13 Best Things to Do in Houston

Are you planning a trip to Houston? Your itinerary of the 13 Best things to do in Houston is right here!

Houston is one of the biggest cities in the U.S. state of Texas and the United States as well. Houston is the most populous city in the United States and the fourth most populous city in Texas.

Houston was once famously called the “Bayou City” and is now called the “Space City” due to the presence of NASA’s Space Centre in the city.

Houston city was named after General Sam Houston, an important leader in the Texas Revolution and whose monument now stands at Hermann Park Conservancy.

The Texas Revolution led the state of Texas from Mexico to become an independent country, the Republic of Texas. Sam Houston served as the first and third president of the Republic of Texas. 

The Allen Brothers August Chapman and John Kirby, are considered to be the founding fathers of the city of Houston.

They were the first known settlers of Houston, they laid the stones for the new city of Houston and suggested it to be the first state capital of the Republic of Texas. 

The historical place where the Allen Brothers first set their foot in Houston is known as Allen’s Landing, and today it is present at the Buffalo Bayou Park.

This was Houston’s First major port, and this is where the birth of the new city took place.

Photo by f11photo from Shutterstock

Houston is an enormous global city, and it’s still expanding on all sides actively. Houston has become one of the essential cities in the world growing strong in technology, trade, and culture.

There are many reasons why anyone should visit Houston at least once in their lifetime. Houston has many great places in the city that are just absolutely free of cost to visit them.

The city also has a list of places that are exciting for children, the Children’s Museum of Houston, Houston Zoo, and Museum of Natural Sciences are some of the most beautiful places that your kids can see in their lifetime.

Houston is a very racially and ethnically diverse city, which means you will get to encounter a variety of people and witness all their cultures right in one place.

If you love to chill out and do some of the coolest things in hot weather, then come to Houston.

If you are a big science nerd and want to get inspired by some of mankind’s best ventures, then visit the Space Centre at Houston.

Although the city is one of the most modern cities in the world, it did not forget its past, and the history of this city has been well-preserved today. Houston’s story will inspire your heart!

You will never run out of any things to do in Houston. At every turn and every corner, there is always something exciting things to do in Houston. Items mentioned in this list are the best out of the best things to do in Houston.

And, there is a lot more the city has to offer, which you can get only when you visit Houston. Houston is one of the great places in the world which no one will ever regret visiting here and the site you will truly miss when you are leaving.

Here is Your List of the Best Things to Do In Houston:

1. Hermann Park Conservancy 

The Hermann Park Conservancy is the most important of all places on this list, 5 of the following locations on the list that I have mentioned are within the premises of this 445-acre modern urban Park.

Most of the other places that you will visit also are somewhere around Hermann Park.

Purchased in 1899 by the City Mayor of Houston, Hermann Park was completed and presented to the city mayor in 1914 by George Hermann.

Hermann Park has ever since been expanding slowly and acquiring new lands for further development. Hermann Park is Houston’s most iconic landmark of all.

If you are visiting Hermann Park, a huge chunk of your day will be spent here wholly, as there are a lot of things to do here.

If you can rent a place near the Park itself to stay, do force yourself out of bed just to go walking or jogging, or cycling along the most scenic and 2.5 km long Marvin Taylor Trail, in the morning.

From the personal experiences of many visitors to Hermann Park Conservancy, they do say that having a good morning exercise at the Park is one of the best things to do in Houston.

From here, most of the visits would be just around Hermann Park Conservancy.

2. McGovern Centennial Gardens

The McGovern Centennial Gardens was created in 2014 for Hermann Park Conservancy, from the Houston Garden Centre site.

The Garden has nearly ten different types of themed gardens with a wide variety of shrubs, plants and trees, and other vegetation as well. It has nearly 4.5 acres of grass in the middle, as you can see in the above picture. The garden is situated on the north end of Hermann Park.

Click here for the map!

The Hawkins Sculpture Walk features the bust-level statues of some of the important personalities around the world, including people like Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. The McGovern Centennial Gardens also has uniquely themed gardens that would be perfect venues for weddings and events.

The timings of the McGovern Centennial Gardens change according to the seasons, opening mostly at 9:00 A.M. and closing around 5:00 P.M. and 7:00 P.M.

If you are visiting along with your family, these gardens are the perfect and appropriate spots to hang out.

3. Houston Zoo

Photo by Dave Solce on Unsplash

The Houston Zoo is another family-friendly tourist spot on this list. This Zoo is situated within the premises of Hermann Park.

