AptExpert.com Around Houston
Things to see and do in and Around Houston
First Things First
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Places to see and Things to do in Houston,Texas listed here!
The Annual Yachty Gras Boat Parade in Kemah - don't miss it, beads, music, fun and dining can all be had from the boardwalk as well as many of the other restaurants overlooking the Bay in Seabrook and Kemah!
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 Fine Arts museum has an OK permanent collection, with a few 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 natural science museum has a lot of stuff. 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.
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.
There are lots of art galleries and display spaces.
Houston's a great restaurant town. The specialties are seafood, Cajun, Mexican and of course Barbecue. Try Goode Company Barbecue, Papa's, Brisket House or Luther's.
Go to Kemah for fresh seafood that you can cook yourself or there is a place called Pier 8 that will cook it for you. The top spot for boat watching. The Kemah Waterfront is a must see, even if you only do it once. So many restaurants to choose from at the Waterfront, Landry's, Salt Grass Steakhouse, Babin's, Cadillac Bar and Grill, The Flying Dutchman, all great choices but the view is to die for and be prepared to wait if you go on a weekend but it's really a fun filled event for the family, be prepared to pay to park, $6. to $8. for parking lots and garage. You may wind up buying a sailboat if you stay too long! There are some apartments that have boat slips in the area but many more marinas with boat storage, boat slips or boat parking. I can help you with that!
Are you ready to move to the Clear Lake Area - or any surrounding area such as League City, Seabrook? Parts of Clear Lake have a Houston address since Clear Lake City was annexed by Houston many years ago - I'm, ready to help you!
If you want to avoid the traffic at the Boardwalk and visit Joe Lee's - a family favorite, very laid back, or visit the many seafood markets in Kemah just under the bridge offering the freshest fish, shrimp, lump crabmeat, etc, for a fair market price, bring it home and cook it yourself. Live Entertainment is always fun at T Bone Tom's and the atmosphere is also casual, a great choice for stuffed jalapenos, live music, chicken fried steak, steak or pretty much whatever you want!
Houston has become a mecca for Beer Connoisseurs so you must try some of those and there are so many I can't list them all but The Hay Merchant just to name one with a little bit strange but crazy good food and beer!
There are also a great assortment of ethnic restaurants for the more adventuresome palates! On the west side of town along Bellaire is Chinatown. There's a smaller Chinatown near downtown, and a Little Vietnam on the southwest side of downtown. Scattered around town are Indian, Mid-eastern, German, French, African, South-American, Italian etc.
Try eating at the restaurant school at University of Houston. Good food and a chance to grade your waiter.
The popular places with the Houston natives are the Pappas chain of restaurants, including Pappadeaux's (Cajun), Pappasitos (Mexican), Pappas Seafood, Pappas Barbecue, Pappamia's (Italian), and Pappas Steakhouse, always a winner!
HOUSTON AND SURROUNDING AREA NEWS AND PUBLICATIONS ARE HERE
The Houston Chronicle is the go to place for news and events or happenings throughout the entire Houston area but the Houston Business Journal is my personal favorite! For the hottest news regarding restaurants, real estate, energy and all the top headlines for various Houston residents that want to be in the know!
The Clear Lake City publication is here, just click on the link to get the online publication here
Resource directory covering Houston, Clear Lake City, League
City, Seabrook, Kemah, Galveston and the entire Texas Bay Area.
The free papers include the Houston Press, Greensheet and various local publications such as the Pasadena Citizen, Bay Area Citizen, Clear Lake Today along with other smaller town publications. There is always Craigslist, Ebay and Amazon for used furniture or vehicle ads - and just about anything else you are looking for.
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.
Houston's a great theater town. Try a play at the Alley, TUTS, Stages, Ensemble, Main Street , etc. The UH School of Theater has professional-caliber shows for the price of a movie. Various Comedy Clubs, Radio Music Theater does 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.
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 newspapers such as the Houston Chronicle or Greensheet.
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 like Big Texas, Midnight Cowboy or Texas Tumbleweed.
Houston has professional baseball, arena football, men's and women's basketball and hockey(minor league) and of course soccer 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.
- Gulf Greyhound Park, the world's largest pair-mutual 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, Armand and Braeswood Bayous.
- Equestrian Center for horses and Velocidrome for bicycling.
- Water skiing, surfing and wind-surfing along the coast.
- Schlitterbahn in Galveston, and Splash Town for cooling off on hot summer days.
- Folk arts. The Orange Show is a must-see, and they can give you info about the other places: Beer Can House and Flower Man, etc.
