Don‘t worry if you’ve never been to Houston before. You don’t have to pour over guidebooks or spend hours researching your visit online. CityPASS has collected and vetted the top must-see, must-do, blue-chip attractions for you. With Houston CityPASS, you’ll have your very own trip planner – to the area’s leading attractions – at your fingertips. And you’ll save up to 47% off admission, as well as skipping most ticket lines.
A $39 Houston CityPASS (value $73) is your express ticket to Space Center Houston, Downtown Aquarium, Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston Zoo and two option tickets– the first is your choice of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston or Children’s Museum of Houston and the other is your choice of George Ranch Historical Park or The Health Museum.
Ticket booklets also include detailed information on the participating attractions, including best times to visit, public transportation options, directions and maps. CityPASS ticket booklets are valid for nine consecutive days beginning with the first day of use. Available at citypass.com, any particiapting attraction and the Houston Visitor Information Center. Houston CityPASS: adults, $39; children (3-11), $29.
Discover Houston Tours
945 McKinney, Houston TX, 77002
Join Discover Houston Tours and find out why Texas means friendly.
Since 1988, more than 46,000 people from around the world have participated in over 3,500 tours that highlight history, art, architecture, shopping, dining, and more, all flavored with Houston’s unique multi-cultural spirit.
TunnelWalk & Rail Tours
Owner Sandra Lord is known as the “Tunnel Lady,” because she introduced the Downtown Houston Tunnel System to the world. In the Tunnel, the weather is always clear and cool and there are over 100 places to eat. The Tunnel is open to the public during business hours on weekdays. It is closed at night, on weekends, and national holidays.
To tour the Tunnel on your own, contact Sandra at 713/222-9255 or [email protected] and ask about purchasing a self-guiding TunnelWalk & Rail Tour book (suitable for adults) or a self-guiding Tunnel Loop Scavenger Hunt booklet (suitable for children & adults). Please allow two weeks for delivery.
Scare Yourself Silly with Discover Houston Tours’ Broomstick Adventures and Ghost Walks.
Broomstick Adventures are three-hour bus tours featuring haunted pubs, historic cemeteries, and more. They are available to the public on Friday and Saturday nights year round. Ghost Walks are guided night-time walking tours through Houston’s Downtown Historic District featuring urban legends and true tales of deceased Houstonians. They are offered to the public in October.
Downtown Holiday Walk & Rail Tours.
Let Sandra Claus and her elves lead you on a two-hour adventure through downtown parks and streets alight for the holidays. Highlights include the Houston Pavilions, an ice rink at Discovery Green, the city’s Tree of Lights, and a jolly ride on MetroRail through downtown. Everyone gets a free jingle bell. November 28-December 28.
Public Art Self-Guided Tour
Houston’s Downtown District has a remarkable array of works of art and historic artifacts, some by world-famous names, others by unknowns, but all worth seeing. This self-guided public art tour will help visitors and locals alike plan a route of the street sites and buildings where the artworks are displayed.
Railean Rum Distillery Tours
341 5th Street, San Leon TX, 77539
Tours are by reservations only, so call in advance to secure your FREE tasting. You will meet the founders of RAILEAN Distillers and learn how they got into the rum business and how RAILEAN rum is made. Coined the “original Texas rum,” this award-winning rum comes in both a White Rum and a Reserve XO Dark Rum.
Included is a discussion on sugarcane and the fermentation process, distillation theory and operation of the still, dark versus white rum, barrel aging and the bottling process. Most likely the still will be running and you will have a chance to meet the master distiller.
Each tasting offers a ½ ounce serving of each type of RAILEAN Rum and a sample of Mrs. Gatti’s Gourmet Texas Rum Cakes made with RAILEAN Rum.
Each bottle’s label contains a picture of the Monk Parrot, which hails from San Leon and naturally became the distillery’s mascot.
St. Martin’s Episcopal Church Tour
717 Sage Road, Houston TX, 770056
This awe-inspiring grand Gothic style church with 14 story twin steeples provides a visual reminder of St. Martin’s motto of “Reaching Up to God in Christ and Out to Others.” The exterior was inspired by St. Elisabeth’s Church in Marburg, Germany, the oldest Gothic church in Germany. The interior was modeled after Chartres Cathedral in France. Our bells were cast in London by the same company that manufactured Big Ben and the Liberty Bell. The Houston firms of Jackson & Ryan Architects and Tellepsen Builders LLP met with great skill the daunting challenge of designing and building a Middle Age Gothic style church using modern technology! It will interest those with an affinity for architecture, art, music, or religion.
