by Yasmina Platt
Published in Midwest Flyer Magazine April/May 2022 online issue.
Galveston is a coastal resort city, island, and port (cargo and pleasure) less than 50 miles southeast of Houston, Texas. The mid-1870s to the mid-1890s was the apex of Galveston’s prosperity and importance as a city. The downtown area became the Wall Street of the Southwest. But everything was devastated by a 15-foot storm surge during the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 that flooded the city. It was rebuilt and, thankfully, some of the historic homes still stand to tell the story of what once was. Galveston is a great place to fly to for the day or the weekend, all year round.
My mom, Maria-Angel, my sister Yanira, my niece Luna and I recently took a “girls’ trip” to Galveston for the day (I don’t live that far away). We flew to Scholes International Airport (KGLS) by way of NASA Johnson Space Center and Kemah for some aerial sightseeing.
The water was particularly blue and beautiful that day, which was nice to see. The air was crisp and smooth. My little copilot was happier at the controls but understood when it was time for Aunt Yasmina to take over.
Luna is 4 years old and, therefore, still required to sit in a car seat when in a car. We did not bring one with us; therefore, taking the FBO’s courtesy car or calling an Uber was not an option, but walking or catching a ride in the FBO’s golf cart was. The FBO was gracious enough to take us to “Moody Gardens” in their golf cart (which added to my niece’s adventure) and then we simply walked back. It’s only a half a mile away.
I guess Moody Gardens can be considered a theme park; it has an aquarium, a rainforest, a museum, 3D and 4D theaters, a paddlewheel boat, a spa, a golf course, and a waterpark. It also has restaurants (we ate outside by the water), a hotel, and a convention center. During the Christmas holidays, it also offers a festival of lights. It’s just a great spot to spend the day with kids.
In addition to Moody Gardens’ waterpark, the famous (at least “Texas famous”) “Schlitterbahn” franchise has a bigger waterpark between the airport and the Gardens as well.
Another obvious activity one can do while in Galveston is to go to the beach. There is beach access down 83rd Street, about a mile away. Easy! Several restaurants and hotels can also be found up and down the seawall.
If you take the courtesy car, rent a car, or hitch a ride, many more possibilities open up. The “Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier” is an amusement park on a boardwalk, over the ocean. “The Strand,” as Galveston’s downtown area is called, has several restaurants and shops, some art galleries, the “Texas Seaport Museum” (where the Elissa sailboat resides), and the “Grand 1894 Opera House,” among other things. One can also watch cruise ships, ferries, and big ships come and go through the Galveston Channel near The Strand. The nearby “Naval Museum” is also interesting.
Additionally, there are companies that offer walking tours of historic mansions, ghost/haunted tours, Segway or ebike tours, duck boat tours, fishing charters, and dolphin watching tours.
Everybody enjoyed the day trip, but it’s possible I enjoyed it the most. Sharing my passion for flying/aviation with “my girls” is special. This was also Luna’s first cross-country (we’ve been building up to it during a few previous flights), and she’s ready for another one. So, that’s in the works.
Who do you enjoy sharing flying with?
For more information about “Air Trails” and other flying destinations, visit www.airtrails.weebly.com. Fly safe, fly often!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Yasmina Platt’s full-time job has her planning the future of aviation infrastructure for Joby’s electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) aircraft. She also writes an aviation travel blog called “Air Trails” (www.airtrails.weebly.com), in addition to articles on pilot destinations for Midwest Flyer Magazine. Pilots can locate articles Yasmina has written by going to
www.MidwestFlyer.com and typing “Yasmina” in the search box, or by going to the “Archives” section, then “Columns,” then “Destinations.”