’m about to spill the beans on why fall rocks my socks.

Any drop in temperature is like a breath of fresh air. Sure, I’m down in Texas where summer just doesn’t know when to quit, but when that coolness finally rolls in, you bet I’m rocking my coziest sweater like it’s a fashion statement. There’s nothing quite like sipping on hot apple cider while feeling that crisp breeze on your cheeks.

Let’s talk about the world of fall scents and flavors. As a wax melt maker, let me tell you, the array of fall fragrances is like a cozy hug for your senses. From apple pie with a touch of cinnamon to the grand champs, warm vanilla and anything pumpkin – these scents are basically a spa day for your nose. Here are some of this season’s wax melts I have been working on that are sure to please the palate. And can we take a moment to appreciate the feast fest that goes down during this time? Pumpkin spice lattes, apple crisps, and oh my, the soul-nurturing pumpkin pie – I swear, my taste buds have a dance party as soon as September hits.

Crafty souls, listen up! Fall is like a treasure trove for DIY enthusiasts. My creative juices are in overdrive as I unleash my crafty side all season long. From decking out my space with handmade wreaths bursting with autumn vibes to whipping up decorations that even Martha Stewart would high-five, this is my time to shine with all things artsy.

football in grass

Hold on tight, sports fans, because football season is in full swing! From high school showdowns to legendary college rivalries and the NFL action – it’s a touchdown of excitement. My allegiance bouncing between the New Orleans Saints and the Dallas Cowboys might be perplexing, but hey, double the teams means double the football frenzy. Tailgating, touchdowns, and banter galore with pals – it’s a fall tradition that hits all the right spots.

Let’s pause and soak in the masterpiece that Mother Nature paints for us during fall. The trees dressed in fiery reds, oranges, and yellows – it’s like stepping into an artist’s dream. While some folks yearn for those sunny days, hear me out – I’m all about those cloudy, moody fall days. There’s a certain charm in cozying up with a good book as the rain taps on the window.

Oh, and can I get a virtual high-five for the upcoming holidays? Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the jingle bell magic of Christmas – it’s the season of non-stop celebrations! Trick-or-treating adventures, gobbling up turkey feasts, and transforming my space into a festive haven – these are the moments that make my heart do a happy dance. So, fellow fall aficionados, there you have it. From the gradual Texas cooldown to the sensory overload of scents, the crafty marvels, and the football frenzy, fall has me hooked in its embrace. And guess what? Each of us has our own unique reasons to adore this laid-back, kick-back season. So, as we trade flip-flops for cozy boots and bid farewell to summer, let’s raise a mug to the pumpkin-spiced, football-filled, and heartwarming vibes of fall! 🍁🏈🎃

Corpus Christi, Texas, is a vibrant city with a rich coastal heritage, offering a delightful blend of history, nature, and entertainment. Whether you’re fascinated by aviation history, eager to soak up the sun on sandy beaches, interested in exploring diverse cultural attractions, or a devoted fan of Selena Quintanilla, Corpus Christi has something to captivate every traveler. So, pack your bags and get ready to experience the unique charm of this Texan gem.

Interesting Facts:

  • Sparkling Shorelines: Corpus Christi boasts 113 miles of beautiful Gulf of Mexico coastline, making it an ideal destination for beach lovers and water enthusiasts.
  • Selena’s Legacy: The city is famous for being the hometown of Selena Quintanilla, the “Queen of Tejano Music.” Visitors can explore the Selena Museum to learn about her life and remarkable music career.
  • Aviation History: Corpus Christi is home to the Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, one of the oldest naval aviation facilities in the United States. Witnessing the impressive aircraft in action is a thrilling experience.
  • The Texas State Aquarium: An exciting marine world awaits at the Texas State Aquarium, where visitors can witness aquatic life up close and even have the chance to touch stingrays and sharks.

Useful Information:

  • Best Time to Visit: The best time to travel to Corpus Christi is during spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) when the weather is pleasant and the crowds are thinner.
  • What to Wear: As a coastal city, Corpus Christi has a warm climate. Pack lightweight and breathable clothing, such as shorts, t-shirts, sundresses, and don’t forget sunscreen and a hat for sun protection.
  • Getting Around: Renting a car is the most convenient way to get around Corpus Christi and explore nearby attractions. Additionally, ride-sharing services and taxis are readily available for shorter trips.

What to Do:

  • Visit the Selena Museum: Pay homage to the iconic singer, Selena Quintanilla, by visiting the Selena Museum in her hometown. Learn about her life, music, and lasting impact on the world of entertainment. Fans and music enthusiasts will find this experience truly special.
  • Explore the USS Lexington: Explore the “Blue Ghost,” the USS Lexington aircraft carrier turned museum. Discover the history of naval aviation while admiring breathtaking views of Corpus Christi Bay from the flight deck.
  • Stroll along the Beachwalk: Take a leisurely walk along the scenic Bayfront Beachwalk, featuring picturesque views, public art displays, and various dining options.
  • Explore Padre Island National Seashore: Just south of Corpus Christi, this protected natural wonder offers pristine beaches, diverse wildlife, and a serene escape from city life.
  • Art Museum of South Texas:  Art enthusiasts will love the museum’s collection of regional and national art, including works from renowned Texas artists. The modernist building itself is a piece of art.

