Are you on the hunt for the ultimate collection of the best things to do in Houston? This is the place for you! Any trip to Houston should be the perfect get-a-way and chance to experience everything you’ve wanted to! So we collected all of the top-rated stops so that planning is as simple as can be! This list combines many of the best things that Houston has to offer from museums all the way to fun day trips to Galveston!
Originally founded in 1836, Houston is now the fourth most populous city in the US and the largest in Texas!
Houston is one of the most dynamic cities in Texas, brimming full of life and lots of things to do! Enjoy the nightlife, the visual and performing arts, and all the pieces that make Houston such a unique city.
Houston is even home to over 150 museums, making it a perfect place to go and learn about everything Texas and the whole galaxy even! Or for sports lovers, Houston is home to the first dome football stadium!
The city is perfect for any day trip, weekend get-a-way, or a whole week! So be sure to check out this ultimate bucket list of all the best things to do in Houston and then get on out there!
For maximum fun check out Houston’s CityPASS, an all-in-one ticket that gives access to some of the best places to visit in Houston such as many of the museums!
20 Best Things To Do In Houston: The Ultimate Bucket List
Space Center Houston
One of the best educational experiences in Houston is the Space Center! Originally opening in 1992, Space Center Houston tells one of the most important stories in US space history!
The Space Center is a 250,000 sq. ft. complex that annually sees over 1.25 million guests. The complex holds hundreds of unique exhibits that display the remarkable history of America’s space-flight program! This includes the largest collection of moon rocks and lunar samples!
Space Center Houston is also home to NASA’s Mission Control and the International Space Control Center! Plus it even contains the actual space where future astronauts train for their expeditions! This whole educational experience is available to the general public for only $29.95 for adults and even less for children under 11!
For those interested in finding out more about the extraordinary history of NASA and the Johnson Space Center this is definitely one of the best things to do in Houston!
Book Here: NASA Space Center with Transportation
Museum of Natural Sciences
If you are looking to get lost in all-new places without having to travel too much, one of the best places in Houston for you is the Museum of Natural Sciences! Taking you on a trip from galaxies far far away to the past and everywhere in between, the Museum of Natural Sciences is definitely a must-see!
The museum is a perfect stop for any group to get lost in! Great for a date or a group outing, there is something to impress everyone! It is recommended to make space for at least two hours for the museum in order to be able to experience the most out of the trip!
Be sure to check out their website to view when the best days or times are to go as well as to see what special events the museum may be holding while you are there! Additionally, the Houston Museum does require tickets for admission, which are $13 for adults and $10 for children!
The Houston Museum of Natural Sciences is one of the best places in Houston to learn about all of the wonders around Texas and the world! For even more fun in the museum book a scavenger hunt!
Go on a hop on bus tour
One of the best ways to get to enjoy Houston is absolutely a Hop-on tour of the city! These comprehensive tours offer a relaxing way to ride around while learning about all of the wonders that can be found in Houston!
Take a drive around Houston, taking in the incredible views from the top of an open double-decker bus! Enjoy learning about the historical skyscrapers, monuments, and even sports stadiums. Explore where the city dug in its roots to begin growing into the Houston we all know and love today!
Bus tours are a perfect way to experience Houston more in-depth while getting to spend an hour relaxing! Great for families or groups to get to sit down and sightsee!
So be sure to pack your sunscreen and go hop on that bus! What are you waiting for?
Book Here: Houston Hop on – City Tour: 2 day passes
Take a day trip to Galveston
Only an hour away from Houston lies the island city of Galveston! Easily one of the best places to visit near Houston, Galveston is full of coastal attractions, wonderous gardens, and a historic foodie scene!
For those looking for the best activities to get out there and explore Galveston, be sure to check out the best things to do! Galveston offers tons of space for kayaking, hiking, swimming, and so much more!
And after all that fun be sure to swing into some of the best restaurants for historic bites! Try them on their pier or try some seaside dining with fish fresh from the Gulf of Mexico!
No matter what you’re looking to do Galveston has something to try, taste, or see for everyone! And for those you want to discover as much as possible be sure to book a tour of the island! So be sure to swing by Galveston, which is obviously one of the best places to see near Texas!
Book Here: From Houston: 6-Hour Galveston Island Tour
Museum of Fine Arts
As one of the largest fine arts museums in the country, The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston is one of the grandest things to see in Houston!
While wandering through you will experience works from many different time periods such as the Italian Renaissance or American art. The museum boasts a collection of permanent works that span 6,000 years with around 70,000 pieces that have been gathered from all over the world. There are even gardens on campus that display even more decorative art styles!
The museum is only open Wednesday through Sunday for limited hours so be sure to book your tickets in advance to ensure the best experience possible!
Located 20 miles southeast of Houston is one of the most fun places in Houston, the Kemah Boardwalk! As one of the best Houston amusement it definitely a great place for the whole family!
