What to do and see in Houston, United States: The Best Places and Tips

July 18, 2017 Hector Krause

Houston hums with an energy and independent spirit all its own. A leading cultural and culinary destination in the South, the city is home to over 11,000 restaurants featuring cuisine from more than 70 countries. The thriving arts scene includes resident opera, ballet, symphony and theater companies. The Museum District houses 19 museums, all within walking distance. Be sure to visit Space Center Houston, where you can visit NASA’s Historic Mission Control at the Johnson Space Center.
Restaurants in Houston

1. The Music Box Theater

2623 Colquitt St, Houston, TX 77098-2117 +1 713-522-7722
Excellent
91%
Good
6%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 305 reviews

The Music Box Theater

The Music Box Theater provides audiences a unique mix of live popular music and original comedy in a relaxes club environment. There are songs you know sung by people you should know and there is something for everyone. Appropriate for all ages.

Reviewed By Michael S - Bay Village Ohio

Went to Music Box's Sunday matinee entitled Broadway in the Box. It would be very challenging to find a better entertainment value in Houston. For $30, I listened to 5 awesome entertainers. Each of them had great energy, and there's a bit of a comedienne in each of them. While I enjoyed every Broadway number they performed (each of them took turns either as a solo, a duo, or all 5 together), my favorite was their 7-minute full performance of Beauty and the Beast. What a hoot...and great music. They performed the entire Beauty and the Beast animated hit in exactly 7 minutes. While they sang excerpts and reenacted segments from each of the popular songs in the animated movie, a countdown clock in the background enabled the audience to track their progress in the 7-minute short version of this delightful play.
While each of the performers is truly amazing, as a fellow native Clevelander, a special shout-out goes to Cay Taylor.
For an additional $10, you can get a 'reserved' ticket, which entitles you to sit around a small table, which can be helpful with the drinks and snacks you may consume during the show (which are reasonably priced). However, the general admission ticket was fine, and due to the quaintness (i.e. smallness) of the theatre, there's not a bad seat in the house.
If you enjoy good music and comedy, do yourself a favor and put Music Box Theatre on your list of things to do when in Houston.

2. Houston Symphony

615 Louisiana St, Houston, TX 77002-2715 +1 713-224-4240
Excellent
84%
Good
14%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 171 reviews

Houston Symphony

Reviewed By P-n-DTravelinDuo - Nederland, Texas

The show overall was ok. We felt as though a Rolling Stones "cover band" stole the show from the Symphony players.
The show would have been so much better if the camera operator would have at least caught on camera, to show on the big screens, more of the individual players besides just the singer all night or the electric guitar player. We left the show at the end feeling somewhat disappointed.

3. Cockrell Butterfly Center

1 Hermann Circle Dr, Houston, TX 77030-1749 +1 713-639-4629
Excellent
72%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 583 reviews

Cockrell Butterfly Center

Next to the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the glass-enclosed butterfly habitat includes a simulated rainforest and thousands of colorful butterflies. A dramatic 50-foot waterfall and exotic plants transport visitors.

Reviewed By AllanJGJ - Wellington, New Zealand

Unlike some other butterfly centres we've been to around the world this one really measures up in terms of the number of butterflies (and species) per cubic metre. Superb. And the entry area with lots of materials both on butterflies and other insects was also well set out; aimed at children, but educational and entertaining for adults.

The one gripe I would have, and it's a big one, is the process of buying a ticket (which is at the entrance to the Natural History Museum writ large). With 15 ticket windows available only one (yes, one) was open the majority of time we were waiting in the lengthy queue. And to really ramp up the annoyance levels two staff members (including, I suspect, the supervisor) could be seen chatting to each other rather than actually serving the public by getting behind a ticket counter. There was general moaning to be heard along the length of the ever-growing line.

But putting that to one side, once we had our tickets we thoroughly enjoyed the Butterfly Centre and would recommend it, particularly to families.

4. Houston Museum District

Houston, TX +1 713-521-4469
Excellent
72%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 631 reviews

Houston Museum District

Reviewed By Mark E - Houston, Texas

I don't know about you, but I don't like to have my intelligence insulted.
Especially, at such a serious place like the Holocaust Museum.
It is totally ruined by Political Correctness.
On the other hand, other exhibits qualities may be totally selective. I would avoid the HOME exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts and the Rothko at the Menil Collection both feature displays that stretch the definition of art in a negative manner.
The rest of the Museum of Fine Arts is one of my favorite Museums and also the Museum of Natural Science.
I come from NYC so I know of Museums!

