Skip Town: Galveston’s New Pleasure Pier
If you’re planning a trip to Galveston anytime soon, you really shouldn’t miss the new Pleasure Pier. Standing in place of the Flagship hotel (which opened in 1965 but was irrevocably damaged by Hurricane Ike in 2008) and the original Galveston Pleasure Pier (which was built in 1943 and destroyed by Hurricane Carla in 1961), it’s a beautiful carnival-like site that’s as clean and fresh as the other attractions created by Landry’s Inc.
If you haven’t heard of Landry’s before, it’s a restaurant and entertainment company that’s responsible for such attractions as the Rainforest Café, the Kemah Boardwalk and the Downtown Aquarium in Houston.
It’s a little pricy, but it’s seemingly safe and family orientated due to some strict rules involving things like dress code and behavior. It’s also adult-friendly with margaritas and other drinks being sold right on the pier. There are even live bands at the end of the pier Thurs–Sun, carnival food like funnel cakes and cotton candy and a Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurant built on the pier as well.
There are some who aren’t happy with the price just to walk onto the pier ($10 for adults/$8 for children), but I personally have no issue with it. I’m sure there are weight limits to consider; it is built 1,130 feet over the Gulf of Mexico. Plus if you get the $27 pass ($22 for children) you can ride everything as often as you like. And there are 16 fun rides.
The 100-foot-tall Iron Shark rollercoaster was my favorite and included a vertical drop you won’t believe. The Galaxy Ferris wheel, also 100 feet tall, gives you a nice relaxed view of the Gulf and shore, especially at sunset. And the Texas Star Flyer apparently swings riders 230 feet above the Gulf, but I wouldn’t know. I was too afraid to ride that one and I’ve para-sailed and bungee jumped, but I just kept thinking, “What if I wanted to get down but couldn’t?” It’s very high. But if being that high in a rotating swing doesn’t bother you, I bet the view is spectacular.