Houston we have a problem! You have too many things to see and do! Seriously though, no visitor will be disappointed by everything this big-time city with a small town southern feel offers. And it’s big. Houston is the 4th most populous city in the US which means plenty of attractions and entertainment - day and night. Stick on your cowboy boots and ten gallon hat and get ready to hear about some of the things to do in Houston.
One of the first things many people think of when they visit the city of Houston is the line from Apollo 13, “Houston, we’ve got a problem.” It’s no wonder one of the major attractions of Houston is the Houston Space Center, where visitors can learn all about the Apollos missions and space flight in general. Filled with interactive learning displays, theaters and artifacts, you can even take a tram tour to see a launch site. Arrive on a Friday to meet an actual astronaut!
While shopping is the main attraction here – one of the biggest malls in the US - the Galleria is so much more than the great stores available. Mixed in among the stores are about 50 eateries, and at the center lies the famed indoor ice rink. Located below the central glass atrium, the ice rink covers an area of 801 x 180 feet and was the first even built inside a mall. A jogging track surrounds the atrium window in the roof. In the same complex lies the Westin Galleria and Westin Oaks Hotel, nice and centrally located for shopping mall fun.
Right in the center of the park lies a 64’ semi-circle of cascading water. It’s close to the Galleria Mall, in case you need a rest from marathon shopping! The fountain is a restful respite from the heat of summer days and masks the noise of the city, making it a restful destination. Besides the fountain, there are a number of large oak trees and benches where you can relax and perhaps enjoy a picnic lunch. If you visit after dark, the fountain is lit up, making it appear almost magical.
20 museums make up this district, featuring art, history, nature and culture from around the world and together make up one of the great attractions of Houston. All are located within walking distance of each other, and there are plenty of places to eat when you need to take a break. Art lovers will like the sites such as the Contemporary Arts Museum or the Lawndale Art Center, while those interested in culture might enjoy the Houston Museum of African American Culture or the Czech Center Museum. Families with children might enjoy the Children’s Museum or the Houston Zoo.
If you happen to be in Houston in the month of March, attend the 20-day Houston Rodeo if you can. It’s both the world’s largest livestock show and the world’s largest live entertainment show in one. Enjoy the rodeo, parades, carnivals, pig racing, and many more activities to hold your attention. The concerts attract some of the world’s biggest performers, such as Alabama and Trace Atkins. Fill up on food offering throughout the grounds, like funnel cakes or extra-long hot dogs – this is a great place to stop, but you could easily spend your entire vacation here!
On the northern outskirts of Houston, take a step back in time in Old Town Spring. This small community is comprised of restaurants, museums and shops tucked into or among historic buildings. A great place for antique shopping and photography! Catch a live performance at the Jailhouse Saloon, or enjoy one of many festivals that overtake the town – such as the Crawfish Festival, where visitors consume over 70 tons of crawfish!
Texas has different kinds of barbecue depending on the regions. Houston is known for its Eastern Texas style. One of the best places to try this Texas specialty is Gatlin’s. Be prepared to stand in line, even if you come early! Take your order to go, since there is very limited seating. Some of the best items on the menu are their brisket, sausage, and ribs. They close early at 7 p.m., or earlier if they run out of food.
Houston’s calling! Are you ready to answer?