Please excuse the over-the-top passion in this love letter. I’m a local, a writer, and in-love with this island. This little sandbar has given so much to our family—and gushy praise is one way to celebrate it.

Many years ago, my parents were Texas transplants (young teachers who were called to teach at St. John’s Lutheran on 39th & Avenue L). Despite their midwestern and southwestern roots, they chose to raise their kids (my brother and me) in Galveston. Our home was on the west end of the island and our neighbors were sixth-generation BOIs (Born On Island). 

I learned island hospitality by working everywhere in Galveston. The seasonal crowds offered fantastic job opportunities for anyone willing to wait tables, give tours, or operate rides. From those years, I learned the deep gratification that comes with introducing newcomers to our island. As the locals will say, the sand was between my toes and I would call these beaches home forever.

After college in Nebraska, I fell in love again, this time with my husband, Mike. Since 1997, when we were engaged at our favorite island church, we have loved this town. Mike has found his own hobbies: eating just-caught seafood, boating and kayaking, lots of fishing, seashell hunting, Mardi Gras partying, historical-home touring, and learning more about our favorite place. 

As our family grew, our kids built their own relationship with the island. Our oldest daughter loves fishing. Our oldest son runs for miles on the beach. Our youngest daughter loves shopping on the Strand. Our youngest son loves the tourist attractions. 

In 2012, we had the chance to buy our own piece of the island in our favorite neighborhood, Pirates Beach. Best of Times Beach House became the backdrop of hundreds of our family traditions and memories. Our favorite, though? The opportunity to introduce visitors to this special home. 

For ten years, we’ve hosted thousands of guests at Best of Times. Sharing hospitality with island visitors has truly been a family effort—we’ve built furniture and decks, painted everything, scouted for beachy décor, made friends with summer guests, and welcomed back the same families year after year. Every season has been a joy and a privilege.

As our kids get older, Mike and I have prayed that the next chapter of our lives would include even more chances to share Galveston with guests. And so, when the house across the street from Best of Times went on the market, we prayed this could be another home for our family to share with visitors. 

Actually, that dream started 8 years ago, when we watched the construction of Best of Tides from the front windows of Best of Times. The original owners carefully constructed this house to be a safe haven with breathtaking ocean views. This new home was different enough from Best of Times it could offer something unique to our return guests—but also to give them the same family-friendly beaches they had grown to love. And with the right-across-the-street nearness, the location was too good to pass up.

We can’t wait for you to experience Best of Tides. As our family has dreamed and worked, we’ve grown more and more excited about how you’ll love this new guest house. 

Please stay with us. Check out your favorite neighborhood from vantage point of one of Pirate’s youngest and tallest homes. And, if you bringing a lot of your family, consider spreading out across both Best of Times and Best of Tides.

Friends -we’re so glad you continue to be a part of our Galveston story. Our family is so honored to be part of your Galveston story, too.  

May the island sun always be on your face, and the Gulf breeze on your back.

Love, The Hergenraders

To stay at Best of Times or Best of Tides (or both at the same time), visit

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