12 Best Day Trips From Houston, Texas - Updated 2024

day trips in houston
| 4 min read

Houston is a large metropolis in Texas, extending to Galveston Bay. There is a lot to do in the city including a visit to the NASA Space Center, Houston Zoo, Houston Museum of Natural Science, and Discovery Green while you put up at a boutique hotel. If you looking to get out of the city, there are many places to visit near Houston. You can go for a day trip that is easily accessible from the city. Galveston Island, Brazos Bend State Park, Kemah, Brenham, Sam Houston National Forest, and Austin are some great places for a day trip from Houston. Whether it is soaking up the sun by the poolside at the hotel near a waterpark or hiking while taking in the fresh air in the forest, vacationers will have tons to do here. Continue reading for a carefully curated list of the best day trips from Houston, Texas.

1. Jackson Square in New Orleans

st. louis cathedral
Source: Pixabay

New Orleans is a fun and vibrant southern city that is rich in history and culture. Its diverse influences are felt throughout as you walk down the French Quarter with its unique architecture and colorful housing. A day trip from Houston to the famous town is definitely worth the journey as you will have the opportunity to sample the different flavors of French cuisine and visit iconic sites such as the Jackson Square where you can marvel at the beautiful architecture that is set against a backdrop of gorgeous greenery.

Jackson Square

Address: 701 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA

Website: Jackson Square

Opening hours: 8am - 7pm (daily)

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2. Dallas (and the Dallas Museum of Art)

Dallas Downtown (Texas)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Roland Arhelger used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Dallas, a modern metropolis in north Texas, is a commercial and cultural hub of the region. Get the entire family together and venture out on a road trip from Houston that will give you an insight into American history. You will have the opportunity to visit the Art District where you will find the Dallas Museum of Art and the Crow Museum of Asian Art. Both of these institutions cover thousands of years of art. One can also learn more about the site of the assassination of former President John F Kennedy at downtown’s Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza.

Dallas Museum of Art

Address: 1717 N Harwood St, Dallas, TX 75201, USA

Website: Dallas Museum of Art

Opening hours: 11am - 5pm (daily)

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3. NASA Space Centre (from USD 98.0)

Viator offers visitors to Houston a once in a lifetime experience where they can observe a day in the life of an astronaut at the NASA Space Centre. The NASA Space Centre Tour is a full day experience where you will get to observe and interact with astronauts as they prepare for their missions, tour the NASA facility and most importantly touch a rock from the moon. Your full day pass includes the Nasa Tram, Mission Briefing Center, and Starship Gallery. The tour starts with a pick up in downtown Houston and you will be taken on a double-decker bus that allows you to sightsee.

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Houston City and NASA's Space Center Sightseeing Tour

Duration: 6 hours

555 reviews

4. Brenham

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

The weekend is calling and Brenham is answering! Start the weekend at the Farmer & Artisan Market Downtown Brenham....

Posted by Visit Brenham/Washington County, Texas on Friday, March 31, 2023

Brenham is a charming small town known for its rolling hills, scenic countryside, and quaint downtown area. If you’re looking for a calming getaway, Brenham is the perfect destination.

Start your trip by exploring the town’s historic downtown area, filled with boutique shops, art galleries, and local restaurants. Next, head to the Blue Bell Creameries, where you can tour the factory and taste their delectable ice cream. If you’re a nature lover, you can enjoy hiking, fishing, and bird-watching at Lake Somerville State Park.

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5. Austin (from USD 36.0)

Austin is a vibrant city that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and outdoor activities. Start your trip by visiting the Texas State Capitol, which provides a glimpse into the state’s political history. Next, head to the University of Texas at Austin, one of the country’s largest and most prestigious universities. You can tour the campus, visit the museums, and attend a sporting event.

For outdoor enthusiasts, you can hike or bike along the Barton Creek Greenbelt, swim in the natural pools at Barton Springs, or rent a stand-up paddleboard on Lady Bird Lake.

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Austin Double Decker Sightseeing Bus Tour

Duration: 75 to 90 minutes

535 reviews

6. Sam Houston National Forest

day trips in houston | sam houston national forest
Source: instagram

Sam Houston National Forest is located in the north end of Houston and is one of four national forests in Texas. There are many hiking trails in the area and the one you choose should be dependant on your fitness level. Some might also want to just go there to enjoy the beautiful and peaceful scenery. Pack a picnic basket with you so you can enjoy some quality time with a loved one enjoying the site by the lake.

