Houston

As the fourth-largest city in the United States, Houston is home to a respected and energetic arts community, celebrated restaurants, world-renowned theater groups and the brains behind U.S. space exploration. Home to the third-largest consular corps in the nation, Houston is a mecca of diversity, giving breath to one of the most vivid cultural scenes in the country. 

Houston serves up nationally recognized dining, shopping, entertainment and nightlife with world-class attractions and events. Regardless of what your interests are, Houston has attractions just right for you. From Space Center Houston (home to NASA's Mission Control) to the largest Fine Arts Museum in the Southwest, the options are many. And with Houston CityPASS you can see it all at a great discount.

Best of all, you'll find a number of things that are budget-friendly or free. In fact, there are so many things to do in Houston; you may want to schedule an extra day or two to your trip!

Itinerary Suggestions

Houston Family Adventure

Coming to Houston with the brood? There's one thing for certain: you won't be bored! H-Town is jam-packed with exciting things to see and do year-round. We've put together a five-day adventure itinerary, plus full-day activity options, family-friendly hotels and restaurants and much more to help you plan your trip. 

Price includes flights, car hire and accommodation 

Day 1 - Fly from the UK to Houston. On arrival pick up your hire car and make your way to your hotel. 

Day 2 - MORNING: check out the Houston Zoo, the place Parent’s Magazine recently named one of the “10 Best Zoos” in the nation. Set in a 55-acre lush tropical landscape, the Houston Zoo is home to more than 4,500 exotic animals representing more than 800 species.

AFTERNOON: The Houston Museum of Natural Science, one of the most visited museums in the U.S., features the Wortham IMAX Theatre, Burke Baker Planetarium, Cockrell Butterfly Center, permanent exhibit halls and traveling exhibitions. One of the best discovery places for kids and adults alike.

EVENING: Witness 250,000 bats emerge at dusk from under the Waugh Drive Bridge, located over Buffalo Bayou between Allen Parkway and Memorial Drive. You can watch them from a special deck beside the bridge or take one of the Buffalo Bayou Partnership's Waugh Bridge Bat Colony Pontoon Boat Tours.

Day 3 - MORNING: Space Center Houston is the official visitors experience at NASA's Johnson Space Center. The Starship Gallery Journey begins in Destiny Theater with the 12 minute feature of "On Human Destiny" which traces the history of the manned space program. You can also observe three capsules that were actually flown in space and mock-ups that were used for astronaut training. The Level 9 tram tour consists of a behind the scenes tour to Johnson Space Center including the Historical Mission Control Center and the International Space Station Shuttle mock-up facility where astronauts receive their training. (Note: Guests must be 14 years or older to participate in the Level 9 tour.)

AFTERNOON: Overlooking Galveston Bay, and just 20 minutes from downtown Houston, Kemah Boardwalk is a 35-acre coastal getaway featuring themed restaurants, retail shops and amusements for the whole family.

EVENING: Catch free music, dance and kid-friendly performances, from hit musicals to international acrobatics troupes, at Miller Outdoor Theatre inside Hermann Park. Downtown's 12-acre park, Discovery Green, features a model boat pond, children's playground, interactive water features and fantastic year-long programming geared toward families.

Day 4 - MORNING: The world-class Children’s Museum of Houston is crazy fun for all kids, featuring 90,000 square feet of interactive and bilingual exhibitions in the areas of science and technology, history and culture, health and human development, and the arts. Kids can run their own city and compile their own TV news reports at Kidtropolis, make their own gadgets in the Invention Convention exhibit, and check out the forces of hydropower at FlowWorks. And for children three years and younger, Tot Spot provides a wonderland of invigorating activities for infants and toddlers. Or perhaps you want to head to the Health Museum takes kids on an interactive, Magic School Bus-like exploration through the human body, letting them identify their personality, view their internal organs, see what they will look like in 30 years and much more!

AFTERNOON: Head over to Hermann Park. This 445-acre urban park is the perfect place to spend a day with kids, whether it’s riding the train along Hermann Park Railroad, pedal boating on McGovern Lake or enjoying a peaceful picnic inside the McGovern Centennial Gardens. Or if you're looking for a more rustic outdoor experience, check out the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, where miles of trails and different habitats make for a fun afternoon of exploration.

