Things to do in – 20 Best Places to Visit – Top Tourist Attractions
Houston, the largest city in Texas, houses multi-cultural, multi-religious, and multi-ethnic people. The large and growing population is the reason behind its wide diversity of entertainment, sports and games, plush restaurants, types of art, and culture to draw in local as well as international crowds. Museums, parks, galleries, operas or civic centers are impressive and appealing tourist spots. Annual festivals and events reflect Houston’s diverse culture and rich heritage. Although being the Energy Capital of the world, Houston is also known for its environmental consciousness. The presence of almost all major sports like tennis, bowling, and racing proves its multi-dimension.
Houston has a plethora of activities and interesting sights. The city has activities for outdoor enthusiasts, families, and art lovers.
If you’re looking for culture, dining, shopping, unique attractions, and fun experiences, Houston has plenty to offer. If you’re coming from out of town, Houston has a plethora of events and attractions to help you make the most of your stay.
If you already live in the city, there are some unique opportunities that are only available during the summer, as well as some hidden gems that you may not have discovered.
So, here’s a list of the top 15 things to do in Houston, Texas.
Space Center Houston
1601 Nasa Pkwy, Houston, TX 77030
The Space Center Houston, the official visitor center of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, is a must-see attraction in Houston. This is a massive complex where you can walk through the replica space shuttle Independence and the massive shuttle carrier aircraft it’s mounted on. Inside the visitor center, you can walk through a replica of America’s first space station, Skylab, and touch a moon rock. This is also where you can learn about NASA’s upcoming missions, such as Mars travel. If you come here around noon on a Friday, you might even get to meet an astronaut.
Houston Museum of Natural Science
5555 Hermann Park Dr, Houston, TX 77030
The Houston Museum of Natural Science is unique in that it allows you to see how much ground science covers. It progresses from dinosaur bones and fossils discovered underground millions of years ago to solar systems in the far reaches of space. The planetarium, for example, contributes to the museum’s popularity.
6200 Hermann Park Drive, Houston, TX 77030
The Houston Zoo, located on 55 acres in Hermann Park, is a popular destination for both locals and visitors. The zoo is home to over 6,000 exotic and native animals, as well as an education center and a children’s zoo. Feeding the giraffes, seeing marine life up close in the aquarium, and watching sea lions and otters play are just a few of the highlights.
The Houston Zoo is one of the city’s most popular attractions, attracting thousands of visitors each year. This zoo, which is home to over 6000 exotic species of animals, also has an information and education center for those that want to learn more about zoology and the zoo. Hand feed the giraffes, gaze at sea lions, and get up close and personal with the marine life.
1500 McKinney St, Houston, TX 77010
Discovery Green in Houston, Texas, offers a variety of exciting outdoor activities. This is a fantastic park that attracts both locals and visitors. The park features the Anheuser-Busch Stage, which hosts free concerts and films throughout the year, as well as the one-acre Kinder Lake and two casual restaurants. There is plenty of public art, including a 15-foot interactive water sculpture called the Mist Tree. There are also two dog runs, several playgrounds for children, a tree-shaded joggers trail, and a multitude of recreational lawn areas.
At Discovery Green in Houston, you can have the experience of a lifetime for free. You can have fun at Discovery Green whether you bring a picnic basket, a soccer ball, or just your clothes on your back. It’s nearly 12 acres in size, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to feel free.
Throughout the event, there will be live music performances, family-friendly craft activities, and Da de los Muertos crafting workshops offered up by the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art.
215 Kipp Ave, Kemah, TX 77565
The Kemah Boardwalk, which overlooks Galveston Bay, has themed restaurants, retail shops, and amusements for the whole family.
The restaurants are situated centrally of the Boardwalk. Kemah is home to some of the most well-known restaurant brands, including Landry’s Seafood House, The Cadillac Bar, and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Aquarium Restaurant offers guests a great view of our 50,000 gallon aquarium, which is teeming with marine life. The Flying Dutchman, Saltgrass Steakhouse, and Bayside Grill are also located on the Kemah Boardwalk.
