3-Day Houston Adventure: Outdoor Fun and Shopping with Friends

Houston, Texas

3 days

Horse carriages at Discovery Green park
Love lock bridge
The NASA Johnson Space Center
City skyline at night from the park
Waterfall in Sesquicentennial park

About Houston, Texas

Experience the vibrant energy of Houston, Texas, a bustling metropolis brimming with world-class dining, arts, hotels, shopping, and nightlife. Explore the Space Center Houston, where you can learn about NASA's astronaut program. Visit the Houston Museum District, home to 19 museums, galleries, and cultural centers. Enjoy the tranquility of the Houston Zoo and the Houston Botanic Garden. Indulge in retail therapy at The Galleria, Texas' largest shopping center. Savor diverse culinary delights, from award-winning BBQ to authentic Mexican cuisine. Sports enthusiasts can catch a game at the NRG Stadium or Minute Maid Park. With a rich history, diverse culture, and warm hospitality, Houston offers a multitude of experiences for every type of traveler.

3-Day Itinerary

Day 1

Exploring the Museum District and Montrose

Morning

Start your day with a visit to the Houston Museum of Natural Science, where you can explore a variety of exhibits including the Cockrell Butterfly Center, the planetarium, and the paleontology hall.

Lunch

Enjoy a picnic lunch at Hermann Park, a 445-acre urban park that offers pedal boats, a Japanese Garden, and the McGovern Centennial Gardens.

Afternoon

Spend your afternoon at the Houston Zoo, home to over 6,000 animals from 900 species. It's a great place to learn about wildlife conservation.

Dinner

Have dinner in the Montrose neighborhood, known for its diverse culinary scene and vibrant nightlife.

Evening

End your day with a performance at the Houston Ballet, one of the few ballet companies in the country with its own permanent ballet academy.

Morning

Kick off your day with a visit to the Space Center Houston, the official visitor center of NASA's Johnson Space Center. Here, you can learn about space exploration and even touch a moon rock.

Lunch

Enjoy lunch at a local eatery in the Bay Area, known for its fresh seafood and waterfront dining options.

Afternoon

Spend the afternoon exploring the Kemah Boardwalk, a 60-acre theme park featuring a variety of rides, games, and shops.

Dinner

Have dinner in the Galleria area, home to a variety of upscale restaurants and shopping centers.

Evening

End your day with a visit to the Water Wall, a 64-foot-tall fountain that's one of Houston's most photographed sites.

Morning

Start your day with a visit to the Buffalo Bayou Park, a 160-acre green space offering hiking and biking trails, a dog park, and stunning skyline views.

Lunch

Enjoy lunch in the Heights neighborhood, known for its eclectic mix of restaurants and boutiques.

Afternoon

Spend your afternoon shopping in the River Oaks District, an outdoor shopping complex featuring high-end retailers and a cinema.

Dinner

Have dinner in the Midtown area, known for its vibrant dining scene and nightlife.

Evening

End your day with a performance at the Alley Theatre, one of the oldest professional theatre companies in the United States.

Attractions in Itinerary (10)

Houston Museum of Natural Science

1
Houston Museum of Natural Science

One of the most heavily attended museums in the United States, featuring a large variety of exhibits and attractions.

Attractions
Museums
Hermann Park

2
Hermann Park

A 445-acre urban park in Houston, offering a range of recreational activities, a golf course, and the Houston Zoo.

Parks
Gardens
Cultural Experiences
Houston Zoo

3
Houston Zoo

Houston Zoo is a 55-acre zoological park located in Hermann Park, Houston. It houses over 6,000 animals from 900 species.

Attractions
Parks
Houston Ballet

4
Houston Ballet

The Houston Ballet is a professional ballet company based in Houston, Texas. It is the fourth largest professional ballet company in the United States and has achieved international acclaim for its diverse repertoire and innovative choreography.

Entertainment
Cultural Experiences
Space Center Houston

5
Space Center Houston

Space Center Houston is a leading science and space learning center, the official visitor center of NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston and a Smithsonian Affiliate museum.

Attractions
Museums
Cultural Experiences
Kemah Boardwalk

6
Kemah Boardwalk

A waterfront destination with themed restaurants, rides, and retail shops.

Attractions
Entertainment
Food and Drink
Water Wall

7
Water Wall

Located near the Galleria, the Water Wall is a 64-foot tall fountain that offers a stunning spectacle. It's a popular spot for tourists and locals alike.

Attractions
Landmarks
Buffalo Bayou Park

8
Buffalo Bayou Park

A 160-acre green space located along the Buffalo Bayou in Houston, featuring hiking and biking trails, dog parks, and scenic skyline views.

