Did you know that Houston is America’s fourth-largest city? I really had no idea until my recent visit. The loop that goes around the city makes it super easy to get around so everything feels within reach. It’s filled with world-class dining, arts, hotels, and unique experiences that feel out of this world. There’s always something to do in this Southern hospitality meets urban chic city. We’ve created a Houston bucket list to show you just a few of the best experiences that Houston has to offer.
Houston Bucket List
Holiday Inn Express and Staybridge Suites in Houston Galleria
Your Houston bucket list needs to start with a great place to stay in a central location.
Houston-based American Liberty Hospitality (ALH) recently expanded its regional footprint with the rollout of the company’s second dual-branded hotel, bringing two distinct-yet-complementary lodging experiences under one hometown roof. The combined Holiday Inn Express Houston – Galleria Area and Staybridge Suites Houston– Galleria Area offers a total of 319 rooms and is the first new hospitality offering in the Bayou City’s sought-after Galleria area in several years.
With a pool, sweet suites, easy garage parking, and a prime location, it’s the perfect starting point for your Houston bucket list.
Color Factory Houston
Color Factory is an experiential art exhibit inspired by the joy of color.
Launched in San Francisco in 2017 by a team of artists and creatives, Color Factory creates meaningful and immersive color experiences for all.
While the company has since grown and expanded, the core elements remain the same. Color Factory embraces child-like imagination, while expanding boundaries of perception and understanding.
In over 20,000 square feet, Color Factory Houston feature participatory installations of colors collected around the city – hues that invite curiosity, discovery, and play. The palette and projects offered within Color Factory are designed to connect you to the colorful moments around Houston and in your own daily life.
There is so much fun to be had at Color Factory. From celebrating life with confetti to discovering your own “Magic”, Color Factory is filled with joy for all ages.
Work as a team to find clues, solve puzzles, and complete challenges before the time runs out at Escape Hunt Houston. This isn’t something you watch, it’s something you experience – right in the heart of the action.
While the “Houston, We’ve Had a Problem” room is the perfect Houston theme room, we prefer the Alice in Puzzleland theme for the ultimate Houston bucket list experience.
The Mad Hatter is in trouble. Save him from the Queen of Hearts without losing your heads.
Step into Wonderland, where the Hatter has been accused of stealing the Queen’s Tarts. With Alice nowhere to be seen, it’s time for you to fill her shoes.
You find yourself at the Hatter’s cottage. The table is set but no one is around. A sign on the lawn reads ‘Tea Party Cancelled by Royal Decree’. Curiouser and curiouser…
Find and return the Queen’s Tarts in 60 minutes, or it’s off with the Hatter’s head. Chop chop.
The colorful room and whimsical theme make this escape room ideal for all ages.
Kenny & Ziggy’s
The collaboration between Lower East Side deli maven Ziggy Gruber and Houston restaurateur Kenny Friedman takes a bigger-is-better approach, which has earned Kenny & Ziggy’s deli shout outs on The Food Network’s Diners, DriveIns and Dives, as well as in Maxim magazine.
At the restaurant, regulars flock for larger-than-life sandwiches piled high with pastrami and corned beef, as well as matzoh ball soup.
Inside, the restaurants space channels New York City with its classic deli case, wood-wrapped walls, and leather banquettes. Broadway playbills and cartoon drawings of celebrities adorn the walls.
Houston’s new permanent experiential art museum, Seismique, offers guests 40-plus unique exhibits overflowing with dazzling displays of light generated by 9 million LEDs, color, sound, and natural elements.
Designed for all ages, the 40,000-square-foot arts and entertainment concept features works by over two dozen established and emerging artists along with advanced technological elements like projection mapping from 111 projectors, holograms, augmented reality, light mapping, motion tracking, gamification, and more.
Space Center Houston
Discover the exciting future and remarkable past of America’s human spaceflight program set among the largest collection of space artifacts in the southwestern United States.
At Space Center Houston, there is always something new to see and do. With more than 400 space artifacts including flown spacecraft, the largest collection of moon rocks on public display, and multiple major seasonal exhibits a year, Space Center Houston offers an array of exciting attractions for people of all ages.
The Houston Zoo is home to wildlife from all corners of the globe. Gorillas, giraffes, elephants, storks, tortoises, and many more species are waiting to teach you something you did not know about animals.
More than 6,000 residents with claws, fins, wings, and hooves keep the dedicated and passionate team busy, as they work around the clock to provide meals, housing, and state-of-the-art medical care to hundreds of different species.
The Zoo’s commitment to saving animals extends far beyond its gates. Supporting wildlife conservation projects in more than 20 countries, the Houston Zoo aims to empower its guests to save animals in the wild through simple behaviors like recycling old cell phones and taking reusable bags to the grocery store. Additionally, a portion of every ticket and Zoo membership goes toward the important conservation work of the Houston Zoo and its partners.
For those adventurous visitors that want to get even closer to their favorite animals, they ca book an exclusive Animal Encounter experience and interact with amazing animals like sea lions, rhinos, sloths, elephants, cheetahs, and more!
Or, venture behind the scenes with a zookeeper and journey to staff-only areas of the Zoo and see what it is like to care for animals each day.
Looking for something a little more laid-back? Stop by the giraffe feeding platform to feed a giraffe its lunch, take a ride on our Wildlife Carousel, or take your kids to meet the goats.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, located in the Houston Museum District, is one of the largest museums in the United States. The permanent collection of the museum spans more than 6,000 years of history with approximately 70,000 works from six continents.
Buffalo Bayou Park & Cistern
The Buffalo Bayou Park “Cistern is an underground, former water reservoir in Buffalo Bayou Park now open for history and art tours.
Here, you can experience “Time No Longer”, a newly commissioned artwork for the Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern by multimedia artist Anri Sala. Time No Longer offers an immersive, other-worldly experience of film and sound within this vast, subterranean reservoir on the edge of downtown Houston.