The Church contains a one-of-a-kind 4,600 pipe symphonic organ made in the American Romantic Style by the Schoenstein Pipe Organ Company of San Francisco, as well as 36 custom designed, hand blown stained glass windows made for us by the Willet Studios in Philadelphia that depict key religious figures and tell over 200 stories from the Bible. Much of the beautiful white oak liturgical millwork made by the New Holland Church Furniture Company of New Holland, Pennsylvania was hand carved and includes a 20 x 50 foot choir screen.
Free New Church tours are offered on Sundays following the 11:00 a.m. service (at around 12:15 p.m.) and on Wednesdays and Fridays from 11:00 a.m. – 12 noon. Additionally, special thirty-minute organ concerts are included on select tour dates. The tour/concert program also begins at 11:00 a.m. and concludes at noon. The dates of the combined organ concert/church tours are published each fall and spring. The tour encompasses only the interior of the New Church and does not entail a great deal of walking. Reservations are not required; however, from time to time the schedule must be altered due to unforeseen events such as funerals or in the case of inclement weather. Therefore, it would be advisable to call the office at (713) 621-3040 before coming. St. Martin’s is located in the Galleria area at the corner of Sage Road and Woodway. For more information, please call our docent line at (713) 830-4117.
Texas Tour Connection
2303 Shane Road, Richmond TX, 77469
Texas Tour Connection provides complete tour services including group and private tours, step-on guides and airport meet and greet services. Their areas of tour emphasis are Texas History, Houston City, NASA, Galveston, Shopping, and Antiques. Tours to other Texas regions are also available with Texas Tour Connection.
NASA Tram Tour
1601 NASA Parkway, Houston TX, 77058
With this behind-the-scenes journey through NASA’s Johnson Space Center, you may visit the Historic Mission Control Center, the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility, or the current Mission Control Center. Before returning to Space Center Houston, you can visit the “all new” Saturn V Complex at Rocket Park. Occasionally, the tour may visit other facilities, such as the Sonny Carter Training Facility or Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory. You may even get to see astronauts training for upcoming missions.
*The buildings visited on the tram tour are real working areas of Johnson Space Center and are subject to close without notice.
Space Center Houston Level 9 Tour
1601 NASA Parkway, Houston TX, 77058
The Level Nine Tour takes you behind the scenes to see the real world of NASA up close and personal. On this four-hour tour, you will see things that only the astronauts see and eat what and where they eat. All your questions will be answered by a very knowledgeable tour guide as you discover the secrets that have been kept behind closed doors for years.
The Level Nine Tour is Monday-Friday and includes a free hot lunch in the astronauts’ cafeteria. The only security clearance is that you must be 14 years of age or older. Advance reservations must be made at least one day prior to visit. The tour begins promptly at 11:45 am.
Level 9 tour sites include:
- Building 3 – Astronaut Cafeteria (Enjoy a free lunch where the astronauts eat everyday.)
- Building 2 – Teague Auditorium (Artifacts)
- Building 7 – Space Suit Displays
- Building 9NE – Space Vehicle Mock-up Facility (Observation Catwalk)
- Building 30S – New Mission Control Center (Viewing Areas)
- Building 30N – Historic Mission Control Center
- Building 32 – Space Environment Simulation Lab (Vacuum Chamber)
- Sonny Carter Training Facility – Neutral Buoyancy Lab (Observation Catwalk) Building availability subject to change based on safety regulation and astronaut training schedules.
Armand Bayou Canoe Tours
8500 Bay Area Blvd., Pasadena TX, 77507
Experience a morning of education and adventure paddling canoes on a guided tour down the backwaters of Armand Bayou.
Meet at Bay Area Park for a leisurely morning of wildlife watching, wetland education, relaxation, and fun. Observe numerous birds, reptiles, deer, and other residents who are starting their day at the water’s edge. Travel approximately 2-3 miles round trip. Beginning and experienced canoers are welcomed. Knowledgeable guides will give a brief orientation. Life jackets are provided.
Tours are offered the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month, 8-11 a.m. Reservations are required.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Guided Tours
1001 Bissonnet, Houston TX, 77005
The MFAH offers a variety of adult-level, guided tours. Discover and learn from a selection of tour topics exploring the museum’s current exhibitions and spectacular collections.
Gallery Talks are offered daily. Check with lobby staff for times and topics. Special tours for families are offered Sundays at 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm.
Buffalo Bayou Boat Tours in Houston, TX
1113 Vine Street Suite 200, Buffalo Bayou Partnership, Vine Street Studios, Houston TX, 77002
The Buffalo Bayou Partnership offers canoe, kayak, and pontoon boat tours along Buffalo Bayou, near downtown Houston.
