Probably one of the most famous cities in Texas, Houston is a great city to visit for a weekend trip. Perched near the Gulf of Mexico, with a history dating back centuries and a heap of cool little foodie spots – it’s one of the fun US cities to visit for a little getaway. Not only that, there’s a shed load of the best things to do in Houston and around the immediate fringes of the city. 

This all makes it perfect to explore! 

Our first ever visit to Houston was quite a few years ago during our roadtrip from the Florida Keys to Los Angeles. It was an epic drive and we just knew we had to spend a good few days in the city. 

Fast-forward to now and we still love it.

So, to help you get the most out of your visit to Houston, I wanted to share a few gems that we totally loved whilst exploring. 

Best Things To Do In Houston

Take a look, below, at the best things to do in Houston. Have an amazing time visiting Texas. 

1.) Hermann Park

Best Things To Do In Houston

Probably one of the best things to do in Houston if you fancy a chillout day, Hermann Park is lovely to stroll through. 

Situated near Hoston’s biggest museums, Hermann Park has lots of spots to explore. From the gorgeous Japanese Garden, Miller Outdoor Theatre to the totally cute Hermann Park Railroad – you’re going to love visiting. 

Also, if you’ve got time, make sure to visit the nearby Museum of Natural Science and the Holocaust Museum. Both are exceptional venues that you really shouldn’t miss. 

Finally, for an informal lunch, get yourself over to Turkey Leg Hut (on Almeda Road). Their crab mac and cheese and turkey legs are everything!  

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2.) BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir

Nestled on the south-west fringes of Houston, the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir (temple) is totally gorgeous to see. Not only that, it’s the largest in all of Texas and so eye-catching for a little visit.

Open daily, all are welcomed to visit and see. Just remember to be respectful and not to take any photos inside. 

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3.) Museum of Fine Arts

Still hankering for some more exhibitions and galleries? Then hop over to the Museum of Fine Arts.

It houses the largest cultural institution featuring the collections of nearly 70,000 objects of American art and Latin American art.

Not only that, but the museum also contains the European paintings, sculptures of the 20-21st century and so much more. Trust me, you won’t wanna miss it. 

If that’s not your thing, pop over to the Cockrell Butterfly Center that’s attached to the Museum of Natural Science. It’s a huge glass-enclosed butterfly ecosystem that includes thousands of colourful species of butterflies.

Best Things To Do In Houston

To fill your tummy, head over to The Breakfast Klub which is one of the best diners in all of Texas. They have a yummy menu that’s too good to miss. Their wings and grits are so good. 

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4.) Buffalo Bayou Park

Best Things To Do In Houston

Buffalo Bayou Park is a beautiful urban park featuring a number of spots that’s great for a relaxing day in Houston. Including a skateboarding park, playground (for the kids), picnic pavilion, and a tributary, it’s the kind of spot to really just chill and take a rest from stomping the streets of the city.

Not only that, it’s a totally lovely spot to enjoy some kayaking and paddle boarding on a warm sunny day. 

Afterwards, stroll up to the Sawyer Yards and the Silos (at Sawyer Yards).

Best Things To Do In Houston

It’s a great little stop to make to visit the delicious foodie vendors, see the street art and listen to live music at certain times of the week. The vibe is really cool. 

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5.) San Jacinto Park

Best Things To Do In Houston

Heading away from the downtown area of Houston? Pop into San Jacinto Park to explore this beautiful part of the city.  Not only are the grounds of the park totally lovely to stroll on a sunny day; but it’s also got lots of history to this site. 

You see, right here is the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site which has a museum and monument to visit.

After booking these admission tickets, you’ll get to wander around the exhibits and learn more about Texas’s independence from Mexico in 1939. 

Plus, you’ll have some incredible views from the top! This alone makes it one of the best things to do in Houston for sure. 

Best Things To Do In Houston

After arriving back in Midtown, head over to Tacos A Go Go for their spicey tacos and quesadillas. Again, it’s not a fancy spot but the dishes are so good! 

Book tickets: San Jacinto Battleground and Museum 

6.) Children’s Museum of Houston

Best Things To Do In Houston

Yeah, if you haven’t realised by now, Houston has a heap of museums to explore; and they’re all so good! 

For a family-fun spot, head over to the Children’s Museum of Houston that’s totally great for kids (and big kids, too).

Once here, you will see exhibitions of science and technology and also the exhibitions of history and culture and the arts that make their permanent collections so special. 

After a morning in the museum, head over to Lucille’s for their tasty southern brunch. Their chicken and waffles will leave you stuffed! 

7.) Galveston

Houston Galveston Island Beach

If you’re wanting to get away from the downtown area of Houston, hop in the car and get yourself over to the coastline at Galveston. 

Fill with beautiful beaches, a kitsch amusement park and a pleasure pier, it’s the kind of spot you can spend all day.

Honestly, Galveston has many epic things to do and explore and is perfect for some time away from the city itself

Once here, you can’t miss some of Galveston’s best beaches. Some favourites are; East Beach, Stewart Beach, Porretto Beach, and San Luis Beach. Just be sure to pack your sunblock; the wind can fool you into thinking the sun isn’t that strong! 

Best Things To Do In Houston

Oh, and don’t forget to visit the historic East End of Galveston and Bishop’s Palace (sometimes known as Gresham’s Castle) which’s totally ornate.

It dates all the way back to the 1800s and is so stunning to see. 

Best Things To Do In Houston

Also, if you’re planning a full-day trip from the downtown area, be sure to stop at the Houston Space Center. This spot is incredible to learn more about space exploration and even see some real-life rockets and space shuttles!

Just make sure to book your Space Center tickets before arriving. You don’t want to get there and there’s none left.  

Finally, it’s totally easy to book these tours from and in Houston and to the Space Center, too. Just be sure to book before your trip; tickets can sell out at peak times.

Read more: Best beaches in Texas to visit

8.) Gerald D. Hines Waterwall

Waterfall in Houston Texas

Pretty unique and totally Houston, the Gerald D. Hines Waterwall is a spot you kinda can’t miss.  Yes, it’s a manmade waterfall but the power is incredible and actually a really cool spot to visit that’s next to the Williams Tower. 

Though be warned, when the wind changes direction you might just get sprayed with a downpour! 

Also, it’s not too far from the Galleria, with its whopping 400 boutiques to shop till you drop! Not only are there some Texan brands but you’ll also find heaps of international ones like Burberry, Chanel and Gucci (to name drop a few).

Afterwards, grab a table at Caracol, their “ranch water agave” cocktail and their seared scallops (Callo De Hacha, I think the dish was called) are both so good! 

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9.) Houston Museum of Natural Science

Best Things To Do In Houston

Another great spot, visiting the Museum of Natural Science is one of the best things to do in Houston for a trip back millions of years! 

You see, inside is the world-famous palaeontology hall that can’t be missed. Here, you can explore the dinosaur’s fossils and many exhibit halls including space-station models and mineral specimens.

You will also get to see some Egypt exhibitions and the museum’s butterfly center (that I mentioned earlier), too. 

Just be sure to book these admission tickets to avoid any disappointment if the quota of visitors is filled. 

Best Things To Do In Houston

If you fancy a tipple afterwards, get yourself over to the relaxed Natachee’s Supper ‘n Punch spot.

It’s not too far from the Breakfast Klub I mentioned earlier and a great stop for a tipple. 

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