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Things to do in Houston

Things to do in  Houston

Welcome to Houston

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

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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

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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

Market Square Park

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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

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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

Houston Museum of Natural Science

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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

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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

JPMorgan Chase Tower

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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

Sam Houston Park

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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

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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

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

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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

Children's Museum of Houston

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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

Houston City Hall

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A prime example of southwestern architecture of the late 1930s, Houston’s City Hall was built to house the local government and state officials who do business within the city of Houston – but its long history doesn’t stop there. Originally built above a crowded fish market, City Hall has always entertained a lively commercial market, and today the towering structure sits relatively small among downtown's massive skyscrapers. Remnants of that long and lively history can be seen at the City Hall Farmers' Market located just outside the City Hall Reflecting Pool on Wednesdays in the spring from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., where local farmers sell everything from coffee to broccoli.Inside Houston City Hall you’ll find various notable items all harkening back to the great lawgivers that came before us. From the aluminum medallions featuring Julius Caesar, Moses, Charlemagne, Thomas Jefferson and more, to the great marble stairways and specially cast aluminum doors, City Hall is both a step back in time and a contemporary look at modern law making.More

Houston Museum District

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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

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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

Kemah Boardwalk

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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

Trip ideas

Top activities in Houston

Houston CityPASS

Houston CityPASS

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$64.00
Houston's Official City Tour

Houston's Official City Tour

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$39.95
Houston Woodlands Indoor Skydiving with 2 Flights & Personalized Certificate
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Houston Sightseeing Tour and Galveston Day Trip
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Houston Memorial Indoor Skydiving with 2 Flights & Personalized Certificate
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Houston City Tour 2.5 hour

Houston City Tour 2.5 hour

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$60.00
Haunted Houston Ghost and Pub Walking Tour
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Downtown Houston Food Tour
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Downtown Houston Food Tour

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Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in Houston

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Excellent Experience
Jane_D, Oct 2022
Houston City Tour 2.5 hour
Hearing the history of Houston and seeing the MANY things to do was a very enlightening and amazing experience.
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Tunnels of Houston
Britney_L, Aug 2022
Astroville Underground Tunnel Tour of Downtown Houston (Air-Conditioned)
Would recommend this tour if you’d like to see Houston in a very unique way.
star-5
Great Tour
silecis_H, Aug 2022
Private Sightseeing Cart Tour of Houston
The guides gave great suggestions on places to eat and activities.
star-5
Downtown Houston Tunnel, GREAT tour
Susan_C, Aug 2022
Astroville Underground Tunnel Tour of Downtown Houston (Air-Conditioned)
I would recommend to anyone interested in history and curious to see what’s beneath the tallest buildings in Houston.
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Summer Conference Fun
Crystal_H, Jul 2022
Houston Scavenger Hunt: Houston's Museum District
We did this event as part of an explore Houston excursion for our summer conference.
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Sharing this experience with family is the best way to go!
Dianne_C, Nov 2022
Houston CityPASS
This also gave us the chance to see things we were putting off but would like to do.
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The Houston Tour
Anita_C, Nov 2022
Astroville Mercedes Sprinter Van Tour of Houston
Best way to see Houston in a few hours.
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Review time ! After a...
Samuel_R, Jul 2022
Houston CityPASS
The lineup of places to visit is great and worked out perfect for my family of nine 💙 We would definitely book again on another Houston trip.
star-5
We loved the tour.
samara_d, Jun 2022
Houston City Tour 2.5 hour
I loved it and would recommend it to anyone wanting to see the city.
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Overall whole gday very good.
Barbara_M, Jun 2022
NASA's Space Center Admission Plus Houston City Tour
Please let people know the entrance fee does not cover all the activities inside the hall.
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A most do in Houston
Joao_P, May 2022
Space Center Houston Admission Ticket
You really need 5+ hours to see it all and do the free tour rides.
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Great day out
marc_s, Apr 2022
Space Center Houston Admission Ticket
Easy to see all in a couple of hours or spend the whole day.
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Totally worth it!
lanisha, Jul 2022
Astroville Underground Tunnel Tour of Downtown Houston (Air-Conditioned)
Was amazing to see a parallel city flourishing underground.
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“Reconnecting”
Brenda_L, Mar 2022
Houston's Official City Tour
It was a great activity to see Houston after many years of living here.
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Good
Miriam_V, Jun 2021
Houston Museum of Natural Science General Admission
Houston for the weekend and decided to visit the museum.
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Great Experience
Yasmeen, Mar 2021
Private Houston Mural Instagram Tour by Cart
This was me and my boyfriend’s first time in Houston so it was nice to see all the beautiful murals and street art.
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Instagram mural tour
Victoria_C, Feb 2020
Private Houston Mural Instagram Tour by Cart
It was so amazing to see the beautiful street art of Houston.
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Could have been GREAT!!
CorieV_C, Oct 2018
NASA's Space Center Admission Plus Houston City Tour
That is NOT ENOUGH TIME to see everything.
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The tour guide was very informative...
dulce_5600, Jul 2017
Houston's Official City Tour
Nearby places to visit are the zoo, museum and restaurants.
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In four hours we were able to see...
Sarah H, Feb 2018
Private Houston City Tour 2.5 hour
In four hours we were able to see all the major places/buildings in Houston.
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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.

Currency
US Dollar ($)
Time Zone
CST (UTC -6)
Country Code
+1
Language(s)
English

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Frequently Asked Questions
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