Travel from ship to shore and beyond when visiting historic Galveston


History awaits this spring on Galveston Island. Learn about the immigration journey at the new Ship To Shore interactive experience, tour beloved favorites like the 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA and the 1892 Bishop’s Palace, or set out on the water onboard the Historic Harbor Tour and Dolphin Watch.

No matter where your plans take you, there’s a way for you to connect with the island’s past at Galveston Historical Foundation.

Ship To Shore

Follow in the footsteps of Galveston’s early immigrants, from the long sea voyage with its mix of hardships and wonders to the hustle and bustle arriving in the 1880s at Galveston, one of the busiest ports and booming cities in the United States. A series of sequential experiential spaces alternate between hands-on interactive learning and immersive experiences, all based on authentic and documented personal stories of immigrants landing in Galveston. A digital membership card personalizes your experience with an authentic and new story each time you visit.

1877 Tall Ship ELISSA

Galveston Historical Foundation brought ELISSA, an 1877 square-rigged iron barque, from a scrapyard in Piraeus Harbor, Greece, to Galveston to begin restoration work in 1978. By 1982, GHF staff and volunteers completed restoration and transformed this rare, historic vessel into a floating museum that would actively sail. Today, the 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA is one of only three ships of her kind in the world to still actively sail, and welcomes over 40,000 visitors annually. She also serves as the Official Tall Ship of Texas, a National Historic Landmark, and a symbol of the Gulf Coast’s historic beginnings as a seaport and active waterfront.

Bishop’s Palace

The 1892 Bishop’s Palace (also known as Gresham House) is listed as one of the most significant of Victorian residences in the country by architectural historians. On Saturday mornings, you can tour the house from basement to attic, getting a rare glimpse inside rooms that are typically off-limits.

Historic Harbor Tour and Dolphin Watch

See Galveston Harbor up close aboard Seagull II, Galveston Historic Seaport’s 50-foot twin-engine motor vessel that sports an open upper deck for a full panorama of water and sky.

Plan your Galveston trip and learn more about the area’s history here.


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