Attractions

Enjoy a variety of dining, shopping, entertainment, and sightseeing opportunities in the vicinity of our hotel:


Main Attractions

Hermann Park
Hermann Park
Hermann Park
You can do the Natural History museum, the garden center, the zoo, etc. The zoo has the new primate exhibit. There’s a miniature train, golf, picnic areas. In the evening, there’s often something showing at Miller Theater.

Allen’s Landing
Downtown, where the Allen brothers, early real-estate developers, first landed their boats and founded Houston. Nothing there to see, but it’s been nicely landscaped lately. The Bayou Belle cruises leave from here.

San Jacinto Monument
The San Jacinto Monument┬ácommemorates the battle where Texas won its freedom from Mexico. The monument looks like the Washington monument but it’s taller. There’s a museum in the base, and an elevator up to an observation deck at the top.

Battleship Texas
Battleship Texas is docked near the San Jacinto Monument. The Texas fought in both World Wars, and has recently been extensively repaired. You can wander all over the ship, above and below deck.

Industrial tours

Imperial Sugar (in Sugar Land) and Budweiser beer (I-10 at the 610 Loop).

Transco Tower water wall and observation deck
The water wall is a man-made waterfall next to the Tower, spectacular from up close.

Chase Tower
The downtown Chase Tower has an observation deck.

Tunnels
The tunnel system under downtown Houston has over 4 miles of connected tunnels, with stores and retaurants. It’s only open on workdays during business hours.

Pasadena Refineries
The Pasadena refineries at night isn’t as spectacular as it used to be with the new lighting sources, but it’s still worth a trip (If Hell could be beautiful, it would look like Pasadena at night)

Ice Houses
What Houston used to have before liquor-by-the-drink was legalized. Cold beer and an open-air place to sit and socialize. Maybe a pool table and/or jukebox. The West Alabama icehouse is good for tourists.

Rice University
Rice University architecture, films and Stude Hall.

University of Houston

Medical Center tour

River Oaks
Just drive through and look at the mansions.

North and South Boulevards near Rice, big houses, oak alleys.

Downtown Art
Big downtown art (you can skip the Virtuoso) is interesting.

Hindu Temple
Hindu temple in Pearland.


Museums

The Menil Collection
The Menil Collection
You should go to the Menil Collection, a small art museum. The permanent collection comes from the personal art collection of Dominique De Menil. She liked medieval art, folk art, and really modern stuff. There’s usually a couple of temporary exhibits going on. Admission is free.

The Rothko Chapel near the Menil is a non-denominational chapel with a dozen of Rothko’s paintings.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston has a great permanent collection, with noteworthy works from most periods. They do a lot of photography exhibits. There is usually a major touring exhibit showing. They also have a film series. There’s a sculpture garden across the street, and the Modern Art museum is nearby.

The Houston Natural Science Museum has a lot of interesting exhibits. There are permanent collections of minerals, natural history exhibits, a planetarium with laser shows and an Imax theater, a butterfly habitat, a paleontology exhibit with dinosaurs,and a new chemistry hall. This place is very crowded, especially on weekends, and you should call for reservations for the Imax, planetarium and butterfly exhibit.

Also check out the Heritage Society houses and museum at Sam Houston Park, downtown. The oldest house in Houston, plus houses from several eras of Houston’s history, transported to the park and restored.

Bayou Bend is Ima Hogg’s former estate near River Oaks, now a museum for her private collection of antiques. Also has beautiful gardens.

The Children’s Museum has rotating exhibits and activities.

Space Center Houston is the NASA tourist center. Exhibits and tours of the nearby NASA facility.

There are smaller museums scattered around the area: Fire, Funeral, Police, Printing, etc.


Restaurants

Goode Company Barbecu
Goode Company Barbecu
Houston’s a good restaurant town. The specialties are seafood, Cajun, Mexican and barbecue. You need to go to Goode Company Barbecue while you’re here. There’s more than one location. Try the pecan pie. Second choice for barbecue would be Brisket House (Pappa’s barbecue) or Luther’s.

Go to Kemah for fresh seafood as you watch the boats go in and out.

