Known for its museums, barbecues and chicken steaks, armadillos and sheep and so much more, Texas is a cultural and gastronomical delight. America’s second largest city, it is also famously known as the Lone Star State. There are lots of attractions here, that will keep you captivated for days. If you’re going to visit the second largest city in the USA, 24 hours isn’t going to be nearly enough to even scratch the surface. But, hopefully, if you only have 24 hours, this guide might just help you spend a fruitful, enriching and really fun day in Texas. Read on to learn about our itinerary for 24 hours in Houston, Texas.
Day 1: Afternoon - Explore the Houston Museum of Natural Science or visit the Houston Zoo (from USD 25.0)
If you’re travelling with really young children, or if you’re an animal enthusiast, then visiting the Houston Zoo is definitely a great idea. The newly renovated zoo houses a large number of black bears – a very rare sighting in the wild. You’ll also encounter large gorillas, reptiles and amphibians, and Asian elephants. There is also a petting zone for the little ones. Quick tip, check out the feeding schedule of the day to find out about the special shows and feeding times.
Another great cultural and educational experience for all is visiting the Houston Museum of Natural Science. At USD25 for an adult pass, you can see the largest dinosaur hall in all of America. Usually, people spend around three to four hours here, so this is a great way to spend your afternoon. You can have a look at some precious gemstones – this is considered to be one of America’s largest collection with more than 450 rare gemstones! Some other exhibits which might pique your interest include the Egyptian exhibit, African wildlife exhibit, Texas wildlife exhibit and more. You can also check out the giant screen theatre, the butterfly centre or the planetarium, all of which have added costs.
Duration: 3 hours
Day 1: Evening- Dinner and an evening stroll in the Museum District or visit the James Turrell Skyspace
If you like Japanese cuisine, then you’re going to love MF Sushi! The restaurant offers sushi (as the name suggest), modern Japanese and even a multi-course omakase dinner. Known for the Wagyu beef, fresh fish and nigiri, this restaurant has some of the best Japanese food in Texas! However, it is recommended to book in advance to make sure you get a table.
Another great place is Dak and Bop, a Korean restaurant. Known for its fried chicken and beer, this is a great place to chill and enjoy some great food. This place is known for its speciality fried chicken and 14 types of beer on tap. If Asian food and a food truck have a baby, this food would be the outcome! You have to eat at, at least one of these places during your 24 hours in Houston!
To digest your food or just enjoy a walk around the city, you can take a stroll in the Museum District (both the above-mentioned restaurants are just walking distance). You can enjoy the city and the hustle bustle of the people, you can go pub hopping or you could watch a free show at the Miller outdoor theatre – whatever your heart desires.
If you’ve had an early dinner or have some time to kill before dinner, you can always head over to the James Turrell Skyspace. It is a spectacle of colours, lights, music and art which is timed with the sunset. Hence, it is suggested to go a little before sunset to really enjoy the ‘Twilight Epiphany’. You can make reservations online for the same, or just walk in and take a seat.
James Turrell Skyspace
Address: Suzanne Deal Booth Centennial Pavilion, Houston, TX 77005, USA
Hours: 5:00 am to 10:00 pm
Website: James Turrell Skyspace
Day 2: Morning - Take a tour bus around Houston city or wander around Market Square Park (from USD 64.0)
If you only have a few hours to spare in the morning, hop on to the Houston city tour bus and get a tour of the whole city in just 90-minutes. The last stop of the tour is at the Houston Aquarium where you can see a wide array of aquatic life on display. From shark tanks (not the TV show) to touch pools, a tropical rainforest to an underwater shipwreck – you will get to see so many interesting things. There is also a Stingray Reef where you can feed, touch and admire dozens and dozens of stingrays.
If you don’t have so much time to spare, you can always take a walk around Market Square Park. You can have a look at the historic clock tower, admire the beauty of Lauren’s garden, get some pictures against the beautiful mosaics or just enjoy the nature around.
Duration: 4 to 6 hours
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Save money by investing in a CityPASS
If you really want to visit a lot of attractions and check a number of things off your checklist during your 24 hours in Houston, it is best to get a Citypass. A CityPASS, which is priced at USD59, will give you access to the Museum of Natural Science, the Houston Zoo as well as the Downtown Aquarium. The pass also includes a visit to the Kemah Boardwalk and Space Centre Houston. Other than that, have a great day exploring the beautiful city of Houston.
If you’ve got your heart set on pub hopping and you love beer, then make your way to Axelrad Beer Garden to enjoy some good old-fashioned craft beer. Without a doubt, this will be one of the coolest and most spectacular beer gardens you have ever seen! With a happy hour from Monday to Friday, live music from Wednesday to Sunday and open mic night even Sunday, this place is happening every day of the week. From speciality cocktails to USD3 daily beer specials, from fancy scotch to goal milk pops, this place has it all! Who won’t want this on their list of things to do in 24 hours in Houston?
You could also take a tour of the 8th Wonder Brewery, where guides cum designated drivers will take you around to show you how beer is made, make you speak to the brewmasters and then let your try some freshly brewed craft beer. This is usually a three-hour tour, in which you will stop at the three best breweries in Houston to watch, talk and sample more than 10 brewed beers.
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