The greater Houston area with its scenery, culture and history has enough sights and sounds to keep visitors and lifelong residents busy. Points of interest include Space Center Houston, NASA, the downtown Theater District, and The Galleria. Family recreation includes Houston's numerous parks, Houston Zoo, Lake Houston, and golf courses. Following are other points of interest.
Space Center Houston is the official visitors' center of the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center —the National Aeronautics and Space Administration 's (NASA) center for human spaceflight activities—located in Houston . The facility is operated by the non profit Manned Spaceflight Educational Foundation Incorporated with design input from Walt Disney Imagineering
Space Center Houston is located at 1601 NASA Road 1, Houston, TX 77058, approximately 25 miles south of downtown Houston in the NASA/Clear Lake area.
From Houston, take I-45 south, exit 24 NASA Road 1. Continue 3.5 miles, Space Center Houston will be on the left.
10am - 5pm weekdays. 10am - 6pm weekends.*
*Extended hours throughout the summer and some holidays.
For hours on a specific day please check the Calendar below or call 281-244-2100.
800 Aurora St.
Houston TX, 77009
Taking over the space that once housed the Aurora Picture Show, the new 14 Pews microcinema is the brainchild of proprietor Cressandra Thibodeaux who recently returned to Houston from Los Angeles. The small cinema space reopened in August 2010 in the old white wooden church at 800 Aurora and is already garnering praise for its innovative and sometimes provocative programming.
Houston TX, 77048
|Located just 15 minutes south of Downtown Houston, 288 Lake is a freshwater sports training facility and outdoor event venue.
The 20-acre facility featuring the pristine, spring-fed lake is a great place to maintain that competitive edge in the water for locals and those visiting Houston. Individuals and groups of up to 200 can visit 288 Lake to train or simply enjoy the lush surroundings. Five docks, a sandy beach shore, six sunken boats, training platforms and more provide divers a great place to hone their skills. 288 Lake is available to certified divers, and those interested in kayaking and open water swimming.
The spring/aquifer-fed water at the lake is naturally filtered, providing visibility ranges from four to 25 feet. The environment is also rife with plant and animal life.
288 Lake also offers seasonal swim passes and is available for groups and special events.
Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau - Member
925 Bunker Hill Rd.
Houston TX, 77024
In west Houston, bowling aficionados can put their skills to the test at 300 Houston . The high-energy, luxury lanes—set along Bunker Hill in Memorial—take an upscale approach to the game with large, flat-screen TVs, a VIP cocktail lounge, premium stereo system and a well-heeled catering menu.
16500 Westheimer Parkway
Houston TX, 77082
Located inside George Bush Park in West Houston, American Shooting Centers is equipped with three facilities: rifle and pistol, sporting slays, and trap and skeet.
The rifle and pistol facility is open six days a week. Supervised by ASC range officers, shooters can enjoy a 50-300 yard shooting range as well as sitting, standing, and kneeling positions for target practice as mandated by the range officers.
Sporting clays is a shotgun shooting game where clay targets are launched into the air in a matter that simulates the flight of game birds in their natural habitat.
Trap is a shotgun game where participants shoot at clay targets hurled from a bunker located below the shooter. Skeet is an activity in which participants attempt to shoot clay targets hurled into the air from a variety of angles. Sporting Clays and Trap and Skeet are available at ASC five days a week.
Come alone, with friends, a large group, or for a tournament or business meeting complete with dining and entertainment.
1524 Sul Ross
Houston TX, 77006
Founded in 1998 by Houston-based media artist Andrea Grover, Aurora Picture Show is Houston's only non-profit microcinema. Aurora's mandate from the start was to champion short artist-made films and videos, to host visiting film/videomakers and curators, and to encourage active audiences. Through consistently visionary programming, Aurora has achieved a reputation as one of the world's finest microcinemas offering year-round programming of short films, historical works, documentaries, kids film series and works by Texas filmmakers. Each year, Aurora presents more than 50 curated screenings, hosts more than 30 visiting artists, and presents outdoor, novelty and touring screenings in Houston, and around the country.
