Houston is one of the largest cities in the USA. It sprawls north,south,east and west. From wetland to prairie to forest. Houston is probably best known for oil and the space center, but it also has a good museum district, nice parks (Herman park is great) and you don’t have to drive that far to feel like you are in the country, although like most areas the countryside is dotted with urban sprawl.
Weather: We lived here for one year due to a job, and experienced all four seasons or lack thereof.
Houston has no seasons to speak of. Summers are long hot and humid and October it is still hot here. Think sub tropical and big bugs. The most irritating being the mosquitoes and fire ants. And spiders there is nothing like walking into a spider web-Yuck! There are also a lot of butterflies during the day here, dragonflies, and geckos.
It is very green here thanks to the rain and this results in a constant humidity. Although Houston is a big city, it really doesn’t feel as big as others, people here are very friendly and wave a lot.
Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo
The Houston Livestock & Rodeo is a HUGE event in Houston that goes on for a few weeks. Usually mid feb-mid march. Definitely something to see especially if you’ve never been to one of these events.
Bull riding,cattle roping,horse show,food,music and fun for the whole family. I had no idea the money to be made on roping a calf in 7 seconds. We had box seats (from the company) and a great view of the event.
The kids went to see the Livestock show earlier in the day, the pictures are from that event. I wish I had brought the camera when we went to see the Rodeo. Overall it was a fun event to see- and if you are looking for a good “Texan” vacation experience this is a great event to find it at!
Houston’s Children Museum
This one of our kids favorite places in Houston. The Children’s Museum is filled with hands-on activities.
Japanese Tea Garden
Day at the Ocean
A visit to the ocean in Texas was very different than most beaches we have been to. From Houston we drove down 288 until you can’t go anymore, through Freeport,TX there is a lovely spot of raw ocean beach.
The road ends and while you drive out onto the sand it almost looks like you are driving straight into the ocean for a moment. Park and have fun away from all the tourists!
Our kids have a blast here-hardly anyone around and who knew you could drive right up next to the ocean. There was a semi cab parked next to us. I have been to beaches all over the US and have never seen this, but on the other hand it is not crowded with people here and the water is warm even in October. It was fun.
If this is not your style you can drive up Seawall Blvd towards Galveston-there is plenty of places there to see the ocean and get your feet wet. It is actually a quiet ride and you get to look at all those houses on stilts on the way too. Beaches are not resort style in Texas. Don’t expect this and you won’t be disappointed. Warm water, sand,a nice breeze, and a long pier = fun.
The Oil Ranch in Texas is a fun way for kids to enjoy a day at the farm. Fun in the country. Milk a cow, feed the cows, pony rides, petting zoo, pumpkins in the fall, swimming, etc
The kids went here on a school field trip that I chaperoned for. My son had fun-he especially liked the rope swings. We like these types of activities, without them our “city” kids would never get to experience the farm.
The Forbidden Gardens A Visit to Ancient China in Texas (now closed)
Forbidden Gardens in Texas is a very cool and historically interesting place to visit on a day trip. We drove 25 miles east of Houston to this unique attraction.
It is set on 40 acres and is home to the replicated scale models of the Forbidden City of Beijing, The Temple of Heaven, The Calming of the Heart Lodge, and the canal city of Suzhou.
It is home to thousands of Terra Cotta replicated soldiers. If you like history or just want to see an odd sight in the middle of the Texas plains this is a neat place to visit.
Why visit here? I don’t really consider Houston a tourist destination. Many people travel here on business. But if you are in the area, Houston does have many places to discover and the people here are truly friendly. I know people say that about all kinds of states, but honestly the people in Houston have been genuinely kind people and the nicest neighbors we’ve had. We will remember them always~
Things we found interesting while living here:
- Texas is a very proud state.
- From Kindergarten on the kids start their school day with the Pledge of Allegiance to the US flag, and then a pledge to the Texas flag followed by a song about how great Texas is.
- High school football is a big deal here. Everyone attends these events. Texans spend 60+ million dollars to construct high school football stadiums.
- If high school football is a big deal here, the rodeo is a HUGE deal! It is also the best rodeo I have ever seen. Visit in the Spring to see this event.
- Houston is very diverse when it comes to race and cultures and yet (for the size of the city) we saw very little racial strife, everyone blends together and they get along-this is impressive to me.
- Appreciate the Texan culture and you will have fun here.
If you visit Houston-have fun-explore the city-just make sure you have air conditioning in your car!