Things to do in Houston

The largest city in Texas offers visitors plenty to see and do, making it the perfect destination for a short holiday or weekend away. Visitors should get hold of the Houston CityPass, which is valid for nine days and allows free admission to seven of the city's attractions.

Culture lovers will enjoy the Museum District, which features 19 varied and interesting museums as well as numerous restaurants in this leafy green area. And while in the area, visit the Miller Outdoor Theater to see what's on, check out the animals at the Houston Zoo or play a round of golf on the Hermann Park Golf Course.

For something completely unique, check out the quirky Orange Show, a celebration of folk art. Science lovers can make a pilgrimage to the Lyndon B Johnson Space Center in Clear Lake to view the actual Apollo and Mercury launch vehicles and even check out the space flight simulators.

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center photo

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center

The Houston Space Center is attached to NASA's mission control, the headquarters which guided pioneering astronauts and directed the space shuttle project. Houston's most popular t…

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center

The Houston Space Center is attached to NASA's mission control, the headquarters which guided pioneering astronauts and directed the space shuttle project. Houston's most popular tourist attraction, the center is located on Clear Lake off the Gulf Freeway I-45. Visitors will encounter wonders that both entertain and educate, including hundreds of hands-on displays, an Imax theatre and even a rare chance of seeing astronauts train. Guests can get an idea of what it's like to carry out everyday tasks in a low-gravity environment, and there is even an opportunity for visitors to practice some basic astronaut skills on simulators, such as landing the orbiter.

Website www.spacecenter.org

Museum District photo

Museum District

The Museum District in Houston features 19 museums and galleries, set within a 1.5 mile (2.4 km) of the striking Mecom Fountain. The Museum of Fine Art and the Contemporary Arts Mu…

Museum District

The Museum District in Houston features 19 museums and galleries, set within a 1.5 mile (2.4 km) of the striking Mecom Fountain. The Museum of Fine Art and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston are great spots to start, as is the Rothko Chapel which itself is part of the famed Menil Collection. This is perhaps best followed by the Children's Museum to lighten the mood, while kids and adults alike will love the Museum of Natural Science, the Health Museum and the Houston Zoo. There is also the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum and the Houston Museum of African American Culture, among many others.

Website www.houstonmuseumdistrict.org

The Orange Show photo

The Orange Show

For a touch of the bizarre visit The Orange Show, a lot where a postman's obsession with his favourite fruit became a treasured local art space. Its labyrinth of orange passages an…

The Orange Show

For a touch of the bizarre visit The Orange Show, a lot where a postman's obsession with his favourite fruit became a treasured local art space. Its labyrinth of orange passages and staircases has inspired Houston movements like the popular Art Car Parade and the Beer Can House, while the mosaics of Smither Park followed its quirky aesthetics and philosophies. The park is billed as Houston's first folk-inspired green space, even hosting personal ceremonies such as weddings. Public performances and shows are also regular occurrences.

Website www.orangeshow.org

Sam Houston Park photo

Sam Houston Park

The 19 acres of Sam Houston Park provides visitors with a larger than life look into the area's history. It features seven of the oldest buildings, now fully restored and relocated…

Sam Houston Park

The 19 acres of Sam Houston Park provides visitors with a larger than life look into the area's history. It features seven of the oldest buildings, now fully restored and relocated to this convenient central location. A small log cabin named the Old Place dates all the way back to 1823 while others were built throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Many of the buildings entrance travellers with the weight of time and history, while others are simply wonderful structures such as the St John Church and the Pilot House. The park itself was bought by the mayor in 1900 and landscaped into a gorgeous Victorian garden, with several permanent sculptures and memorials.

Address 1100 Bagby Street

Website www.houstontx.gov/parks/parksites/samhoustonpark.html

Opens Daily 7am-7pm

Bayou Bend photo

Bayou Bend

The magnificent pink mansion in the marshy elbow of Buffalo Bayou in Houston's River Oaks area was the home of Miss Ima Hogg. Miss Hogg and her two brothers bought the woodlands es…

Bayou Bend

The magnificent pink mansion in the marshy elbow of Buffalo Bayou in Houston's River Oaks area was the home of Miss Ima Hogg. Miss Hogg and her two brothers bought the woodlands estate in 1925 and for two years, Miss Hogg worked on the gardens. At her death, she left her home and gardens as a legacy for the city. The gardens were the first 100 percent organic gardens in the state of Texas, with dedicated teams working to preserve and enhance them. The house contains a remarkable collection of Americana dating from 1620 to 1870 and is regarded as a cultural treasure, with several thousand objects displayed in 28 period room settings in the mansion.

Website www.mfah.org/bayoubend

National Museum of Funeral History photo

National Museum of Funeral History

At Barren Springs in Houston is an unusual private museum dedicated to funeral memorabilia, perhaps the biggest of its kind in the world. Customs, rituals, and traditions associate…

National Museum of Funeral History

At Barren Springs in Houston is an unusual private museum dedicated to funeral memorabilia, perhaps the biggest of its kind in the world. Customs, rituals, and traditions associated with burial from ancient Egypt to the present day are represented, with some highlights of the collection being restored horse-drawn and vintage automobile hearses, and a unique 1916 Packard funeral bus. The museum also features a gallery devoted to the funerals of famous figures like Elvis Presley, John F. Kennedy and Rudolph Valentino. Permanent exhibits focus on embalming, presidential funerals, mourning customs, Ghanaian and Japanese funerals, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and other intriguing displays.

Website www.nmfh.org

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