Lisa Crow contributed to this article. She is a travel writer and lifestyle blogger based in Waco, Texas. Lisa is the Head of Content at Gigi’s Ramblings and L&S Freelance Writers. She spends her free time traveling when she can and making memories with her large family which consists of six children and fifteen grandchildren. This is the next installment in the Let’s Travel to…series, a collection of short informational articles covering some of the world’s top travel destinations.

Galveston offers a blend of history, entertainment, and natural beauty, making it an exciting destination for travelers seeking a memorable experience on the Gulf Coast. Whether you’re interested in the island’s fascinating past or its modern amusements, Galveston has something to offer every adventurer.

Interesting Facts:

  • Galveston is a barrier island on the Gulf Coast of Texas, known as the “Wall Street of the South” during the late 19th century due to its thriving port and financial significance.
  • The city has a rich history and played a pivotal role in Texas’ fight for independence from Mexico, hosting the “Lone Star Flag” and being the site of the signing of the treaty that ended the Texas Revolution.
  • Galveston is home to the historic Pleasure Pier, a waterfront amusement park with thrilling rides and attractions, offering nostalgic charm and breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico.
  • It’s the birthplace of Juneteenth, an important event in American history, as it was in Galveston where news of the Emancipation Proclamation finally reached enslaved African Americans on June 19, 1865.

Useful Information:

  • Best Time to Visit: Spring (March to May) and Fall (September to November) are ideal. The weather is pleasant, and there are fewer crowds compared to the busy summer months.
  • What to Wear: Light and breathable clothing for the hot summers, but also pack layers as the evenings can be cooler. Comfortable walking shoes are a must, especially if you plan to explore the city on foot.
  • Getting Around: Renting a bicycle is a popular and eco-friendly way to get around Galveston. The island is also easily navigable by car, and there are local buses available for public transportation.

What to Do:

  • The Strand Historic District: Explore this charming area lined with 19th-century buildings housing boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants. It’s a hub for shopping, dining, and embracing Galveston’s unique atmosphere.
  • Galveston Island State Park: Enjoy nature at its best in this picturesque state park, featuring hiking trails, birdwatching opportunities, and a beautiful beachfront for relaxation and picnics.
  • Moody Gardens: An educational and entertaining attraction featuring three glass pyramids housing a rainforest, an aquarium, and a discovery center with interactive exhibits that delight visitors of all ages.
  • The Bryan Museum: Immerse yourself in Texas history at this museum, housing one of the world’s largest collections of historical artifacts, documents, and artwork relating to the state and the American West.

Lisa Crow contributed to this article. She is a travel writer and lifestyle blogger based in Waco, Texas. Lisa is the Head of Content at Gigi’s Ramblings and L&S Freelance Writers. She spends her free time traveling when she can and making memories with her large family which consists of six children and fifteen grandchildren. This is the next installment in the Let’s Travel to…series, a collection of short informational articles covering some of the world’s top travel destinations.

If you don’t know, South Padre Island is my absolute favorite vacation spot in Texas. We have been there too many times to even begin to count. In fact, it is my hope to live on the island someday. If you don’t absolutely love the beach, this may not be the destination for you. While there are a few cool things to do outside of sand and saltwater, the beach is definitely the main attraction. 

South Padre Island

Interesting Facts:

  • Laguna Madre is a super rare hypersaline lagoon. In fact, it is the only one in the United States.
  • On September 15, 2001, the Queen Isabella Causeway, which connects Port Isabel to SPI, collapsed after being hit by a towing barge. This senseless tragedy took the lives of eight people.
  • South Padre is the only tropical island in Texas.
  • SPI gets its name from the original settler, Padre José Nicolás Ballí, a Catholic priest.
Pirate’s Landing Boardwalk

Useful information:

  • Best Time to Visit: This will depend on how much you are bothered by a crowd. From Spring Break until the end of Summer, it can get really crowded. We always visit the week after Labor Day, which isn’t crowded.
  • What to Wear: It’s the tip of Texas – it’s hot! Casual and beach wear is appropriate in most places.  
  • Getting around: Most people drive to the island, but some do fly into Brownsville Airport. You will also see a lot of folks walking and riding on golf carts. 
Night View South Padre Island Beach

What to Do:

  • Sea Turtle Inc. is not only fun but very educational. Their whole purpose is to rescue, rehabilitate, and release injured sea turtles. Sea Turtle, Inc. is funded through public donations and on-site gift shop sales only. So, when on the island, stop by and support a good cause.
  • Dolphin Cruises are a must when on South Padre. There are a few to choose from, but my personal favorite is Captain Murphy’s Isla Tours. We take the sunset cruise every single vacation. Who doesn’t love dolphins?
  • Port Isabel Historic Lighthouse is the perfect place to experience the island’s history along with some breathtaking views. 
  • Beach Park at Isla Blanca ( former Schlitterbahn) is located right on the beach. It is one of the state’s most prestigious waterparks. Home to waterslides, a lazy river, surf rider, a swim-up bar, and cabanas, Beach Park is fun for all ages.
Sunset Horseback Rides

Lisa Crow contributed to this article. She is a travel writer and lifestyle blogger based in Waco, Texas. Lisa is the Head of Content at Gigi’s Ramblings. She spends her free time traveling when she can and making memories with her large family which consists of six children and thirteen grandchildren. This is the next installment in the Let’s Travel to…series, a collection of short informational articles covering some of the world’s top travel destinations.