There are also a lot of ethnic restaurants. On the west side of town along Bellaire is a Chinatown, with all kinds of oriental food. There’s a smaller Chinatown near downtown, and a Little Vietnam on the southwest side of downtown. Scattered around town are Indian, Mid-east, German, French, African, South-American, Italian etc.

Try eating at the restaurant school at UH. Good food and a chance to grade your waiter.

The popular places with the natives are the Pappas chain of restaurants, including Pappadeaux’s (Cajun), Pappasitos (Mexican), Pappas Seafood, Pappas Barbecue, Pappamia’s (Italian), and Pappas Steakhouse.

The free paper Houston Press has extensive restaurant listings and ads.


Outdoors

There are two arboretums, Houston and Mercer. Various parks, including Memorial Park, Hermann Park, Buffalo Bayou Park. and Sam Houston Park. Further out of town are Armand Bayou Nature and Brazos Bend State Park. Various places to rent a canoe, horse or sailboat. Cruises on Clear Lake, Buffalo Bayou, or Galveston Bay. Fishing all along the coast and at various lakes. Walk out the Texas City Dike (a good fossil locality). Several water parks.


Shows

Houston’s a good theater town. Try a play at the Alley, TUTS, Stages, Ensemble, Main Street, etc. The UH School of Theater has professional-calibre shows for the price of a movie. Dinner and magic shows at Magic Island. Various Comedy Clubs (try Comedy Sportz for great improv). Radio Music Theater does great comedy sketches.

The Miller Outdoor Theater has something showing 3-4 nights a week, from May through October. Various types of music, Shakespeare, full-scale musicals, symphony, etc. It’s always free.


Live Music

Anything from classical to reggae is available here. There are concert listings in the weekly free paper Houston Press, Of course, there are also listings in the regular newpapers.

The club scene mostly centers on Richmond weekend nights. Dozens of restaurants and clubs and killer traffic. Country-Western bars are all over. Gilley’s is gone, but there are others just as big and touristy. Or, check out the little neighborhood places.


Sports

Houston has professional baseball, arena football, men’s and women’s basketball and hockey(minor league) teams.

Golf and tennis year-round all over town. There’s one golf course where each hole is a re-creation of a famous hole from golf courses all over the world.


Other Activities

  • Gulf Greyhound Park, parimutuel dog racing complex.
  • Houston Raceway Park, dragstrip with racing several nights a week
  • The Sam Houston Race Track, local horse racing
  • Bike and jogging trails at Memorial and Hermann Parks and along Buffalo and Braeswood Bayous.
  • Equestrian Center and Velocidrome.
  • Water skiing, surfing and wind-surfing.
  • Astrodome, Astroworld, Water World.
  • Folk arts. The Orange Show is a must-see
  • Lower Westheimer. shopping, food and entertainment. Antiques, resale shops, tattoos.

More Fun: Fiesta grocery store and check out the weird stuff. There’s a free ship channel tour boat (though you need to make reservations well in advance). Or you can go down on Sunday and drive around the docks; take the Ship Channel exit off the East (610) Loop, follow the signs to the guard station, and they’ll give you a map and directions.


Shopping

  • Rice Village, shops & restaurants, plus the Variety Fair 5 & 10
  • Flea markets, indoors & out. Trading Fair on the South 610 Loop, at Westpark
  • The Galleria, ice skating rink. Neiman Marcus, Gumps, Tiffanys, etc.
  • There are big outlet centers in Conroe and La Marque.
  • Old Town Spring, dozens of small shops selling antiques and crafts.
  • Spec’s Liquor downtown. Cheapest liquor in town, Huge selection
  • Antique stores on lower Westheimer and around River Oaks.
  • Brown’s Science Books, the Alabama Book Stop, Barnes and Noble, Borders.

Golfing

Northgate Country Club Golf
17110 Northgate Forest Drive, Houston, TX 77068
(281) 444-5319

Texas Custom Golf
16300 Kuykendahl Road, Houston, TX 77068
(281) 440-8581

Cypress Creek Golf
4211 Clow Road, Houston, TX 77068
(281) 587-1006

Wood-Arts Golf Inc
16300 Kuykendahl Road Suite 420, Houston, TX 77068
(281) 440-8581