‘Houston we have a problem!’ This famous quote pops into our heads when we hear the name of the city first. Then we might start thinking, ‘but what are the things to do in Houston anyway?’
Houston is a large city in the state of Texas. Its population was 2.239 million in 2014 so if you like places where there is always something happening this will be definitely for you! Here are the top 20 things to do in Houston for a tourist.
1. Get a Kolache at Christy’s Donuts Kolaches
If you are keen on eating doughnuts and kolaches you can’t ignore this place! They make the best ones according to the locals so it is a must to try them. They are served warm and glazed deliciously. There is a huge variety so be prepared that you won’t be able to choose in a split of a second. If you hesitate too much we highly recommend taking a jumbo kolache, with cheese and sausage in the middle. Located in the midtown the parking lot can be a little bit busy at times!
2. Millie Bush Dog Park
If you like nature there is a park in Houston which was named after “the first dog” The dog’s owners were George H.W. and Barbara Bush. The park is 15 acres and filled with beautiful lakes. Obviously, the park is crammed with playing dogs so if you have a pet that could do with a bit of fun and interact with other local dogs take it and let it run free in the green grass.
3. Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park
This horseshoe-shaped wall is cascading 11,000 gallons of water per minute. The sight of it is just amazing. It is simply an astonishing work of architecture. If you want to relax you will also find a park next to it where you can sit down and drink a bit of water in case you got thirsty by looking at the waterwall for too long.
4. BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
This is an interesting twitch of culture in Texas. Even in the whole U.S., this is considered the first Hindu temple. It doesn’t matter what your religion is, this building’s wonderful white walls, pillars, and domes made of hand-carved marble and limestone will leave you feeling divinely fascinated.
5. Memorial Park
This park is away from the noise of the crowded downtown of Houston. Crispy green grass, the trees, the water and wild birds all create an atmosphere that will be a good memory for everyone. The walking track around the park is 5Km long which never lacks runners. Apart from this, you will find an Arboretum, running and mountain biking trails, softball fields, cycling track, sand volleyball, driving range, tennis courts, pool, playground, exercise/stretching area, hiking trails. With so many things to do here, it is basically the outdoor Mecca for Houston.
6. Have Pie At 3 A.M.!
The House of Pies on Westheimer Road is open 24/7 so if you decide to stay up late or coming back from a night out hungry it is definitely a great choice to boost your low blood sugar levels. With their huge variety of pies, they make sure you don’t walk away without trying at least one of them.
7. Go To The Top Of The San Jacinto Monument
If you decide to stay on the ground no worried it is still a great experience but if you can afford the $6 entrance the view from the top is just better. Keep in mind that the exhibitions there are not free to visit except for the one on prominent Texas historical figures and history.
8. David Adickes’ workshop
When the gates are open you are free to walk in and take photos with the 20 feet tall gigantic sculptures of U.S. presidents’ heads. Just remember that it is also a place for artists to work so be respectful and don’t bother them while doing their thing. Even if the gate is closed you can admire the great pieces of art outside of the fence.
9. Watch The Bats
Locals must be used to it but it is a really nice thing to observe for tourists who are not afraid of bats. Every night you can see approximately 250,000 Mexican free-tailed bats fly from the Waugh Drive Bridge near Buffalo Bayou for supper causing nightmares for local mosquitos.
10. Johnson Space Center
This is the famous home to NASA’s Mission Control. If you go there you will get to try many interesting things like simulators and you can watch educational movies if you would like to. The staff are all friendly, helpful and knowledgeable, they are ready to walk you through everything if you have enough time. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes, bring a sweater or even a jacket due to air conditioning. One of their best tours is the tram tour of astronaut training facility!
11. Lose Your Inhibitions At A Rockets Game
If you are a sports fan it is one of the craziest things to do in Houston. Join the screaming crowd of the red rowdy supporters and experience the environment for yourself. It will be an unforgettable Houston Rockets game for sure! Be prepared that you might not want to sit down during the game as the atmosphere starts taking you over.
12. Get Your ’80s On
Each Friday the club called ‘Numbers’ takes you back in time. You can enjoy the best music of the past couple of years and dance just like your parents did. This will be the greatest party you have ever experienced if you like retro music. So borrow some clothes from the 80’s and get the groove on!
13. Gatlin’s BBQ
Sorry for disappointing you if you think you have already tried the best BBQ in the world because this will definitely beat any of them! There is a saying in Texas that everything has to be big, this applies especially to the food they serve! It is a busy place but there are a lot of seats so don’t worry!
14. Roller Skate Date
If you want your middle school memories to come alive you better go to the Dairy Ashford Roller Rink. The music and the environment there will definitely take you back to the 90’s at least. Fancy glittering disco ball and many other things make sure to set your mood right.
15. The Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Take this opportunity to drink some free beer! YES This is not something you read wrong! If you go for a factory tour you will be given some beer to taste and apart from this, you will get a nice experience if you have never been in a beer factory! Tours are run on Saturdays and weekday afternoons.
16. The Chocolate Bar
They can cover everything with chocolate as you can see it in the picture below. Some call this the real version of Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. If you can’t keep your sweet tooth in check just let the temptation take over you this time and indulge in the variety of sweets without worrying! You are on a holiday anyway, aren’t you?
17. Buy A Pair Of Authentic Cowboy Boots
If you go to the west it is definitely one of the worthwhile things to do in Houston to head to the Texas Junk Co. for the best cowboy boots you have ever seen. These are all second-hand boots made originally in the west. You’ll be greeted with more than 1,000 pairs of them to choose from. The price is really not much because you can get one pair for as low as $20. The store’s appearance is a little bit junky but this is actually what gives us the spirit.
18. Buffalo Bayou
Contrary what its name suggests it is a 52-mile waterway that starts in Katy, Texas, and winds its way to Houston’s River Oaks area. It is used for outdoor recreation by many people. You can canoe or kayak on its slow waters or just take a boat tour if you are in a lazy mood. Either way, you will enjoy the beauty it has to offer for sure!
19. Houston Museum of Natural Science
Visitors of the museum are very welcome and provided with a great experience and a lot of exhibitions throughout the year. You can find anything from dinosaurs to ruby stones in this place. The best one to pick according to many people is The Cockrell Butterfly Center. You will see a glass-enclosed rainforest conservatory filled with exotic flora and a countless number of colorful butterflies.
20. Art Car Museum
This museum opened in 1998 and ever since people have called it “Garage Mahal”. It presents every kind of cars except for ordinary ones. You can find the work of the area’s craziest designers and artists collected in this one place. If you are a big fan of cars make sure you go there and enjoy yourself!