Top Tourist Attractions in Houston, TX
Houston, Texas, has a lot to offer visitors. Whether you’re looking for the latest in sports or art, there’s something for everyone. In addition to the many attractions in the city, there are also a variety of spas and wellness treatments. The fourth largest city in the United States, Houston, is a popular destination for travelers.
For families, the Children’s Museum of Houston is one of the best places to visit in Houston. It features interactive exhibits that allow children to get hands-on and learn about culture, science, and more.
Many Houston museums are free to the public. One of the most popular is the Museum of Natural Science. This museum features thousands of artifacts, ranging from dinosaur skeletons to Native American culture.
Another great attraction in Houston is the Houston Zoo. Here, you’ll find more than 6,000 native and non-native animals. While there, you can catch sea lions playing or watch as giraffes feed.
If you love art, visit the Museum of Fine Arts. It’s Houston’s most important cultural institution and boasts over 17,000 items.
For food and drink, be sure to check out the Galleria. The mall has over 400 boutiques and brands from across the world. Also, there are more than 80 outlet stores for bargain shoppers.
During the summer, you can enjoy the many outdoor activities at Buffalo Bayou Park. There is a picnic area and playground. You can even kayak along the water.
Top 15 things to do in Houston, Texas
- Space Center Houston
- Houston Zoo
- The Galleria
- The Houston Museum Of Natural Science
- Kemah Boardwalk
- Museum Of Fine Arts
- Downtown Aquarium
- Minute Maid Park
- Discovery Green
- Memorial Park
- Miller Outdoor Theatre
- Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park
- Sylvan Beach Park
- San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site
- Children’s Museum Of Houston
Space Center Houston
Space Center Houston is an official visitor center for NASA Johnson Space Center. It is a museum celebrating the history of space exploration and the future of human space flight. In addition, the center features many interactive and immersive exhibits.
The best way to get there is by car. However, rideshare services like Uber are available as well. There is also a tram tour to the center.
The space center has two gift shops. One has a large display of space flight hardware. They also have an interactive exhibit in the Starship Gallery. This is the only place on Earth where visitors can see a natural moon rock.
During the summer, there is a large crowd at the center. Depending on how busy the center is, the hours can change.
Houston, Texas, is home to a variety of places to visit. The Houston Zoo, the Houston Livestock Show, and Rodeo are among the top attractions.
The zoo is a 55-acre facility spread across the city’s Hermann Park. Visitors can explore more than 200 species and over 6,000 animals in the zoo’s 15 exhibits.
One of the most impressive exhibits in the zoo is the Reptile and Amphibian House, which features exotic species from around the world. This is one of the most visited sections of the zoo, and you can expect to see a variety of snakes, turtles, and amphibians during the day.
Another exhibit worth a look at is the Health Museum. This building has impressive interactive experiences, including a giant eyeball and a funny skeleton riding a bicycle.
The Galleria is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Houston. Its location and countless shopping options make it a popular destination.
The Galleria is located near the River Oaks and Memorial areas. It offers over 100 stores, including upscale luxury brands like La Perla and Gucci. You’ll also find many affordable fashion stores.
Several restaurants and beauty salons are found inside the mall. In addition, there are three full-service banks, two tailor shops, and more. This makes the Galleria a prime place for a date or a night out on the town.
If you’re looking for a great place to stay, the Galleria has several hotels. Some of them are right next to the shopping center. In addition, they offer excellent services, such as valet parking.
The Houston Museum Of Natural Science
The Houston Museum of Natural Science is a science learning center. This museum is located in Houston, Texas, and has more than a million objects. Its exhibits focus on paleontology, astronomy, life sciences, energy, geology, and geography.
Its mission is to enhance appreciation for the natural world and to inspire curiosity in its subjects. For the past century, the museum has significantly impacted the public. It has been ranked among the top five most visited museums in the United States for many years.
Aside from its permanent collection, the museum also features several touring exhibitions annually. These include the Egyptian exhibit with millennia-old artifacts and mummies on display. Also on display are Faberge eggs, record-breaking marlins, African wildlife, and dinosaurs.