Parks
Attractions
River Oaks District

9
River Oaks District

River Oaks District is an upscale, open-air shopping center in Houston, Texas. It is known for its high-end stores, dining options, and luxury apartments. The district is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

Shopping
Neighborhoods
Alley Theatre

10
Alley Theatre

Alley Theatre is a Tony Award-winning indoor theatre in Houston, Texas. Known for its innovative productions and commitment to new works, it is one of the oldest professional theatre companies in the United States.

Entertainment
Cultural Experiences

Local Food and Drinks (12)

Barbecue Brisket

Barbecue Brisket

A staple of Texas cuisine, Barbecue Brisket is slow-cooked and smoked over wood. It's a must-try for any meat lover visiting Houston.

Chicken Fried Steak

Chicken Fried Steak

A classic Texan dish, Chicken Fried Steak is a breaded and fried steak dish served with gravy. It's a staple in Houston's food scene.

Tex-Mex Cuisine

Tex-Mex Cuisine

A fusion of Mexican and American cuisines, Tex-Mex is a Houston favorite. Dishes often include ingredients like cheese, meat, beans, and spices.

Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and Grits

A southern classic, Shrimp and Grits is a dish made with shrimp cooked with bacon or ham, served over creamy grits. It's a popular dish in Houston.

Texas Chili

Texas Chili

Texas Chili, also known as 'Bowl o' Red', is a spicy stew containing chili peppers, meat, tomatoes and beans. It's a popular dish in Houston.

Kolaches

Kolaches

Originally a Czech pastry, Kolaches have become a Texas staple. They are soft, fluffy pastries filled with sweet or savory fillings.

Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie is a classic southern dessert made with pecans, a nut native to the southern United States. It's a popular dessert in Houston.

Texas Caviar

Texas Caviar

Texas Caviar is a salad made with black-eyed peas, corn, tomatoes, onions, and peppers. It's a popular dish in Houston, especially on New Year's Day.

King Ranch Chicken Casserole

King Ranch Chicken Casserole

A Texan classic, King Ranch Chicken Casserole is a creamy, cheesy casserole made with chicken, tortillas, and a spicy sauce.

Dr Pepper

Dr Pepper

Dr Pepper is a popular soft drink invented in Texas. It's a sweet, carbonated drink with a unique flavor.

Sweet Tea

Sweet Tea

Sweet Tea is a popular drink in the south. It's a refreshing, sweetened iced tea that's often served with lemon.

Margarita

Margarita

Margaritas are a popular cocktail in Houston, often enjoyed with Tex-Mex cuisine. They're made with tequila, lime juice, and triple sec.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Houston, Texas is during the spring and fall, specifically between February and April or between September and November. During these periods, the weather is most pleasant, with temperatures ranging from the 60s to 80s (Fahrenheit). These are also the times when the city hosts several fun festivals. However, if you're interested in the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the largest rodeo in the world, you should plan your visit in March.

National holidays

Here you can find the national calendar of all public holidays for the year. These dates are subject to change as official changes are announced, so check back regularly for updates.

DateDayHoliday Name

January 1

Mon

New Year's Day

January 15

Mon

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

February 19

Mon

Presidents' Day

May 27

Mon

Memorial Day

June 19

Wed

Juneteenth

July 4

Thu

Independence Day

September 2

Mon

Labor Day

October 14

Mon

Columbus Day

November 11

Mon

Veterans Day

November 28

Thu

Thanksgiving Day

December 25

Wed

Christmas Day

Please note that during national and public holidays, opening hours for establishments, museums, etc. may vary. Don't forget to check in advance!

How to get around

Renting a car is a popular option for getting around Houston. The city is spread out and has an extensive freeway system, making a car a convenient choice. Most major rental companies have locations at the airport and throughout the city.

Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft are widely available in Houston. These can be a convenient option for getting around, especially if you're not comfortable navigating the city's freeways yourself.

Houston's Metropolitan Transit Authority (METRO) operates a network of bus routes and a light rail system. The light rail is particularly useful for getting around downtown and to major attractions like the Museum District and the Houston Zoo.

Houston has been making efforts to become more bike-friendly, with a growing network of bike lanes and trails. The city also has a bike share program, called Houston B-cycle, with stations throughout the city.

Taxis are readily available in Houston, especially in the downtown area and at the airport. They can be hailed on the street, booked in advance, or found at taxi stands at major hotels and attractions.

While Houston is a car-centric city, certain areas are quite walkable. These include downtown, the Museum District, and the Montrose neighborhood. However, due to the city's size and hot weather, walking is not always the most practical option for getting around.