Sam Houston National Forest

Address: 394 FM 1375, New Waverly, TX 77358, USA

Website: Sam Houston National Forest

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8am - 11:30am, 12pm - 4:30pm (closed on Sat & Sun)

Price: 5 USD

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7. Galveston Island (from USD 139.0)

Galveston Island is a barrier island on the Gulf Coast of Texas. The small island is great for those looking to enjoy some time on the beach while also being able to explore the history and culture of Galveston. The six-hour coach tour allows you to explore historic Victorian mansions, the Galveston Seawall, and the Strand historic district with the help of an experienced guide. You will also have the opportunity to see downtown Houston’s most famous landmarks by a double-decker open-top bus.

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Houston Sightseeing Tour and Galveston Day Trip

Duration: 6 hours

93 reviews

8. Blessington Farms in Wallis

Yes!!!!! Best blueberries ever.

Posted by Blessington Farms on Saturday, 4 May 2019

Your travel itinerary of Texas is incomplete without a tour of Blessington Farms in Wallis. The farm gives you a great opportunity to spend some bonding time with the entire family. This tour is especially recommended for kids as they get to harvest delicious fruits and vegetables. Visitors will have the opportunity to pick strawberries, blueberries, and pumpkins among other fruits and vegetables. Other fun activities to do at the farm are a game of tug of war, gem mining, and trolley swinging.

Blessington Farms

Address: 510 Chisolm Trail, Wallis, TX 77485, USA

Website: Blessington Farms

Opening hours: Mon - Wed, Fri - Sat: 9am - 2pm (closed on Sun & Thu)

Price: 20 USD

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9. Sabine National Forest

Sabine National Forest is a great escape opportunity from the hustle and bustle of the city. The remote and untouched forest is located just short of three hours from Houston, Texas by car. It is the perfect place to get in touch with nature as there are some hiking trails, a river and a place to camp. The secret location forms the perfect backdrop for gorgeous landscape photographs and one can enjoy ultimate peace and tranquility.

Sabine National Forest

Address: 5050 TX-21, Hemphill, TX 75948, USA

Website: Sabine National Forest

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)

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10. Big Thicket National Preserve

Join us in promoting National Safe Boating Week, May 18-24! This campaign strives to educate all boaters about safe...

Posted by Big Thicket National Preserve on Saturday, 18 May 2019

Located in the southeast end of Texas is the dense and nature-rich Big Thicket National Preserve that welcomes outdoor enthusiasts looking to enjoy some downtime away from the city. The national park is very diverse with multiple habitats. Expect to see nine different ecosystems, from longleaf pine forests to cypress-lined bayous. Guests visiting for the day can enjoy a variety of adventure activities such as hiking and paddling.

Big Thicket National Preserve

Address: FM 420, Kountze, TX 77625, USA

Website: Big Thicket National Preserve

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)

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11. Mustang Island

If you looking for a coastal day trip away from the city then Mustang Island will certainly fulfill that desire. This part of the Gulf of Mexico boasts a variety of natural species from birds to endangered Atlantic green sea turtles. While on the island be sure to explore what the area has to offer by going on the many foot trails or spend time on the beach soaking up the sun.

Mustang Island

Address: Texas, USA

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12. San Jacinto Monument and Museum (from USD 99.0)

san jacinto monument and museum
Source: www.viator.com

Constructed in 1936 the San Jacinto Monument serves as a tribute and reminder of the “Heroes of the Battle of San Jacinto and all others who contributed to the independence of Texas”. The monument is also the tallest stone structure in the world. At the base of the monument, you will find the San Jacinto Museum, where visitors from across the globe come to observe the museums collection of the history of Texas. You can expect to find items that date back to 400 years old. There are documents, visual images, and rare library books.

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Full-Day Tour of Houston, Battleship Texas, and San Jacinto Monument

Plan a trip to escape the city

Whether you are a tourist visiting Texas or a local living in Houston, there are so many places of sightseeing in Houston and around the city that your days will be filled with much fun and activities from history lessons, and learning about science to adventures in the sun. If this sounds like you then make sure to book one or more of these day trips from Houston.

Frequently asked questions about day trips from Houston

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Zinhle is a writer and a travel enthusiast. Exploring the world is a source of immense joy for her, resonating with the essence of her soul. In her role as a wanderlust, Zinhle takes pleasure in...Read more

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