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12 Best Things to Do in Houston, Texas

By: Swena Kalra

Edited By: Scott Sidders

Updated on October 14, 2023

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Houston is the fourth-largest city in the United States and global energy, commerce, and transportation hub. It's also one of the most diverse cities in America, with over 100 languages spoken within its borders. Houston offers rare glimpses into how people from many different backgrounds live side by side.

It's a great place to travel because of its diversity and culture. There are many things to do in Houston, including experiencing different cultures, trying new foods, and exploring the city. Here are some of the best things to do in Houston, Texas.

Houston offers countless opportunities for fun for people of all ages. Here are some of the best things to do in Houston, Texas.

1. Visit the Space Center Houston

Space shuttle at Space Center Houston, Texas, USA

The space center is one of Houston's top attractions. It features more than 400 artifacts, plus plenty of exhibits and displays on America's fantastic space flight programs. If you're interested in learning about space exploration or just looking for a beautiful day out, the space center is well worth a visit!

Its interactive consoles and collection of movies will keep everyone entertained for hours on end.
As you enter the building, you can feel the excitement in the air. Known globally as the International Space Station Mission Control, this building is home to NASA Mission Control and astronaut training. As an additional treat, guests are then taken behind the scenes to see NASA Johnson Space Center, where history was made.

You walk through the doors and are greeted by the sight of rows of monitors and controllers. This is the nerve center for all International Space Station operations. Mission Control is always buzzing with activity, as teams of experts work around the clock to keep astronauts safe and on track.

2. Sample the Cuisine

 Pappas Bar-B-Q in Humble, TX. A family-owned barbecue restaurant founded in Houston Texas 1967.

Houston is a city that is known for its fantastic food. There are restaurants of all kinds, and you can find just about any cuisine you're looking for. Houston has you covered whether you're looking for Mexican food, Indian food, or just some good old-fashioned Southern cooking.

One of the best things about the food in Houston is that you can find restaurants from all over the world. If you're looking for a taste of India, Mexico, or Thailand, you can find it in Houston. There are also plenty of international food festivals held in Houston throughout the year so that you can sample even more of the city's fantastic cuisine.

If you're looking for a truly unique dining experience, Houston is the place to be. With its vast array of restaurants, you're sure to find something to suit your taste. Whether you're looking for a quick bite or a leisurely meal, Houston has something for everyone.

3. Catch a Game

Aerial View of Minute Maid Park

Houston is home to two professional sports teams: the Houston Astros (baseball) and the Houston Rockets (basketball). If you're a sports fan, or even if you're looking for a fun night out, catching a game is a great way to experience Houston.

The Astros are one of the best teams in baseball, and the Rockets are one of the top teams in the NBA. If you're a fan of either sport, you won't want to miss a chance to see a game in Houston.

The games are always exciting, and there's something for everyone. If you're not a big sports fan, you can still enjoy the game by taking in the sights and sounds of the stadium. There's nothing like being at a live sporting event, and Houston offers plenty of opportunities to experience that.

4. Museum of Natural Science

The Houston Museum of Natural Science is where you can explore the universe and learn about the natural world. It contains a vast mineral specimen collection, beautiful space station models, and impressive large skeleton mounts of Tyrannosaurus Rex and Quetzalcoatlus.

With its exhibits on minerals, space, and dinosaurs, there's something for everyone to enjoy. Plus, the planetarium is a great way to relax and take in the beauty of the stars.

The clock at the museum's entrance will delight the children with its grasshopper legs that keep time in perfect synchronization with the seconds.

Its great popularity is down to its many unique and guest exhibits, which visitors can enjoy all year round. The museum was established over 100 years ago and has become a favorite for art lovers everywhere.

5. Spend some time with the Aquatic life at Downtown Aquarium

Houston's magnificent six-acre dining and entertainment complex was redeveloped from two of the city's most historic landmarks: the Central Waterworks Building and Fire Station No.1. The complex is even more impressive now, with its blend of new and old architecture and the addition of incredible restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues.

It's now home to a 500,000-gallon aquatic wonderland with over 200 species of exotic global residents. The aquarium has rides for all ages, from Frog Hopper to Shark Voyage and Aquatic Carousel. It's a great attraction for the whole family, especially the little ones. They'll love exploring the fascinating world beneath the waves.

The adults will also love the beautiful treats at this venue! There is a stylish shopping area, an upscale bar, a mouth-watering restaurant, and unique geographic and aquatic exhibits. Plus, the ballroom is fully equipped for all your needs!

6. Go-Karting

Houston is a fantastic city for go-karting. There are several tracks to choose from, and the tracks are well-maintained and provide a great experience. The tracks are challenging and give a good workout, and the staff is friendly and helpful; they'll make sure that you have a great time.

The karts are fast and fun to drive, and the tracks are well-designed. The facilities are family-friendly, and the track marshals are experienced and knowledgeable. You can race against your friends or family, or you can try to beat your own personal best. Either way, you're sure to have a blast.

So if you're looking for a fun and exciting activity, go-karting is a great option. It's an activity that the whole family can enjoy, and it's perfect for a day out or a night on the town. So what are you waiting for? Get behind the wheel and start racing!

