Updated September 19, 2016
It’s the oil capital of the world, one of the wealthiest cities on the planet and the fourth largest city in the U.S. – Houston, Texas is a great place to work, to live and an unforgettable place to visit. A bustling metropolis that hasn’t forgotten its southern hospitality, Houston features great attractions, museums, beautiful parks, exciting events, shopping, innovative dining and plenty of hotels — all the ingredients of a memorable vacation.
It’s hard to narrow down the top things to do and see in Houston because there are so many. Here are a few of my favorites:
One of the premier attractions in the Houston area is Space Center Houston, the official visitor’s center of NASA’s Johnson Space Center. The facility’s incredible exhibits tell the story of NASA’s manned space flight program. Visitors can see astronauts train for missions, touch a real moon rock, land a shuttle, and take a behind-the-scenes tour.
The Houston Zoo is an exciting adventure that is home to more than 6,000 exotic animals, representing more than 800 species. Unique experiences allow you to feed the giraffes, “swim” with the piranha, and ride the Wildlife Carousel.
The San Jacinto Battleground Complex commemorates the place where Texas won its independence from Mexico. Take the 489-foot elevator ride to the top of the San Jacinto Monument for a panoramic view of Houston and the Bay Area.
Houston’s Museum District offers 19 world-class museums in a 1.5 mile radius. A cornerstone of the district is The Museum of Fine Arts, one of the largest art museums in America, with more than 300,000 square feet of space devoted to over 63,000 works of art. Another favorite is the Children’s Museum, featuring interactive exhibits, hands-on galleries and plenty of educational fun. Others include the Holocaust Museum, Buffalo Soldiers National Museum and Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.
Beyond the district, another cool exhibition to see is the Museum of Funeral History. If it sounds a bit creepy, rest assured it’s an interesting and educational collection that includes fascinating exhibits and amusing anecdotes.
Culture and Entertainment
Houston boasts a thriving cultural scene, featuring ballet, Broadway shows, opera, plays and symphonic music at the nine arts venues downtown. In fact, the seventeen-square-block theater district has more concentrated seating for arts events than any place besides Broadway.
Beaching and Boating
When you’re ready for a break from Houston’s gleaming urban attractions, spend a few days in Bay Area Houston, a charming bayside region consisting of five distinct cities along 35 miles of the Gulf Coast — Kemah, League City, Nassau Bay, Seabrook, and Houston. Located halfway between Houston and Galveston, and only 15 miles from Hobby Airport, the region attracts visitors for fresh seafood, water recreation, stunning nature preserves and one of Texas’ top attractions – the Kemah Boardwalk.
With so many exciting options, it’s no wonder Houston is one of the top vacation destination in the U.S.