Things to do in Houston

Things to do in  Houston

Take a Texas-sized bite

Houston earns all of Texas’ superlatives: biggest, hottest, and—thanks to the NASA Space Center—most out of this world. A guided tour of the city offers insider insight into the city’s wacky and wonderful attractions, from the old-school amusement park rides at Kemah Boardwalk to the USS Texas and San Jacinto Monument commemorating the Texas Revolution with a 220-ton (200-metric ton) star. Spend some time browsing the 60,000 works on display at the Museum of Fine Arts; travel underground on a tour of the city’s vast tunnel system; or eat and drink your way through the day on pub, brewery, and food tours that showcase the city’s historic, haunted, and straight-up honky-tonk charms. Those who prefer fashion to food can explore funky thrift stores and high-end boutiques on a shopping tour, while those looking to beat the heat can fill an afternoon of family fun at the Downtown Aquarium or the Houston Museum of Natural Science. For a fully customized itinerary, choose a private tour; or save money on a group sightseeing tour, including options to roll in style on Segways or hop-on hop-off buses. Finally, be sure to check out nearby haunts such as historic Galveston Island, known for its Victorian mansions and white-sand beaches.

Top 15 attractions in Houston

Space Center Houston

Space Center Houston, the official visitor center of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, offers visitors some out-of-this-world experiences. Watch astronauts train for missions, touch a real moon rock, and tour NASA’s control center. Anyone with an interest in aeronautics and space will appreciate Space Center Houston’s interactive exhibits, presentations, and attractions that dive into the past, present, and future of our universe.More

Downtown Aquarium

Houston’s Downtown Aquarium is a fun and educational attraction, especially for families. Children can get up close and personal with more than 200 types of underwater creatures, including myriad fish, eels, rays in a touch tank, sharks, and white tigers. Kids also love the amusement rides and dining in the underwater aquarium restaurant.More

Houston Museum of Natural Science

Located in Houston’s sprawling Hermann Park, Houston Museum of Natural Science features four floors of exhibit halls; a planetarium; giant-screen theater; and a butterfly center. The museum is known for its stellar lineup of special exhibitions, which cover topics far beyond the scope of traditional natural science.More

Houston Zoo

Located in Hermann Park, the 55-acre (22-hectare) Houston Zoo is home to more than 6,000 animals that span hundreds of species. Spacious enclosures, educational activities, and seasonal events have earned Houston Zoo the accolade of one of the US’ most-visited zoos.More

Market Square Park

Set in the heart of downtown Houston at the site of the city’s original founding, Market Square Park is the greenest, hippest, and most historic square block in town. The urban park is popular with picnickers, cyclists, and anyone looking for quiet reflection in the middle of the bustling city.More

Minute Maid Park

Minute Maid Park opened in 2000 as the home of the Houston Astros baseball team. Hitters love how the left-field wall is only 315 feet (96 meters away, and spectators enjoy a retractable roof to create ideal conditions for a game, no matter the weather. A train chugs along the outfield every time the Astros hit a home run.More

JPMorgan Chase Tower

If "everything is bigger in Texas," JPMorganChase Tower in central Houston is no exception. This skyscraper stands 75 stories tall and tops out at just over 1,000 feet (305 meters), making it the tallest building in Texas. It boasts a unique five-sided design, built with expansive 85-foot-wide (26-meter) glass, and serves as a Houston icon.More

Children's Museum of Houston

Whether carrying out science experiments, discovering foreign cultures, or constructing elaborate LEGO inventions—kids will be in their element at the Children's Museum of Houston. Designed as a ‘Playground for the Mind’, the museum focuses on child-centered learning through hands-on workshops, interactive exhibitions, and fun activities.More

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) displays some 6,000 years of art history through a collection of nearly 70,000 works from six continents—one of the largest museums in the United States. The collection is spread across seven facilities plus two nearby house museums showcasing the decorative arts.More

Sam Houston Park

Texas has a history as long as fascinating as the United States itself, and Sam Houston Park is where history and green space combine in the heart of Houston. Established back in 1900, Sam Houston Park is not only the oldest park in the Houston, but also a time portal to the 1800s when the city was first being founded. Wander past the Kellum Noble house that dates to 1847, and is believed to be the oldest brick house in the entire Houston area. Even older is the Old Place Cabin that dates to 1823, and was relocated to the park to join the collection of preserved, historic buildings. Credit for all of the preservation can be attributed to the Heritage Society—a group that was founded in 1954 to preserve the city’s heritage. If visiting the park in the middle of the day, stop in to the The Heritage Society Museum for a look at artifacts and memorabilia from Houston’s lengthy past. The museum is modeled after a 19th-century, small-town general store, and tells the story of how the largest city in Texas started from small town roots.More

