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.
The selection of exhibits at Houston's Museum of Fine Arts covers both modern and ancient art and represents the talent of artists from Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas. You will find Frederic Remington's fine Western art mingling with medieval pieces and the work of early European masters. Paintings are abundant, but the lovely sculpture garden here is also worth viewing. Both the Glassell School of Art and the Hirsch Library for Art History call this museum home. Film buffs love the museum for its weekly showings of classic and foreign films. A gift shop and restaurant are both on hand to satisfy your hunger after a day of exploring.
Situated in the lovely Hermann Park, the Houston Zoo is home to more than 6,000 animals and over 900 species. Experience a true wildlife adventure as you check out the lions, Komodo dragons, flamingos, tigers, gorillas, bears, and bats, just to name a few! There is a wonderful Natural Encounter area where you can get up close and personal with otters and meerkats; and be sure to take a spin on the Wildlife Carousel, featuring hand-carved and decorated animals that showcase many endangered species of the world. If watching the animals eat makes you hungry yourself, there are two outdoor concession stands and one indoor dining area. Get ready to spend a day with the animals as you learn more about the beauty and wonder of the natural world.
The Houston Museum of Natural Science offers a wide variety of exhibits that are worthy of a full day's outing. The three-level live butterfly exhibit will fascinate visitors of any age, as will the dinosaur exhibit in the Morian Hall of Paleontology. The Wiess Energy Hall and the Hall of Gems and Minerals are also worth a visit. If you need a break, enjoy an IMAX film or sit in on one of Burke Baker Planetarium shows.
Although it sounds bizarre, National Museum of Funeral History actually provides an interesting look at the customs surrounding burial practices. View funeral memorabilia and artifacts that belonged to famous political and celebrity personalities in the "Funerals of the Famous" section of the museum. Equally intriguing is the coffin room that is filled with out-of-the-ordinary coffin themes, including giant fish, cars and a full-sized replica of King Tut's sarcophagus.
Spread over 1,620 acres (655 hectares) in Houston, the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center is one of the main centers for spaceflight in the United States. Home to NASA's Astronaut Corps, it functioned as Mission Control during the Gemini and Apollo space shuttle programs. It was also the primary flight control center for all following manned space missions, including Apollo 11 which put the first man on the moon. The Lunar Receiving Center at JSC is where they store most of the samples from moon missions and astronaut training takes place at JSC as well. At the forefront of technological and space discovery, the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center continues to push the boundaries of scientific achievement, as it has for over half a century.
Downtown Houston's tunnels comprise a multi million-dollar system that gives new meaning to the term "underground." Those who venture beneath the city will be delighted at what they find hidden there. Restaurants, gift shops, and more fun spots line the corridors. The temperature below is always pleasant and allows the busy people of downtown to navigate in comfort, regardless of the season. Major buildings that are connected by the tunnel system include One Allen Center, One Shell Plaza, Alley Theatre and Wortham Center. If you are not familiar with the layout, you might want to pick up a tunnel map, or take a guided tour offered by several tour operators.
The revival of this park area where the Allen brothers arrived over 150 years ago to start a new business venture has been exciting and stimulating for the downtown area. Surrounded by four primary streets (Travis, Milam, Congress and Preston), the area features restored historical buildings, fine restaurants, entertainment and nightclubs all within walking distance of each other. Lovely painted benches, artifacts and pictures line the walkways, combining the old with the new for all to enjoy. Different "points of view" can be discussed freely in a friendly atmosphere under the aptly named sculpture by James Surls.
Have a yearning for the nautical life? Take a plunge into the deep at the Houston Downtown Aquarium. This aquarium is definitely the place to be for a fun day out. The aquarium features around 400 species of aquatic life, with the Shark Voyage being the main attraction. This voyage gives visitors the opportunity to travel via train into an acrylic viewing tunnel with live sharks swimming overhead. Other attractions include the Diving Bell Ferris wheel, the aquatic carousel and some themed educational exhibits. If you've had your fill of the aquatic life and need some grub then take a pick from the Aquarium Restaurant or Dive Lounge.
Opened up in 2008, The Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark is one of the largest parks in the state and was designed by Gridline Concrete Skate park Design. This 40,000 square feet (3716.12 square meter) park is dedicated to all the daredevils who love skateboarding, roller skating and rollerblading and it consists of multiple types of terrains that signify the difficulty levels. For workshops, classes and events check the HPARD website and Fonde Recreation Center bulletin board.
Owned by Aaron Corsi and Alex Vassilakidis, 8th Wonder Brewery is a specialty Brewery specializing in vegan style of beer. Some of their specials include Intellectuale, Dome Faux'm, Hopston, Alternate Universe, and lots more. The place offers beer flights and has a taproom which organizes tours everyday. The place doesn't serve food but you are most welcome to get anything you like, also there are food trucks available in the vicinity. They are also famous for hosting events almost every week.