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9 Very Best Things to Do in Houston, Texas – Hand Luggage Only

Houston is probably one of the most famous cities in Texas and a great city for a weekend getaway. Located near the Gulf of Mexico, with centuries of history and tons of cool little foodie eateries, it’s one of the fun US cities to visit for a getaway. Not only that, there are tons of the best things to do in Houston and the immediate outskirts of the city.

This all makes it perfect to explore!

Best things to do in Houston

Our first visit to Houston was a few years ago during our road trip from the Florida Keys to Los Angeles. It was an epic ride and all we knew was we had to spend a few days in town.

Fast forward to now and we still love it.

To help you get the most out of your Houston visit, I wanted to introduce you to some gems that we totally loved while exploring.

Best things to do in Houston

Check out the best things to do in Houston below. We wish you a great time in Texas.

1.) Hermann Park

Best things to do in Houston

Hermann Park is probably one of the best things to do in Houston if you fancy a chill-out day.

Hermann Park is close to the largest museums in Hoston and offers many attractions. From the beautiful Japanese garden to the Miller Outdoor Theater to the totally cute Hermann Park Railroad – you’ll love to visit them.

If you have time, be sure to check out the nearby Natural History Museum and Holocaust Museum as well. Both are exceptional venues that really shouldn’t be missed.

Finally, head to Turkey Leg Hut (on Almeda Road) for an informal lunch. Your crab mac and cheese and turkey thighs are everything!

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2.) BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir

Best things to do in Houston Best things to do in Houston Temple

The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir (temple) is located on the southwestern edge of Houston and is beautiful to look at. Not only that, it is the largest in all of Texas and such an eye-catcher for a little visit.

Open every day, everyone is welcome to visit and see. Remember to be respectful and not to take photos in it.

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3.) Museum of Fine Arts

Best things to do in Houston Best things to do in Houston

Would you like to see more exhibitions and galleries? Then hop to the Museum of Fine Arts.

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

In addition, the museum also contains European paintings, sculptures from the 20th to 21st centuries, and much more. Trust me, you won’t want to miss it.

If that’s not your thing, check out the Cockrell Butterfly Center, attached to the Museum of Natural Science. It is a huge, glass-enclosed butterfly ecosystem that contains thousands of colorful butterfly species.

Best things to do in Houston

To fill your stomach, head to The Breakfast Club, one of the best restaurants in Texas. They have a delicious menu that is too good to miss. Your wings and grains 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 with a number of locations that are great for a relaxing day in Houston. With a skateboard park, playground (for kids), picnic pavilion, and a tributary, this is a place to just relax and explore the city streets.

Not only that, it’s a beautiful place to go kayaking and paddling on a warm, sunny day.

Then walk to Sawyer Yards and the Silos (at Sawyer Yards).

Best things to do in Houston

It’s a great little stop to check out 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

Leaving Downtown Houston? Visit San Jacinto Park and explore this beautiful part of the city. The grounds of the park are not only very nice to go for a walk on a sunny day. But there is also a lot of history on this site.

You see, right here is the state historic site of the San Jacinto battlefield, which has a museum and a memorial to visit. After paying a small entry fee, you can stroll through the exhibits and learn more about Texas independence from Mexico in 1939.

Plus you have an incredible view from above! That alone sure makes it one of the best things to do in Houston.

Best things to do in Houston

When you return to Midtown, enjoy the spicy tacos and quesadillas at Tacos A Go Go. Again, it’s not a fancy place, but the dishes are so good!

6.) Houston Children’s Museum

Best things to do in Houston

Yes, if you haven’t noticed by now, there are tons of museums to explore in Houston. and they are all so good!

For fun with the family, check out the Houston Children’s Museum, which is great for kids (and older kids too).

Here, you’ll see exhibitions on science and technology, as well as exhibitions on history, culture, and art that make their permanent collections so special.

After a morning at the museum, head to Lucille’s for a delicious brunch in the south. The chicken and waffles will leave you crammed full!

7.) Galveston

Houston Galveston Island Beach

To get out of downtown Houston, get in the car and head to the Galveston coast.

Fill up with beautiful beaches, a kitschy amusement park, and an amusement pier. You can spend the whole day here.

In all fairness, Galveston has lots of epic things to do and explore and is perfect for some time out of town

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

Best things to do in Houston

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

It dates back to the 19th century and is so breathtaking to see.

Best things to do in Houston

If you’re planning a full-day excursion from downtown, be sure to stop at the NASA Johnson Space Center. This place is amazing for learning about space exploration and even seeing some real rockets and space shuttles!

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8.) Gerald D. Hines Waterwall

Waterfall in Houston Texas

The Gerald D. Hines Waterwall is quite unique and utterly in Houston. It is a place not to be missed. Yes it is an artificial waterfall but the power is amazing and actually a really cool place to visit next to the Williams Tower.

Be warned, however, if the wind changes direction, you might just get sprayed with a downpour!

It’s also not far from the Galleria, with its whopping 400 boutiques where you can shop till you drop! Not only are there a few Texas brands out there, there are tons of international brands like Burberry, Chanel, and Gucci (to name a few).

Then grab a table at Caracol, their Ranch Water Agave cocktail and seared scallops (Callo De Hacha, I think the dish was named) are both so good!

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9.) Houston Museum of Natural Science

Best things to do in Houston

Another great place to visit, the Museum of Natural History is one of the best things to do in Houston for a trip in millions of years!

As you can see, inside is the world-famous paleontology hall, which cannot be overlooked. Here you can explore the dinosaur fossils and many exhibition halls, including space station models and minerals.

You’ll also see an exhibit in Egypt and the museum’s butterfly center (which I mentioned earlier).

Best things to do in Houston

When you’re in the mood for a sip afterward, head to the laid-back Natachee’s Supper ‘n Punch Spot. It’s not too far from the breakfast club I mentioned earlier and a great stop for a sip.

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