As one of the best cities to visit in the United States, Houston offers hundreds of attractions, including cultural institutions, historic sites, and entertainment venues. Whether you’re a culture vulture, a nature freak, or on a budget, you’ll find plenty of things to see and do here.
If this is the first time for you to visit, choosing from all the best tourist attractions in Houston, Texas may be quite a challenge; and so, we’ve rounded up 35 of the most popular attractions in Houston to help you make the most of your trip.
5 Most Famous Places in Houston, Texas
1. Miller Outdoor Theatre
One of the most popular places in Houston, Texas, the Miller Outdoor offers 8 months of free programming every year, offering locals and visitors to watch a play, symphony, or concert in idyllic, open-air surroundings.
2. Rothko Chapel
The stunning Rothko Chapel, founded by Houston philanthropists John and Dominique de Menil, is one of the top attractions in Houston, TX because of the 14 awe-inspiring mural canvasses by Russian-American artist Mark Rothko.
3. Beer Can House
Created by a retired upholsterer named John Milkovisch, the Beer Can House is popular because of the 50,000 beer cans decorating its walls. You can tour this quirky and fun house for just $5!
4. Houston Museum of Natural Science
The Museum of Natural Science is one of the famous things about Houston worth exploring. It offers a mesmerizing display of sparkling gems and an extensive collection of dinosaur fossils and artifacts. The museum is also home to the Cockrell Butterfly Center, which features a stunning variety of multicolored butterflies and tropical flora.
5. Hermann Park
Photo by Trac Vu
One of the best attractions in Houston, TX located in the Inner Loop, Hermann Park offers several botanical wonders, attractions, and activities, including playgrounds, pavilions, picnic areas, lakes, gardens, a golf course, a railroad ride for kids, pedal boats, trails and more!
More Famous Places in Houston, Texas
- The Menil Collection
- Art Car Museum
- The Galleria
- Houston Murals
- Armand Bayou Nature Center
- Houston Zoo
- Holocaust Museum Houston
- Houston Museum District
- Children’s Museum of Houston
- Buffalo Bayou Park
- Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
- The Museum of Fine Arts
- San Jacinto Monument and Museum
- McGovern Centennial Gardens
Most Fun Things to Do in Houston, TX
There’s so much to do and explore in this part of Texas. Here, we continue to enumerate some of the most fun things to do in Houston, TX.
Houston’s Chinatown, spanning 6 square miles, is an excellent place to go shopping and have a taste of amazing Asian food. You must try the Tian Tian Lu Chuaner (skewers and freshly made soybean milk), Tiger Den (ramen), MDK Noodles (hand-cut Korean noodles), Don’s Sandwiches (classic banh mi), and Viet-Cajun crawfish (try Cajun Kitchen).
22. Texas-Shaped Lazy River at Altitude
One of the best ways to beat the heat in the summer is to retreat to pools! And Marriott Marquis Houston is where you can find the country’s biggest Texas-shaped lazy river. Enjoy a few cocktails from the sky bar and there’s live music as well.
23. Twilight Epiphany Skyspace
Located at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, Twilight Epiphany Skyspace is one of the most amazing experiences you can have in Houston, Texas. James Turrell’s innovation is on display twice every day, with the LED light show starting about 40 minutes before sunrise and 10 minutes before sunset.
24. The Escape Game
We all know that escape rooms are a ton of fun, but The Escape Game in Houston, Texas is one of the most popular things to do in Houston for both escape aficionados and total novices. Experience the thrill and challenge of solving a puzzle in an hour, working with your fellow escapers.
25. Downtown Aquarium
Houston’s Downtown Aquarium is a must-see for animal lovers. The aquarium features around half-a-million gallons of water that houses over 200 species of aquatic animals from around the world. Plus, there’s a full-service restaurant, an upscale bar, a fully equipped ballroom, shopping, as well as rides and amusements!
26. 19th Street in the Heights
The 19th Street in the Heights is the ultimate shopping venue! When you plan your trip to Houston, make sure you also plan your spending budget because you’ll find so many great things in the quirky, charming stores.
27. McGonigel’s Mucky Duck
McGonigel’s Mucky Duck is one of the coolest places in Houston, TX to catch live music. This Irish pub serves more than beer and burgers, the performers here are truly talented you’ll find yourself staying longer than you intended.
28. House of Pies
There’s no better place to satisfy your sweet cravings than the House of Pies. The pecan and sweet potato pies are some of the crowd favorites, and there are other desserts and savory options on their menu, too, such as sandwiches and soup.
29. Speedy’s Fast Track
If you’re on a budget, Speedy’s Fast Track in Houston, Texas is one of the best places to visit with your family. There’s lots of great activities the whole family can enjoy, including mini-golf, pool, and go-karts.
30. Pinto Ranch and Cavender’s
A trip to Houston is never complete without taking home the ultimate souvenir — a pair of authentic cowboy boots from Pinto Ranch or Cavender’s. You can buy these boots ready-made or have them custom-crafted. You can choose a traditional design or try something extraordinary like adding Swarovski crystals. Oh, and you might want to buy a cowboy hat, too!
31. Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar
Houston has one of the best dueling piano bars out there. The energy of the room is constantly abuzz with the patrons of the performers at Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar. Enjoy the music as you sip the splendid cocktails.
32. Discovery Green
The 12-acre Discovery Green offers numerous activities and attractions to keep locals and visitors entertained. Adults can participate in outdoor yoga classes, watch live shows, enjoy a game at the putting green and bocce ball courts, while kids can check out the “art carts” which are full of free hula hoops, Frisbees, bouncy balls, and other toys.
33. Minute Maid Park
A quick trip to Minute Maid Park is a must for sports lovers, especially in the summer. The air-conditioned stadium offers a huge relief on the hottest days, and booking a tour of the grounds and indulging in a few ballpark classic eats like the hot dogs and nachos are a great way to make the most of your trip.
34. Johnson Space Center and Space Center Houston
The 250,000-square-foot Johnson Space Center houses the Space Center Houston, the official visitor center which was designated a Smithsonian Affiliate Museum in 2014. Come here with your kids to be entertained by science and space shows, shuttle launch displays, space suites exhibits, Mission Control tours, and a tour at the Starship Gallery.
This barrier island located just 50 miles southeast of Houston is a treasure trove of sandy beaches, amusement parks, and recreational pursuits. For those with kids, be sure to visit the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier and enjoy the arcade games and rollercoaster, Ferris wheel, carousel, and water rides.
You’ll never run out of amazing and fun things to do and places to go to when you’re in Houston, Texas! If you want to explore the city, make sure you save this article. And, if you would like to explore your home options here, feel free to give me a call at 832.273.9995.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Houston, Texas best known for?
Since “Houston” was the first spoken word from the moon, the city has become popular for its space and science contributions and is the home to NASA’s Johnson Space Center.
What do visitors to Houston often visit first?
The Space Center Houston is usually the first place visitors go to. Here, they explore the replica of the iconic space shuttle Independence and its shuttle carrier, as well as the replica of Skylab, the first US space station.
Why is Houston a popular tourist destination?
Houston is a popular tourist destination because of the many fun things that the city offers, including watching rodeo shows, shopping, exploring wildlife, enjoying nature, going to museums, and more.