By Tracey Minkin
August 23, 2019
Carr Mansion's palm-flanked porch
Courtesy Carr Mansion

There is a style and spirit to Galveston, the historic port city that has parked itself defiantly at the edge of Texas's Gulf coastline for nearly two centuries. In fact, when the hurricane called the "Great Galveston Storm of 1900" nearly wiped it away, Galveston replied by elevating its residential footprint 8 feet higher, rebuilding, and carrying on (and on again, after Hurricane Ike in 2008). To walk the elevated sidewalks of the elegant historic downtown and the narrow streets lined with Victorian and early 20th-century homes is to discover a distinctly American treasure.

Now, one of those gracious homes has emerged—thanks to a stunning restoration—as a luxury hideaway as alluring as the city itself. The Carr Mansion Bed & Breakfast, an 1866 Greek Revival mansion (with a Queen Anne addition), has housed millionaires and governors and now plays home to eight guest rooms reimagined with winning vision by interior designer Shannon Eddings.

the playful and welcoming downstairs
Courtesy Carr Mansion
eclectic verve in "The Newlyweds" balcony suite
Courtesy Carr Mansion

Employing eclectic pieces from period to mid-20th century, soothing millennial colorscapes, and perfect nautical touches, like a gallery wall of small vintage seascapes, Eddings feathers this historic nest with a right-now sensibility that provides reason enough to book passage to the Gulf. The haute hospitality at Carr—from golf carts and bicycles on loan, happy hours on the palm-flanked porch, and scratch breakfasts—as well as Galveston's 32 miles of tawny beaches, amplifies the reward. Rates start at $179;

Related: Tour This Galveston Beach House

Galveston Musts

Old School: Check every 1920s box at La King's Confectionery, including a saltwater taffy pull and the best root beer float in the world. At Jimmy's on the Pier, the fish is fresh, the blender drinks are fruity, and the steady Gulf breezes are life affirming.

New School: With its tall, arched windows, the Proletariat Gallery & Public House is tailor-made for art exhibits and espresso drinks. For cocktails, DTO (Daiquiri Time Out) is a just-scruffy-enough neighborhood bar with top-flight drinks. Hunt and gather for home, bedding, and boutique finds at Helen Stroud's divinely curated Olivine, and for cruise-line china and other salvage at Nautical Antiques & Tropical Décor.