In 2007, Aurora Picture Show opened the Aurora Video Library (located at 1524 Sul Ross, adjacent to The Menil Collection ) in order to provide free year-round access to works by and about contemporary media artists. The Library includes over 800 videos by contemporary artists including John Baldessari, Vito Acconci, Joan Jonas, Laurie Anderson, Ant Farm, Sanford Biggers, Trisha Brown, Gordon Matta-Clark, William Wegman, Robert Rauschenberg, Ellen Spiro and Billy Sullivan, spanning from the early 1970s to the present. Educators, artists, and the general public may visit the library during normal office hours, but an appointment is recommended, especially for groups. Library visitors are hosted in a private viewing room with video projection and comfortable furniture. The viewing room can accommodate groups of 8 or less, while groups of 20 or more can use the Aurora conference room with LCD screen. Hours of operation are Monday-Friday, 10am-6pm. Private tours and field trips are welcome. There is no charge for using the Aurora Video Library.
3523 Battleground Road (Texas Highway 134)
La Porte TX, 77571
The last of the battleships to participate in World War I and II, Battleship Texas became the first battleship memorial museum in the U.S. in 1948. That same year, on the anniversary of Texas Independence, the Texas was presented to the State of Texas and commissioned as the flagship of the Texas Navy. In 1983, the Texas was placed under the stewardship of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and is permanently anchored on the Buffalo Bayou and the busy Houston Ship Channel.
500 Texas Avenue
Houston TX, 77002
Downtown dining and entertainment destination Bayou Place is experiencing a renaissance.
Two new bars opened in March as part of the center's re-imagined nightlife experience, Bayou Place Live! Western-themed PBR Houston brings country dancing and a little bull-riding action while Lucie's Liquors offers an upscale sports bar experience, Vegas-style. Retro beach concept Shark Bar and whiskey bar Chapel Spirits debuted in May. The Blue Fish , a Dallas outpost serving up sushi, opened in March 2011.
Robert Redford's highly-anticipated Sundance Cinemas , opening November 2011, will feature both general release and art films along with several drink-and-dine options.
Beer Can House
Houston TX, 77007
The Beer Can House is a folk art gallery/workshop consisting of more than 50,000 beer cans.
Galveston TX, 77550
The stone and steel mansion of Walter Gresham rises like a beacon in Galveston's East End Historic District.
The three-story home was designed by Nicholas Clayton, the island's premier Victorian-era architect, and is considered one of the most significant Victorian residences in the nation.
Gresham, a steel and railroad tycoon, commissioned the home for he and his family in the 1880s. It was completed in 1892 and survived the great Galveston hurricane of 1900 intact. The home was monumental for its time. Clayton expanded on the traditional Chateauesque-Victorian style using irregular-shaped stones, Tudor arches with carvings of animals, people and other things. The designer also used a combination of simple geometric forms in bold masses to create dramatic effect. The opulent interior has been restored to how it would have looked during the Gresham's ownership.
A Civil War veteran, Gresham moved to Galveston from his native Virginia following the war. There he and his wife Josephine raised nine children. He was founder of the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad. He also served in the Texas Legislature.
Built of stone and steel for the railroad magnate Walter Gresham and his family, this famous house was designed by Nicholas Clayton, Galveston's premier Victorian-era architect. The Bishop's Palace is recognized as one of America's finest examples of Victorian exuberance and Gilded-Age extravagance.
Houston TX, 77002
The 500,000-gallon under-water adventure complex includes a Ferris wheel, an aquatic carousel, Shark Voyage, a white tiger exhibit and a restaurant.
Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau - Member
21901 FM 762
Needville TX, 77461
Ever dreamed of exploring outer space? Now you can—just an hour's drive south of Houston.
Located in the scenic expanse of Brazos Bend State Park, the George Observatory is a satellite facility of the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Housed here are three domed telescopes, including the 36-inch Gueymard Research Telescope, one of the largest in the United States.
2020 Post Office Street
Galveston TX, 77550
The 1894 Grand Opera House is a magnificently restored not-for-profit performing arts theater showcasing live entertainment year round. With a professional season featuring more than 28 productions with more than 70 shows by visiting artists and production companies presenting dance, drama, Broadway musicals, opera and stars of the stage and screen, The Grand has been restored to its past splendor and turn of the century charm.
Houston is one of only five cities with permanent professional resident companies in all of the major performing arts disciplines--opera, ballet, music, and theater.