7. Revel in Nature at the Houston Arboretum

The Houston Arboretum is a 155-acre nature preserve that offers a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. It's a great place to take a stroll, have a picnic, or enjoy the scenery. The arboretum has a variety of gardens, including a butterfly garden, a hummingbird garden, and an herb garden.

There's also a children's garden, where kids can learn about plants and wildlife. The nursery also offers classes and programs for all ages so that you can learn more about nature and the environment. It's a great place to spend an afternoon, and you'll leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

8. Marvel at the Art at the Museum of Fine Arts

As the never-ending visitors walk through the museum's breathtaking collection of art and history, they are astounded by the beauty that surrounds them. The 6,000 years of history and the 64,000 works from six continents are a sight to behold.

However, the visitors are not the only ones who benefit from the museum--1.25 million people attend the museum's workshops, programs, and resource centers every year. These people can learn, grow, and be inspired by the museum's many offerings.

It is easy to get lost in the artwork's beauty on display here; one could easily spend an entire day wandering through the galleries. The museum staff are passionate about art and are always happy to answer any questions visitors may have.

The guided tours at the museum are perfect for anyone who wants to ensure they don't miss a thing! The 45-minute tours are the ideal length, and with knowledgeable guides, you'll be able to explore everything in detail. And if you need a break after your tour, the café has above-average refreshments that will help you refuel for more exploring!

9. Have Fun at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is a must-see event for anyone visiting Houston. The three-week event is one of the largest globally, and it features something for everyone. There's a carnival, a livestock show, a rodeo, concerts, shopping, and more.

The rodeo is the star of the show, and it features some of the best riders in the world. The competition is intense, and the action is non-stop. The livestock show is also impressive, and it showcases some of the best livestock in Texas.
There's also plenty of food available, so you can chow down on some delicious barbecue or try your hand at cooking a Texas-style meal. And of course, there's plenty of shopping to be done. You'll find everything from cowboy boots to Western wear. So whether you're looking for fun, food, or shopping, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has something for everyone.

10. Buffalo Bayou Park

Buffalo Bayou Park is a haven for nature enthusiasts and city-dwellers alike. This 160-acre green space is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life. With slow-moving waters as its centerpiece, Buffalo Bayou Park offers extensive walking and biking trails, a dog park, sculptures, and plenty of shady areas in which to relax.

If you're looking for a fun way to spend an afternoon, rent a kayak, canoe, or stand up paddleboard and explore the bayou. The park offers rentals, and various tours are available that last from one to three hours. Similarly, guided cycling tours are also available if you're looking for a unique way to see Houston.

The Cistern is a truly unique site in Buffalo Bayou Park. It's an old underground drinking-water reservoir from 1926 that hosts changing art installations. Visitors can go on a short guided tour to see this amazing place for themselves.
The Waugh Drive Bridge is home to a colony of Mexican free-tailed bats. Approximately 250,000 of them fly out from the bridge at sunset each evening. It's an incredible sight to behold!

11. Explore the Houston Zoo

The Houston Zoo is one of my favorite places to visit! It's set on 55 acres in Hermann Park and is home to more than 6,000 exotic and indigenous animals. You can find an education center and children's zoo on the premises, as well as a variety of exhibits that are sure to amaze visitors of all ages.

Some of the favorite things to do at the zoo include feeding the giraffes and watching the sea lions and otters play. The aquarium is also a must-see, offering a close-up look at some of the ocean's most fascinating creatures. Hermann Park is a beautiful oasis in the heart of Houston. It's home to some of the city's most popular attractions, including the Houston Museum of Natural Science, Miller Outdoor Theatre, and Japanese Garden.

McGovern Centennial Garden is a lovely spot for a romantic stroll, and paddle boat trips on McGovern Lake are a fun way to spend an afternoon. There's something for everyone at Hermann Park!

12. Street Art in the Houston Arts District

Tourists often overlook Houston's street art, but it is truly outstanding. You can find installations by some of the top names in street art throughout the US and worldwide, including COPE2 and Houston's Gonzo247. The art is constantly changing, so you never know what you'll find around the next corner.

As you drive around the city, you'll find colorful murals adorning the walls of various establishments. The unofficial curator of Houston's street art is the most amazing and charismatic artist known as Gonzo247. His vibrant and ever-changing murals are well worth taking the time to see.

His giant "Houston is Inspired" mural at the corner of Travis and Preston Streets is an iconic landmark, and his smaller "Houston" mural at Leeland and St. Emanuel Streets is just as impressive.

Final Thoughts

The magnificent sights of Houston can be found all over the city. One can find an impressive installation on walls of various sizes. The walls of one- and two-story buildings are notably home to many beautiful works. However, if you're willing to look, you can find unique pieces scattered all over the city.

Houston is a place where nature and the city collide, offering something for everyone. Whether you're looking to relax by one of the many parks in Houston or explore some of the world-class museums and galleries, there's never been an easier way to find what you want than with this list!

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and explore everything that Houston has to offer!

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