Houston

Things to do in Houston

Houston's museums cover the gamut from space travel to modern art, while Hermann Park and the Galleria provide less cerebral distractions.

Johnson Space Center. Exhibits cover the history of NASA expeditions and visitors can touch a moon rock.
Museum of Fine Arts Houston. At over 300,000 square feet, Houston's Museum of Fine Arts is one of the largest art museums in the country. Among its seven buildings is the only Mies van der Rohe designed museum in the United States.
Menil Collection. Architect Renzo Piano's first American commission was the building to house the collection of John and Dominique de Menil. Especially notable for its early modernist art it also includes works ranging from South Pacific carvings to Byzantine frescoes.
Hermann Park. Near Rice University and the Museum District, this park is one of Houston's most popular and is also home to the Houston Zoo, a Japanese Garden, and the Museum of Natural Science.
The Galleria. At 3 million square feet, with 375 stores, a hotel, and an ice-skating rink, the Galleria is a destination in its own right. It's also the largest mall in Texas and the 8th largest in the country.

Slide into a booth for a mescal cocktail or a limited production sipping tequila at this new bar on Houston’s Main Street. Interiors have a contemporary Mexican vibe.

This culture and education center is housed in a striking building by Yoshio Taniguchi. He only used the finest materials—Jura limestone from Germany, American Cherry Wood, Basaltina Italian Stone—when building the $48.4 million structure.

When unveiled in 1993, this rehabilitated row of 1920's one-room-wide shotgun cottages in Houston's historically African-American Third Ward pioneered new ideas about indigenous art and domestic architecture.

With its dark wood tables, large leather sofas and 400-square-foot humidor, Downing Street Pub certainly exudes masculinity.

This is Houston's version of the sort of rural compound you might find in Tuscany or Provence, an enchanting oasis that includes a nursery, home and garden shop, and café (Tiny Boxwood's), all in one.

Success has not spoiled Chloe Dao, winner of Project Runway's second season. Located on the edge of Rice Village, the almost bare-bones space is nothing fancy, and the no-nonsense, no-frills aspect of the enterprise is refreshing. Here, it's all about the clothes.

Worship film? This micro-cinema, housed in a little white 1924 church, gives literal meaning to the phrase and passion. Congregations of moviegoers sit in pews in an intimate environment that's part theater, part art space.

Retro-chic DJ lounge. This lounge's eclectic design includes pastel plastic sofas, a refurbished tavern bar from the South Side of Chicago and an enormous Absolut bottle covered with 1,000 coats of paint.

Sloan/Hall far exceeds expectations for what might seem to be, at first glance, another candle and card shop.

Established in 1883, when two brothers opened a dry-goods store downtown and began outfitting Houston's emerging upper class of cattlemen and cotton merchants, this enduring family operation has been producing fine bespoke shirts longer than London's Turnbull & Asser.

Dedicated in 2001, this gray-clapboard Quaker Meeting House is as spectacular as a place of determined simplicity can be. Designed by architect Leslie Elkins, it fits naturally into its modest residential neighborhood; and you might drive right by, not even noticing it.

With its location near the Rice University campus, you might expect Under the Volcano to be a dive-y, rowdy college bar, but it serves some of the best cocktails around. Fresh ingredients are used to make drinks like the strawberry basil margarita, bloody Mary and frozen screwdrivers.

Evolving from the city's thriving hip-hop music scene, The Tipping Point is something more than a store for the sneaker connoisseur. The three owners, in fact, prefer to call it a gallery and a mission, with the stated aim of making Houston a more creative, international city.