When visiting the fourth largest city in the US for the first time, there’s a lot to cover. While you’re trying out Houston’s best restaurants and coffee shops, here are some places to be sure not to miss during your visit:
1500 McKinney Street
This public urban park nestled in the heart of Downtown Houston is the place to be for outdoor fun in the sun. The 11.78-acre park comes with a lake, venues for live performances, a children’s area, a few recreational areas and walking trails. Discovery Green is also home to many different events including regular movie screenings on the lawn, family yoga, kayaking and paddle boarding, sail boat rentals and much more.
6200 Hermann Park Drive
The 55-acre zoo is the home to over 6,000 animals and 900 different species. Since 1922, the Houston Zoo has been the place to be for a fun and unique experience in fostering the appreciation of animals and the natural world. The zoo’s exhibits include birds, primates, aquarium, African forest, sea lions, natural encounters, elephants, reptiles and amphibians, a children’s zoo and carnivores. One of the most breathtaking times of the year at the zoo is during Zoo Lights winter celebration when the entire zoo is decked out in Christmas lights beginning in November.
1401 Richmond Avenue
Houston is known for its museum culture, and a fact backed up by the city’s expansive Museum District located in Downtown. Many popular museums such as the Contemporary Arts Museum, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, The Menil Collection, The Museum of Fine Arts, the Holocaust Museum and many more are situated in this district. Various parts along the Museum District are hosts to yoga, exhibition openings, book discussions, do it yourself crafts and much more. Houston is known for its diversity, and it shines especially brightly in the city’s museum district.
Space Center Houston
1601 NASA Parkway
There’s no way to visit the “Space City” without seeing Space Center Houston. Since it’s opening in 1992, the Space Center has created a fun and educational spin on science, technology, engineering and math. The center uses space exploration to inspire students’ interest in math and science. The center features more than 400 space artifacts as well as permanent and traveling exhibits. Attractions of the Space Center include exhibits ranging from a NASA Tram Tour to a Stellar Science Show, to a Blast-Off! Theater. Guests can even be taken behind the scenes to see NASA Johnson Space Center. The 183,000-square-foot facility is visited annually by 1 million visitors, and by 100,000 teachers and students.
5085 Westheimer Road
Every year, more than 30 million people will visit this tourist hotspot. The Galleria is Texas’ largest shopping center and fourth largest domain nationally. This extraordinary mall hosts 400 fine stores and restaurants in its 2.4 million square feet of space. Shopping aside, the Galleria is also home to a wide range of amenities including a full size ice rink, a massive children’s play area, two swimming pools, three full-service banks, two tailor shops, upwards of seven beauty salons and a post office. Four floors of shopping include well-known stores such as Tiffany & Co., Ralph Lauren, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Fendi, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel and many more. Stores for younger shoppers include H&M, Abercrombie & Fitch, J. Crew, and more. Famous lifestyle and home shops including Microsoft, Sephora, Apple and Zara are available as well.
— By Elizabeth Ucles