Houston area, United States
Attractions in Houston Texas, USA: What to Do and Where to Go
There are lots of attractions and activities available for the entire family in the multicultural, cosmopolitan city of Houston. Don't miss the opportunity to visit the exciting downtown, take a walk beside the famous bayous in the area, visit the extraordinary Museum District, take a tour around the city, or enjoy an exciting professional sporting event. Without a doubt, you'll find lots of fantastic things to do in Houston.
One of the most exciting places to visit, in the entire city, is the astonishing Houston downtown. This large area features dozens of streets filled with contrasts. Modern skyscrapers, such as the JPMorgan Chase Tower and Wells Fargo Plaza, that both have observation decks, stand next to beautiful old buildings from the 19th century. Then there's Main Street with its attractive fountains and lane for the METRORail, the ancient bayous, and the modest but attractive public parks, such as Discovery Green. Houston Downtown also has a very original tunnel system, a zoo, an aquarium, an impressive museum district, and the downtown historic district, which has many buildings from the last century.
Buffalo Bayou runs for 52 miles through the city of Houston. One peculiar characteristic, of this body water, is that it flows very close to downtown, providing the surrounding areas with a distinctive look and giving life to many of the parks. Buffalo Bayou runs through the following parks: Allen's Landing, Buffalo Bayou ArtPark, Buffalo Bayou, Guadalupe, Hidalgo, Memorial (home to the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center), Sam Houston, Sesquicentennial, Spotts and Tony Marron. The bayou also features hiking and biking trials and sections for kayaking or boating.
This gorgeous park was built at the beginning of the 20th century. It is located a few minutes south of downtown and has cultural and recreational activities for visitors of all ages. Some of the attractions on offer at Hermann Park include a zoo, which is considered one of the best maintained and with one of the largest collections of animals in the country, the Miller Outdoor Theatre, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the eye-catching Japanese Garden, the McGovern Lake, and one of the first non segregated public golf courses in the US.
Houston Tunnel System
In the heart of downtown Houston there is a network of attractively designed underground tunnels, called the Houston Tunnel System. You can walk from one building to another and from one street to another, all in a comfortable climate controlled environment. The Houston Tunnel System has many restaurants and excellent shopping areas. It is open from Monday through Friday from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
Another of Houston's famous attractions is the spectacular Downtown Aquarium, located in the heart of the city. This underwater adventure is made up of thousands and thousands of gallons of water! The complex features a remarkable aquarium, home to more than 200 species, several marine exhibitions, an amusement park with a Ferris wheel, and an aquatic carrousel, as well as a white tiger exhibit and a fabulous restaurant.
The Museum District is one of the most impressive cultural areas, not only in Houston but in the entire country, and it is situated just a few minutes from Houston downtown. This district is home to 18 cultural and artistic centers, 11 of which have no admission fee. In total there are five cultural centers, the Byzantine Fresco and Rothko chapel museums, the Rice University Art Gallery, a zoo and ten other museums:
- Buffalo Soldiers National Museum
- The Children's Museum of Houston
- Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
- Czech Center Museum Houston
- The Health Museum
- Holocaust Museum Houston
- Houston Museum of Natural Science
- The Menil Collection
- Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
- The Weather Museum
In the same manner as many other North American cities, Houston is the perfect place for sports fanatics. The city's professional teams include the Astros (baseball), the Rockets (basketball), the Texans (football), the Dynamo (soccer), and the Aeros (ice hockey). When visiting this city don't miss out on the opportunity to enjoy some of the best sporting events and facilities on the planet!
Another couple of ways to enjoy Houston's attractions are either on a free self-guided audio tour or a professionally guided excursion. For the free tours, all you need is an mp3 player to download the information from the Internet and plenty of energy to do a lot of walking. Three very nice tours are the Downtown Walking Tour, the Museum District Tour, and the Discovery Green Walking Tour. There are also numerous tour operators that offer boat, kayak and canoe trips on the waters of Buffalo Bayou. Perhaps you'd prefer a shopping tour around the many Houston malls, or a trip to one of Houston's other fantastic attractions.
Attractions in the Suburbs
Less than an hour's drive away from the city, the suburbs of Houston offer visitors many tourist attractions. One of them, 50 miles away, is Galveston Island, a small island in the Gulf of Mexico with many things to do and see, such as the amazing amusement parks Kemah Boardwalk and Schlitterbahn Waterpark. Also, south of Houston, you will find the Gulf Greyhound Park, the largest greyhound track in the world with 318 ticket counters and 1100 closed circuit TVs.NASA's Houston Space Center is located between Galveston Island and the city of Houston. At the site you'll find a great selection of attractions, including theaters and numerous exhibitions.
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