Buffalo Bayou Boat Cruises
These 30-minute bayou cruises are a great way to spend the afternoon with your family. Escape from the city and enjoy the cool breeze as you glide along the bayou’s waters. Look for graceful herons, jumping fish, and even the occasional alligator sunning on the bayou’s banks.
2nd Saturday Each Month
Sabine-to-Bagby Promenade, 10am-2pm
No Reservation Required (10-person capacity per trip)
Boat picks up at Sabine Street Bridge North Boat Landing
Waugh Bridge Bat Colony Pontoon Boat Tours
Visit Houston’s newly discovered Mexican Free-tailed Bat Colony! Guests on these tours will enjoy an amazing view of the bats’ dusk emergence from our boats on the bayou’s waters. Over 250,000 bats call Waugh Bridge home. You will spend the evening viewing and learning more about these magnificent flying mammals that share the city with us.
2nd Friday of Each Month, March-October
All bat tours leave from Allen’s Landing, located at the 1000 block of Commerce Street (at Main Street). Reservations and payment must be made in advance. Cancellations must take place 72 hours prior to the tour.
Destination Houston Tours
912 Prairie, Houston TX, 77002
Destination Houston offers tours of Houston. Guests will be treated to stories and anecdotes, history and culture. The team of seasoned tour guides will work with you to customize tours that are both distinctive and fun. Sample tours include:
- 60th floor Sky Lobby of Chase Tower
- River Oaks
- The Galleria
- Rice University campus
- Houston Museum District
- Hermann Park
- Texas Medical Center
- Houston Visitors Center
- Minute Maid Park
Tunnel Walk and Rail Tour
- Downtown Historic District
- JPMorgan Chase Tower with a westward view from the highest sky lobby in Texas
- Downtown Houston Tunnel System
- Visitors Center at City Hall
- Main Street Square
- Art Car Museum
- The Heights Playground
- Marmion Park
- 19th Street shops
Minute Maid Park Tours
501 Crawford, Houston TX, 77002
Minute Maid Park tours give guests a behind-the-scenes look at the home of the Houston Astros.
Located in downtown Houston at Union Station, Minute Maid Park was built to reflect Houston’s historical relationship with the railroads and features a vintage, full-sized locomotive that runs along 800 feet of track on the left-field wall. Minute Maid Park beautifully incorporates modern conveniences like a retractable roof, yet exudes a truly classic atmosphere complete with red brick masonry and natural grass. Fans may visit such places as:
- Historic Union Station
- Broadcasting booth or press boxes
- Astros’ or Visitors’ Dugout
- Luxury suites
Tours last approximately one hour. Fans should be prepared to climb stairs and ramps and to walk approximately one mile. However, all tours are wheelchair and stroller accessible.
Asian Heritage Tours
5855 Sovereign Drive, G #101, Houston TX, 77036
Asian Heritage Tours in Houston’s booming Asiatown in Southwest Houston highlight the best of Asian culture, including tea tasting, herbology, Chinese calligraphy, Dim Sum, shopping, and Buddhist temples.
Houston’s Asiatown began as a small Chinatown in downtown Houston with the opening of the store Quong Yick in 1926. At that time, fewer than 200 Chinese lived in Houston. Today, Chinatown has expanded to include other Asian cultures and has moved from downtown to southwest Houston. Asian Heritage Tours, which can be tailored to each group, can include any of the following:
Tea Tasting and Herbology
Sip freshly brewed tea while learning to brew the perfect cup. Distinguish among exotic varities of tea and discover the health benefits of herbal remedies.
The art of Chinese calligraphy is practiced by skilled artists and takes many years to perfect. Each guest is encouraged to try his/her hand at writing simple Chinese characters. Receive a souvenir of your name written in Chinese calligraphy.
Pick and choose from any piping hot appetizer-portion dishes presented on carts wheeled around the banquet hall, from turnip cakes and mango pudding to shrimp dumplings and spring rolls.
Shop at the largest indoor Asian shopping mall in the southwest, with nearly 30 stores among lily ponds and fountains. Hong Kong City Mall is the perfect place for unusual finds.
Guests will be enlightened on the practice and teachings of Buddhism at a traditional Buddhist temple. Guests may light incense and give offerings of paper money and fruits to their ancestors.
Shao Lin Kung-Fu
Guests may take an introductory class in Shao Lin Kung-Fu, which was first developed in the third century in Shao Lin temples in remote areas of China. As the style grew, other forms such as Tai Chi were absorbed and incorporated.
