Whether you’re planning a getaway from the city or traveling to the United States for a family trip with the kids, the bustling metropolis of Houston should be on your top destination list. To help you make the most of your vacation, Single Parents Vacation has created the perfect itinerary so you can see Texas’ most populous city in just three days.
Houston in 3 days. Your vacation itinerary
Houston is a busy metropolis and a melting pot of different ethnicities and cultures. It has a vibrant music scene, is home to 5 professional major league teams, including the Houston Texans and Houston Rockets, and boasts tons of restaurants serving great international fare. To help you decide where to go on your short break in Houston, we’ve put together a 3-day itinerary for you, including the top attractions and top restaurants in Houston, all suitable for traveling with kids or solo vacations;
Day 1: Space Center and Beach
Houston Space Center and NASA Johnson Space Center.
When you were little, did you dream of becoming an astronaut? Whether it’s a childhood dream or not, the Houston Space Center, the official Johnson Space Center Visitor Center, is a fascinating place to visit for all ages and the city’s top tourist attraction for a reason. There are many exhibits, both permanent and traveling, from moon rocks to meteorites, space vehicle models, introductions to the moon, space technology, and more. In total, you’ll find more than 400 unique artifacts, spacecraft and more, including Apollo 17, the last manned capsule to orbit the moon. The Astronaut Gallery is also worth a visit.
You can book a variety of special experiences, such as simulator experiences or a NASA Tram Tour to go behind the scenes at NASA Johnson Space Center. Here, you’ll have the chance to see modern and historic Mission Control, Building 9, where astronauts train, and Rocket Park, where one of the Saturn V rockets is on display. Check tour schedules in the NASA Tram Tours queue area downtown for specific tour details or to book online.
The center is open 7 days a week but can get busy at weekends, so booking tickets online is a good idea.
If you’re visiting the Space Center, you’re only 20 minutes away from some great beaches, so why not spend an afternoon enjoying the Texas sun? Houstoning.com has compiled a list of the best beaches in Houston for you. Check out Sylvan Beach, a favorite with kids, with its fine white sand, gentle waves and playground. If you have time to spare, be sure to admire the magnificent sunset over the Gulf of Mexico.
Where to eat?
If you want something upscale, head downtown and try Hugo’s for delicious Mexican food or the Pit Room if you like good barbecue. Here you can get Central Texas-style food, including barbecue and tacos. And did we mention how good the beer, wine and desserts are?
If you’re looking for a place to eat near the Space Center, try one of the many places along NASA Route 1 for a quick bite: here you can literally find everything from American to Mediterranean or Asian cuisine.
Day 2: Hermann Park and Zoo
Enjoy a day outdoors exploring the city’s most popular green space in downtown Houston, Hermann Park. The large public space is one of Houston’s most popular parks. Home to the Houston Zoo, Houston Museum of Natural Science, Miller Outdoor Theater, playgrounds, a miniature railroad, and pedal boats, it offers something for all ages and tastes. Be sure to check out what’s happening during your stay, as Hermann Park regularly hosts events such as the annual spring gala, balloon festival, and musical performances.
If you’re looking for a quiet place to relax, visit the Japanese Garden, a peaceful hideaway with waterfalls, bridges, winding paths and a teahouse.
For those traveling with kids, the Houston Zoo is a must. This 55-acre zoological oasis is home to several thousand different animals and only 800 birds. It is the most visited zoo in the USA.
How about evening entertainment? Enjoy dancing, free music and children’s shows at the Miller Outdoor Theater. You really could spend an entire day at Hermann Park
Where to eat?
When you get hungry, head to Gyro King, just south of Hermann Park near the Houston Medical Center. This is a food truck that serves the most delicious kebabs, falafel and fresh fruit juices. The food here is heaven and you must try the local falafel, chicken, rice and gyros full of fish, chicken, lamb and chapli kebabs.
Day 3: Museum District
Just around the corner from Hermann Park is Houston’s cultural heart, the beautiful Museum District. Here you’ll find no less than 20 museums, galleries and cultural centers dotted along the tree-lined streets, including, among others, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Natural Sciences, the Children’s Museum and the Holocaust Museum. Depending on the age of your party and their interests, you can take your pick, but don’t think for a minute that even one of them is boring. Conveniently, these 4 museums are all within walking distance of each other, so you can stroll from one to the other at your leisure.
Houston Museum of Natural Sciences
Located in the northeast corner of Hermann Park, this museum teaches you everything from when dinosaurs walked the Earth to everything we know about the various galaxies around the world. There are many amazing experiences to be had here, from immersing yourself in a 360 adventure at Beautifica to admiring the vast expanse of the planetarium or watching a 3D movie at the Giant Screen Theatre.
Children’s Museum of Houston
This is a huge museum and arguably the most famous children’s museum in the US. The 90,000-square-foot space offers interactive and innovative exhibits for children. Here they can do all the crazy things they’ve ever wanted with tons of hands-on activities including the Tot Spot and Bubble Lab. Of course, it’s all educational too, as kids learn how to start their own business at Kidtropolos, become researchers and physicists at FlowWorks, and inventors at the Invention Convention.
The museum opened its doors in March 1996, but underwent a major expansion in 2019. It is dedicated to educating the public about the Holocaust and other genocides, as well as the dangers of hatred, prejudice and apathy. There are countless exhibits dedicated to commemorating the six million Jews and other victims of the Holocaust, as well as galleries, classrooms, a library, a café, a theater and an outdoor amphitheater.
Museum of Fine Arts
One of the 10 largest museums in the United States, the Museum of Fine Arts consists of several buildings, several gardens including a sculpture garden, two cafes, a movie theater, libraries, and more. You can easily spend the day here alone.
Where to eat?
If you end your tour of the Museum District at the Museum of Fine Arts, you’ll be less than 10 minutes away from Gatsby’s, a great seafood and steak restaurant. Just a few minutes down the road you’ll find BCN Taste & Tradition, a Catalan fine dining restaurant set in a 1920s house that also boasts an extensive wine and cocktail menu. If your feet don’t hurt at this point, you can continue walking to Houston’s Brennan’s, a popular restaurant serving delicious oysters, turtle soup, and more, and a fabulous selection for seafood lovers.
We hope you enjoyed our Houston trip and found our sample 3-day itinerary of the best things to do and eat in Houston useful. Let us know if you visit and have any tips for our readers.
About the writer.
Single Parents on Vacation provide fully organized group holidays for single parents and their children, including beach, farm and activity holidays, as well as ski holidays with teenagers and children. Additionally, they also offer group vacations for solo travelers looking for adult company on vacation.