There’s nothing small-scale about Houston.
From big oil and aerospace to shipping, energy and finance, America’s fourth-largest city is a leader in the world of business. But it’s also a city that knows how to have Texas-sized fun.
Its downtown has been reenergized with restaurants, nightclubs, professional sports facilities and theaters. To keep visitors out of the summer heat, it even has a 6.5-mile (10.5 km) underground city full of top-notch shopping and dining.
But its family and cultural attractions are what really makes Houston such a memorable place to visit.
Where else can you experience the sensation of a space launch and get a behind-the-scenes tour of Johnson Space Center’s working and training areas? Space Center Houston is an iconic attraction packed with activities. Visitors can experience the history of flight from the earliest rockets to the lunar landing to shuttle flights. And the Kids Space Place keeps future astronauts entertained for eons.
From outer space to the depths of the ocean, see some of the sea’s famous residents at the Downtown Aquarium. Experience the wonder of the underwater world as you tour the Aquarium Adventure Exhibit, a 500,000-gallon aquatic wonderland. Discover 400 species of marine life from around the globe including a giant Pacific octopus, clownfish and grouper.
Majestic elephants, red pandas, chimpanzees and rhinos are just a few animals you can find at the Houston Zoo. But, if you really want to squeal, head over to the new Bug House and enjoy colorful beetles, centipedes, giant katydids, tarantulas, scorpions and even white-dotted domino roaches.
The Children's Museum of Houston is a playground for the mind. Children can harness the power of water as FlowWorks unleashes a tsunami of wet, wild fun; run an entire city at Kidtropolis; leap, jump, crawl and climb up PowerPlay; and create, concoct and invent their own gadgets in the Invention Convention.
Spacecraft in Independence Plaza at Space Center Houston
Take your CityPASS and explore one of the nation’s most-visited museums at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, home to one of the largest paleontology halls in the country. The vast Hall of Egypt immerses visitors into the ancient world of the pharaohs and a coveted collection of work by Fabergé craftsmen displays over 600 pieces, the largest private collection of Fabergé in the world.
Take on an art adventure at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Explore the expansive assortment of paintings, sculptures and film. The breadth of the permanent collections brings together stunning works from every corner of the world, from ancient artworks to modern masterpieces. And the collections rotate often, bringing in the chance to see art from a myriad of disciplines and people.
Dinosaurs on display at the Houston Museum of Natural Science
A Colorful Escape
Get out of the heart of the city and enjoy a local pastime for all ages: unwinding on a boardwalk by the beach. Kemah Boardwalk has amusement rides, nine waterfront restaurants, shopping, midway games, live entertainment and weekend festivals. Brave the Bullet rollercoaster, ride the train and Ferris wheel, and plunge 40-plus meters on the Drop Zone.