Kemah Boardwalk contains thrilling amusement rides such as the Boardwalk Bullet, a wooden coaster! Or for those wanting less adrenaline take a swing through the boardwalk’s midway to try to win some prizes!
After all the rides and games be sure to stop through one of the many onsite restaurants to enjoy the waterfront views and foods! Or get some shopping in while getting to hear the sounds from local bands playing throughout the walk!
Be sure to check out the Kemah Boardwalk’s website for hours and rides that are open when planning your trip!
If you are looking to connect with nature, one of the best things to do in Houston is the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center! This is the perfect thing to add to your Weekend in Houston Itinerary!
Founded in 1967, the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center is home to a whole variety of plants and animals. You can see frogs, turtles, and even maybe an alligator! It’s the perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life!
Be sure to dress comfortably and be prepared to walk around as the arboretum offers 5 miles of trails for guests to explore. In addition stop through the Nature Center building which is home to interactive exhibits and activities to teach all about the natural environment! The arboretum is one of the best Houston attractions for all nature lovers! This is also one of the best places for hiking in Houston!
Recently the Houston Arboretum has added all-new amenities such as new buildings, updated trails, and even more to see and learn! Be sure to stop by the arboretum’s website for updated hours as well as to see if parking fees might apply to your visit!
Bayou Bend Gardens
Found at The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston are the Bayou Bend Gardens! One of the best places in Houston to not only connect with nature but also view beautiful artwork!
This 14-acre garden system is open year-round and contains the former home of a Houston Civic lead, Ima Hogg! This house is home to American decorative arts and paintings! Bayou Bend Gardens has several onsite educational spaces and is open for tours or special visits!
Be sure to check out their website for the hours of operation! And check their calendar to see if there may be any activities that may be occurring while you are there! The Bayou Bend Gardens are one of the best Houston nature activities to visit and have a relaxing trip!
Take a Houston Ghost Tour
For those looking for a little bit of supernatural fun, take a ghost tour of Houston! While it may be spooky, these tours are one of the best things to do in Houston!
Take a trek through downtown while learning about the spirits that still linger! Or be sure to stop by all the local ‘haunts’ and try some of the cities best food while being told the stories of old. For those 21+ maybe even go on a pub crawl while your skin crawls with the tales from the dead!
Best of all there as several choices of ghost tours for all types of people and budgets! Some offer dining or drinks with the experience but all promise a wee bit of haunting!
Book Here: Haunted Houston Ghost and Pub Walking Tour
Book Here: Haunted Houston Food & Ghost Walking Tour
Wings Over Houston at Ellington Airport
Experience one of the top air shows in the country at Wings Over Houston at the Ellington Airport! One of the best Houston tourist attractions this air show promises to amaze!
The CAF Wings Over Houston Airshow is one of the most popular airshows! It contains demonstrations from new and old legends, famous flight groups, and a few daredevils! Guests can look forward to seeing the best of the best in-flight such as the USAF Thunderbirds!
Make sure to stop by their website to check out the dates of the airshow! And be sure to grab tickets to certify that you get the most fun out of your aviation experience!
Waugh Bat Bridge
Only 2 miles away from downtown Houston is where you can experience a one-of-a-kind nature phenomenon! Waugh Bat Bridge is one of the most interesting Houston attractions!
Waugh Bat Bridge is home to around 250,000 Mexican free-tailed bats year-round! Even in the winter months, a large population of bats lives there! And when the weather warms up the bats emerge at sunset in grand flights along the bayou!
If you arrive 30 minutes before sunset there are free “Bat Chats”! This is where Houston Bat Team members are able to hold Q and A’s about the bats! There are even boat rides offered for those who want to watch the flights from below the bridge! The Waugh Bat Bridge is one of the best wonders to be found in Houston!
James Turrell’s Twilight Epiphany Skyspace
One of the most immersive experiences in Houston is the Twilight Epiphany Skyspace! The skyspace is a one-of-a-kind sculpture that allows visitors to connect with the sky above!
Created by James Turrell, it was erected on Rice University’s campus in 2012 as part of an initiative to build American art sculptures across the country. It was created to challenge viewers’ perspectives on the sky!
This gorgeous experience is open to all visitors for 40 minute light shows at sunrise and sunset daily! The Twilight Epiphany Skyspace is a fully transformative experience and one of the best experiences in Houston!
For the 21+ crowd, one of the best places in Houston to be is Wild West! A deep-rooted part of the bayou for over 20 years, Wild West is the place to two-step your night away!
Wild West is a country nightclub with a strong connection to the historic Texan heart built for dancing and having a great time. The main floor is solid oak to really bring out those dancing boots! This is one of the best Houston activities for any couple to spend a fun night together!
On Sundays, Wild West does offer dance lessons for everything from the west coast swing all the way to waltzing your way around! So be sure to bring your best boots and spend the night deep in the heart of Texas!