Home to nine world-class performing arts organizations, the Theater District is second only to New York in the number of theater seats in a concentrated area.
Houston's only resident professional theater company presents a varied repertoire of contemporary and classic plays.
Broadway in Houston
Broadway Across America-Houston presents first-rate touring Broadway shows direct from Broadway and London's West End.
By bringing together leading American and international musicians, specifically selected for each program, Da Camera concerts offer a broad range of repertoire and musical styles while ensuring a product of outstanding musical excellence.
Houston Ballet, the fifth largest ballet company in the country, has been hailed by The New York Times as "...one of the nation's best ballet companies."
Houston Grand Opera
Houston Grand Opera is the only opera company in the world to win a Tony, two Grammy and two Emmy Awards. The New York Times calls the Houston Grand Opera "the jewel in the cultural crown."
Founded in 1913, the Houston Symphony is one of America's oldest performing arts organizations, with a rich history of musical excellence.
Society for the Performing Arts
Society for the Performing Arts brings the world's greatest performing artists and companies to Houston.
Theatre Under The Stars
Theatre Under the Stars, founded in 1968, is one of the largest producers of musical theater in the U.S.
Uniquely Houston is an innovative program established by the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts to provide a home venue for Houston's emerging, nonprofit performing arts organizations in the Theater District.
1513 North MacGregor
Houston TX, 77030
Set in a 55-acre lush tropical landscape, the Houston Zoo is home to more than 4,500 exotic animals representing more than 900 species. The Houston Zoo was named one of the top 10 zoos in the U.S. by Parents magazine in 2009.
Journey into the heart of western Africa and see the majestic beauty of chimpanzees, giraffes, rhinos and more. Opened in early December, the Houston Zoo's new African Forest exhibit recreates the wilderness habitats of some of the continent's most majestic animals.
The $35 million African Forest encompasses 6.5 acres of the zoo and represents the largest undertaking in the institution's history. The exhibit will allow the more than 1 million people who visit the Houston Zoo each year to experience what it's like to meander through an African trading outpost and surrounding landscape, all recreated in stunning detail.
Guests come face-to-face with a family of chimpanzees in one of the most compelling parts of the exhibit. The highly-expressive apes interact with their human visitors with just a glass wall to separate them. Down the path, guests encounter one of Africa's largest mammals, the white rhino. Set on an open vista, guests get an unobstructed view of these spectacular creatures. Also not to be missed is the breathtaking herd of Masai giraffes. Several times a day, guests can feed the giraffes for a real hands-on encounter. Marrying numerous animal species with native African architectural elements and authentic cultural performances, the African Forest is a highly immersive experience that's not to be missed.
Houston Zoo Habitats :
Asian Elephant Habitat
After two years of planning and construction, the expansion of the Houston Zoo's McNair Asian Elephant Habitat was finished in fall 2011. The expansion adds 1.5 acres to the elephant herd's outdoor space, a six-fold increase from what the pachyderms previously had. The addition creates a naturalistic habitat, enhancing the living space for the seven elephants, incorporating an 80,000 gallon capacity "elephant sized" swimming pool and a state-of-the-art water filtration system. The new addition to the habitat also includes a shaded 200-seat demonstration area allowing the Houston Zoo's elephant care team to provide more personalized enrichment activities for the elephants while engaging guests with important conservation messages about the endangered status of elephants in the wild.
Shoebill Stork Exhibit
African-native Shoebill Storks get some love from the Houston Zoo in a large, new aviary that opened in June 2010. Inside, the exhibit features a wading pool, a beautiful old oak tree and a more than 70-year-old faux concrete tree crafted by artisan Dionicio Rodriguez—the same mastermind behind the waterfall and grotto that's included in the nearby flamingo exhibit. Encased by a stainless steel woven mesh, guests are afforded clear views of the animals from three sides of the stork's exhibit space.
A first of its kind concept in zoo exhibitry, Natural Encounters brings Zoo guests nose to nose with meerkats, tamarins, Asian small-clawed otters, and spectacular coral.