EVENING: The Downtown Aquarium is a 500,000-gallon under-water adventure complex that includes a Ferris wheel, an aquatic carousel, Shark Voyage and a restaurant.

Day 5 - MORNING: One of the most dynamic attractions in the region, Moody Gardens is a fun-filled and educational destination on Galveston Island (about an hour south of Downtown Houston). The expansive eco-themed park includes three pyramids: an aquarium, rainforest and "discovery" pyramid. In recent years, the attraction has invested more than $37 million in a multi-phase renovation of the Aquarium Pyramid, which will wrap in 2017. The enhancements include a variety of new exhibits, including the addition of jellyfish and tropical penguins.

AFTERNOON: Enjoy more of what Galveston has to offer. If the weather is good, head to the beach with the kids for a little fun in the sand and sea. East Beach just off Seawall Boulevard is a popular hangout where you're likely to find concerts and other special events during the summer season. If you're looking for a different experience, check out The Historic Strand District. Fronting Galveston Bay, The Strand is a National Historic Landmark that harkens back to Galveston's heyday in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Many of the buildings here are more than a century old, stunning in their detail and craftsmanship. Storefronts are a mix of antique shops, art galleries, souvenir shops and restaurants. There are also a number of entertainment options, including the Ocean Star Offshore Energy Center and Museum, Pier 21 Theater, the Texas Seaport Museum and the tall ship Elissa.

EVENING: After a long day exploring, it's time to recharge with...dessert! Take the kiddos to one of Houston's great sweet shops. The Dessert Gallery is chock-full of pies, cakes, candies and much more. The Chocolate Bar is a Houston favorite, where you will find everything you could possibly want dipped in chocolate plus ice cream and more. Then of course there are the delicious cupcake shops including Sprinkles and Crave. Be wary of the sugar rush!

Day 6 - MORNING: The San Jacinto Monument is the world's tallest war memorial, standing 15 feet taller than the Washington Monument. It's dedicated to the brave men under General Sam Houston who fought for and won Texas' independence in 1836. The San Jacinto Museum of History, within the base of the San Jacinto Monument, holds one of the largest collections of Texas art, artifacts and history. The museum's collections include Ancient Mayan and Aztec artifacts, Spanish arms, art and treasure, missionary artwork and religious artifacts, Mexican artwork, uniforms and weaponry and much more. Floating in the nearby Houston Ship Channel is Battleship Texas, the last of the battleships to participate in World Wars I and II. The Texas also had the honor of becoming the first battleship memorial when it was decommissioned in 1948.

AFTERNOON: The 2,500-acre Armand Bayou Nature Center is one of the largest urban wilderness preserves in the U.S. Featuring natural wetlands, forest, prairie, and marsh habitats once abundant in the Houston/Galveston area, the center is home to more than 370 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, along with thousands of native plants. Hiking and paddle trails provide easy public access to unique outdoor experiences. Turn the clock back at the restored 1890's Martyn Family Farm site. Or consider a bayou cruise, canoe trip or night owl prowl. See native wildlife including American alligators, hawks, river otters, white-tail deer, several turtle species and much more.

EVENING: Those who dream of riding bowls, grinding rails or cutting and sweeping through one of the largest cradles in the world, can fulfill that desire at the Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark. Designed by the premiere skatepark firm Gridline, the state-of-the-art, in-ground facility features shade structures, terraced seating, LED light poles and graffiti boards. For skateboarding enthusiasts, head north to the largest skatepark in the United States, North Houston Skatepark, a 78,000 square-foot park  including a competition-scale Texas bowl featuring a full pipe, a 12-foot vertical ramp, a 10-foot bowl, banked walls and speed hips.

Day 7 - Return to the airport and fly back to the UK or extend your stay. 

6 Nights
Prices from:
£1056 per person

Houston Hotels & Accommodation

Embassy Suites by Hilton Houston Downtown

Located in downtown's Central Houston Business District overlooking Discovery Green Park.

Every room is a two-room suite, with a private bedroom and separate living area. Their suites offer a TV in each room, living area with a sofa bed, armchair and well-lit work table, wet bar, refrigerator, microwave, and coffeemaker. Complimentary hot breakfast, and appetizers and beverages at the nightly evening reception. Hotel ammenities include: fitness centre and a pool, bar area, gift shop, snack shop and so much more. 

