Houston is a vibrant and diverse city that offers a wealth of cultural and recreational activities for visitors. From the iconic Space Center Houston to the city’s renowned restaurants, shopping, and attractions, there is something for everyone. With lush green spaces, a vibrant bayou, and plenty of sports games and events to check out, such as the Livestock Show and Rodeo, visitors will be sure to find plenty to do in Houston. Come explore the fourth largest city in the United States and uncover its many charms and surprises!
Houston is an ideal destination for a weekend getaway, with direct flights from all over North America. A visit to Houston can easily be combined with a trip to nearby Galveston, just an hour away, for a mix of big city and island life. Houston has many attractions to offer, ranging from museums, to parks and gardens, to shopping and dining. For a comprehensive look at all the things to do in the city, check out our list of the top attractions in Houston. With so much to see and do, Houston is a great choice for a weekend getaway.
1.Go to Space Center Houston.
Space Center Houston is an essential attraction in Houston and the official visitor center of NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Visitors can explore the massive complex and its many offerings, including a full-size replica of the space shuttle Independence mounted atop the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. You can also take a tour of the replica of America’s first space station, Skylab, and even touch a rock from the moon. You can also learn about NASA’s upcoming missions, including travel to Mars. On Fridays around noon, you can even meet an astronaut in person. Space Center Houston is a must-see for anyone interested in space exploration.
The Johnson Space Center is a must-see for anyone visiting the area. You can get to it from the visitor center by taking an open-air tram tour. This tour will take you to Mission Control, where you can see where astronauts train for space missions, as well as Rocket Park where you can see actual rockets on display. If you’d like to only visit the Rocket Park, you can do so for free. Just drive to the guarded gate, inform them that you’d like to visit, and they will let you in. Visiting this incredible space center is an experience you won’t forget.
For a truly unique experience, signing up for a Level 9 Tour at the Johnson Space Center is a must. This exclusive tour offers a behind-the-scenes look at areas not available on regular tours, such as the Buoyancy Lab, the ISS Mission Control, and simulation labs, and you may even have the chance to meet an astronaut. This VIP tour lasts four to five hours and tickets are limited to 12 per day. With your ticket, you also get free access to Space Center Houston, where you can explore to your heart’s content. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to explore the world of space exploration!
2.Investigate the Museum District
The Museum District in Houston is a great place for anyone looking to explore culture and history. With 19 museums ranging from the Museum of Fine Arts Houston to the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, there is something for everyone. Even better, eleven of these museums are free to the public. In addition to the museums, the area is home to Hermann Park, with the Houston Zoo and Miller Outdoor Theatre. It is truly a hidden gem in the city of Houston.
The Houston Museum District has many museums to explore, and many of them are within easy walking distance of each other. The Menil and the Rothko Chapel are a little further out, but still within reach. Several of the museums are even free of charge, such as the Menil Collection, Rothko Chapel, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Lawndale Art Center, Houston Museum of African American Culture, Moody Center for the Arts, and the Houston Center for photography. There is something for everyone in the Houston Museum District, and it is well worth a visit.
3. The Museum of Fine Arts
The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston is one of the most prestigious museums of its kind in the United States. Its expansive and highly impressive collection of over 63,000 pieces provide visitors with the opportunity to witness art from all over the world in one place. The museum is conveniently connected by the Wilson Tunnel between the two structures, the Audrey Jones Beck building and the Caroline Wiess Law Building. No matter which building you choose to explore, you’re sure to be impressed by the wide selection of fine art pieces on display.
The museum is an impressive collection of French and Italian Impressionist Renaissance paintings, fine sculptures, and European and American decorative arts. It is also home to an amazing selection of pre-Colombian and African items made of gold. These pieces are especially noteworthy and add an extra layer of beauty and history to the museum’s already impressive offerings. A visit to the museum is a must for anyone interested in art, culture, or history.
If you’re looking for an adventure that allows you to explore at your own pace, then this is the place for you! Here you will find plenty of activities, sights and attractions to keep you entertained and engaged. From historical sites, to stunning landscapes and vibrant cultures, there’s something for everyone. However, if it all seems a bit too much for you to take in, then you should definitely consider signing up for a tour. Tours are a great way to see the highlights of a place, and you’ll get the opportunity to learn from experienced guides who know all the best spots!
