Goat Island in Texas (Getting There + Overview)

Texas has an incredible amount of land to cover if you plan sightseeing. If you are down the southern coast, consider checking out Goat Island. Yes, there are actual goats on the island!

Goat Island is between Mosque Point, Wildwood Park, Galveston Bay, and East Bay. The island can be reached by ferry or by private boat.

Galveston Bay Glint Bolivar Pen. Goat I. High Island View Of Texas Taken During Iss Expedition 36. - Texas View
Galveston Bay Glint Bolivar Pen. Goat I. High Island View Of Texas Taken During Iss Expedition 36. - Texas View

How Can I Get To Goat Island?

Goat Island is only accessible by ferry. Texas State Hwy 87 will take you west across Rollover Pass and onto the Bolivar Peninsula, where you’ll need to purchase a ferry ticket (or use your private boat) to cross the Intracoastal waterway. 

History of Goat Island

Goat Island was first settled in 1843 by the family of Jedediah Rogers, who died defending the Alamo. The Republic of Texas granted his remaining family the land because of his sacrifice.

The original settlement sat in the island’s center and is now the site of Goat Island Historical Park.

Facts About Goat Island

The island is roughly 6 acres long and located between Mosque Point and Wildwood Park within Galveston Bay and East Bay.

No bridges connect Goat Island to surrounding islands or the Bolivar Peninsula.

Crime Rates

The island is small enough to fall under one zip code: 77650. Even though the island is closest to the Bolivar Peninsula, the zip code places it within Galveston, TX. 

While the peninsula has a low crime rate (as it’s mostly just workers and job locations), Galveston has one of the highest crime rates in the country compared to cities of the same size. The area has 39 incidents per 1,000 residents, making around 25% of the population experience crime first-hand.

Best Hotels 

There aren’t any hotels on the island itself, but there are hotels in the Bolivar Peninsula and Gavelston. 

Saltwater Inn

The Saltwater Inn is rated 4.2 out of 5 stars and is located directly across the Intracoastal waterway from Goat Island. They have free parking and free Wi-Fi. The location is kid-friendly, but there are no pools or fitness centers.

The Gavlestonian

This 3-star hotel is located on the southern side of Galveston and is only a quick ferry ride away from either Goat Island or the Bolivar Peninsula. It’s rated 4.5 out of 5 and is one of the most popular local places to stay. 

They offer free Wi-Fi, beachfront access, tennis, outdoor pools, hot tubs, a fitness center, and some rooms have kitchens or kitchenettes. They are a kid-friendly, non-smoking, pet-free zone.

Airbnb

If you’re not interested in staying in hotels or resorts, the Bolivar Peninsula is covered in Airbnbs for you to peruse and spend the weekend. Because it’s a high commodity area, prices will range anywhere from $100 a night to $400 a night. 

Best Restaurants

Since Goat Island is considered a park, there aren’t any restaurants on the island. You’ll have to look on the Bolivar Peninsula and in Galveston. 

Steve’s Landing Restaurant

This location is rated 4.4 out of 5, and you can find it on the Intracoastal waterway. You can look across the channel and see Goat Island from your table! They’re a casual-chic seafood and steak restaurant with a full bar.

Goat Island Tx September 22 2008 A Boat Left High And Dry After Hurricane Ike. The Island Was Then Used To Pasture Goats. 1 - Texas View
Goat Island Tx September 22 2008 A Boat Left High And Dry After Hurricane Ike. The Island Was Then Used To Pasture Goats. 1 - Texas View

What’s Goat Island Known For?

The settlers originally named the area Iris Island but later renamed it Goat Island after the thousands of wild goats roaming it. Now, it’s a little tourist location where cars aren’t preferred.

Only around 600 people live on Goat Island, and they have prevented a bridge to the mainland from being built, keeping this island only accessible by ferry.

What To Do on Goat Island

The island’s southern side features hard-packed beaches perfect for camping on, while the inner of the island is a peaceful place to wander and disconnect from the busy mainland.

Goat Island Tx September 22 2008 Fields Of Debris Line The Island After Hurricane Ike. - Texas View
Goat Island Tx September 22 2008 Fields Of Debris Line The Island After Hurricane Ike. - Texas View

Goat Island FAQs

Is Goat Island safe?

Absolutely. It’s disconnected from the mainland, but not by a lot. There are frequent ferries back and forth. The locals enjoy keeping to themselves and living their own best lives.

Is Goat Island worth visiting?

If you’re someone who needs a high adventure vacation, this island won’t be for you. But if you need somewhere to lean back, relax, and enjoy your day, this island has plenty of coves and beaches to explore. The historical park is the main reason why tourists visit.

Most people make Goat Island a day visit because there aren’t any hotels on the island, but you’re more than welcome to camp on a few of the beaches.