The fourth-largest city in the U.S. and the home of NASA’s headquarters, Houston is one of the country’s preeminent cultural and commercial hubs. More so than other cities of its size, Houston’s geographic footprint is massive (it’s highly recommended that guests are prepared to travel by car). That said, there’s little you won’t find in this city. There’s absolutely something for everyone if you’re willing to search!
While it’s true that Houston houses some of the South’s best dining, shopping (i.e. The Galleria) and nightlife venues, it’s also home to an exemplary selection of school districts and neighborhoods for moving families, too. Whether you’re commuting within a suburb or directly to downtown, there are plenty of location options to satisfy the needs of any guest.
Four Adventurous Things To Do in Houston
Whether you love the outdoors, history, the arts, craft beer, shopping or all of the above, Houston has it in spades. While obviously the list of things to do is far more extensive than the options listed here, this list can serve as a great starting point as you begin to explore the city.
- Hermann Park — Located in the center of Houston and within walking distance of Rice University, Hermann Park is a refreshing gem for Houstonians and travelers to properly enjoy a beautiful day. Hop on a pedal boat, visit the Japanese Garden or jog along one of the park’s many trails to enjoy an escape from the day-to-day.
- Museum of Fine Arts (among others) — Houston is home to many of the country’s best museums, and a few more are mentioned later in this piece. The Museum of Fine Arts, a massive 300,000 sq. ft. sanctuary of art displays from around the world, is one of the must-sees. If you love art or if art piques your curiosity, this museum houses more than 63,000 works to peruse.
- Karbach/8th Wonder/St. Arnold — Houston has one of the best craft brewing scenes in the U.S. and is arguably the heart of craft brewing for the state of Texas. St. Arnold and Karbach feature many of the State’s most popular beers and 8th Wonder is a go-to if you’re interested in getting a true taste of exclusive local brews.
- Shuttle Cockpit at the Space Center — If you’re in Houston for a while, then it only makes sense that you visit the Space Center! The home of NASA, the shuttle cockpit is a fascinating exhibit even if you’re not a space junkie. If you’ve wondered what it’s like to visit space, look no further than this.
Where to Eat in Houston
- Blacksmith — If you can’t function without a cup of joe, then maybe Blacksmith is the place for you. Among the best coffee shops in the city, their freshly baked breakfast and brunch items are a welcome complement to the caffeine rush.
- Hugo’s — This multi-award-winning restaurant is a go-to if you crave authentic Mexican food (i.e. not TexMex) and want the premier option in Houston. Hugo Ortego, the head chef, creates traditional dishes from scratch to capture the true essence of Mexico.
- The Breakfast Klub — If chicken & waffles with mimosas is your thing, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better brunch spot than The Breakfast Klub. This is a day-time only cafe and it’s well worth the visit for hearty breakfasts and good times.
- Brennan’s — While Cajun food might be best associated with New Orleans and Louisiana, Houston knows how to do Cajun right. Brennan’s is a testament to Houston’s rich cajun food tradition and is a hot spot for gumbo, crawfish and jambalaya enthusiasts.
- State of Grace — One of Houston's gems, State of Grace offers a delightful spectrum of flavors from seafood (oysters, scallops, snapper, redfish), Italian pasta favorites, Mexican dishes, steak, ribs and even Kimchi.
- Steak 48 — Not your average steakhouse, Steak 48 offers an incredible seafood selection in addition to its prime steak and chops. Also...who can say no to fried deviled eggs?
- Tiny Boxwoods — For a quaint brunch or lunch spot, Tiny Boxwoods is a charming and delicious meeting place for friends. Offering fresh salads, brunch classics, sandwiches and refreshing cocktails, make a reservation here to brighten your day.
Where to Shop in Houston
- The Galleria — The unquestioned mothership of all shopping centers, the Galleria is the shopping mecca of Houston. With more than 375 stores, it’s no wonder this mall doubles as one of the city’s major tourist attractions. Here, you’ll find all your fashionista brands including Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci and others.
- Highland Village — Not far from The Galleria, Highland Village offers another collection of popular shopping stops. Visit Crate & Barrell, Cole Haan, Chico’s or even the Michael Kemper Salon & Day Spa if you need to relax.
- Uptown Park — A unique mix of eclectic shops and restaurants, Uptown Park invokes an almost European-style vibe. You can sift through knick knacks at one of many specialty shops, adore the home decor at Longoria Collection or indulge in some gelato and chocolate along the way.
Top School Districts
- Katy ISD
- Pearland ISD
- Friendswood ISD
- Tomball ISD
- Clear Creek ISD
- Spring Branch ISD
- Children’s Museum of Houston — One of the most reputable children’s museums internationally, the Children’s Museum of Houston is the perfect spot for a day trip with children of all ages. Filled with fun, interactive exhibits exploring areas in science, technology, history and culture, the experience at the museum is both highly engaging and educational. If you happen to bring children aged three or younger, the museum has a designated space designed with activities for toddlers, too.
- Houston Museum of Natural Science — If your kids have a thing for dinosaurs, or even if they don’t, this museum is one of the best of its kind in the country. Nestled in the beautiful Hermann Park, visit the Cockrell Butterfly Center or watch a production in the giant IMAX theatre. The museum’s permanent exhibitions include dinosaur paleontology, the Wiess energy hall, Texas wildlife dioramas and the Weich Hall of Chemistry, among others.
- Space Center Houston — Few things capture the imagination quite like space, especially for kids. Visit the Mission Mars exhibit to see what it’s like to experience a Martian sunset or go to the Starship Gallery to see some of the most breathtaking artifacts from manned spaceflights. Don’t forget to watch a space film at the Destiny Theatre while you’re at it!
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