4. Houston Museum of Natural Science
The Houston Museum of Natural Science is a must-see for any visitor to the city. With a wide range of permanent and temporary exhibits, the museum is sure to provide an engaging and educational experience for all ages. From dinosaurs and gems to space exploration and mummies, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Visitors can also take advantage of the museum’s many interactive activities and special programs. Whether you’re a local or just visiting, the Houston Museum of Natural Science is a great place to explore and learn.
The Hall of Paleontology is a must-see during any visit. You’ll be amazed by the complete dinosaur skeletons on display. For a living experience, the Cockrell Butterfly Conservatory is a great place to visit. You’ll be surrounded by nearly 1,500 of these gentle butterflies fluttering around in the humid air. Who knows, one might even land on you! If you’re lucky enough, you’ll be able to observe the butterflies up close and personal. Don’t miss out on this unique experience!
If you’re looking to learn more about the night skies over Houston, a visit to the Planetarium is the perfect place to start. The interactive shows will give you an up-close look at the stars, planets and constellations above. After your astronomical education, you can relax and take in a giant screen movie at the Wortham Giant Screen Theater. With the huge format, you’ll feel like you’re part of the action, and with the state-of-the-art sound system, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the sights and sounds. Whether you’re looking to learn or just to be entertained, the Planetarium and the Wortham Giant Screen Theater have something for everyone.
5.Check out the Houston Zoo
The Houston Zoo is a must-see destination for anyone visiting the city. Located on 55 acres in Hermann Park, it is home to more than 6,000 exotic and indigenous animals, including giraffes, sea lions, otters, and much more. Visitors can get up close to marine life in the aquarium, feed the giraffes, and watch sea lions and otters play in their enclosures. The zoo also boasts an education center and children’s zoo, making it a great family-friendly outing. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, the Houston Zoo is a great place to spend the day.
Hermann Park offers a wide range of attractions for all to enjoy! From the Houston Museum of Natural Science to the Miller Outdoor Theatre, there’s something for everyone to explore. Those looking for a peaceful retreat can find solace in the Japanese Garden, or explore the beauty of the McGovern Centennial Garden. Plus, for a unique experience, take a paddle boat trip on McGovern Lake, or take a relaxing stroll along the park’s walking trails. With all the attractions Hermann Park has to offer, there’s something for everyone to enjoy!
6. The Menil Collection
The Menil Collection building is a work of art in and of itself. Designed by renowned architect Renzo Piano, the building is filled with natural light, thanks to its massive glass windows that look out onto the immaculate grounds. The building’s design allows for the art pieces to be showcased in many of the rooms using natural light, creating a unique atmosphere that is inviting and peaceful. It is one of the few art museums in the world to have this feature, making it a truly special place to visit.
The Menil Collection is renowned for its vast collection of Max Ernst pieces, the largest in the world. It also features a variety of other works from renowned masters, such as those in the Byzantine, Abstract, and Surrealism themes. Each of these works is carefully displayed in dedicated display rooms to create an immersive experience for visitors. The Menil Collection also features contemporary works of art, allowing visitors to explore the development of art throughout history. The Menil Collection is truly a unique and captivating experience.
The Menil Collection is a great place to explore and appreciate art. If the weather is not too hot, taking some time to wander around the campus is well worth it. One of the most captivating places to visit is the Rothko Chapel, with its mesmerizing mural canvases. It’s a great place to take a moment to appreciate art and ponder the universe. Visitors can also explore the many other galleries, exhibitions and grounds of the Menil Collection.
7.Bring the children to the Houston Children’s Museum
The Houston Children’s Museum is a great place to bring the family and beat the summer heat. There’s something for everyone at the museum, from young toddlers to adults. The museum has a wide variety of interactive and hands-on displays that are sure to keep the kids entertained. From robotics to art, there is something to do for everyone. The colorful, noisy atmosphere of the museum is sure to put a smile on everyone’s face. So if you’re looking for a fun and educational day out, the Houston Children’s Museum is the place to be.
The How Does it Work exhibit is one of the major highlights of the museum, where visitors and their kids can explore and learn about how everyday objects work. The FlowWorks wet zone is also an exciting area, where visitors can experiment with different water flow levels and observe their effects. Kids and adults alike can have fun and learn at the same time, making it a great and educational experience for everyone.