The Houston Zoo is the biggest place, with 55-acres in size. The Zoo has over 6,000 animals from 900 species and has annually 2.1 million visitors, at least.

This is the next place on this list that you can come and visit with your family and have a good time. Kids love zoos and animals, and if it is Houston Zoo, it’s just going to keep their eyes busy roving around.

4. Houston Museum of Natural Sciences

Houston Museum of Natural Sciences.
“File: Houston Museum of Natural Science Morian Hall.JPG” by Agsftw is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Museum is located on the northmost end of Hermann Park beside the McGovern Centennial Gardens; the museum holds biological specimens of ancient dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals that lived on earth.

The Museum has 60 skeleton mounts of dinosaurs like the Tyrannosaurus, Quetzalcoatlus, and other animals whose names I can’t even get.

This Museum is open between 9:00 A.M and 5:00 P.M every day. The ticket prices for adults are $23, and for children, it is $14, and tickets can be bought either online or directly at the counters of the museum.

Buying tickets online is suggested.

Further, you will get a 47% discount on your tickets if you have the Houston City Pass. While entry to the Permanent exhibits is always free, entry to special exhibitions is to be paid.

For more information on exhibitions, click here!

5. Miller Outdoor Theatre 

Miller Outdoor Theatre
“File: Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park.JPG” by Agsftw is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

If you are tired of roaming around here and there, just come and take a seat on the grass lawns of Miller Outdoor Theatre for a free and entertaining show.

If you want, just let your kids play freely on the lawns while you comfortably spread yourself and enjoy the show in the theatre.

The Miller Outdoor Theatre is situated near the McGovern Centennial Gardens and the Museum of Natural Sciences of Hermann Park.

It is 7.5 acres vast, has 1400 seats, and has a sloping lawn that can seat up to 4,000 audiences.

Unlike traditional theatres, Miller Theatre allows its people to enjoy the artistic performances just the way they like. Not only plays but also movies will be played here.

Tickets are necessary only for seats under the canopy, while lawn seats are always ticket-free. You can use your chairs or sitting mats if you prefer to sit on the lawn.

This is indeed the most pleasurable things to do in Houston.

6. Cockrell Butterfly Centre

The Cockrell Butterfly Centre is situated within the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences. This butterfly center features not only butterflies but also various other insects.

The Cockrell Butterfly Centre helps visitors understand the importance of insects in nature. This place is right for kids.

You should visit this wonderful place while you are at the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences.

7. Lyndon B. Johnson Space Centre and Space Centre, Houston

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Centre
Image by David Mark from Pixabay

When the Lyndon B.Johnson Space Center was established in Houston in 1961, it became the new symbol of the city.

U.S. Space research organization, NASA used this 1620-acre facility in Houston to conduct Manned aircraft tests here since it was established.

This presence of the Space Centre in Houston gave the city the nickname of “Space City” in 1967. The facility is primarily responsible for training astronauts for missions in space.

NASA’s official visitor center Space Centre Houston was established in 1992, as a leading space learning center for students from all over the world.

The Space Centre, Houston, is the home to at least 400 space artifacts that took part in NASA’s past space missions. The Space Centre in Houston is one of the prime centers for STEM(Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and attracts students of these related subjects.

The Space Centre offers visitors a peek into the history of the U.S.’s space exploration missions and the efforts of various people and technology involved in it, the Starship Gallery.

The Space Centre has a live replica of the space shuttle called Independence that stands on top of the Shuttle carrier aircraft.

Also, do not forget to take the NASA Tram Tour of the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Centre, where the actual mission control tasks for NASA are done.

Then you have the Mission Mars Gallery, where visitors get knowledge of what it takes to survive on Mars and all the current missions going on to inhabit another planet.

The ticket price for children around 0-3 years is free, for children aged 4-11 years, it is $25, for adults aged 12-65 years it is $30 and for senior citizens of age 65 and older $28. Discounts on tickets will be available if you own Houston City Pass.

8. Discovery Green

Discovery Green Conservancy is another treasurable urban park at the heart of Houston. Discovery Green Park is another place that is so much valued by the locals of Houston.

The Park offers various kinds of purposes for the locals as a playground, jogging or cycling trail, a community center, a place for dogs to walk, a family picnic spot, and many more.

The Park has a big one-acre lake where you can go boating and even a separate space where you can play with your remote-controlled water boats. 

The Park has the most scenic walking paths where you get an extraordinary view of the Houston skyline. The Park also has a remarkable range of restaurants as well.