Tropical Bird House
Home to more than 100 of the Zoo's 800 birds, the focus of the Tropical Bird House is a free-flight tropical rainforest aviary. The aviary's elevated bridge and viewing platforms provide a bird's eye view of more than sixty of the world's most beautiful creatures, including the newest arrivals – elephant shrews. Surrounding the Tropical Bird House, the Zoo's outdoor aviaries display flamingos, red-crowned cranes and the largest collection of turacos, African forest birds, on exhibit in the country.
John P. McGovern Children's Zoo
Get eye to eye with a prairie dog, see an eagle's nest and watch a river otter play underwater at the new $6.5 million Children's Zoo. Forty exhibits take visitors through the six ecosystems of Texas: the city, Gulf Coast, desert, forest, prairie and the farm. Pop-up domes allow guests to get “inside” the prairie dog habitat. Visit a realistic bat cave or stroll on a boardwalk through a Texas forest. The Discovery Center features hands on activities for children.
The Kip Aquarium's twenty five exhibits take visitors on a world tour from the coral reefs of the Pacific to the Amazon basin and Mojave Desert streams. Exhibit highlights include Australia's endangered weedy sea dragon, rare desert pupfish, red bellied piranha, and venomous lion fish.
Wortham World of Primates
Located in the heart of the Zoo, Wortham World of Primates offers up close viewing of some of the world's most fascinating and intelligent creatures. Nestled in a naturalistic setting, Wortham World's boardwalks and tree houses allow visitors to observe the behavior of a wide variety of threatened and endangered primates including mandrills, lemurs, agile gibbons, red capped mangabey, siamangs, patas monkeys, Bolivian gray titis, cotton top and golden lion tamarins, howler monkeys, and Sumatran and Bornean orangutans.
Deeply rooted in the myths and history of Andean culture, spectacled bears are considered the pandas of South America (Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia). Like pandas, spectacled bears are carnivores that have independently adopted vegetarian diets. The Zoo's naturalistic spectacled bear habitat features a waterfall, stream and pool, natural grass substrate, climbing features and additional shade.
Experience a little bit of Australia, mate, when you visit Derrilin and Yannathan at Koala Crossing. Threatened by habitat destruction in their native habitat, our “ambassadors of Australia” have captured the hearts of Houstonians since their arrival in 1999. The Houston Zoo is one of only 10 zoos in the world to have breed koalas successfully.
Albert and Margaret Alkek Komodo and Crocodile Monitor Exhibit
This open air, glass fronted exhibit houses two Komodo dragons and four crocodile monitors. Endangered in the tropical savanna forests of Indonesia and New Guinea, these extremely large and beautiful lizards have thrived since their arrival in February 2002.
Eighty separate exhibits display more than 300 specimens representing more than 130 species including the most diverse collection of venomous snakes found in any zoo in North America. The Reptile House also is also home to some of the world's most rare and endangered amphibians including Panamanian Golden and Vietnamese mossy backed frogs. The focus of the building's award winning design is Blanco, one of only 14 leucistic (absence of color) American alligators on exhibit in the world.
What has horns like a giraffe, a neck like a horse, and legs like a zebra? It's an okapi, the only known living relative of the giraffe. Okapis were unknown to western science until 1901. Also known as forest giraffes, okapis live a solitary existence in their native Congo, coming together only to mate. Their dark brown velvety coat and zebra striped legs serve as camouflage in the dense African rainforest.
Native to central Africa, giant eland are the largest antelopes in the world weighing up to 1,200 pounds. Houston Zoo's Enterprise Products Partners Giant Eland Exhibit features a raised viewing platform that provides guests with an exceptionally close view of these regal creatures as they graze within a shaded landscape near zebras, camels and kudu. Accompanying educational graphics enhance awareness of this rare species, its natural habitat and conservation efforts to save it from extinction.
View these impressive big cats from our elevated viewing platform or close up through a reinforced acrylic observation panel. And don't miss daily keeper chats and training sessions with our Celesto and our king of the jungle, Jonathan.
Less than 2,000 of these beautiful animals are left in the rainforest and mangrove swamps of southeast Asia. Guests at Houston Zoo can view our males, Pandu and Jammu from an elevated viewing platform or up close during daily keeper chats and training sessions.
