Many stores along Seawall Blvd rent bicycles ($25 to $40 per day) and four-seater, pedal-operated surreys ($20 per hour). Both are excellent ways to roll on down the beachfront seawall path. Water-sports gear like surfboards ($45 per day) and kayaks are also usually for rent.

Red snapper is the fish most prized by people fishing offshore from Galveston, though limits are often enforced. You have your pick of fishing charters and party boats from the information stands at Pier 19; the visitor center keeps a full list.

In the winter months, birders will have no trouble spotting waterbirds here. For a list of the area's best sites, log onto