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Situated on the north east end of Galveston, the downtown area acts as the central business district for locals, and for tourists, it's a charming respite from the beaches on the other side of the island.

Downtown Galveston is the historic heart of this small city, filled with restored architecture, history museums and cultural attractions. The Strand Historic District anchors the neighborhood, which has National Historic Landmark status and stands out for its many preserved 19th-century buildings. Beyond The Strand, the downtown area boasts theaters, museums, shops and a thriving nightlife scene. The bustling waterfront balances its maritime history with entertaining venues and seafood restaurants.

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Rent Trends

As of August 2017, the average apartment rent in Galveston, TX is $891 for one bedroom, $1,206 for two bedrooms, and $1,534 for three bedrooms. Apartment rent in Galveston has decreased by -0.5% in the past year.

Beds
Avg Sq Ft
Avg Rent
1 BR
632
$891
2 BR
858
$1,206
3 BR
1,214
$1,534
Beds
Avg Sq Ft
Avg Rent

Ratings

81 Walk Score® Very Walkable
0 Transit Score® Minimal Transit
0 Bike Score® Somewhat Bikeable

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Restaurants

With the Gulf of Mexico surrounding the island, seafood is king in downtown Galveston. At Pier 21, the city's waterfront entertainment area, choose from a number of seafood restaurants. Enjoy Greek-style fish and shellfish at Olympia The Grill at Pier 21, whose menu includes wild Gulf shrimp, grilled scallops and grilled Gulf flounder. Greek favorites include the moussaka, which consists of baked layers of eggplant and minced meat topped with a bechamel sauce. Meat lovers must try the award-winning braised lamb shanks. A favorite among the locals for its excellent happy hour deals, try to get outdoor seating for picturesque harbor views.

In the heart of the Strand Historic District, the Black Pearl Oyster Bar boasts the biggest, freshest oysters around. A favorite with locals and tourists alike, this busy, unpretentious spot buzzes constantly with noise, but has a warm and friendly atmosphere. The ever popular oysters on the half shell are not only generously sized, they're also significantly cheaper at Black Pearl than most others places on the island.

When you're not in the mood for seafood, check out the gourmet sandwich offerings at eatcetera, a cozy, contemporary cafe on the edge of the historic district. Try one of the international-inspired soups and stews, such as the African Peanut stew or the Jamaican Pepper Pot soup.

Many of the nightlife options in the downtown area cluster around Strand Street in The Strand Historic District. Consisting primarily of low-key bars, a few spots stand out among the rest in the area.

If you're a serious music lover, visit the Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe, which focuses solely on original, live music from local and regional musicians. Dress casual and check your ego at the door, as this small, no-frills dive bar is as laid-back as it gets.

History

Much of downtown’s history centers around the Strand Historic District, which started to take shape in the 1830s. With its location close to the booming Galveston Harbor, the area rapidly grew into the business center of Galveston and was once known as the Wall Street of the South. Today, the downtown area has expanded, stretching from the harbor to Broadway Avenue, between 19th and 25th Streets.

Downtown has a vibrant arts and culture scene. Peruse the various art galleries during the monthly art walk event. At the harbor, explore the decks of the 1877 tall ship Elissa, or hop aboard a tour boat for a dolphin watching excursion. The historic Grand Opera House plays hosts to a number of performances, including regional ballets and Broadway musicals. Annual festivals in the downtown area include the massive Mardi Gras Galveston celebration and Dickens on the Strand, a Victorian-themed holiday festival.

Transportation

The compactness of downtown makes it easy to get around on foot, but you can also take advantage of Galveston’s Island Transit system. Consisting of a series of buses and trolleys, several trolley routes travel through the downtown area, making it easy get around, as well as to other areas.

You can also easily drive into the downtown area by car. Interstate 45 South brings you directly to Galveston island from Houston. On the island, I-45 turns into Broadway Avenue. Parking primarily consists of metered street parking. While taxis can also get you around, you typically need to call ahead to get service, or you can use Uber's app to arrange a pickup.

Nearly all Galveston welcomes cyclists, and the downtown area is no different. Several bike tour options on the island include rides through the downtown area. Although downtown does not have any bike rental options, you can find rental locations nearby.

Cost

Living in the downtown area of Galveston costs a bit more than other neighborhoods on the island. A one bedroom apartment on most of the island is roughly $813, while the same type of apartment in the downtown areas can cost an average of about $1,100.

Getting to downtown Galveston costs only $1 on the Island Transit System, and driving in the area is relatively inexpensive, as gas prices in Galveston typically hover about 6 percent lower than the national average. At a local pub, beer typically costs $5 to $6.

Shopping

The Strand Historic District stands out as the premiere shopping destination in the downtown area. Housed in the district’s beautifully restored Victorian building, The Strand features a variety of shops to peruse, including a number of antique and collectible item stores.

At antique shop Somewhere in Time, browse the displays of authentic vintage jewelry, clothing, pottery, furniture and kitchenware. Check out more than 50 booths of rare and one-of-a-kind collections at the Collector’s Gallery. Other unique shops in the Strand include the Galveston bookshop, which offers classic, out-of-print books, comic books and vinyl LPs, and Bunch’a Cool Stuff, featuring a random assortment of quirky items, from 3D movie posters to hermit crabs.

Shop for groceries in the heart of downtown at Bob’s Grocery on 21st Street. If you’re looking for organic or health food items, visit Oasis Juice Bar & Market on the western edge of the downtown area, as it carries vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free items. For the freshest seafood, head over to Katie’s Seafood Market on Pier 19, featuring wild-caught Gulf shrimp, blue crab and a variety of fish.

Parks

Saengerfest Park is the only park in the downtown area of Galveston, but it's not your typically grassy park. This small, concrete public square near the harbor features a giant chess board in the middle, park benches and a performance stage for small local events. However, traditional parks are nearby, such as San Jacinto Park, just south of downtown and the Galveston beaches are just roughly a mile away.

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Downtown Galveston Apartments for Rent

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2101 Church Street
2101 Church Rear St, Galveston, TX 77550
$900 - 1,135 1-2 Bed Available Now
844-297-0354
600 19th St
Galveston, TX 77550
$1,100 House for Rent Available Now
3 hrs
1802 Sealy St
Galveston, TX 77550
$1,150 House for Rent Available Now
3 hrs
621 21st St
Galveston, TX 77550
$1,485 Condo for Rent Available Now
7 hrs
621 21st St
Galveston, TX 77550
$2,225 Condo for Rent Available Now
7 hrs
2914 Avenue K
Galveston, TX 77550
$940 House for Rent Available Now
10 hrs
Avenue L
3116 Avenue L, Galveston, TX 77550
No Availability 2 wks

Apartments for Rent in Downtown Galveston, Galveston, TX

Situated on the north east end of Galveston, the downtown area acts as the central business district for locals, and for tourists, it's a charming respite from the beaches on the other side of the island.

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