Things to Do in Houston
Travel Nursing Houston, TX: As the fourth largest city in the nation, the sprawling Metropolis of Houston is jam-packed with things to see and do, which means that if you’re a travel nurse, the odds of getting bored on assignment here are slim to none.
Take a Trip Through the World of Space Exploration at Space Center Houston
This Smithsonian affiliate dedicated to the history of space exploration is worth visiting again and again. Here you can watch astronauts train, take a tram tour through NASA facilities for a behind-the-scenes look, view the extensive collection of spacesuits in the Astronaut Gallery, and even experience the sensation of a real “blastoff” and an impressive visual of launches on the five-story-high screen in the Blastoff Theater.
Explore the Downtown Aquarium
The 500,000-gallon Downtown Aquarium complex is part attraction, part restaurant with the opportunity to dine among a wall-to-wall aquarium filled with all sorts of colorful, exotic fish and other marine creatures. Plan to be here for lunch, and you can dine on a menu that compliments the environment, like lobster bisque and Gulf red snapper, while watching for scuba divers that feed the fish in the restaurant tank. Afterward, step into a sunken hull of a 17th century Spanish galleon in the Shipwreck exhibit to view all sorts of species, including a moray eel and giant octopus. You can even embark on Shark Voyage for a thrilling train ride where you’ll travel through a tunnel viewing sharks like blacktips, sandtigers, whitetips, and zebra sharks.
Take a Self-Guided Walking Tour
Get to know Houston better with a self-guided walking tour. The Houston Downtown Management District offers pamphlets and audio downloads for free on its website for four different tours, including an Art Deco Walking Tour, a tour of the public art in city parks and the downtown streets, a tour of the Museum District and a tour of historic and offbeat sites located downtown.
View the Menil Collection
It doesn’t cost a thing to view the Menil Collection, a local treasure that draws visitors from across the globe. It includes more than 16,000 works dating from the Paleolithic era to the present, including surrealist works by Max Ernst and Salvador Dali as well as paintings by Picasso and works by Andy Warhol.
Discover Houston’s Quirky Side with a Visit to the Beer Can House
If you like the quirky, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to visit the Beer Can House while you’re here. Back in the 1960s, retired Southern Pacific Railroad employee John Milkovisch was living in your typical house, in a typical Houston suburban neighborhood. He was getting bored in his retirement, so he decided to start decorating his patio with all sorts of odds and ends, from buttons to rocks and marbles, and he even replaced his lawn with items he was collecting. Then, one day, he came up with an even bigger idea, he’d flatten his thousands of beer cans into aluminum siding. For the next nearly 20 years, he incorporated 39,000 of the empty cans throughout his house, creating all sorts of unique works of art used as décor, such as beer can garlands that hang like wind chimes. When John passed away in 1988, his wife Mary continued to welcome visitors to see the spectacle. After she died in 2002, the Orange Show Foundation and its folk art preservationists purchased the property, and in 2008, it was open once again to the public.
Sample the Best of Houston’s Foodie Scene
Houston’s food scene is hot, with a smorgasbord of fantastic dining experiences. To sample some of the best, head to Roost, an unpretentious neighborhood bistro that’s been called a “quintessential Houston dining experience “ and even a “culinary United Nation.” It offers locally-focused cuisine utilizing ethnic ingredients in an intimate dining room, with delectable tastes you won’t soon forget.
Hang Out in the Tunnels
If you’re in Houston on a scorching hot day, you might wonder why there are so few pedestrians on the streets. Well, they’re probably hanging out underground, as one of the best ways to escape the heat is to head to the Tunnels. Many Houstonites who live or work near the downtown area spend the majority of the summer in a mole-like existence in the tunnel system that connects many of the buildings downtown. It’s a whole lot better than a visit to the mall – you can eat, shop, or even get a speed walk in, all in air-conditioned comfort.