If your kids want to feel like secret agents, the SECRETS Spy Game exhibit is the perfect place for them! They can test their skills to find clues, crack codes and compete against other characters. With an array of puzzles, props and interactive activities, this exhibit will transport your kids into a world of espionage and intrigue. They will have a blast competing against villains and uncovering hidden secrets, while developing their problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
8.Explore Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park
The Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park is an impressive sight to behold. Its main feature is a 64-foot tall, semi-circular sculptural fountain with sheets of water cascading over large concrete walls and sculptures. The arch that fronts the structure is an impressive 46,500 square feet of water, providing a mesmerizing sight for visitors. It is a popular tourist attraction in Houston and is definitely worth seeing in person.
The McGovern Centennial Gardens in Uptown Houston is an incredible attraction that simply cannot be captured with a photo. This 2.77-acre park is home to dozens of lush live oaks that create a stunningly beautiful environment. In addition, the park also boasts various sculptures, interactive fountains, and winding paths that make it a truly unique and memorable experience. From its tranquil atmosphere to its vibrant foliage, this park is a must-see for anyone looking for a tranquil escape. Photos do not do this attraction justice and it is something that needs to be seen to truly be appreciated.
9.The National Museum of Burial Practices
The National Museum of Funeral History in Houston is surprisingly popular, despite its somewhat strange subject matter. Visitors to the museum can explore the history of funerals and mourning customs, as well as learn about the funeral industry and its impact on society. The museum also includes an impressive collection of artifacts, ranging from historical funeral carriages to modern burial caskets. This unique museum offers a fun and interesting look into a topic that is often overlooked, making it a great place to learn and enjoy.
The National Museum of Funeral History is an astonishing place. Inside its 30,500-square-foot building, visitors can explore a wide range of displays, including antique funeral hearses, exhibits on the embalming process, coffins from around the world, and information on the history of presidential funerals. There are even artifacts from as far away as Ghana. No matter your interest in death, there’s something here to fascinate and inform you.
10.Explore the street art of Houston
Houston is a great city for street art and graffiti, often overlooked by tourists, but it is truly outstanding. Many of the top names in street art throughout the US and worldwide have installations in Houston, such as COPE2 and Houston’s own Gonzo247. This street art can be found throughout the city and is an excellent way to explore the city and get a glimpse of its vibrant art culture.
Gonzo247 is the unofficial curator of Houston’s vibrant street art scene. His works are highly recognizable and adorn the walls of many establishments throughout the city. His most famous works are the giant “Houston is Inspired” mural located at the corner of Travis and Preston Streets and the smaller “Houston” mural located at Leeland and St. Emanuel Streets. Seeing these murals is an experience not to be missed and is definitely worth taking the time to drive around and see.
The vibrant city of Houston is home to some of the most impressive and captivating street art installations in the world. These works of art can be found scattered along the walls of one- and two-story buildings off Leeland Street at Chartres Street and St. Emanuel Street, as well as all over the city. From murals to graffiti and everything in between, these installations create a unique and colorful atmosphere that is sure to capture the attention of both locals and visitors alike.
11. Holocaust Museum Houston
The Holocaust Museum is a powerful reminder of the atrocities that man can inflict on one another. Since its opening in 1996, the Holocaust Museum has been a place of contemplation, allowing visitors to gain a better understanding of the horror of the WWII Holocaust. It features exhibits and artifacts from the period, along with stories and accounts from survivors. A visit to the museum is an important reminder of the terrible consequences of hatred and prejudice, and a reminder of the need to ensure such tragedies never happen again.
In 2019, the Holocaust Museum Houston underwent a massive expansion and reopened with a grand total of 57,000 square feet, twice the size of its previous iteration. This expansion included the addition of a 187-seat indoor theater, a 175-seat outdoor amphitheater, and a café. This massive 30-million-dollar investment in the museum allowed it to become one of the most comprehensive Holocaust memorials in the United States, providing visitors with an opportunity to learn and commemorate the history of the Holocaust in a meaningful way.
