Houston is the fourth-largest city in the United States. The city is a dynamic and diverse metropolis, known for its rich culture and vibrant arts scene. Nestled in the heart of Texas, Houston offers a unique blend of modern sophistication and Southern charm.
10 BEST Things To Do In Houston
In this guide, we’ll explore the 10 best things to do in Houston, showcasing the city’s top attractions that capture the essence of its spirit. From exploring the iconic Space Center Houston to indulging in the eclectic culinary scene, this list will guide you through the must-see and must-experience activities that make Houston a standout destination in the Lone Star State. So, Let’s go!
1. Go On A Space Adventure At Space Center Houston
Space Center Houston, NASA’s Johnson Space Center’s main visitor spot, is a must-see spot in Houston. You have a chance to talk with true space travellers and learn about their space experiences through presentations. In the visitor center, you can go inside a copy of America’s first space station called Skylab.
Moreover, you can also touch a rock from the moon. This is also where you learn about NASA’s upcoming trips, like going to Mars. If you come here on a Friday at noon, you might even see an astronaut.
To have something very special, join a Level 9 Tour and get a close-up view at Johnson Space Center. You can visit the Buoyancy Lab, the ISS Mission Control, and simulation rooms on tours.
These areas are usually not allowed but you might see an astronaut too. This is a special experience and only 12 tickets are sold each day for this limited, four or five-hour VIP trip. Tours start at the Space Center Houston. You can check it out if you buy this ticket.
2. Take a walk through Hermann Park
Hermann Park is a beautiful and iconic destination in Houston, Texas, offering a variety of attractions and natural beauty. It is considered one of the largest urban parks in the country.
As you enter the park, you’ll be greeted by the McGovern Centennial Gardens, a stunning 15-acre green space featuring different themed gardens, sculptures, and a vibrant rose garden. Continue your walk towards McGovern Lake, a serene body of water located at the heart of the park. You can enjoy the view of the lake, watch ducks and other waterfowl, or even take a paddleboat ride on the water.
If you’re a golf enthusiast, you can explore the Hermann Park Golf Course, an 18-hole course surrounded by lush greenery. It’s a great place to enjoy a round of golf while taking in the natural beauty of the park.
As you continue your walk, you’ll come across the Miller Outdoor Theatre, an open-air amphitheatre offering free performances and cultural events. Check the schedule to see if there’s a live performance during your visit.
Hermann Park truly offers a diverse and enriching experience, blending nature, culture, and recreation in the heart of Houston. It is the best place for entertainment as well as relaxation. If you’re looking for a peaceful stroll, cultural exploration, and family-friendly activities, Hermann Park is the best place to visit in Houston.
3. Catch a game at Houston Zoo
The Houston Zoo is the second most visited in the U.S. and has a wide variety of over 6,000 animals. Tickets are used in the zoo and they imply flexible prices- they depend on what day and what time you are going to visit.
Adult tickets go for around $25 and children’s tickets for kids aged three years and older – around $ The numbers may vary depending on the schedule and the specific event. Visitors with a CityPASS to Houston are admitted free of charge to the zoo. For instance, some activities carousel rides may be chargeable extra.
Zoo timings are from 9 am-5 pm and the last entry is by 4 pm. The Zoo is decorated at special celebrations, such as Zoo Lights, featuring holidays from festivities, and may operate at varying timings. Don’t miss the African Forest exhibit and the Gorilla Habitat, which has rhinos; zebras; and giraffes.
4. Visit the Downtown Aquarium for the best view
Downtown Aquarium is a versatile destination having 500,000 gallons, featuring a Ferris wheel, an aquatic carousel, a Shark Voyage, a white tiger exhibit, and a restaurant. The restaurant offers a captivating wall-to-wall aquarium view, creating an immersive experience accompanying its surf-and-turf menu.
While parents indulge in silky lobster bisque and crabmeat-topped Gulf red snapper, the little ones can enjoy popcorn shrimp, ‘sand dollar’ pizza, and ‘Captain’s’ grilled cheese.
Adding to the spectacle, keep an eye out for scuba divers feeding fish in the restaurant’s tank during dinner. The Downtown Aquarium is a multifaceted attraction, combining marine wonders with delectable cuisine, for visitors of all ages.
5. Shop till you drop at The Galleria
The Galleria is one of the largest shopping malls in the United States, with over 300 stores and restaurants. You’ll find everything from luxury brands to local boutiques at The Galleria. The Galleria isn’t just a shopping destination; it’s a fashion-forward haven where you can explore the latest trends, discover unique finds, and treat yourself to a dose of retail therapy.
The Galleria promises a shopping experience like no other. From renowned fashion brands to exquisite jewellery, electronics, and beyond, this iconic mall caters to all tastes and preferences. Take your time navigating through the stylish corridors, adorned with chic storefronts and captivating displays.
