Houston is the fourth largest city in USA and is home to a number of attractions including the Space Center. For first time visitors, there is an abundance of things to do and see, however for someone who has already been here, you might be looking for a different and unique experience. Moving away from the more popular attractions, one can expect to find plenty of hidden gems that are nestled within this great city. Below is a list of 10 hidden gems in Houston that visitors should check out, starting from the National Museum of Funeral History to the Beer Can House and the underground tunnel.
1. Becker's Books
A charming bookstore that is home to Houston’s largest collection of used books that are rare to find. This family-run bookstore opened its doors for business in 1993 and attracts visitors looking to invest in a rare piece of literature. The store welcomes visitors from Mondays through to Saturdays. As you walk in you can expect to smell the fresh aroma of brewed coffee that is available to visitors and the site of long corridors with dark wooden bookshelves. There is an extensive inventory with topics such as travel, art. fashion, law, fiction, and much more.
Address: 7405 Westview Dr, Houston, TX 77055
Website: Becker’s Books
2. Space Cadets Collection
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Another one for the bookworms is Space Cadets. This whimsical space specializes in selling comic books and toys for the superhero and science fiction enthusiasts. One can expect to find fun objects from Star Wars toys to Lego and Spiderman. If you are looking for a place to host your kid’s next birthday party, then look no further as the store has a dedicated space to host themed events, and also offer drop-off day camps for the school holidays.
Space Cadets Collection
Address: 117, 27326 Robinson Rd, Oak Ridge North, TX 77385, United States
Website: Space Cadets
3. The Orange Show
Built in the 1900s on the east side of Houston you will find a 3000 sq. ft (278.7 m2) architectural haven that includes an oasis, maize, museum, and gift shop. The monument showcases the work of Jeff McKissack who paid special attention to curating this piece of architecture by hand. It is the centre for Visionary Arts and is open to both children and adults.
The Orange Show
Address: 2402 Munger St, Houston, TX 77023, USA
Website: The Orange Show
4. ‘Houston is Inspired’ Mural
The Houston is Inspired Mural is a colourful piece of wall painted by Mario Figueroa Jr. aka Gonzo247. The art-piece pays tribute to the city’s rich culinary and art scene. It highlights all the aspect that make up the city, and one will see Houston’s incredible skyline and the Ferris Wheel that is located Downtown all painted on the wall.
‘Houston is Inspired’ Mural
Address: 313 Travis St, Houston, TX 77002, USA
Website: ‘Houston is Inspired’ Mural
Explore Houston’s underground tunnel system, which is one of the city’s best-kept secrets. The tunnel is spread along 95 blocks and is 20 ft (6.1 m) below the ground. There are entry points that allow access to the tunnel via escalators and a staircase. It is a climate controlled environment with walkways and one can expect to find banks, gift shops and dozens of eateries much like a shopping mall.
Houston Underground Tunnel Guided History and Walking Tour
Duration: 2 hours
6. Beer Can House
John Milkovisch was a lover of beer, and one day decided to cover his entire home with flattened beer cans and bottles. The house stands in Rice Military, and visitors to Houston come here to see this incredible labour of love. Milkovisch not only covered his home with the cans but also built windmills, fences, and mobiles with the recycled material. The house is said to contain 50,000 used beer cans and is currently owned and maintained by the Orange Show.
Beer Can House
Address: 222 Malone St, Houston, TX 77007, USA
Website: Beer Can House
7. Smither Park
Smither Pak is an artistic space designed by visual artist and builder Dan Phillips. It is an outdoor gallery that showcases intrinsic mosaic pieces made with recycled material. There are unique artwork pieces from over 300 talented artists in the park. One will also find an amphitheatre, an interactive sculpture and a place for meditation. Even if you are an art novice, you will certainly be impressed by the colourful displays of creativity.
Address: 2441 Munger St, Houston, TX 77023, USA
Website: Smither Park
8. inSPIRE Rock
Inspire Rock is a gym with the largest indoor climbing centre in Houston. It welcomes adults and children of all ages as there is a dedicated workout area for the kids. It is a great spot to get together with some friends or colleagues for team building or a personal work out session. The gym also features a Yoga studio and a premium retail pro shop.
Address: 403 E Louetta Rd, Spring, TX 77373, USA
Website: inSPIRE Rock
9. The Funeral Museum
This may sound creepy to some but there is actually something called a funeral museum, and this can be found in Houston. The museum opened its door in 1992 and was built to exhibit America’s collection of authentic, historical funeral service items. It is an educational experience where one can expect to learn about coffins and caskets, as well as the history of public figures’ funerals.
The Funeral Museum
Address: 415 Barren Springs Dr, Houston, TX 77090, USA
Website: The Funeral Museum
10. Art Car Museum
Located in Downtown Houston is the contemporary Art Car Museum nicknamed “Garage Mahal”. The museum started operations in 1998 and is home to decorated vehicles where artists use the cars as their canvas. The museum showcases a few vehicles at a time as the space is quite small, however, one can expect to see a variety of automobiles. There are vans, low riders, police crusaders and much more.
Art Car Museum
Address: 140 Heights Blvd, Houston, TX 77007, USA
Website: Art Car Museum
Explore the less touristy sites of Houston
Travellers looking to explore the hidden treasures that Houston has to offer should visit one of these sites. Avoid the queues of the busy tourist spots and select from one of these hidden gems.
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