I've been going to Galveston for about 20 years, and the Seawall has always just been a part of the trip. The beaches pre-Ike weren't very clean or like other beaches further down the coast like Port Aransas or South Padre Island. The city has done a great job of sand replenishment after Ike, and they're nice family beaches again. We went down the week of July 4th, and had no problems parking along the wall. There are chair/umbrella rentals, and it was a nice few days at the beach.
The Seawall/sidewalk itself has changed little in the last 20 years. They do minor repairs, and it looks like they're doing more now that Ike beat it up, but it's still a bumpy ride on a bike.
If I had a recommendation though, they need to implode the old Flagship Hotel. It was an eyesore before Ike, and now it looks like it went 7 rounds with Oscar de la Hoya (and didn't win). It would open up another block of beaches for families to enjoy.
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