A city within a city, Jamaica Beach is located on the West End of Galveston Island immediately west of Galveston Island State Park. Jamaica Beach offers a wide variety of lifestyles with beach, bay, canal, wetland, and dry-lot homes and homesites available.
Jamaica Beach was developed as a weekend resort community by business partners and brothers Welcome and Jack Wilson, Johnny Goyen, Earl Galceran, Bill Sherrill, and Jack Valenti. The neighborhood broke ground in the late 1950s on 320 acres originally owned by the Moody family and rumored to have been a burial ground of the Karankawa Indians.
Jamaica Beach began to attract full-time home owners in the 1970s, and in 1975, the developers incorporated Jamaica Beach and separated it from the City of Galveston. Today, a majority of the homes are still second or vacation homes but more full-time home owners live in Jamaica Beach than any other location on the West End.
Jamaica Beach has a mayor-city council form of government, its own police and a volunteer fire department. The neighborhood established a park in 1989 that is fully-equipped with a playground, basketball court, and picnic area as well as a pavilion with a kitchen. There is also a public boat ramp providing access to the canals and Galveston Bay.