Galveston hopes weather turns around for spring break

March 13, 2012 7:43:05 AM PDT
It's spring break and for many families, that means a trip to Galveston. It's especially true for families on a budget who still want to get away.

An umbrella is not the accessory you would expect to see on the beach as spring break 2012 begins.

"Get it out of the way early, and hopefully it'll be pretty the rest of the time," said Leann Davidson, an Arlington resident visiting the island.

The rain kept some from hitting the sand right away.

"It's the worst, I hate it!" Sugar Land resident Paige Pyle said.

But by noon Monday the rain had stopped, though the clouds remained.

"We're here, we're gonna enjoy the beach," Steve Fugate said.

Fugate brought his family from Kingwood for the night. He'd recently seen that Galveston was ranked as the fourth best spring break destination in the country by the 10Besties Reader's Choice Travel Awards.

"Cool, good for our economy right?" Fugate said.

It's that economy, combined with the high price of gas and travel warnings due to violence in Mexico, that have led to an increase in crowd expectations for Galveston this spring break.

"We usually get it rain or shine because there's much more to do on Galveston than just the beaches," said Meg Winchester with the Galveston Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Memories of Hurricane Ike are still so fresh that many businesses here are can use the boost. Hotel occupancy last spring break averaged above 90 percent and they expect the same this year.

Convention and Visitors Bureau officials say the less-than-optimum weather will deter only some of the day trippers. They expect others to ride out the passing weather and, they hope, spend money at one of the many shops or attractions on the island.

Given the crowds we saw along the Strand, that's exactly what many are doing.

"It's killing me, we gotta get out of here. We've got to get the sun out so I don't go broke," Herb Linder, a Dallas resident visiting Galveston, said jokingly.

There are some unique -- even free -- things that are new to discover on Galveston island this spring break. Check out movie night on the Strand, the Galveston Tree Sculpture Tour or old-fashioned taffy makinga t La King's Confectionary as just a few free events. Looking for something new? Check out Galveston's newest family attraction -- Pirates! Legends of the Gulf Coast.