The museum is a special place that serves to remember the horrors of the Holocaust, while also celebrating the strength, bravery and perseverance of the survivors. Through its four galleries, visitors are able to explore the history of the Holocaust and its survivors through a variety of thought-provoking and engaging exhibits. Not only does the museum include an original railcar used in the transport of victims and a Dutch fishing boat used to shuttle escapees, but it also has two additional galleries that are home to a regular rotation of temporary exhibits. This allows visitors to gain a deeper understanding of the events that occurred and how they impacted individuals and communities.
12.Explore Buffalo Bayou Park by foot, bike
Buffalo Bayou Park is a stunning 160-acre green space in the heart of the city. Featuring the slow-moving waters of Buffalo Bayou as its centerpiece, this urban park is an idyllic escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Numerous trails for biking and walking make the perfect way to explore the park, while the dog park is ideal for furry friends. Plus, the park has a variety of sculptures, as well as plenty of shady areas for relaxation. Buffalo Bayou Park is a must-visit for anyone looking for a peaceful respite in the city.
Houston is a great city for outdoor activities and exploring the outdoors. If you’re looking for a fun and unique way to experience the city, why not rent a kayak, canoe, or stand up paddleboard and take a paddle along the bayou? Rentals are available at the park, and there are various tours available ranging from one to three hours. For those looking for a cycling experience, guided cycling tours are also available from outfitters in the city. Get out and explore Houston’s outdoors and have a great time!
The Cistern in Buffalo Bayou Park is a remarkable site that is not to be missed. Built in 1926, it is an underground drinking-water reservoir that now serves as a unique art gallery. Visitors can take a guided tour to explore the space, which showcases changing art installations. It is a great opportunity to experience something truly unique and to admire the artworks on display. The Cistern is an integral part of the park and a must-see for all visitors.
13.The museum that is dedicated
The Health Museum in Houston is an innovative place to visit if you’re looking to get back on track with your health and wellness journey. You can literally step inside your own body and learn about the inner workings of the human body and how to take better care of it. The museum also has a variety of interactive displays and activities that are great for all ages, making it a great place to bring the whole family for a fun and educational experience. If you’ve been overindulging in the great food of Texas and feel like your jeans are a bit too tight, visiting the Health Museum is the perfect way to get back on track.
Visiting Texas is a blast for the whole family, especially when you get to explore some of the unique attractions such as a 10 foot-high brain, 12-foot-high beating heart and a giant eyeball! Even better, you can use the Calorie Crank to see how many calories you’ve been consuming at all the delicious BBQ stands throughout the state. It’s a great way to learn about anatomy and nutrition at the same time!
14.Art Car Museum
The Art Car Museum is a great place to check out if you’re not a fan of Impressionists or Old Masters art. This museum features cars of all sizes and shapes that have been transformed into art pieces. Whether you’re into classic cars, race cars, or just the plain quirky-looking ones, you’ll find something that will catch your attention at the Art Car Museum. Along with the cars, there is also a display wall of artworks that feature cars as their subject. So, if you’re into art that’s a bit out of the ordinary, the Art Car Museum will definitely be worth your time.
The Art Car Museum, popularly known as the Garage Mahal in Houston, has been a well-known attraction since it first opened in 1998. Visitors are in for a surprise every time they visit, as the cars and exhibits are constantly changing, thanks to the creative minds of the artists who come up with unique statements and messages through their art. So if you are ever in Houston, make sure to visit the Art Car Museum and discover what the creative minds of these artists have in store for you.
15.Peruse the antique stores located on 19th Street in The Heights.
If you’re looking for a unique shopping experience filled with vintage clothing, retro décor, and old collectibles, 19th Street in The Heights is the place to be. This funky area is lined with shops offering a wide variety of items, including evening gowns, casual clothing, jewelry, footwear, household gadgets and more! No matter what you’re looking for, you’re sure to find something unique and interesting on 19th Street. So if you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind shopping experience, head to The Heights for a day of exploration and discovery!
Shopping for gifts in a vintage store can be an enjoyable and unique experience. Many stores in this area offer a variety of items, ranging from classic vintage items to newer pieces. Not only can you find some unique and special gifts, but you can also take in the atmosphere of the store and see some of the truly unique items that are available. Even if you don’t buy anything, you can still have a great time exploring the wide range of items available. Whether you’re looking for a special gift or just a fun day out, vintage stores are a great option.