The City of Galveston is located on the upper Texas coast of the Gulf of Mexico, occupying a 32-mile long island just two miles off the mainland. Galveston Island has survived days of prosperity and massive devastation to endear itself as one of Texas’ most beautiful resort destinations. Magnificent homes in historic neighborhoods tell the tale of yesterday's wealth in this port city that was all but devastated with the great storm of 1900. Today, a massive seawall 16 feet high and 17 feet wide continues to protect real estate and residents from wind and sea. The presence of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston enriches the community with higher-education resources but also ensures state-of-the-art healthcare resources. Unique institutions of higher education include the Texas Maritime Academy and the Marine Biomedical Institute. The Strand National Historic District provides the community with a cultural, social, and entertainment center.