DID YOU KNOW?
Moody Gardens’ history began back in 1986. It first opened as a hippo-therapy riding program for people with head injuries. Today it is one of the premier educational/leisure facilities in the Southwest. It also provides horticultural therapy, education and employment for persons with disabilities.
Learn more about the rich history of Moody Gardens and our Galveston hotel below.
1986: The Moody Gardens convention center, titled the Hope Arena, opens its doors as a horse barn.
1988: Florida sand barged in from across the Gulf of Mexico to create an exotic family beach. It featured an ADA accessible yellow submarine for kids.
1990: The Production Area built. It includes two greenhouses.
1993: The Rainforest Pyramid opens. It features more than 1,000 species of exotic plants and animals.
1994: Moody Gardens introduces an 1800s-style Paddlewheeler, the Colonel Paddlewheel Boat. The 800-passenger boat takes guests on year-round cruises in the Offatts Bayou.
1997: The Discovery Pyramid opens with its NASA-inspired exhibit, “Living in the Stars.”
1998: Moody Gardens Hotel and Spa opens.
1999: The Aquarium Pyramid opens. It features 1.5 million gallons of aquatic attractions and 10,000 marine animals.
2004: The renovated Moody Gardens Convention Center reopens. It showcases 60,000 square feet of exhibit hall space.
2008: The Moody Gardens Golf Course reopens after a large redesign.
2011: The Rainforest Pyramid and Palm Beach reopen after extensive enhancement projects. Palm Beach welcomes a water park. It features a lazy river, water slides, wave pool, and splash pad.
2015: Moody Garden Hotel and Spa undergoes a full renovation.
HISTORY OF GALVESTON
Beyond the Moody Gardens story, Galveston history is rich and impressive. Nearby attractions exist to tell the tale. In the 18th century, Galveston became a prominent North American port city.
Before that, the area had a strong Native American population.
The attraction Pirates! Legends of the Gulf Coast displays the life of Galveston’s first settler, pirate Jean Lafitte.
The Menard House, built in 1838, and the Samuel May Williams House, built in 1839, are among the island’s oldest homes.
Galveston has the state’s first opera house, hospital, golf course, post office, and more.
The film The Great Storm plays daily at nearby Pier 21. The storm of 1900 led to the building of the famous Seawall.
Head to the Bryan Museum for a closer look at Galveston’s history as well as the history of Texas. It’s one of the world’s largest collections relating to Texas and the American West.