Admittedly, when compared to tourist hubs like New York City or Boston, Houston’s historic offerings might seem a bit thin; most people come to Houston either to work or to attend school. But there are actually some incredible spots in the city, and it draws thousands of tourists each year. If you’re interested in doing some Houston sightseeing, here are some spots you shouldn’t miss:
- NASA Houston Tours
Sightseeing in Houston often comes down to four letters: NASA. The top attraction in Astro-City is undoubtedly Space Center Houston, which features both more traditional museum exhibits and interactive activities. If you plan ahead, you can even get a spot at a Lunch with Astronauts event, where you’ll be seated with an actual astronaut who will share his or her stories.
- The Downtown Tunnels
The Houston downtown tunnels are a fun and adventurous way of getting around, even if you have little interest in the buildings they connect. They’re bright and well-maintained, not dreary or claustrophobic, and anyone interested in architecture is sure to enjoy the wide variety of building materials used. It’s wise to bring a map or take a guided tour, as it’s easy to get turned around and end up going a few blocks out of your way.
- Discovery Green
Discovery green is a large park right in the middle of downtown, a lush space ringed by skyscrapers. Hundreds of free events are hosted in the park each year, but you can also just enjoy an afternoon picnic or play around with the Listening Vessels, enormous sculptures that allow you to communicate with someone across the lawn just by whispering.
- The Museum District
The Houston sightseeing scene actually offers quite a bit of arts and culture. In the museum district, you can experience art from all around the world and learn about history all in the comfort of just a few buildings (the district features some lovely outdoor green space, too). Parking can be a challenge, so you may want to plan on a guided tour or public transportation.
- The Menil Collection
If you’ve only got a short time for taking in Houston’s art scene, then the Menil Collection is the way to go. This museum’s architecture is just as stunning as its offerings, and it has a much more relaxed atmosphere than the city’s other museums. You also won’t be able to beat the price: Admission is always free.
Do you have any other Houston sightseeing advice to share? Give other readers some guidance on your favorite spots in the comments.