This 35-acre carnival-like setting includes a 36-foot carousel, a 65-foot Ferris wheel, and rides such as the Aviator and the Boardwalk Tower. Don’t forget to check out the arcade and Midway games. The Boardwalk Beast, an adrenaline-pumping boat ride that takes passengers four miles into Galveston Bay at speeds of up to 40 mph, is also available for thrill seekers.
Children’s Museum of Houston
1500 Binz St, Houston, TX 77004
This vibrant, noisy environment is sure to put a smile on everyone’s face. Allow the kids to run wild and have a good time with all of the hands-on and interactive displays.
The How Does It Work exhibit is one of the main attractions. You and your children will learn how things work in everyday life here. The FlowWorks wet zone is also an intriguing place where you can turn water on and off, adjust the flow, and observe the results.
Send your kids to the SECRETS Spy Game exhibit if they’ve ever wanted to pretend to be secret agents. They will have to put their skills to the test in order to crack codes and find clues while competing against nefarious characters.
6001 Fannin St, Houston, TX 77030
Hermann Park, which spans over 400 acres, is an absolute marvel. It has a lot of wonderful features, such as beautiful installations and stunning flora and fauna.
It demonstrates how much learning can be done both inside and outside of Houston, Texas, and is located near the city’s museum district. Hermann Park has been meticulously designed, particularly in its gardens.
There’s also a fantastic sculpture display, including one honoring General Sam Houston. Take a ride on the Hermann Park railroad or a ride on one of the pedal boats on a nice day.
The Menil Collection
1533 Sul Ross St, Houston, TX 77006
The Menil Collection is a free-admission Houston museum that displays the extensive art collections of John and Dominique de Menil, which were acquired as a result of their intellectual pursuits throughout the mid-twentieth century. The collection now includes more than 17,000 works of art from cultures all over the world, dating from the ancient era to the present day.
Collections include works from the Americas, Africa, and the Pacific Islands, as well as ancient Byzantine works and modern and contemporary Western art and Surrealist works. With the exception of major national holidays, the museum is open to the general public Wednesdays thru Sundays during the afternoon or evening hours. Parking is free in the museum’s adjacent parking lot, with overflow street parking accessible nearby.
Buffalo Bayou Park
1800 Allen Pkwy &, Memorial Dr, Houston, TX 77019
Buffalo Bayou Park is a lovely 160-acre green space that runs through the city and features the slow-moving waters of Buffalo Bayou as its focal point. This urban park features miles of walking and biking trails, a dog park, sculptures, and plenty of shady spots to unwind.
Bayou Place and Hermann Park have lots of tourist attractions and recreation facilities. Angelika Film Center upholds different art, foreign and independent films. There are around 337 beautiful parks in Houston which include Tranquility Park, Sam Houston Park, Discovery Green, Terry Hershey Park and likewise. Space Center displays moon rocks and other important NASA presentations and space flight programs. Tourists can enjoy nature trails – forest, ponds, wetlands, and meadow habitats in Houston Arboretum and Nature Center.
The Cistern, an old underground drinking-water reservoir from 1926 that now hosts changing art installations, is a particularly unique feature of Buffalo Bayou Park. Visitors can now take a short guided tour.
The park also has a large colony of Mexican free-tailed bats that live under the Waugh Drive Bridge. Every evening at sunset, approximately 250,000 of them fly out from the bridge.
410 Bagby St, Houston, TX 77002
Together with the zoo, the Downtown Aquarium in Houston is a must-see for animal lovers. This one is more geared toward aquatic types, but it’s just as energizing. If you’re in downtown Houston and would like to see what superb creatures from deep beneath the surface are really like, come here.
These fish and other sea creatures are housed in nearly 500,000 gallons of water. Exhibits like “Shipwreck” and “Underwater Rig” are fantastic because they feel so authentic. You can also get up close and personal with some of the animals, including stingrays.