5. Glenwood Cemetery

2525 Washington Ave, Houston, TX 77007-6020 +1 713-864-7886
Excellent
77%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 124 reviews

Glenwood Cemetery

Includes the grave of Howard Hughes

Reviewed By exptraveller501 - Houston, Texas

It is a very beautiful cemetery to visit. Surprisingly there aren't many people visiting so you can walk around all day without interrupting people who are there with a purpose. There are some really neat tombstones and cemetery architecture. Lots of old tombstones and some famous people from the Houston area. The back portion of the cemetery has awesome views of the downtown skyline.

Howard Hughes is also buried in Glenwood. His grave-site is not as easy to find as it may seem. It looks like the pictures if you google HH grave-site but some of the features have been removed. It was fun looking for it...after an hour, we threw in the towel and asked the security guard where it was...turns out we parked almost next to it and walked right by it the first and second time :) It's not as extravagant as some of the others in the cemetery. It was still a fun place to visit.....for a cemetery!

6. Rodeo Houston or Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

3 Nrg Park, Houston, TX 77054-1574 +1 832-667-1000
Excellent
76%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 463 reviews

Rodeo Houston or Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

Reviewed By Lisa D - Lacey, WA

Everyone should go at least once in their lifetime to the iconic and historic Houston Rodeo & Livestock Show. Even mid-week in March the grounds were packed with families enjoying the calf-roping, barrel-racing, rodeo clowns, and other competitions as well as the rides and the blissfully air conditioned indoor displays and petting zoo. We couldn't wait to go research the behind-the-scenes details to learn more about what it takes to compete at this level of rodeo. So much pride!

7. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

1001 Bissonnet St, Add Parking Locations, Prices, Houston, TX 77005-1803 +1 713-639-7771
Excellent
70%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

The first municipal art museum in Texas is most well-known for its Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, and also includes Baroque and Renaissance art, African tribal art, a sculpture garden and a teaching wing, where the works of students and top Texas artists are displayed.

Reviewed By KAS57

Lovely exhibit based on his later work with Pope Paul III. There are several scetches, cartoons, and paintings all from the Farenese collection in Naples. The audio guide was very informative.

8. The Houston Museum of Natural Science

5555 Hermann Park Dr, Houston, TX 77030-1718 +1 713-639-4629
Excellent
71%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 4 reviews

The Houston Museum of Natural Science

This outstanding science museum has a spectacular collection of mineral specimens, a dinosaur skeleton, space-station models, a planetarium, IMAX theater and a six-story butterfly center in which these beautiful creatures land delicately on outstretched arms.

Reviewed By 4familytravels4fun - Calgary, Canada

We had City Passes, so our trip included this museum. We aren't typically museum people, but this one was quite interesting. It has several different display areas to keep anyone interested. There is the animal history, human history, geology, artifacts from royalty, dinosaurs, Egypt and a few other sections I can't remember. There is paid parking attached to the museum ($5 or $10 I can't remember). It was worth the visit! We had teens, adults and a senior with us.

9. Alley Theatre

615 Texas St, Houston, TX 77002-2795 +1 713-220-5700
Excellent
75%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 234 reviews

Alley Theatre

A local theatre offering plays and musicals.

Reviewed By Annette W

My daughter and I have watched four fabulous plays here. We love broadway in New York and as native Texans when we are in Houston, this is definitely one of our favorite go to spots. The staff is friendly and the talent that we have seen on the stage is amazing. We will definitely visit The Alley Theatre again soon!!

10. Children's Museum of Houston

1500 Binz St, Houston, TX 77004-7112 +1 713-522-1138
Excellent
74%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Children's Museum of Houston

Hands-on interactive exhibits in the areas of science and technology, history and culture, health and human development, and the arts.

Reviewed By Carlos S - Indianapolis, Indiana

We travel quite a bit and have hit Children's Museums in a lot of different cities and countries. The "City Museum" in St. Louis is still the best, but Houston's Children's Museum is worth doing. There's plenty of activities for children up to probably early teens. The emphasis on electronics and robots was nice for the older kids.

The Houston City Pass is well worth it, and this is a much better use of a ticket than the Kemah Boardwalk. You'll have time to hit the Aquarium on the same day you visit the Children's Museum, then hit NASA on another day.

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