Shortly after noon Monday, Kristin Rodriguez and her family set up chairs and blankets on a stretch of beach near the 5600 block of Seawall Boulevard. The group from Katy was staying in a hotel on the island from Sunday to Tuesday, she said.
“It’s a short trip to do something on spring break,” Rodriguez said. They were determined to make the most of it, despite cool temperatures and gusty conditions that greeted the first morning of school vacation.
The toddlers in the group wore coats as they played in the sand on the beach — and no one in the group had plans of braving the Gulf in the cold breeze, she said.
“They’re still having a blast and we like it because they’re not getting in the water or as sunburned,” Rodriguez said. “It’s easier on us.”
She was hardly the only one to hit the beach to start the week, even though temperatures started in the low 50s on Monday morning.
Monday marked the first official day of Texas’ spring break and many hotels across the island were booked with travelers from other parts of the state, hoteliers said. Traffic hummed along Seawall Boulevard, and at least one restaurateur said the island at least felt busier for a weekday.
On the east end of the seawall, cooler temperatures didn’t keep people from swimming at Gaido’s Seaside Inn pool, said Tabbetha Garcia, a front desk manager at the hotel. The hotel with more than 50 rooms was booked for the week, she said.
“We’re completely booked,” Garcia said. “The pool is open and we’ve had a bunch of people out there.”
Sun and warmer days in the forecast later this week seemed likely to keep the island bustling throughout the busiest week of March, said Mike Dean, owner of several Galveston establishments, including Yaga’s Cafe and BLVD Seafood. The weather forecast for the week is mostly sunny days with temperatures in the 60s and 70s and a slight chance of rain later in the week.
Because the Easter holiday is earlier this year, many schools are holding spring break this week instead of spreading it out over other weeks in March, Dean said.
“Easter being early forces all the schools into one week,” Dean said. “For us, it’s risky when it’s one week because it’s entirely weather-dependent, but we’ve got great weather this week.”