Several companies operate shuttle services between George Bush Intercontinental Airport and William P. Hobby Airport and various locations in the city. These can be a convenient option if you're traveling without a car.

For a more luxurious travel experience, consider hiring a private car service. These services offer chauffeured vehicles and can be booked for single trips or by the hour.

While we strive for accuracy in our "How to get around" section, the information may not always be up-to-date or 100% accurate; we highly recommend cross-checking with local resources before your travel.

Important information

Currency$ USD

Time zoneUTC-5

Driving sideRight

Emergency phone911

Drinking waterYes

Power sockets

Power socket type APower socket type B

Voltage120 V

Things to know about Houston, Texas as a first time visitor

1

Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States, so be prepared for a bustling urban environment.

2

The city is known for its diversity, with over 145 different languages spoken by its residents.

3

Houston's weather is subtropical. Summers can be hot and humid, with temperatures often reaching over 90°F (32°C). Winters are mild and temperatures rarely drop below 40°F (4°C).

4

Public transportation is available but not extensive. Renting a car is recommended for getting around the city.

5

The city is spread out, so plan your itinerary accordingly to minimize travel time.

6

Houston is known for its food scene, particularly its barbecue and Tex-Mex cuisine. Don't miss out on trying these local specialties.

7

The city has a vibrant arts scene, with numerous galleries, theaters, and live music venues.

8

Houston is home to NASA's Johnson Space Center, but remember to book your tour in advance as it can get busy.

9

The city has a high sales tax rate of 8.25%, which can add a significant amount to your shopping bills.

10

Houston is home to several professional sports teams, including the Houston Astros (baseball), Houston Texans (football), and Houston Rockets (basketball).

11

The city is located near the Gulf of Mexico, so seafood is a big part of the local cuisine.

12

Houston has a large and diverse immigrant population, which contributes to its rich cultural scene.

13

The city has a vibrant nightlife, with numerous bars, clubs, and live music venues.

14

Houston is home to several world-class medical institutions, including the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical complex in the world.

15

The city is known for its philanthropy, with more charitable donations per capita than any other American city.

16

Houston is home to many parks and green spaces, including the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center and Memorial Park.

17

The city is located in a region prone to hurricanes. If you're visiting during hurricane season (June to November), keep an eye on the weather forecast.

18

Houston has a high crime rate compared to other US cities, so take precautions to ensure your safety.

19

The city has a strong economy, with many jobs in the energy, aeronautics, and healthcare industries.

20

Houston is home to several universities, including the University of Houston and Rice University.

Packing List

  • Clothing

  • Lightweight clothing

  • Underwear

  • Socks

  • Sleepwear

  • Swimsuit

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Flip flops for the pool

  • Hat for sun protection

  • Sunglasses

  • Light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings

  • Toiletries

  • Travel-sized shampoo and conditioner

  • Body wash or soap

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Deodorant

  • Razor and shaving cream

  • Makeup and makeup remover

  • Sunscreen

  • Insect repellent

  • Prescription medications

  • First aid kit

  • Travel documents and essentials

  • Valid ID or driver's license

  • Passport (for international travelers)

  • Airline tickets or e-ticket confirmation

  • Hotel reservation confirmation

  • Rental car reservation confirmation

  • Emergency contacts and addresses

  • Travel insurance documents

  • Credit and debit cards

  • Cash (in local currency)

  • Electronics and gadgets

  • Smartphone and charger

  • Headphones

  • Laptop and charger (if necessary)

  • Camera and charger

  • Power bank for charging on the go

  • Travel adapter (for international travelers)

  • E-reader or tablet for entertainment

  • Miscellaneous items

  • Snacks for the journey

  • Reusable water bottle

  • Travel pillow and blanket

  • Books or magazines for entertainment

  • Travel-sized laundry detergent

  • Plastic bags for dirty clothes

  • Umbrella or raincoat (in case of rain)

  • Maps and guidebooks

  • Notepad and pen

Weather Conditions

Houston, Texas, is known for its hot, humid summers and mild winters. If you're planning a trip to Houston, it's essential to consider the weather to make the most of your visit. During the summer months, from June to August, temperatures can soar to around 90-95°F (32-35°C). It's also the city's wettest season, with frequent afternoon thunderstorms. It's advisable to pack lightweight, breathable clothing, a hat, sunglasses, and plenty of sunscreens. Always carry a water bottle to stay hydrated and an umbrella or raincoat for sudden showers. The fall, from September to November, sees a gradual drop in temperature, ranging from 80-60°F (27-16°C). It's a great time to visit as the weather is more comfortable, and the city is less crowded. Pack a mix of short and long-sleeved clothing, and don't forget a light jacket for cooler evenings. Winter, from December to February, is mild and dry with temperatures ranging from 60-40°F (16-4°C). It's the perfect time for indoor activities and exploring Houston's museums and galleries. Pack warm clothing, including sweaters, long pants, and a coat. Spring, from March to May, is a beautiful time to visit with temperatures ranging from 70-80°F (21-27°C). The city is in bloom, and it's an excellent time for outdoor activities. Pack lightweight clothing, but also include a light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings. Remember, Houston's weather can be unpredictable, so it's always a good idea to check the forecast before your trip. Enjoy your visit to this vibrant city!

