Whether you are planning a city break or are travelling the United States on a family road trip with kids, the bustling metropolis of Houston should be top of the list of must-see destinations. To help you make the most of your stay, Single Parents on Holiday have created the perfect itinerary, so you get to see as much as possible of the most populous city in Texas in just three days.
Houston in 3 days: Your Holiday Itinerary
Houston is a busy metropolis and a melting pot of different ethnicities and cultures. It has a vibrant music scene, is home to 5 professional major league teams, including the Houston Texans and the Houston Rockets, and boasts tons of restaurants serving excellent international fare. To help you decide where to go on your short break in Houston, we have prepared a 3-day itinerary for you, including the top things to see and the most popular eateries in Houston – all of which are suitable whether you travelling with children or alone for single holidays:
Day 1: Space Centre and Beach
Space Center Houston and NASA Johnson Space Center:
When you were a kid, did you dream of becoming an astronaut? Whether it is a childhood dream or not, the Space Center Houston, the official visitor centre of the Johnson Space Center, is a fascinating place to visit for all ages and the main tourist attraction in the city for a reason. There are lots of exhibits here, both permanent and travelling, from lunar rocks to meteorites, models of aerospace vehicles, introductions to the moon, space technology, and more. All in all, you will find over 400 unique artefacts, spacecraft, and more here, including Apollo 17, the last manned capsule to orbit the moon. The Astronaut Gallery is also worth a visit.
You can book various special experiences, such as simulators experiences or a NASA Tram Tour to go behind the scenes at NASA Johnson Space Center. Here you will have the opportunity to see modern and historic mission control, Building 9 where astronauts train, and Rocket Park where one of the Saturn V rockets is displayed. Check the tour schedules in the NASA Tram Tour queue area at the centre to get specific tour details or book online.
The Center is open 7 days a week but can get busy at weekends, so booking tickets online is a good idea.
If you are visiting the Space Center, you are a mere 20 minutes’ drive from some great beaches, so why not spend the afternoon enjoying the Texan sunshine? Houstoning.com has compiled a list of the best beaches in Houston for you. Check out Sylvan Beach, a favourite with the kids, with its fine white sand, gentle waves, and playground. If you have time to spare, make sure to admire the wonderful sunset over the Gulf of Mexico.
Where to Eat:
If you want something upmarket, head downtown and try Hugo’s for some tasty Mexican food or the Pit Room if you love a good BBQ. Here you can get Central Texas-style food, including grilled meats and tacos. And did we mention how good the beer, wine, and desserts are?
If you are looking for somewhere to eat near the Space Center, try one of the many places along NASA Road 1 for a quick bite – you can find literally anything from American to Mediterranean or Asian cuisine here.
Day 2: Hermann Park and Zoo
Enjoy a day outdoors exploring the city’s most popular green space in the centre of Houston: Hermann Park. The large public space is one of the most popular parks in Houston. Home to Houston Zoo, Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Miller Outdoor Theatre, playgrounds, splash pads, a miniature railway, and pedal boats, it offers something for all ages and tastes. Make sure you check what’s on during your stay as Hermann Park regularly hosts events such as an annual spring gala, kite festival, and music performances.
If you are looking for somewhere quiet to relax, visit the Japanese Garden, a peaceful hideaway, with waterfalls, bridges, winding paths, and a teahouse.
For those travelling with kids, Houston Zoo is a must-do. This 55-acre zoological oasis is home to several thousand different animals and 800 birds alone. It is the most visited zoo in the US.
How about some entertainment in the evening? Enjoy dance, free music, and kid-friendly performances at the Miller Outdoor Theatre. You really can spend an entire day at Hermann Park
Where to Eat:
When you get hungry, pop over to the Gyro King, just south of Hermann Park past the Houston Medical Center. This is a food truck serving some of the most delicious kebabs, falafel, and fresh fruit juices. The food here is heaven, and you must try spot-on-falafel, chicken, rice, and gyros piled with fish, chicken, lamb, and Chapli kebabs.
Day 3: The Museum District
Right by Hermann Park is the cultural heart of Houston, the beautiful Museum District. Here you will find no less than 20 museums, galleries, and cultural centres, dotted around tree-lined streets, including, amongst others, the Museum of Fine Art, the Museum of Natural Science, the Children’s Museum, and the Holocaust Museum. Depending on the ages in your party and their interests, you can take your pick – but don’t think for one minute that even one of them are boring! Conveniently, these 4 museums are all just a stone’s throw away from each other, so you can stroll from one to the next at your leisure:
Houston Museum of Natural Science
Located at the northeast corner of Hermann Park, this museum teaches you everything from when dinosaurs walked the Earth to everything we know about worlds galaxies away. There are lots of mind-blowing experiences to be had here, from immersing yourself in a 360 adventure at Beautifica to admiring the vastness of space in the planetarium or watching a 3D film at the Giant Screen Theatre.
Children’s Museum Houston
This is a huge museum and, arguably, the most popular children’s museum in the US. 90,000 sq. ft. offer interactive and innovative exhibits for children. Here they can do all the crazy stuff they have ever wanted, with tons of hands-on activities, including Tot Spot and Bubble Lab. Of course, it’s all educational too as kids learn how to start their own business in Kidtropolos, become researchers and physicists in FlowWorks and inventors in Invention Convention.
The museum opened its doors in March 1996 but underwent a huge expansion in 2019. It is dedicated to educating the public about the Holocaust and other genocides as well the dangers of hatred, prejudice, and apathy. There are countless exhibits aimed at commemorating the six million Jews and other victims that perished as a result, as well as galleries, classrooms, a library, café, a theatre and an outdoor amphitheatre.
Museum of Fine Arts
One of the 10 largest museums in the US, the Museum of Fine Arts consists of several buildings, several gardens including a sculpture garden, two cafés, a cinema, libraries and more. You could easily spend the day here alone!
Where to Eat:
If you finish your tour of the Museum District at the Museum of Fine Arts, you are less than 10 minutes’ walk away from Gatsby’s, a superb restaurant for seafood and steaks. Just a couple of minutes further up the road, you will find BCN Taste & Tradition, a Catalan fine dining restaurant set in a 1920s home, that also boasts an extensive wine and cocktail menu. If your feet are not aching at this point, you could continue walking to Brennan’s of Houston, a popular restaurant serving delicious oysters, turtle soup, and more and a fabulous choice for seafood lovers.
We hope you enjoyed our journey through Houston and found our 3-day sample itinerary of the top things to do and places to eat in Houston useful. Do let us know if you visit and have any tips for our readers!
About the author:
Single Parents on Holiday provide fully organised group holidays for single parents and their children including beach, farm, and activity holidays, as well as ski holidays with teenagers and kids. In addition, they also offer group holidays for solo travellers looking for adult company on holiday.