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Houston Bucket List Guide

New to Houston? Here's a list of things to go and see inside the Loop!

Houston Parks

Buffalo Bayou (award winning & USA ranked park)

Waugh Drive Bat Colony

Cisterns at the Bayou

Ima Hogg’s Mansion & Gardens

Eleanor Tinsley Park

Memorial Park

Houston Arboretum

Discovery Green

Hermann Park

Miller Outdoor Theater

Breweries & Distilleries

  1. Saint Arnold Brewing Company
  2. Karbach Brewing Co.
  3. Yellow Rose Distillery
  4. No Label Brewing Co.
  5. Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co.

Houston Events

Rodeo Houston- largest in the world

BBQ Cook-off

  • Last weekend in February/weekend before Rodeo starts every year

Livestock Show & Rodeo & Carnival Fair

  • 20 days in March every year

Galveston Beach Mardi Gras Parade & Party

  • Every February at the Kemah Boardwalk

Houston Restaurant Week

Texas Renaissance Festival- largest in the nation

Seasonal Events

White Linen Night in the Heights

Lights in the Heights

Zoo Lights at the Houston Zoo

Winter Wonder Island

River Oaks - Good Christmas Light Viewing

HEB Thanksgiving Parade

Nutcracker Market

Other Activities

Bingo in the Heights

  • Every Thursday
  • Draws a big young professional crowd, gets packed & CHEAP (cash only, but they do have an ATM onsite)
  • Buy food or pitchers of draft beer for ~$7/pitcher
  • They allow you to bring your own liquor, wine and food as well (just no coolers)

Texas-Shaped Lazy River at Marriott Marquis



Movie Experiences

Pedal Parties

Sam Houston Race Track

Rudyard’s British Pub

Rent bicycles to ride around the city



The Galleria Mall

  • Texas’ largest shopping center

Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park

The Nutcracker Market

City Centre

Rice Village

Houston Premium Outlet Mall


The Menil Collection 

  • Widely esteemed as one of the greatest and most eclectic private museums in the US with one of the world’s best collections of Magritte

Natural Museum of Funeral History

Museum of Fine Arts (MFAH)

Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS)

Mixers and Elixirs Events

San Jacinto Monument & Museum

USS Texas Battleship

Art Car Museum & Parade

Beer Can House / Orange Show

James Turrell’s Twilight Epiphany Skyspace

Arts and Music

Houston Ballet 

Houston Symphony

The Hobby Center Theatre

Theater Under the Stars

Houston Grand Opera

White Oak Music Hall

House of Blues

The Continental Club

Last Concert Cafe

Warehouse Live


Football — NRG Stadium
  • Texans
  • Tailgating starts 4 hours before kickoff
  • Best tailgating in Yellow (shotgun thirty- every 30 minutes there is a beer shotgun) & Blue lots
Baseball — MinuteMaid
  1. Astros  ($1 hotdog night varies annually)
  2. Sugar Land Skeeters, an Atlantic League of Professional Baseball team — plays at Constellation Field
Basketball — Toyota Center
  1. Rockets
Soccer — BBVA Compass Stadium
  1. Dynamo, professional male soccer team
  2. Dash, professional women's soccer team
Houston Polo Club

Bar Hopping Areas in the city

Downtown (Market Square)

Main St, Congress Ave & Travis St

  • Start at Okra Charity Bar
EaDo (east Downtown)

Walker St, Dallas St & St Emanuel St

  • Start at Truck Yard

Bagby St, Brazos St, & W Gray St

  • Start at Pub Fiction

Westheimer Rd

  • Start at Anvil
Upper Kirby
  • Start at Kirby Ice House

White Oak Dr

  • Start at Public House

Washington Ave

  • Start at the Handlebar
Greater Heights / TimberGrove

W 19th & 20th St

  • Start at McIntyre’s

Must-Try Houston Restaurants

Don't forget Houston Restaurant Week is August —Labor Day every year! G

  1. Truluck’s — try the stone crabs!
  2. Gilhooley’s
  3. Captain Tom’s
  4. Pappa’s Seafood

If you're missing AL BBQ, then you won’t be disappointed by these places!

  1. Blood Bros.
  2. Killen’s
  3. Corkscrew BBQ
  4. Gatlin’s
  5. Truth BBQ
Tex Mex

A moment of silence for El Rincon

  1. El Tiempo
  2. Lupe Tortilla
  3. Ninfa’s on Navigation 
  4. Torchy’s Tacos
  1. Taste of Texas
  2. Brenner’s Steakhouse on the Bayou
  3. B&B Butchers

Crawfish season is around February - April.  HERE is a list of local crawfish festivals.

  1. BB’s crawfish & seafood 
  2. Captain Brad’s Coastal Kitchen
  3. Ragin’ Cajun
  4. LA Crawfish (Vietnamese crawfish)
  5. Crawfish Pot & Oyster Bar (Vietnamese crawfish)
  6. Little Woodrow’s
Food & Taco Truck Scene

Check out Roaming Hunger for live updates

  1. Taco Tierra Caliente @ Alabama Ice House
  2. El Taconazo Taco Truck
  1. Shipley’s
  2. Kolache Factory
  3. Any Donut Shops (A personal fave: Queen Donuts on W 18th)
Breakfast & Brunch
  1. The Breakfast Klub
  2. Snooze
  3. Union Kitchen (bottomless mimosas)
  4. Cyclone Anaya’s (bottomless mimosas)
Fast Food
  1. Whataburger (if you ever did PC for spring break you probably saw one of these) *Open 24 hours/serves breakfast 11pm-11am
  2. Taco C (we call our Taco C, Taco Cabana, not Taco Casa) *Open 24 hours
  3. Jack in the Box (not to be confused with Jack’s) *Open 24 hours/serves breakfast 24 hours
  4. Frenchy’s Chicken

Nearby Cities

Close to a lot of fun/big cities:

  1. College Station, TX (Kyle Field & TAMU) -  ~95 miles 
  2. Austin, TX (Capitol of TX) – ~165 miles
  3. San Antonio, TX (Alamo/Six Flags *RIP AstroWorld) – ~200 miles
  4. Dallas, TX (AT&T Cowboy Stadium/Six Flags *RIP AstroWorld) – ~240 miles
  5. Lake Charles, LA (Casinos) - ~145 miles
  6. New Orleans, LA (Mardi Gras) – ~350 miles

Rivers to Float

All the cities are all roughly ~3-4 hour drive from Houston

Other Attractions

  1. NASA Johnson Space Center website
  2. Pleasure Pier
  3. Moody Gardens
  4. Schlitterbahn Water Park
  5. The Strand (“downtown” area of Galveston)
  6. The Spot (good, festive restaurant near the seawall)

Two Major Airports

George Bush Intercontinental (United Hub)

William P. Hobby (Southwest Hub)

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