Tranquility Park

Since Houston is known as “Space City” for its affiliation with NASA, it only makes sense that a downtown park commemorates the day that U.S. astronauts first landed on the moon. Named after the lunar Sea of Tranquility—a basaltic plain on the surface of the moon where the Apollo astronauts landed—the park today features a replica of a footprint that Neil Armstrong left on the moon.The first words that the astronaut transmitted from up there are posted in 15 languages, so nearly everyone who visits can read the phrase: “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The eagle has landed.” Most impressive is the park’s fountain, which is designed in large, cylindrical formations to resemble the rocket boosters used on Apollo to get the men to the moon. The park also features craters and mounds meant to mimic the moon’s topography. Although, all lunar connections aside, this is a peaceful place for a pensive moment in the middle of bustling, downtown Houston, just steps from City Hall.More

Houston City Hall

A prime example of the southwestern architecture of the late 1930s, Houston City Hall is the seat of Houston’s municipal government and sits at the heart of Houston’s Skyline District. An architectural landmark set between Houston Public Library and Tranquility Park, it’s also famous for its seasonal farmers market.More

Kemah Boardwalk

Bordering Galveston Bay, Kemah Boardwalk transformed what was once a small fishing community into a popular tourist destination: today, it’s home to an amusement park, and frequent live music and festivals enhance the lively atmosphere.More

Houston Museum District

Whether you want to delve into World War II history, admire contemporary art masterpieces, or spot lions and elephants at Houston Zoo—the Houston Museum District has something to suit all ages and interests. The district is home to 19 museums, galleries, and cultural centers, linked by tree-lined boulevards and leafy parks.More

Hermann Park

Marking the southern border of Houston’s Museum District, Hermann Park offers 445 acres (180 hectares) of urban parklands just minutes from downtown. With a lake, golf course, gardens, and plenty of space for outdoor activities, the park is an idyllic spot for city dwellers to escape the crowds or spread out a picnic blanket.More

Top activities in Houston

Houston CityPASS

Houston CityPASS

Houston's Official City Tour

Houston's Official City Tour

Astroville Tunnel Tour of Downtown Houston (Air-Condtioned)
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Houston Sightseeing Tour and Galveston Day Trip
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Private Sightseeing Cart Tour of Houston
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Astroville Best of Houston City Driving Tour with Live Guide
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Sedan Airport Transfer IAH to Galveston

Sedan Airport Transfer IAH to Galveston

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Private Houston Mural Instagram Tour by Cart
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The Heights Food Tour
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The Heights Food Tour

Astroville Food Tour of Downtown Houston with Tunnel Access
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Downtown Houston Food Tour
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Downtown Houston Food Tour

Private Tour of Galveston
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Private Tour of Galveston

Private Houston Sightseeing Tour, 3hr Mural Tour
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All about Houston

When to visit

Spring in Houston is packed with events such as the World's Championship Bar-B-Que Contest, Buffalo Bayou Regatta, Southeast Texas State Fair, and Bayou City Art Festival—all of which are made even more enjoyable by the pleasant weather. While summer brings higher temperatures and more crowds, it's a great time to discover Houston's Gulf Coast beaches.

Local Currency
US Dollar ($)
Time Zone
CDT (UTC -6)
Country Code

People Also Ask

Is Houston worth visiting?

Yes, Houston is worth visiting—from the Tex-Mex food and a thriving nightlife to popular attractions like the NASA Johnson Space Center and the Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston really has something for everyone to enjoy. Plus, you can explore the city no matter what your budget may be.

What is Houston famous for?

Does “Houston, we have a problem” ring any bells? This big city is known for its NASA Johnson Space Center—it’s where astronauts actually train for their sky-high ambitions. Houston is also famous for being the home of NBA’s Houston Rockets, having amazing Tex-Mex restaurants, and its unique underground tunnel system.

How can I spend a day in Houston?

How to spend a day in Houston depends on what you want to do. For an introduction to the city—and to see as many major attractions as you can—go on a hop-on hop-off tour. For travelers with kids, Children's Museum Houston, Houston Zoo, and Buffalo Bayou are all great choices.

What is there to do in Houston TX?

Houston is no stranger to things to do, attractions, and activities. Some top picks include visiting Space Center Houston, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and Houston Zoo. You can also go see a game at Minute Maid Park or grab food from the Montrose area.

Where can I go at night in Houston?

For a night out in Houston, Downtown is great for bar hopping as the bars are within walking distance. If you’re looking for a more vibrant area, head to Midtown for a mesh of clubs, cocktail bars, and wine bars. Houston also has a variety of live shows to see at night.

What do locals do in Houston?

Houston’s top spots locals love: • Station Theater—a bring-your-own bottle, improv comedy venue • Teotihuacan Mexican Café—for really good food • Discovery Green—Downtown’s massive park always has something going on • Axelrad Beer Garden—craft beers and hammocks meet in an outdoor setting • Waugh Bridge—dusk is the best time to go to see bat colonies

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