The Kemah Boardwalk is a popular destination for families. It is located on Galveston Bay and offers various rides and attractions. There are also several restaurants, shops, and live entertainment.
The park is owned by Landry’s Inc. and is considered one of the country’s best boardwalks. Located on the Texas Gulf Coast, the Kemah Boardwalk is about 20 miles from downtown Houston.
The Kemah Boardwalk offers amusements, live music, and seafood restaurants. You can ride on some rides, including a speedboat, a roller coaster, and a Ferris wheel. These rides are great for all ages.
If you are traveling with kids, check out Drop Zone, an amusement ride 140 feet high that offers a free fall. Another great attraction for older children is the slow-moving train.
Museum Of Fine Arts Houston
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) is located in the heart of the Museum District in Houston, Texas. It is a cultural institution offering visitors more than six thousand years of art history. Visitors can visit the MFAH’s permanent collection, two house museums, and the visitor center. In addition, the MFAH owns an extensive library and two art schools.
The Museum of Fine Arts opened in 1924 and has since developed a permanent collection of more than six thousand works of art. The collection includes European paintings, prints, and drawings. There is also an extensive collection of American art and early decorative arts. Among the museum’s highlights are Renaissance and Baroque art and contemporary design.
Downtown Aquarium Houston is a public aquarium in the heart of downtown Houston. The aquarium boasts several exhibits, including the Rainforest, Shipwreck, and lighthouse. It is a six-acre site with a 200,000-gallon shark tank and various aquatic creatures.
There are also various rides and games to enjoy. Visitors can participate in the Interactive Diver Show to learn more about the aquatic life around them. You can even pet a stingray in a touch pool.
Downtown Aquarium Houston is family-friendly, although you’ll want to bring an adult companion. The facility has a full complement of animals, from octopuses to venomous freshwater stingrays.
The best part of the aquarium is its giant column. On a clear day, you can see a view of the city skyline from this vantage point.
Minute Maid Park
Minute Maid Park, the Houston Astros’ home, is downtown Houston. It is built on the site of the former Union Station train station. The stadium features a 242-foot retractable roof.
There are many fun things to do at the park. You can watch a game, take a guided tour, or relax with a drink. And the ballpark also features a good selection of restaurants and drinks.
In 2000, the Houston Astros played their first game at Minute Maid Park. Before the park opened, the baseball team was based at Enron Field. But Enron went bankrupt in 2002, so the field lost its naming rights. So the team opted to purchase the naming rights for the stadium.
After the naming rights were purchased, the stadium was renamed “Minute Maid Park.” When the park opened in April of 2000, it featured Tal’s Hill, a 30-degree incline that measured 90 feet wide at its widest point.
Discovery Green is an outdoor oasis in downtown Houston. It offers residents and visitors a range of opportunities to enjoy nature and exercise. In addition, it is a great place to spend a day with free programs, two restaurants, and a one-acre lake.
The nonprofit Discovery Green Conservancy operates the park. The park focuses on public art, green building practices, and community programming as part of the conservancy.
The 12-acre green space was transformed into an urban oasis from a discarded parking lot. A partnership between the City of Houston and private donors turned a vacant and under-utilized area into a popular and vibrant downtown area.
Aside from its gorgeous landscaping, Discovery Green boasts an awe-inspiring artificial lake and interactive water features. In addition, there is a dog park, a fenced playground, and a putting green.
Memorial Park is one of Houston’s largest urban parks. It features sports fields, picnic areas, biking trails, and other activities. The park is also home to a top-rated municipal golf course.
Memorial Park was used as a military training camp during World War I. Later, the land was purchased back by the city.
The site was later converted into a golf course. The park is a popular recreation spot for locals and tourists. In addition to the golf course, the park includes softball/baseball fields, a soccer field, a sand volleyball court, and a fitness center.
In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps built benches in the park. Over the years, the park has received several improvements from the City of Houston.
Nelson Byrd Woltz, Landscape Architects, developed a ten-year master plan. This master plan focuses on ecological restoration and improving the overall experience of the park.