Hurricane Harbor SplashTown
One of the best places in Houston for the whole family has to be Hurricane Harbor! Open throughout the summer this watery fun is a great way to beat the heat and have a blast!
This is the perfect way to spend the day with the whole family! For those looking for a thrill, there is a whole assortment of rides sure to get your heart racing! With rides as tall as seven stories or slides that zip you along super fast! Or for the younger visitors, there is a whole tree house filled with net climbs, slippery slides, and water buckets for a wild good time! And lastly, for the whole family, there are group rides or they ride the waves in the half-million-gallon wave pool!
Hurricane Harbor is easily one of the most fun spots in Houston for anyone looking to find a way to relax in the Texas heat! Be sure to check their website for the best time to stop by!
Cockrell Butterfly Center
Also at the Houston Museum of Natural Science be sure to swing by one of the most immersive experiences in Houston, The Cockrell Butterfly Center. The perfect place to have nature come to you!
The Cockrell Butterfly Center is Houston’s own world of butterflies and all things insect! The center contains exhibits that allow visitors to not only see and learn about preserved species but also interact with live ones!
Get lost in the 3 story rain forest ecosystem and be amazed by all the species of insects and butterflies all around! For children, there is also the Land of Beyond filled with insect-focused educational games!
The Cockrell Butterfly Center is one of the best educational experiences in Houston and fun the whole family can experience!
Book Tickets: The Cockrell Butterfly Center Admission in Houston
Beer Can House
One of the most unique Houston attractions has got to be the Beer Can House. Not too far from downtown Houston is where you can find this oddity!
Beginning in 1968, John Milkovisch decided to use beer cans to side and decorate his entire house! It became such an interesting attraction that the house was acquired by the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art to become a public monument to folk art!
For only $2 a person you can visit and explore the house! Or for $5 you can even get a private tour! Be sure to make this Houston attraction part of your trip, it’ll definitely be something you’ll never forget!
In the oldest, continuously open building is where you can find one of the most haunted bars in all of Texas! La Carafe opened nearly 50 years ago, is one of the best Houston attractions for those looking for a little haunted history!
Found in downtown Houston, the building is highly noticeable with its historic charm. Originally built in the 1860s and now home to La Carafe, the location has held numerous experiences, people, and even hauntings!
Perfect for any meal be sure to peruse the decor each piece sharing some of La Carafe’s tales! Or try some wine while you listen to the classic tunes from the jukebox! No matter what your taste may be, be sure to not jump too much when the music mysterious changes on its own!
As one of the most delightfully haunted places in Houston, it’s sure to be a fantastic stop for anyone looking to experience all the sides of the city!
19th Street in the Heights
For those looking to take a little bit of Houston home with them, 19th Street in the Heights is the place for you! As the best shopping experience in Houston, it has something for everyone!
Originally developed in the 1890s by Oscar Martin Carter, the heights were created to be a safe haven for locals and their businesses! He had a vision for locals to be able to thrive in a community where they could both work and live in harmony! Today the community is an eclectic mix of stores that offer everything from clothes to art to antiques and everywhere in between!
19th Street in Heights is one of the best shopping attractions in Houston and they offer a great place for visitors to come and enjoy a day! Be sure to also check out their calendar to see what events the area may be hosting!
Children’s Museum of Houston
One of the best things to do in Houston with kids is the Children’s Museum! The Children’s Museum is fun the whole family can have!
The museum is created for all age groups with specific exhibits rated for age levels and experiences designed for all brains! With hands on-experiences the Children’s Museum allows kids to grow, be curious, and problem solve in all sorts of environments and situations!
Just as a note, the museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am-6 pm year-round! Be sure to make an online reservation as tickets are required for admission and tickets are $12 a person! The Children’s Museum of Houston is one of the best child-friendly attractions in Houston and offers something for everyone to bring out their inner kid!
Go to a sporting event
One of the most fun things to do in Houston has to be going to a live sporting event! For the sports lovers out there Houston is home to numerous venues with some decorated national teams!
If baseball is your game of choice, Houston is home to the Astro’s who play in Minute Maid Park! Or swing by the Toyota Center to watch the National Basketball Association Rockets play a game! And for those who love American football, Houston hosts the Texans in the NRG Stadium
For one of the best ways to experience the parks and Houston be sure to grab tickets for a downtown tour! The tour will take you up close and personal to not only downtown but two of the sporting venues! You’ll get to learn all of what makes up Houston from the skyscrapers to the sports!
Going out to a game or by taking a tour, professional sports are deep-rooted in Houston’s history and are one of the best attractions in Houston for all travelers!
This ultimate guide to the best things to do in Houston will help any planners create a wonderful trip! Whether you are going for the first or fifth time, this list will give you some of the best ideas for a terrific time!