Entry is free all the time, and coming here is one of the best things to do in Houston absolutely for free without any necessary costs.

9. Buffalo Bayou Park

Buffalo Bayou Park
Photo by Random Sky on Unsplash

The Buffalo Bayou Park is a public park built around the Buffalo Bayou river, a slow-moving marshy river in Houston.

The Park is 160 acres vast, and trails for walking, jogging, and cycling are built along the bayou, which gives you an excellent view of Houston’s skyline of tall buildings.

At the Buffalo Bayou Park is the Buffalo Bayou Cistern, which was once the city’s reservoir of drinking water built in the year 1926. The Cistern was decommissioned only in 2007 and was renovated into a public space. Today guided tours are being offered at the Buffalo Bayou Cistern.

Buffalo Bayou Park also provides facilities for canoeing, kayaking, and boating on the silent bayou river. There is a two-mile trail for biking and kayaking at the Sabrina Promenade.

Buffalo Bayou Park is the place where you can learn about the history of modern Houston.

While you are here, do remember to visit Allen’s Landing, where the founding fathers of the city first set their feet and laid the stone for the new city. Visiting Allen’s Landing is one of the most important things to do in Houston.

The entry is free. But, guided tours at the Bayou Cistern are to be paid.

10. Houston Museum of Fine Arts

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, is the guardian of a collection of nearly 64,000 historical artifacts that date back to 6,000 years in history from all six continents. ‘

The Museum of Fine Arts is the oldest in Texas, opened to the public in 1924. The Museum of Fine Arts is one of the largest art museums in the United States, built on an area of 300,000 square feet.

The Museum of Fine Arts has eight separate facilities for historical artifacts from each era and each place in the world. The Museum receives at least 1 million visitors a year.

It has some of the most significant world-class artistic masterpieces by notable artists from history.

11. Minute Maid Park

Things to do in Houston
Photo by Ty Welch on Unsplash

Minute Maid Park is the home stadium of Houston’s baseball team Houston Astros. The stadium is known for its large retractable roof that makes it both an outdoor and an indoor stadium.

It is named after Minute Maid, a beverage company and a subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Company. Naming rights for this stadium were purchased by The Coca-Cola Company for $100 million in 2002 for the next 30 years.

Whether it is rainy or sunny, matches are always guaranteed to be held at The Minute Maid Park. The stadium has approximately 40,000 seating capabilities with 5,197 club seats and 63 luxury suites.

The Stadium is not just for baseball games; other games like soccer and wrestling do happen here as well.

Being a large indoor stadium as well, this is the perfect place in Houston for conducting concerts and music shows too. Many famous musicians like Jay-Z, Beyonce, Taylor Swift, and Madonna have performed their concerts here.

If you are not a very big baseball fan, try attending one of the music shows or concerts that happen here at the time you visit The Minute Maid Park.

12. Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
Photo by Marc Phillips on Unsplash

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is the biggest livestock exhibition in the world. The Rodeo Show is one of the most significant events in the United States and has been held at the NRG Stadium since 2003.

You will get to experience the rich cowboy culture of the American West. So, get a huge cowboy hat and cheer loudly for the cowboys taming wild bulls on the field.

Approximately 2.5 million visitors visit this event every year. Livestock Auctions, Rodeo tournaments, BBQ stalls, and many more are here to be witnessed if you are here.

This is one of the most lively events taking place in Houston every year.

Ask any local; they will say that this is one of the craziest things to do in Houston. So don’t miss this.

13. Gaze at Houston city from the tallest buildings

Houston Skyline
Photo by Random Sky on Unsplash

Houston is home to some of the highest buildings in the United States. The JP Morgan Chase Towers, Wells Fargo Plaza, Bank of America, and Williams Tower, are some of the tallest buildings in Houston.

JP Morgan Chase Tower, the tallest building in Houston, has an observation deck on the 60th floor from where visitors are allowed to gaze at the city.

Wells Fargo Plaza also has an observation deck on the 35th floor and the 57th floor. Wells Fargo Plaza has two observation decks. But, it is not sure whether they are open or closed at the moment.

At the San Jacinto, the Observation Deck is 489 feet tall out of the 570 feet tall structure. From San Jacinto, you can see the Houston Ship Channel as well as the San Jacinto battleground.

This is one of the most recommended things to do in Houston by anyone. At last, when your trip to Houston comes to an end, going up to one of these buildings to bid a proper farewell to the city from the top, brings the journey to a sweet, happy ending.

Last Updated on by Sanjana


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