Experience the Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park
2800 Post Oak Blvd, Houston, TX 77056
The Waterwall Park is one of Houston’s most recognizable landmarks, located directly adjacent to Williams Tower in the city’s Uptown District. The water wall fountain was built in 1983 as part of the project of the Transco Tower complex, which was designed by Philip Johnson and John Burgee Architects. It has appeared in numerous of feature movies and television series, and it gained national attention for its use during the Republican National Convention in 1992.
It is now one of Houston’s most photographed attractions, with a multi-story fountain that stands 64 feet tall. The fountain is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., pumping over 78,500 gallons every three hours. The fountain, colloquially known as “The Waterwall,” is a popular public gathering place for picnics, concerts, and other community special events.
Located downtown, the Theatre District comprises performance halls like Houston Grand Opera, The Alley Theatre, Houston Symphony Orchestra, which are popular hubs for exhibitions, concerts, shows, and other similar interests.
Art Car Museum
140 Heights Blvd, Houston, TX 77007
The Art Car Museum is one of the most entertaining places to visit in Houston for car enthusiasts. This location, however, is not just for car enthusiasts. It’s also something you should do if you enjoy creative expression. Cars at the Art Car Museum are given a new lease on life with dazzling colors and designs.
By the time you’re done touring this museum, you should have a fresh perspective on both art and automobiles. The Art Car Museum focuses on the type of inspiration that has helped Houston become one of the most popular vacation destinations in the United States.
The museum is always free and open to the public in the afternoons on Wednesdays through Sundays. Because of the museum’s small size, visitors with large groups should call ahead to confirm arrangements and viewing availability.
Explore Houston Museum District
With 19 museums located in this beautiful area of downtown Houston, the Museum District is one of the city’s most popular cultural attractions. Eleven of these are available for free to the general public. To name a few, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Children’s Museum of Houston, the Menil Collection, the Holocaust Museum, and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. The lovely Hermann Park, which includes the Houston Zoo and the Miller Outdoor Theatre, is also in this area.
The Museum District is well-admired for The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Museum of Natural Sciences, Contemporary Arts Museum, and Houston Zoo. In close proximity to this district, there are located The Menil Collection, Rothko Chapel and Byzantine Fresco Chapel Museum. Aurora Picture Show or Bayou Bend depicts the city’s environment-friendliness.
Holocaust Museum Houston
5401 Caroline St. Houston, TX 77004
The Holocaust Museum Houston tells the Holocaust’s story, honors the victims and survivors, and informs us all of the dangers of prejudice, hatred, and apathy. View a World War II Holocaust railcar of the same type that transported millions to their deaths, read personal notes from the victims, and watch footage from the time.
These exhibits help to emphasize that, beyond the astounding statistics, there were actual people who were victims of the Holocaust’s industrialized slaughter. The architecture of the building itself adds to your experience here, and there are numerous special events and educational programs held throughout the year. Visit the Holocaust Museum Houston to gain a better understanding of the tragedy and to be reminded of the importance of resisting the worst aspects of humanity.
The Orange Show
Houston’s Center for Visionary Art in the East End has a maze-like design with designs by Jeff McKissack at their monument and hosts shows on occasion. It’s unquestionably one of Houston’s most unique attractions. Smither Park and the Beer Can House are also nearby.
Livestock Show and Rodeo
The largest Livestock Show and Rodeo of the world happen in Houston from late February to early March. Other annual events that are world-famous and popular are Pride Parade, Greek Festival, Art Car Parade, and Bayou City Art Festival.
Restaurants in Houston
The restaurants in Houston offer myriad, delicious, and excellent food for their diners. Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Cascadas, Le Mistral, and Neo Houston, proffer a wide variety ranging from seafood to barbecue. Besides food, Houston luxury hotels like Magnolia or Icon provide excellent quality services to their valued customers. Nightlife in Houston is bright and vibrant in the best bars and clubs, like Brazil, Bronx Bar or CatBirds.
Sports and events in Houston take place in Hofheinz Pavilion, Reliant Astrodome, Reliant Stadium, Reliant Arena, Rice Stadium and Robertson Stadium. The Grand Prix, the Super Bowl, LPGA Tour Championship are worth seeing!