Galveston Island Tours
2328 Broadway Boulevard, Galveston TX, 77550
Galveston Island Tours provides custom tour packages in the Galveston area. Sample itineraries include:
Historic Homes Tour
Explore a time of Galveston’s glory, a time of incredible wealth and streets lined with mansions. Discover the richly restored architecture of a past era and learn how the charm and beauty of Galveston Island has endured the test of time. Tour includes admission to a Historic Mansion museum.
The Great 1900 Storm Tour
Learn how a city with the second highest income per capita in the U.S. went from riches to ruins in a single night. Explore how the determination of its survivors altered the face of nature by “raising the island” to protect themselves from future storms. Admission includes a 30 min. multi-slide presentation and a tour of a historic mansion museum that survived the storm.
Island Sightseeing Tour
Relax and enjoy a guided sightseeing tour around Galveston Island. Discover how one island encompasses two very different lifestyles. This delightful tour takes you from the east end of the island to “way out west.”
901 Bagby, Ste. 100, Houston TX, 77002
Houston Greeters is a free visitor service that offers a unique look at Houston through the eyes and hearts of its residents.
Local volunteers serving as Houston Greeters host individuals for two to four hour visits to one of the city’s local attractions or cultural destinations, such as the Museum District, Galveston beaches, or one of our historic neighborhoods.
Visitors may join with a Greeter for an activity such as jogging, golf, tennis, biking along the river, or lunch at a favorite ethnic restaurant.
Greeters also are available for conversations on topics relevant to Houston, such as the rodeo, the city’s history, or cultural life. Greeters speak many languages and welcome opportunities for visitors to practice their English, even if spoken with hesitancy.
The Houston Greeter service is free and uses public transportation. Greeters has bee partnered with METRO Rail, and free day passes are available to visitors when engaged in a Greeter activity. Both visitor and Greeter bear any individual costs (for admission fees, etc.). In some instances, the visitor may wish to travel by taxi or in his rental car. In that case, the Greeter will meet the visitor at the appointed location.
Individuals and travel groups of six or fewer people interested in visiting with a Houston Greeter may register online at www.houstongreeters.org, or by calling 713-473-3837. Once the visit is confirmed, arrangements will be made for the Greeter and visitor to meet.
Swamp and River Tours
813 Lutcher Drive, Orange TX, 77630
Adventures 2000 Plus offers exciting and educational outdoor fun in southeast Texas and Louisiana. Tours include alligator sightings, as well as visits to an old ship graveyard, swamp tunnel, and cannibalistic Indian site.
Tour hours are Monday-Friday 10:00 am, 12:00 noon, and 2:00 pm. Afternoon and weekend trips are also possible. Group discounts are available. Reservations are preferred, but walk-in tours are available.
Houston Historical Tours
Houston Historical Tours specializes in historic and ethnic tours of the greater Houston area, offering Asian, African-American, Hispanic, Jewish, multicultural, religious, and unique neighborhood tours. While most tours take three to four hours, they can be customized to be shorter or longer.
All Asian, African-American, Hispanic, and Jewish tours include visits and/or stops to historic religious institutions, walking tours of a cemetery, community centers, schools, old residences and mansions, restaurants, businesses, and more.
Religious tours take you to historical houses of worship for African-Americans, Buddhists, Catholics, Hindus, Hispanics, and Protestants. These tours take you to some of the oldest houses of worship in Houston.
The unique neighborhoods tours focus on the architecture and ethnic groups of Houston. A multicultural tour mixes any of the above elements together into a truly memorable experience.
Sam Houston Boat Tour
7300 Clinton Drive, Gate 8, M/V Sam Houston Pavilion, Houston TX, 77029
The Port of Houston Authority offers free leisurely 90-minute round-trip cruises along the Houston Ship Channel. Embarking from the port’s Sam Houston Pavilion, visiting sightseers can enjoy passing views of international cargo vessels, and operations at the port’s Turning Basin Terminal. Measuring 95 feet in length and 24 feet in width, the boat carries a maximum capacity of 100 passengers with air-conditioned lounge seating and additional standing room on the boat’s rear deck.
The M/V Sam Houston has been operating as the Port Authority’s public tour vessel since its inaugural voyage on July. 30, 1958. By 1979, a total of 1 million passengers had taken the tour.
The tour is free, and reservations are required in advance. Enhanced port security measures require photo identification for passengers ages 18 and older. Register online anytime, or call 713-670-2416, Monday through Thursday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Tours take place Tuesday through Sunday. There are no tours in September, as the boat is closed for maintenance.