Moderate
Prices from:
£140 per room per night

Hyatt House Houston Galleria

Located three blocks from The Galleria Mall, Texas’ largest shopping destination and just a short drive to downtown Houston.

The hotel offers a complimentary morning spread of hot and cold breakfast items including made-to-order Omelet Bar, oatmeal, fresh fruit and other savory bites.

Hotel amenities include a full Kitchen in every suite, complimentary wireless internet, outdoor swimming pool and firepit, outdoor grilling area. Room amenities include TV, hair dryer, internet, fully equiped kitchen, iron and ironing board. 

Moderate
Prices from:
£133 per room per night

Royal Sonesta Houston Galleria

Ranked among the finest Houston, Texas hotels, enjoy full access and convenience area attractions and activities all within reach.

The hotel has 485 freshly revamped guest rooms and suites. Hotel ammenities include a 24-hour health club, outdoor swimming pool, 24-hour in-room dining, concierge, self-serve laundry room, high-speed internet access and a complimentary shuttle within a 3 mile radius of the hotel.

First Class
Prices from:
£175 per room per night

Westin Houston Downtown

The hotel is conveniently located near many Houston attractions including George R. Brown Convention Centre and Discovery Green.

Hotel amenities include a fitness centre, complimentary shuttle to downtown Houston, 24 hour security, steakhouse and baseball-themed lobby cafe. Room amenities include free WiFi, 42-inch flat-screen TVs, and coffee maker. Suites feature living areas with pull-out sofas, minifridges and wet bars. Some rooms have views of the ballpark. 

 

First Class
Prices from:
£130 per room per night

JW Marriott Houston Downtown

The hotel is conveniently located next to the theatre district and sporting venues. 

Set in a skyscraper dating back to 1910, this upscale downtown hotel is across the street from the Central Station Main NB light rail. The Museum of Fine Arts is a 3-mile drive. Hotel amenities include a full spa, fitness centre, modern restaurant and cocktail lounge. Rooms feature free WiFi, iPads and 55-inch flat-screen TVs, plus minifridges, coffeemakers and a turndown service. Upgrades offer access to a lounge with complimentary food. Suites add separate living rooms, while some include whirlpool tubs or kitchens.

Deluxe
Prices from:
£150 per room per night

St. Regis Houston

The hotel is conveniently situated between River Oaks, Houston's most exclusive residential neighborhood, and the Galleria Houston, an international mecca for luxury shopping and world-class entertainment.

Hotel amenities include an outdoor swimming pool, fitness centre and spa. Room amenities include, flat screen TV, WiFi, extraordinary views of the Houston skyline or a tree-lined park from each Superior or Deluxe Guest Room.

Deluxe
Prices from:
£185 per room per night

Hotel ICON

The hotel is located in the heart of Houston's business, legal, entertainment and sport districts.

This unique hotel in Houston features 135 rooms, including 18 suites. Hotel amenities include a complimentary shuttle service to downtown Houston, high-speed wireless internet and fitness centre. Room amenities include spacious bathrooms with rain showers, whirlpool or antique bath tubs and mini-fridges. 

Unique Stay
Prices from:
£110 per room per night

Hotel Zaza

Situated in the heart of the vibrant Museum District, the hotel combines the luxurious ambiance of a theatrical resort with the comfort and style of a boutique hotel.

The 315 rooms at the Hotel Zaza are unique. From Parisian opulence to Rock Star style, exquisite details include leopard print rugs, dazzling chandeliers, stainless steel kitchens, flat screen TVs, and one-of-a-kind fashionable pieces throughout our art hotel. Room amenities include black out drapes, TV, coffee machines, steam showers, Ipod docking stations and complimentary WiFi. Hotel amenities include a full service spa and fitness centre. 

Unique Stay
Prices from:
£240 per room per night

Hotel Granduca

The upscale hotel resembling an Italian villa is located in the heart of Uptown Park and a 5 minute drive from the Galleria.

Bright accommodations range from standard rooms to 2-bedroom suites with dining areas. All include free Wi-Fi, iPod docks, flat-screen TVs, and views of the gardens or pool; rooms also have either kitchenettes or full kitchens. Fresh fruit awaits guests upon check in, and tea/coffee is served in-room . Hotel amenities include a 24-hour fitness center, a seasonal outdoor pool and a garden veranda. There's also a chic Italian restaurant and a bar with regular live music.

Unique Stay
Prices from:
£185 per room per night