Step right up, folks: The Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier has opened its gates, just in time for Memorial Day weekend.
The amusement park and destination, a Landry's Inc. venture, salutes the historic pier that stood in the same location along the Galveston Seawall from 1948 until 1961. But the new amenities are decidedly modern on the 1,130-foot stretch, jam-packed with shops, food and games.
And, of course, roller coasters.
Though the attractions easily distract, it's impossible for one to forget that the platform is suspended over the Gulf of Mexico.
The Cyclone whooshes. The Texas Tea induces dizziness. The Pirate's Plunge splashes passers-by. Only a few of the 16 rides (13 are currently operational) are along the pier, designed to whirl and twirl and entertain.
"There's something for everybody," Mark Kane, regional director of the Landry's theme park and interim general manager of the Pleasure Pier, tells CultureMap.
Though the attractions easily distract, it's impossible for one to forget that the platform is suspended over the Gulf of Mexico. At each step, visitors get vistas of the gulf and the seawall. Almost all of the rides swing out over the water, where surfers straddle their boards below, alongside the cement pilings. The ocean breeze cools — at least for now.
A Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and a Gump on the Run (both accessible from outside of the entrance gates) ensure that visitors won't leave hungry. You'll also find all of the requisite carnival foods — chips, burgers, cotton candy, pretzels, pizza and more. The Brew Station offers beer, margaritas and wine for adults, and Lolli & Pop's Candy Shoppe has sweet treats for the young and young at heart.
All of the amenities combine to create a family-friendly atmosphere, fun for kids and grown ups, tourists and locals alike.
Find more information about visiting the Pleasure Pier here. Watch CultureMap's exclusive video tour (above), produced by Joel Luks.