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.
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.
In his midnight millennium speech, Pope John Paul said the most defining elements of the 20th century were the rise and fall of two oppressive ideologies that victimized millions of people, Communism and Nazism. This museum is a tribute to the victims of the Nazi concentration camps during World War II. Through changing exhibits, films and lectures, it seeks to inform future generations of the racism of the holocaust and the horrifying results of hatred. In addition to exhibits, there is a library, theater and document archives.
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.
The Children's Museum of Houston opened in 1984 and is devoted to teaching through interactive play. Galleries here cover subjects like history, culture, fine and performing arts, technology, science and geography. Adults are welcome to take a break in the Teacher and Family Resource Center where extra teaching materials are available to boost those creative juices. Lots of fun, educational toys are available in the gift shop and snacks are available to satisfy your hunger.
If you are driving by downtown Houston, this magnificent theater will surely catch your eye. It is the stately home to both the Houston Ballet and the Houston Grand Opera. The impressive stage and interior are worth a tour even if you do not have a chance to take in a show. The Nutcracker, produced by the Houston Ballet, is the most popular annual arts show in the city. If opera is your cup of tea, then you will definitely want to pick up some tickets for the latest production.
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.
Houston Public Library serves almost two million residents of Houston, comprises 44 public service units and Central Library is the flagship of all the facilities. It also serves as a platform of cultural, recreational and educational programs and services for people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds. All the privileges and services provided by Houston Public Library is free for all Texas residents. The benefits of a Houston Public Library card is that you can access more than six million books, e-books, magazines, DVDs and research materials, access to 130 electronic resources and so on. They encourage volunteering and donations.
The African American Library at the Gregory School is an important repository of information not only because it has a collection of works pertaining to Afro-American life, but also because the library is housed within what was the first Afro-American Public School then. The library is a treasure trove of information with articles, journals and books associated with African American people. You can learn more about the history and the day-to-day life of the community and other details. If you are exploring the city, African American Library at the Gregory School is a very unusual and important landmark that tells the tale of the yester years of the society.
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.