Few experiences can compare to an encounter with Seawolf Park on Pelican Island, the former site of a major immigration outpost. In fact, this was once the second largest immigration center in the United States until it was declared a memorial to submariners in World War II.
Located just a short one hour drive from Houston, Galveston is a coastal city which was named after the first European settlers who arrived on these shores back in 1806. At that particular time, the island was home to no less than two indigenous tribes, and while there are still very slight remnants of their presence, both the Aktakapa and Akokisa tribes are now extinct.
History of Pelican Island – the home of Seawolf Park
In many ways, the disappearance of something so culturally important is sad but Galveston has progressed since the times of these hunter-gatherers, and there are still some primitive reminders throughout the region. After all, fishing is just as popular today as it was back then as evidenced by a large number of fishing charters and the hordes of fishermen on the main pier every weekend.
However, the area is best known for Seawolf Park and the local amenities which have enabled this largely unassuming city to become quite a busy resort destination. With this in mind, here is everything else you need to know about visiting Seawolf Park.
Memorial to the USS Seawolf and soldiers of the past
During the Second World War, the USS Seawolf was a Navy Sargo submarine which was accidentally sunk by friendly fire in 1944. Pelican Island is now the home of the memorial for this infamous submarine.
Named after the lone seawolf, a predatory fish with razor-sharp teeth, the USS Seawolf is also joined by the USS Stewart and USS Cavalla. Although the latter is another excellent Gato class submarine from this same era, the USS Stewart is a destroyer escort and one of only two left on the entire planet.
Serving as a reminder for the loyal, brave submariners and DE sailors during the Second World War, these ships are historic in every way but also fascinating in appearance. Lastly, you will also find the USS Tautog SSN 639 at Seawolf Park which symbolizes the sacrifices made by submarine sailors during the cold war. In this wikipedia article, you can learn more about sea wolf park history
Relaxation and picnics at Seawolf Park
Naturally, the above-mentioned remnants are the main attraction for visitors to Galveston, but Seawolf Park is also the perfect place to relax and unwind with the family.
Featuring a large number of picnic sites and an impressive playground, there is plenty to keep the children entertained in between these mesmerizing ships, while a coffee in this rather quiet spot is usually an excellent way to unwind for the adults.
Directions to Seawolf Park
Traveling from Capitol Street in the heart of Houston, you should join the I-45 Gulf Freeway and continue south for a little more than forty-seven miles. At this point, the road changes name to the SR-87 and shortly afterward you will venture onto Broadway Avenue. Two hundred meters later, turn left before also keeping left on Pelican Island Causeway which then changes into Seawolf Parkway. Just three miles onward and you will arrive at Coastwide Road and the very last intersection next to Seawolf Park, Galveston.
Opening Hours and Car Parking
Aside from Christmas Day, Seawolf Park is open year-round and incredibly, fishing is possible twenty-four hours, seven days of the week. Furthermore, there is ample car parking facilities at the park, the cost of which can be paid at the park entry as follows:
Cost of Parking at Seawolf Park
Car – $6 per vehicle
RV or Tour Bus – $10 per vehicle
School Bus – $5 per vehicle
Although these spaces are still in progress, Seawolf Park will soon have the capacity for more than forty RV camping vehicles and a wide range of facilities including fresh water supply, sewage disposal and electrical points for every vehicle.
Seawolf Park Admissions Pass
As you might expect, there is also an admissions pass fee per person required at the park entrance, and while daily discounts for seawolf park admissions pass is only available to Galveston Island Residents, there is also a Season Admissions Pass which is value over the course of nine months.
Pricing for admissions pass to Seawolf Park
Adults: Non Residents $9 & Galveston Residents $6
Children Aged 5 – 11 Years: Non Residents $4 & Galveston Residents $3
Seniors Ages 65+ Years: Non Residents $4 & Galveston Residents $3
Pricing for a Season Pass to Seawolf Park (Available January to September)
Adults: $250 per person
Children: $ 150 per person
Seniors: $150 per person
Although there are no discounts for non-residents regarding daily entrance, the discounted cost of a Season Pass to Seawolf Park is the same as with Galveston Island Residents.
Seawolf Webcam -It must also be noted how the Cavalla Historical Foundation is seeking assistance concerning the maintenance of this particular park and it is possible to access a free live webcam to see what is going on at any time with the Seawolf Park Cam.
Fishing in Galveston
As already mentioned fishing is hugely popular in Galveston with many fishermen and even groups making trips from afar just to get next to the water. You will often find a long line of enthusiasts along Galveston Fishing Pier but also along the shore and on one of the many fishing charters which are always available.
There is also an incredible variety of marine life here, hence the regions’ popularity with fishermen, from cobia, gaftop, king mackerel, red snapper, sea trout and even bull shark featuring regularly. Again, there are discounted prices for residents in terms of the fishing permits but the season pass also runs from January to September and offers great value to regular visitors.
Pricing for fishing permits
Adults – Non Residents $9 & Galveston Residents $6
Children Aged 5 to 11 Years – Non Residents $4 & Galveston Residents $3
Seniors Aged 65+ Years – Non Residents $4 & Galveston Residents $3
Pricing for Fishing Season Pass (January to September)
Adults – $ 250 per person
Children – $150 per person
Seniors – $150 per person
When it comes to location, Seawolf Park is ideal for a weekend break and most especially given the proximity to nearby major cities such as Houston. However, given the historical importance and standard of facilities in Galveston, it should be clear that this is a thoroughly enjoyable destination. Furthermore, the iconic destroyer and submarines in Seawolf Park are not only an unforgettable encounter but also an important reminder of the bravery of the submariners and soldiers who sacrificed their lives for their country.