Miller Outdoor Theatre
Miller Outdoor Theatre is one of Houston’s best places to enjoy free entertainment. This venue in Hermann Park offers a wide variety of shows, including a full calendar of free performances.
The Miller Summer Mixtape is a new tradition at Miller Outdoor Theatre. A mix of local artists in various musical genres will perform at this free summer event. On the 24th of July, the Miller Summer Mixtape features a mix of rock and folk, while the 26th will feature hip-hop and soul.
Miller Outdoor Theatre has a BYOB policy, which means you can bring your food and beverage to enjoy. There are also concessions available at the venue. You can also order tickets online or by phone.
For the upcoming season, the Miller Outdoor Theatre is celebrating its 95th anniversary. Among the events are two free concerts by the Houston Symphony.
Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park
Houston’s Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park is one of the city’s best attractions. Its sweeping horseshoe-shaped fountain cascades 11,000 gallons of water per minute through its walls. In addition, it is also an outdoor recreation area.
The area around the Waterwall features a three-acre green space home to benches, trees, and live oaks. This park is the perfect place to spend a day with family or friends.
Several benches, a large sunken lawn, and pathways allow visitors to explore the entire park easily. The area is also a popular destination for picnics. A few blocks from the park, you can visit the Galleria Mall, home to more than 400 stores and restaurants.
The park is free to visit, but you can also pay to park in the parking lot at Williams Tower. Parking is limited.
Sylvan Beach Park
Sylvan Beach Park is a large, historic park on Galveston Bay in Harris County. The park offers a fishing pier, a picnic area, and a boat ramp. It’s an ideal destination for a day of family fun.
The park has an air-conditioned pavilion and a large beach area. During the summer, you can enjoy the breeze of the Gulf. This is an excellent place for picnicking with family and friends. You can also rent a paddleboat to explore the lake.
While Sylvan Beach Park is not as pristine as some other beaches along the Gulf, it still has a lovely sand beach. There are also several restrooms and a snack bar.
Other attractions include a pier, a boat launch, a skate park, and two modern, shaded playgrounds. Additionally, there’s a snack bar with ice cream.
San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site
If you are interested in history, you’ll want to visit the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site in Houston, Texas. This National Historic Landmark is the site of an 18-minute battle that secured Texas’ independence from Mexico in 1836. The site features an observation deck and a museum. It’s the perfect day-trip destination for history buffs.
The site is also home to the San Jacinto Monument, a five-and-a-half-story octagonal shaft topped with a 220-ton Lone Star of Texas. Visitors can take the elevator to the observation deck, which offers spectacular city views.
During the battle, General Sam Houston led his Texian troops in an attack on Mexican forces led by Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Ultimately, Houston forced Santa Anna to sign a treaty of independence.
The Children’s Museum of Houston
The Children’s Museum of Houston is one of America’s top children’s museums. Housed in a whimsical Robert Venturi-designed building, the facility offers more than 90,000 square feet of interactive exhibits encouraging children to engage in learning and play.
Located in Houston’s museum district, the Children’s Museum of Houston is just a short walk from METRORail. The museum also has paid parking available nearby.
With more than ten years of service to the community, the Houston Children’s Museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Its mission is to transform communities through innovative learning. Founded by a group of Houston parents, the museum serves more than 1 million children and their families annually.
For parents, the museum has a Parent Resource Library with resources to help them raise their children. It also offers bilingual learning programs for kids ages birth to 12 years.
Kids can play in Tot Spot, an indoor, baby, and toddler play area. Designed for children up to 36 months, the facility features padded climbing rooms, tunnels to crawl through, and developmentally appropriate toys.
Another museum feature is the Power Tower, a three-story climbing installation. This fun and educational experience encourages children to test their stamina and measure their heart rate. They’ll also enjoy a 3-D version of Twister, a crawling course, and a dance mania course.
In 2009, the Houston Children’s Museum completed a significant expansion. This increased the size of the museum by doubling its footprint. The addition included seven additional exhibit galleries and new classrooms.