Half the fun of a visit to Galveston (the other half being the beach, of course) is admiring all the grand and glorious turn-of-the-century homes in the island’s historic neighborhoods. A popular annual tour takes architecture and design enthusiasts inside several prominent properties once a year, and it’s coming.

Visiting Galveston’s Historic Homeswhich returns for its 48th year, kicks off May 7-8, with an encore weekend May 14-15.

In addition to the self-guided tour of these private homes, there are a host of other events, including happy hours and walking tours, and Plein Air Southwest, a contest, show and sale featuring over 40 artists.

The home tour includes nine historic private residences, dating from 1866 to 1931. Featuring a range of architectural styles, these homes showcase the beauty of island living and offer insight into their owner’s approach to renovation and preservation.

Among them are the blue shutters Oscar and Mary Walker House, built in 1896. Its double galleries and side hall plan are typical of homes of the period. the Stubbs Garrigan Bungalow, located on Avenue P and built in 1922 for cotton clerk Sidney Stubbs, sports a lovely recessed porch. the Dr. Albert and Willie Dean Singleton House on Broadway was designed by Houston architect Cameron Fairchild, one of several he designed for Galveston’s elite.

A complete list of all houses on tour is here.

Tours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 7, 8, 14, and 15. Tickets are $40 and are available online or on the day at one of the tour houses.

Meanwhile, tickets and reservations for special events, such as the History On Tap dinner at 1838 Menard House, or one of the walking tours, must be purchased separately.

All events provide experiences to walk in the footsteps of Galveston’s historic past and should be fun for all ages.