Hendley Market offers antiques, such as books and medical equipment, but the real draw is the store’s large selection of nativities and santons. Shoppers will find over 200 nativities from far away places like Bethlehem and Germany. The santons, or small collectible figurines often associated with religious themes, come mostly from Mexico. Located in the 1891 Van Alstyne House, The Gingerbread House features 14 different rooms adorned with eye-catching antiques. Items include china, crystal, furniture, and jewelry, as well as Victorian dolls and hats. Historic cities always seem to have a local artist who dedicates time and energy to capturing the spirit of the city’s past. Pam Heidt specializes in Galveston’s rich Victorian history, and J. Bangle Gallery specializes in her artwork. Heidt’s oils and watercolors are not all that shoppers find, however. The gallery also offers frames and a respectable collection of coins and other antiques.
Wherever you travel, it’s always interesting to see what regional artists are producing. Buchanan Gallery is your best bet for a wide range of contemporary art, including paintings, sculptures, and a variety of other media. A traditional beach-town souvenir shop, Lafitte’s Beat presents over 2,500 square feet of gift items, beachwear, and nautical-inspired merchandise. In the early 1800s, the store remains rooted in its coastal surroundings. Shells and local coral are popular souvenirs, but shoppers can also find ship’s wheels and lamps. Of course, as in most stores of its kind, you can also buy shot glasses, children’s toys, and salt and pepper shakers. During the 1800s and early 1900s, The Strand Historic District was the most affluent area of town and still features many of the city’s upscale establishments. Visitors can choose from one of over 100 shops and restaurants to pass their time, or take a horse-drawn carriage ride to enjoy the romantic charm of the neighborhood.