Bolivar Peninsula is a narrow barrier island which stretches twenty-seven miles along the Texas Gulf Coast in Galveston County. The peninsula was named for Simón Bolívar. Bolivar Peninsula is only accessible from the Texas mainland, through southern Chambers County. Atakapa, Orcoquisa,and Karankawa Indians occupied parts of the peninsula during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The peninsual was explored in 1815, and by 1816 served as a “highway” for slave trade between Galveston and Louisiana. By 1838, permanent settlers had arrived, and by 1885, the peninsula’s population had grown to approximately 500. The area was once an important agricultural and ranching area, often called the “breadbasket of Galveston” and the “watermelon capital” of Texas.

Towns on the peninsula include:

  • Crystal Beach (the only incorporated community)
  • Caplen
  • Gilchrist
  • Port Bolivar
  • High Island