If you thought you knew everything there is to do in the Space City, think again. Here are seven hidden gems in Houston that you need to check out today!
Houston is one of the most well-known cities in Texas, but visitors tend to head towards the same old tourist destinations. With a nickname like “Space City,” people know to visit NASA’s Manned Spacecraft Center.
There’s nothing wrong with putting this incredible stop on your itinerary. But there are other hidden gems you won’t want to miss.
With over two million people and more moving there every year, Houston is considered the fastest-growing city in the United States. It makes sense that the influx of residents means more entertainment venues.
If Houston is on your vacation destination list or you already live there, there’s much to do! We’ve narrowed it down to these seven amazing places off the beaten path you need to check out.
1. House of Pies
Everyone loves pies, and the best are right here in Houston. With its delectable desserts and old-fashioned ambiance, the House of Pies restaurant makes the list of places you can’t miss.
Famous for their homemade desserts, House of Pies also offers a full breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu. It’s a favorite stop of residents and tourists in the city. If you love homestyle cooking, you’ll want to plan a meal here.
It’s so good, in fact, that there are four locations in and around Houston. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, there’s never a wrong time for pie!
Lake Houston Wilderness Park and Nature Center
Natural preserves and state parks are popular tourist attractions. But lesser-known and lesser-traveled places are often where the real beauty is. The Lake Houston Wilderness Park and Nature Center is one of those wonders.
With 4,786 acres of land, visitors will stay busy exploring and adventuring. Hiking, biking, overnight camping, and cabins are just some of the things you’ll see. There are also weekly educational tours and classes on the schedule.
If you’re planning to camp, call to schedule your visit. Otherwise, the park is open daily with a $3 entrance fee for each person aged 13 to 64.
Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
Every culture brings something to the table in Houston, and the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir shows off what India offers.
One of the many global sites for Hindu worship and prayer, this temple is also open to the public. Exhibitions highlight India’s contributions to the fields of math, astronomy, medicine, and religion.
The temple is open daily from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Many rituals are offered throughout the day at different times. If you want to see something specific, check the schedule on their website.
Contemporary Arts Museum
Looking for a mix of entertainment and culture? Then you’ll want to make sure you stop at the Contemporary Arts Museum.
This museum has a full schedule of programs and events for all ages. The overall focus is on today’s art, since it’s art that shapes the world. There’s even an outdoor sculpture park where you can see the Museum’s collection of statues and fountains.
Admission is free for everyone. Doors open at 10 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and noon on Sundays. They’re closed on Mondays, but you have the rest of the week to enjoy their galleries!
The 1940 Air Terminal Museum
Aviation played a huge role in the growth of Houston. The 1940 Air Terminal Museum is a visual timeline of this history.
Visitors to the museum can explore the galleries full of aviation memorabilia. After that, they can head to the 1928 Carter Airmail Hangar to see actual aircraft.
Events are scheduled throughout the year, and you can book your own private party in the Museum’s event hall.
The Air Terminal Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The admission is $5 for adults and $2 for children.
Visiting cemeteries may not be at the top of your vacation to-do list, but you should make an exception for Glenwood Cemetery. This historic graveyard is the final resting place of many Houston celebrities.
Built in 1872, the design is straight out of the 19th century. Houston’s “Silent Garden” is full of trees and landscaped beauty, the perfect burial spot to show respect to those long gone.
As you explore the 84 acres of Glenwood, you’ll see detailed carvings and monuments depicting Houston’s history. You’ll also find graves of many of the city’s prestigious leaders.
You can enter through the cemetery gates any time from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m during the year. And during summertime (after Daylight Savings), the closing extends to sunset.
The Holocaust happened a century ago, but its effects are still felt today. It was a time when human rights didn’t exist for many people. There is concern about that violation repeating itself if these events are ever forgotten.
But Holocaust survivor and Houston resident Siegi Izakson knew this was a legitimate worry. He and his fellow peers worked hard to establish The Holocaust Museum in 1981, where stories and relics are preserved to this day.
This 57,000-square-foot building focuses not just on the Holocaust, but on educating people about the dangers of prejudice and hatred.
Exhibits include four permanent galleries and two floating exhibitions. You’ll also find a research library and an indoor theater and outdoor amphitheater.
When you put the Holocaust Museum on your itinerary, note that it’s free to everyone on Thursdays from 2 to 5 p.m.
Otherwise, the building is open on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.
Admission is free for members and $15 for adults, with multiple discounts available.
From historic sites to art, memorabilia to memory-making, Houston has something for everyone. This ever-growing city is always in flux, so every time you come, there’s something new to see!