- Lower Westheimer. Day for shopping, night for food and entertainment. Antiques, resale shops, tattoos and people watching, assortment of clubs.
- Tanger Outlets in Texas City, Texas - Finally an outlet mall near my part of town! Can't wait to shop there!
Go to a Fiesta grocery store and check out the assortment of items from all over the world.
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.
Spaces & Places
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. The Bayou Belle cruises leave from here.
The San Jacinto Monument commemorates 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.
The 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 -- Budweiser beer (I-10 at the 610 Loop)
The Williams Tower water wall and observation deck. The water wall is a man-made waterfall next to the Tower, spectacular from up close near the Galleria.
The downtown Chase Tower has an observation deck.
The tunnel system under downtown Houston has over 4 miles of connected tunnels, with stores and restaurants. It's only open on workdays during business hours.
The Pasadena refineries at night; this isn't as spectacular as it used to be with the new lighting sources, but it's still worth a trip
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 and most now have great burgers. The West Alabama icehouse is good for tourists.
Rice University -- check out the architecture, or see a film at the media center or a recital at Stude Hall.
Go up to the temple on the architecture building at the University of Houston.
Take the Medical Center tour
River Oaks -- just drive through and look at the mansions and you can maybe catch a garage sale and very high end odds and ends.
North and South Boulevards near Rice, big houses, oak alleys, tree lined streets.
The big downtown art is interesting.
- Rice Village -- lots of unique shops and restaurants. You *must* go to the Variety Fair 5 & 10
- Flea markets, indoor and out, all over town. Biggest are Trading Fair on the South (610) Loop, and Houston Flea Market (59 at Westpark)
- The Galleria -- a huge complex with a couple of hundred stores in three sections. Galleria I has 3 levels, with an ice skating rink on the bottom area. There are lots of ritzy stores, including Neiman Marcus, Gumps, Tiffanys, etc., but there are places you can find a bargain.
- There are big outlet centers in Conroe (way north) and La Marque (way south).
- Old Town Spring, north of Houston, has dozens of small shops selling antiques and crafts.
- Spec's Liquor downtown. Maybe you'll see Spec himself cruising the aisles on his roller skates or you might just see Matthew McConeghey since he has a condo in Clear Lake at the Seabrook Specs - he's been spotted running down Nasa Road One a time or two! . Cheapest liquor in town, with phenomenal selection of fabulous cheeses and deli assortments, so stock up when you go!
- Antiques stores all over, but concentrated on lower Westheimer and around River Oaks and more in the Kemah Waterfront, LaPorte and smaller town main drags.
- Book stores -- Half Price, Murder by the Book, Brazos Book Store, Brown's Science Books, the Alabama Book Stop, Barnes and Noble, Borders.
OUT OF TOWN
Galveston Oh Galveston. . . .!!
The newest attraction is the Pleasure Pier, it's like an amusement park that has to be seen and enjoyed by all with food, fun and attractions for everyone in the area!
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Railroad museum, shopping and Victoriana on the Strand, trolley to the ocean side. Rent a bicycle or skates and cruise along the 10 mile seawall.
Visit one of the county beaches or take your car and drive out to a deserted beach.
If you like old houses, see the Bishop's Palace and Moody Mansion.
Moody Gardens has a 3D IMAX, a white sand beach, an indoor rainforest and beautiful landscaping.
Good restaurants are all over Galveston, including Mexican and Italian, but seafood is the main attraction. Gaido's seafood restaurant on Seawall is very popular with the locals, there is a small Italian Restaurant called Gino’s, great home cooked Italian everything for an easy on the pocketbook dinner.
Take the free ferry to and from Bolivar (bring crackers to feed the seagulls), and with luck, you might see some dolphins dancing and jumping, riding the wakes.
There's a wildlife sanctuary at Anahuac that's great for birding. Go at sunset to see the waterfowl come in to nest.
The Texas State Zoo in Victoria; all their animals are native to Texas.
Bayou Wildlife Park near Alvin has rhinos, buffalo, giraffe, etc. that you can hand feed.
The Big Thicket National Preserve is a dense forest with a wide variety of plant and animal life. The Alabama-Coushata Indian reservation is nearby.
Washington County, northwest of Houston, has nice scenery, including some of the best wildflower displays in the spring. There's Washington- on-the-Brazos for history, Lake Somerville, the Blue Bell Ice Cream Creamery, the Antique Rose Emporium, and a monastery that raises miniature horses.
More to Come - Around Houston - Stay tuned from AptExpert.com and Kathy Curtis - this page is an ongoing project with new things coming soon.
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