Set Current Location
Tucked away in the 20-acre Sam Houston Park downtown, you will find an impressive bit of Texas history. Visit the Heritage Society Museum & Tour, which features historical records, then take the outdoor tour of noble buildings restored to their original glory. Pathways lead to an assortment of prestigious homes in Greek and Victorian styles. The 1868 Victorian-style Pilot House also happens to be the site of the city's first indoor kitchen. All the homes on the tour are unique in structure and furnishings. There is also a quaint church built in 1891 by German farmers.
Saint Arnold of Austria (580-640 CE) is credited with the great miracle of quenching the thirst of his many caretakers with only one cup of beer that never ran dry. Saint Arnold Brewing Company, started in 1994 by two Rice University graduates, is the city's first microbrewery and is named after this saint. No brewing additives or preservatives are used, and to keep it pure, there is no pasteurization. Examples of the company's bestsellers include Kristall Weizen, Brown and Amber Ale. The brewery is not open for general drinking, but you can take tours on Saturday from 11a to 2p with tours leaving on the hour and 3p on weekdays. A beer tasting comes with every tour and unlike Saint Arnold, you won't have to share.
Just four miles east of downtown, you will find one of the nation's top seaports. A tour of the port offers an opportunity to view ocean freighters, ships and barges as they maneuver up and down the 50-mile channel that leads to the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. The port opened in 1914 with President Woodrow Wilson throwing the switch and firing the cannon. You will learn about this history and much more by taking the free 90-minute boat tour aboard the 90-passenger Sam Houston. Points of interest will include ships, geese and pollution control facilities. You are welcome to ask questions during the tour. The Port Authority holds a wealth of information. Before leaving, be sure and take one last look at the turning basin from the observation deck. It is a sight to behold. The tour is free, but reservations are required. All adults are required to have photo ID, and oversized bags or purses are not allowed. Please check the website for the tour schedule.
On most battlegrounds you would not find a battleship, but San Jacinto State Historical Park is a definite exception to the rule. This majestic ship is berthed on the Houston Ship Channel at the edge of the park. She is the only survivor of the World War I dreadnoughts and also served as a flagship for the World War II D-Day invasion in 1944. President Eisenhower, a native Texan, presided over the dedication ceremony when the ship was retired, and the U.S. Navy has proudly preserved and restored her in the years since. Visitors are welcome to explore most parts of the ship. Tours are available, and many areas display items and memorabilia from ship life.