Each year, more than seven million visitors come to Galveston, which is experiencing yet another transformation in its long, rich history. The island’s booming hotel and vacation-rental scenes play a big role in this rebirth. Here are some notable options.

Bonnie Brook Rail Car

One of a few vacation rentals available at the Galveston Railroad Museum, this 1949 train car was once used by actor Jackie Gleason, who hated flying. It has been refurbished with period detail and sleeps as many as ten people.

Carr Mansion

About a mile from the beach, this luxurious bed-and-breakfast is housed in a Greek Revival home built in 1866.

Grand Galvez

Opened in 1911 along the seawall, the Hotel Galvez has been lavishly restored as the Grand Galvez, with memorabilia that depicts its storied past. Whatever spirits supposedly haunt the place seem good-natured.

Hose Company No. 5

This former firehouse has been turned into a swank escape, available through Airbnb. It sleeps as many as six.

Hotel Lucine

Scheduled to open this July, the mid-century modern Hotel Lucine caters to urban sophisticates. 

Kettle House

This eye-popping Airbnb, which can accommodate six guests, is actually a renovated former storage tank from the sixties. The stunning exterior and lush rooms were recently featured on HGTV’s Big Texas Fix. 

Tremont House

The recently renovated hotel, located downtown, is a historic gem with a lobby featuring a long, opulent rosewood bar. It has good dining options in a town generally lacking that.

An abbreviated version of this article originally appeared in the June 2023 issue of Texas Monthly with the headline “Where to Stay in Galveston.” Subscribe today.