Janice Suber McNair Asian Elephant Habitat
Houston Zoo's Asian elephant herd consists of the male, Thai, and three females: Me-Thai, Shanti and her son Mac. Born October 1, 2006, Mac weighed 384 pounds at birth – setting a world record for a newborn Asian elephant calf. These highly intelligent creatures are endangered in the open grasslands, savannas, marshes and forests of India, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Scientists estimate that there are less than 50,000 wild Asian elephants. By comparison, there are 600,000 wild African elephants.
The Houston Zoo's Wildlife Carousel opened May 1, 2004, located at the entrance to the John P. McGovern Children's Zoo. The carousel is a unique work of art, hand carved and painted by skilled craftsmen from Carousel Works in Mansfield, Ohio. Many of the exotic animals represented on the carousel can be found in the Zoo such as the Okapi, Bongo, Babirusa and Giant Eland. In addition, creatures special to Texas are present as well, including the only armadillos known to exist on as carousel figures.
Founded in 1922, the Zoo is an exciting live animal adventure that provides a unique educational and conservation resource serving 1.5 million guests annually. In 1920, the U. S. government thinned bison herds in national parks and presented one of the animals as a gift to the City of Houston. The arrival of the bison, named Earl, sparked renewed interest in expanding a small zoo that had been established in a small corner of Sam Houston Park in downtown Houston. In 1921, the City of Houston purchased an assortment of snakes, birds and alligators, and in 1922 a fence was erected around a tract of land in Hermann Park to house the collection. The inventory included forty animals, prompting the hiring of the first zoo keeper, Hans Nagel.
From its humble beginnings, the Houston Zoo has grown to become the seventh most visited zoo in the nation and is widely respected for its conservation and education programs. For generations, the Houston Zoo has been a popular destination for family outings. Today it is also a model for animal care and behavioral enrichment. Every visit is a new adventure into the natural and diverse world of animals.
5300 East Rd.
Baytown TX, 77521
Pirates Bay offers attractions for the whole family. This large and colorful pirate-themed water play center comes complete with a large dumping bucket and a fabulous array of spray nozzles, tot slides, and water guns, a 671-foot long lazy river and two large slide towers. Tower activities include fun for both the little ones and daredevils with everything from run-out slides to racing tubes.
The main attraction at Pirates Bay is the Flowrider surfing machine. The Flowrider creates an endless moving mountain of water with all the excitement of ocean surfing that will challenge all who enter. Surfer boys and girls can ride the waves with an audience, as two covered bleachers flank the machine.
The park also features a climbing wall, crossing challenge, and a small rectangular pool for lap swimming and programs such as swim lessons, and water volleyball. A concession stand provides tasty burgers and other snacks; and covered picnic areas invite visitors to rest between activities.
2026 Lockheed Street
Galveston TX, 77554
Let Schlitterbahn Galveston Island be your personal oasis with its huge array of awesome aquatic adventures! This award-winning park was recently featured on the Travel Channel and offers thrills for the whole family.
Schlitterbahn's Summer Season (late April-September), offers more than 32 amazing rides and attractions, including a large wave pool, uphill water coasters, thrilling speed slides, kid's water playgrounds, whitewater rapids, relaxing hot tubs, family raft rides, the Boogie Bahn surf ride and the exclusive Transportainment® river system.
During the Heated Indoor Season (fall, winter and spring*) relax in steaming warm waters and enjoy summer fun all year long. The Heated Indoor Season features more than a dozen heated rides, including 4 amazing tube slides, 3 thrilling body slides, 2 kid's areas, the Torrent wave river, a wave pool, a man-made surfing wave and an arcade.
Hot or cold, rain or shine, Schlitterbahn's got you covered with climate-controlled rivers, slides and pools that will put you in a tropical mood! During the heated indoor season, huge convertible roofs covering the Wasserfest area open or close depending on the weather and both the air and water are heated so you can enjoy a dozen great attractions. (Both the air and water are always in the 80s!)
Family Friendly Amenities Include:
- FREE Parking
- FREE Tubes
- Picnics Welcomed (No glass or alcohol permitted.)
Whatever the weather, surfing, splashing fun is on at Schlitterbahn Galveston Island. Voted the World's #1 Indoor Waterpark. Buy Discount Tickets Online! Call 409-770-WAVE (9283) or visit www.schlitterbahn.com to buy tickets, to view the complete operating schedule and to plan your trip.
*Hours, dates, attraction availability and prices subject to change without notice.