The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Tourist Attractions
Some people call Discovery Green Houston's version of Central Park. We get the comparison -- a large park smack in the middle of downtown, surrounded by skyscrapers. Still, Discovery Green isn't just a Central Park knockoff. It has its own style and flavor. Hundreds of free events are on the park's schedule throughout the year -- from free movie screenings to ice skating, concerts to festivals. Even when there isn't a event going on, there's still plenty to do. We suggest a visit to the Listening Vessels, huge concave sculptures that allow you to stand across the lawn from someone and hear a whispered conversation.
2. The Houston Museum District
Main at Bissonnet
Houston Museum District officials like to boast that visitors can go around the world without ever leaving the zip code. True, we've seen amazing exhibits of art by European masters, heard concerts by Middle-eastern superstars, and petted animals that usually call the polar regions home all in one day.
A visit to the Museum District requires some planning, unless you don't mind circling the neighborhood for a parking area and are okay sharing lunch with 300 elementary school children. The offerings here are world-class, and a little planning can make your visit go smoother. Even if you don't go into any of the museums -- and we enthusiastically recommend that you do -- you can enjoy the district's great architecture and lovely green spaces.
The pride of Houston -- NASA. It's what made us the Astro-city. These days missions have been grounded, but the historic artifacts of the country's extra-terrestrial adventures and tragedies are preserved at the Space Center Houston. Don't get the idea that Space Center Houston is a museum -- yes, it houses lots of NASA's historical artifacts, but it features a robust schedule of exhibits (Star Wars-related exhibits are a favorite, for obvious reasons) and 'interactive adventures' (translation: on-hands exhibits packed with bells and whistles for kids).
Our favorite Space Center Houston event? The regular Lunch with an Astronaut offerings. A genuine, real life astronaut with plenty of amazing stories to tell sits at every table with a small group of visitors. Very, very cool.