The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Tourist Attractions (Outside the City Limits)

Photo by Arturo Yee
George Ranch Historical Park
Last week we looked at tourist attractions inside Houston proper; this week we rank tourist attractions outside the city limits. Last week our list included museums, shopping destinations, public art and inner city parks. This week, our choices include fewer museums and art, but lots more beach side attractions. High on the must-see list for most tourists is Space Center Houston, and we agree. (The Space Center snagged the top spot last week.) But there's a real charm to the historical and nature sites that are just a little further away from downtown Houston. We think the attractions selected this week are well worth the extra driving time it takes to reach them.

10. George Ranch Historical Park
10215 FM 762 Road, Richmond

You can see 100 years of Texas history brought to life at the George Ranch Historical Park. The park has frequent re-enactments (although they don't get quite as literal as the San Jacinto Battleground re-enactments - see the next page), cook-outs, hands-on history tours and demonstrations.

Check out our story on Houston's Top 10 Tourist Attractions Inside the Loop

Photo by Michael E. Johnston
Yep, those Battle of San Jacinto re-enactors really get into their roles.
9. San Jacinto Monument and Museum / Battleship Texas
One Monument Circle, La Porte

The San Jacinto Monument folks like to brag that the fight that gave the battleground its name was "18 minutes that changed history." Re-enactors take their job very, very seriously and the San Jacinto Day celebrations get bigger and more elaborate every year. Between battles, there's lots to see in the museum with regularly rotating exhibits, the top-floor outlook of the monument features a spectacular view of the area and there's lots of green space if you just want to wander around or sit under a tree.

8. Museum of the Gulf Coast
700 Procter St., Port Arthur
409- 982-7000

The Museum of the Gulf Coast likes to say it's the place where you can see "Jurassic to Joplin," that would be rock legend Janis Joplin, of course, Port Arthur's most famous resident ever. There are lots of exhibits, most with a strict local focus. Exhibits, events and various day camps for kids are regularly scheduled.

Photo by Patrick Feller
7. Armand Bayou Nature Center
8500 Bay Area Blvd., Pasadena

Like the rest of the Gulf Coast, the Armand Bayou Nature Center still shows a few signs of wear-and-tear brought on by recent hurricanes and droughts, but only a few. There's still lots of nature to explore at the center. Get as up-close as you want - or do what we do and bring binoculars.

Location Info


Moody Gardens

1 Hope Blvd., Galveston Island, Galveston, TX

Category: General

Museum of the Gulf Coast

700 Procter St., Port Arthur, TX

Category: General

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A minor correction, its Armand Bayou NATURE Center, ABNC.

Also, here is a short video on the Historic Galveston Pleasure Pier (a year old, before the tall tower ride was operating):

Its nicely done, and you can get a walk around pass (no rides) pretty cheap.


Guess there

 is nothing awesome north of houston :/


Drinking delicious mango mojitos on the balcony over the gulf @ Bubba  Gumps.


@Olivia Online @killerkorn  I haven't lived there in 15 yrs.  I will ask my friends who still live there though what is still around. Jmar farms was one of my favorites to go to. 

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