MonthHi / Lo (°C)Weather Overview

January

20° / 5°

January is the coldest month in Houston, but it's still relatively mild compared to many other places. You'll need a light jacket, especially in the evenings.

February

22° / 7°

February sees a slight increase in temperature. It's a good time to visit if you want to avoid the summer heat and crowds.

March

26° / 11°

March is the start of spring in Houston. The weather is pleasant, with moderate temperatures and blooming flowers.

April

29° / 15°

April is a great time to visit Houston. The weather is warm but not too hot, and there's plenty of sunshine.

May

34° / 20°

May marks the beginning of summer in Houston. The temperatures start to rise, and there's a high chance of thunderstorms.

June

37° / 23°

June is hot in Houston, with high humidity. It's a good time to visit indoor attractions like museums and shopping malls.

July

38° / 24°

July is the hottest month in Houston. It's a great time to visit the beaches and water parks, but be prepared for the heat.

August

38° / 24°

August is similar to July, with high temperatures and humidity. It's a good time to visit if you enjoy hot weather.

September

35° / 21°

September is still quite hot in Houston, but the temperatures start to drop slightly. It's a good time to visit if you want to avoid the peak summer heat.

October

30° / 16°

October is a great time to visit Houston. The weather is warm but not too hot, and there's plenty of sunshine.

November

26° / 11°

November is the start of fall in Houston. The weather is mild, and it's a good time to visit if you want to avoid the summer heat.

December

22° / 7°

December is a mild winter month in Houston. It's a good time to visit if you want to escape the cold winter weather in other places.

Did you know?

Did you know that Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States?

1 of 10

Places near by Houston, Texas

Galveston Island

Galveston Island

A beautiful island offering a variety of attractions including beaches, the historic Strand district, and Moody Gardens.

1h
80.47 km / 50.0 mi
How to get there
Space Center Houston

Space Center Houston

NASA's official visitor center and a Smithsonian Affiliate offering exhibits, attractions, and theaters related to the U.S. space program.

45m
43.45 km / 27.0 mi
How to get there
San Antonio River Walk

San Antonio River Walk

A city park and network of walkways along the banks of the San Antonio River, lined by bars, shops, restaurants, nature, and public art.

3h
317.5 km / 197.3 mi
How to get there
Kemah Boardwalk

Kemah Boardwalk

A 60-acre Texas Gulf Coast theme park in Kemah, Texas, approximately 30 miles southeast of Downtown Houston, Texas.

45m
42.16 km / 26.2 mi
How to get there
Schlitterbahn Waterpark

Schlitterbahn Waterpark

A family-owned and operated company based in New Braunfels, Texas. Schlitterbahn began its first park, Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort, in 1979.

2.5h
238.18 km / 148.0 mi
How to get there
Blue Bell Creameries

Blue Bell Creameries

A producer of ice cream that was originally sold to neighbors in Brenham, Texas. It is now sold in several states.

1.3h
113.31 km / 70.4 mi
How to get there
Natural Bridge Caverns

Natural Bridge Caverns

The largest known commercial caverns in the U.S. state of Texas. The name is derived from the 60 ft natural limestone slab bridge that spans the amphitheater setting of the cavern's entrance.

3h
300.59 km / 186.8 mi
How to get there
Port Aransas

Port Aransas

A city in Nueces County, Texas. It is located on Mustang Island, and is part of the Corpus Christi Metropolitan Statistical Area.

3.5h
341.18 km / 212.0 mi
How to get there
Moody Gardens

Moody Gardens

An educational tourist destination, with a golf course and hotel in Galveston, Texas which opened in 1986.

1h
77.25 km / 48.0 mi
How to get there
San Jacinto Museum of History

San Jacinto Museum of History

A museum located in the base of the San Jacinto Monument at La Porte, Texas. It is dedicated to the history of the Battle of San Jacinto and the Texas Revolution.

40m
40.23 km / 25.0 mi
How to get there

Other Destinations in Texas