If you’re going to fit in with the locals, you need to first knock a few things off your Houston bucket list. Once the moving truck has pulled away and the boxes are (mostly) unpacked, take a break and go experience some of H-Town’s most popular offerings.
Read on for 7 things that will help make Houston feel like home.
The Big Game
Between the 2017 World Series win and the 2018 Houston Rockets playoff rally, there’s never been a better time to be a Houston sports fan. Take the METRORail to EaDo to cheer on the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Stadium, or settle in for an air-conditioned Astros game at Minute Maid Park, where guests can also enjoy a memorable walking tour of the ballpark and historic Union Station.
Buffalo Bayou Park
Rent a bicycle from one of the B-Cycle stands that flank Buffalo Bayou Park and explore the 160-acre expanse that stretches from Shepherd Drive to Downtown Houston. Go underground at the Cistern, learn interesting facts from the Buffalo Bayou Revealed audio tour, and see Mexican free-tailed bats make their nightly exodus from the Waugh Drive Bridge. Want to upgrade your exploration? Book a spot on one of the second Saturday boat rides. The 30-minute cruise gives guests an up-close view of herons, jumping fish, and the occasional alligator.
It would be hard to claim Houston street cred without a pass by The Galleria. The largest mall in Texas is much more than a mall—it’s a small city. In addition to 400 fine stores and restaurants, two high-rise hotels, office towers, and a post office unfold in at the expansive, 2.4 million-square-foot facility. After grabbing a bite and shopping, cap your visit with a spin around the ice rink.
Just steps from the Medical Center, Houston’s 55-acre zoo welcomes 2.55 million visitors annually, making it the second most-visited zoo in the United States. It’s easy to see why, with impressive exhibits like the Kipp aquarium, bird gardens, and African Forest, which is home to zebras, gazelles, white rhinos, and Masai giraffes. Look for several up-and-coming multi-species habitats as the zoo prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2022.
Miller Outdoor Theatre
Bring a picnic and a blanket for a free show at Miller Outdoor Theatre. Located on the fringe of Hermann Park, the amphitheater serves as the backdrop for concerts, musicals, children’s shows, and more. From mid-spring until the fall, guests welcome performances by Houston Shakespeare Festival, the Houston Symphony, and Theatre Under the Stars.
With 19 museums, galleries, and cultural centers lining the tree-lined Museum District, it would be impossible to see it all in a day. Depending on your audience, the Children’s Museum of Houston might be a good place to start. The Houston Museum of Natural Science boasts a three-story butterfly center, paleontology hall, and the McFerrin Fabergé Collection. Don’t miss a pass by The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, either. The massive center is in the midst of a $450-million expansion.
Space Center Houston
There’s a reason Space Center Houston is consistently the most popular visitor destination in the Houston area. Located just a short drive from downtown in the Bay Area, guests will find everything from full-sized rockets to authentic space rocks. For a VIP experience, buy tickets to a Level 9 Tour and get behind-the-scenes access to NASA, including entry to historic mission control.