6. Enjoy the art scene in Montrose
Montrose is Houston’s artsy district, home to a variety of galleries, studios, and theatres. It is known for its vibrant and eclectic art scene and public art spaces. There is Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH) located in the heart of Montrose, is dedicated to presenting the best and most exciting international, national, and regional art.
A must-visit cultural destination, The Menil Collection features an extraordinary private collection of art assembled by John and Dominique de Menil. The museum’s diverse holdings include works from ancient civilizations, modern and contemporary art, and special exhibitions. Furthermore, you can enjoy the best visual appeals and art at Montrose Street.
After exploring the art scene, don’t forget to check out the unique cafes, boutiques, and restaurants that contribute to the distinctive character of Montrose. The neighbourhood’s creative energy extends beyond the galleries and into everyday life.
7. Sample the diverse flavors of Houston’s food scene
Houston’s food scene is diverse and delicious flavor’s, reflecting the city’s multicultural population. A legendary spot of Tex-Mex heritage at Ninfa’s on Navigation is known for its fajitas and mouthwatering tacos. The cosy atmosphere and bold flavors make it a local favorite.
Texas is synonymous with barbecue, and Killen’s is a top choice for smoked brisket, ribs, and sausage. The mouthwatering flavors and tender meats make it a destination for barbecue enthusiasts.
Furthermore, Houston boasts a thriving Vietnamese community, and Pho Binh is a hidden gem for authentic pho. The rich broth and fresh ingredients make it a go-to spot for lovers of Vietnamese cuisine.
Houston excels in fresh seafood, being close to the Gulf of Mexico. Pappadeaux’s is a popular choice for Cajun-inspired seafood dishes, from gumbo to their famous fried alligator.
On the other hand, the Raven Grill offers a diverse menu that fuses Southern, Cajun, and Creole flavors. Indulge in dishes like shrimp and grits or blackened catfish for a true taste of Houston’s culinary diversity. Houston’s food scene is a true reflection of its cultural diversity, making it a paradise for food enthusiasts looking to explore a world of flavors without leaving the city.
8. Take a day trip to Galveston
Galveston is a historic island city located just off the coast of Houston. A day trip to Galveston can offer a delightful blend of history, beaches, and great food. You can start a hearty breakfast at a local spot. The Sunflower Bakery & Café or Mosquito Café are popular choices.
It’s a charming area with Victorian architecture, unique shops, and art galleries. You can consider taking a historic walking tour or horse-drawn carriage ride to learn about the city’s rich history. The Bishop’s Palace and Moody Mansion are also worth a visit.
Galveston offers fresh and delicious seafood for lunch, Head to Fisherman’s Wharf is the best choice for lunch. You can spend your afternoon at one of Galveston’s beautiful beaches. Stewart Beach and East Beach are popular choices. You can relax, stroll along the shoreline, or even take a dip. There are amusement rides, games, and fantastic views of the Gulf of Mexico.
If time allows you, find a spot to enjoy the sunset over the Gulf with your loved ones. The Seawall or the beach provides a picturesque setting. Lastly, Galveston offers special events and festivals at night time. The Strand often has live music, and there are various bars and pubs to explore.
9. Go kayaking on Buffalo Bayou
Buffalo Bayou Park is the heart of Houston, a 160-acre urban park. The park offers kayak rentals, making it convenient for those who don’t have their equipment. You can enjoy lush greenery, wildlife and scenic views. Keep an eye out for birds, turtles, and other local fauna. You can enjoy a bike ride here.
You must check the weather forecast before planning a trip to experience. Also, consider safety guidelines such as wearing a life jacket. Remember to check with local authorities or outfitters for any updates or changes in regulations. Enjoy your kayaking adventure on Buffalo Bayou in Houston!
10. Explore the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is one of the largest art museums in the South, with a collection that spans centuries and cultures. It is a renowned cultural institution that houses an impressive collection of art spanning various periods and cultures.
The MFAH boasts an extensive and diverse collection, including European, American, Asian, African, and Islamic art. The collection encompasses paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, prints, drawings, and more.
Notable artists represented in the collection include Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Jackson Pollock, and many others. The MFAH regularly hosts events, lectures, and educational programs.
What is Houston most well known for?
Houston is a famous city in the U.S., most well known for its role as a major centre for space exploration, home to NASA’s Johnson Space Center.
What to do in Houston for the first time?
For a first-time visit to Houston, explore Space Center Houston, visit the Museum District, enjoy the diverse culinary scene, and take a stroll in Hermann Park or along Buffalo Bayou.
Why is Houston so popular?
Houston is popular for its thriving energy industry, diverse culture, world-class dining, and as a hub for space exploration with NASA’s Johnson Space Center.
Houston offers a diverse experience for every taste and interest. It covers history buffs, a nature enthusiast, a foodie, an awe-inspiring Space Center Houston, or someone who just loves to explore vibrant urban landscapes, this city has something for everyone. Even if you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned local, Houston’s charm lies in its ability to surprise and delight at every turn. You can make promising memories that will last a lifetime.