Suppose, like me, your idea of a fantastic day out is learning about the history of a building, reading about historical events, or learning about people who lived centuries ago.
In that case, this guide to the must-visit historical sites in Houston is something you’re simply going to love.
Most Houston Historical Sites, TX
I have been absolutely in my element researching for this guide so that I could report back and tell you some of my top, most historical sites that you must visit in and around Houston.
Some of the places I have listed below are the kind you would expect to see in a guide like this, packed full of tourists and avid sight-seekers, and others might be less recognizable by name but are a staple of Houston history.
I have researched the attractions and activities that each location has to offer.. I will also tell you a bit about the site’s history (without giving away too much, I wouldn’t want to ruin your day with too many spoilers.)
It’s worth noting that some of my recommendations are a little outside Houston, but what historical day out isn’t worthy of a road trip? Right?
So, without further delay, let me tell you about some of the fascinating historical sites in Houston, TX.
1. Battleship Texas
|Location||3527 Independence Parkway South, La Porte, TX77571|
|Main Attraction||The Dreadnought Battleship Texas|
Battleship Texas was the final weapon of its kind to be used in battle during World War I and II. In 1948, it became the first battleship in America to be unveiled as a memorial museum.
The grand ship was handed over to the state of Texas and was appointed the flagship of the Texas Navy.
During your day out here, you can read about the complete working history of this fascinating ship, which dates back to 1910, when it was first constructed for $5,830,000.
Although the ship is now officially out of the water for repairs, the site is a fascinating place to visit, with some excellent photo opportunities.
You can also benefit from the nearby kiosks and craft of markets while you are there.
The grounds are also a war memorial, where you can visit the graves of some crew members who lost their lives during the battles.
2. Bayou Bend Collection And Gardens
|Location||6003 Memorial Drive, Houston, TX 77007|
|Main Attraction||Museum and House Tour|
Bayou Bend and Collection and Gardens is a Houston River Oaks district fine arts museum. The grounds span over 14 acres, making it the perfect place to head to if you enjoy a good walk around while exploring.
Once there, you can take a guided tour around the house, where you can expect to see the vast displays of fine arts and intriguing decor.
The art is some of the finest work in Houston and includes ornate silver furnishings, paintings, and ceramics, as well as some fantastic and unique furniture.
The house is the former private home of the famous philanthropist and civic leader Ima Hogg.
The museum is open to the public all year round and is a hot spot for tourists and locals looking for an educational day out.
They offer cool tours, events, educational classes, and a study center. They also have impressive, state-of-the-art learning facilities.
Another feature that I always think is something to behold is the beautiful gardens, which consist of vast woodland, winding ravines, and fabulous flowerbeds.
If you’re someone who appreciates gardening, you’ll quickly lose a couple of hours admiring the work that has gone into it.
Suppose you’re looking for activities to enjoy with the children. In that case, I highly recommend the detective days, where you are given activity sheets with challenges to complete while you explore the grounds.
It can be great for getting the little ones to improve their observational skills while enjoying something fun and interactive.
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3. Old Town Spring
|Location||403 Main Street, Spring, Texas|
|Main Attraction||Historic Shopping Center|
I could not discuss the most historical places around Houston without talking about the oldest part of Texas, Old Town Spring.
Although it’s not necessarily located in Houston, it is just half an hour’s drive out of town and completely worth the trip. After all, if you’re looking for the most historical places in the area, you won’t find much older than this.
The area is so old that it has been dated back to Native Americans. It’s a gorgeous little town, packed full of quirky old buildings and some great little shops and places to eat. Additionally, there are various gift shops where you may buy some Texas-themed trinkets.
This is a marvelous place to visit if you’re into history and want to see what Houston looked like back in the day.
I recommend visiting the Loose Caboose BBQ while you’re here for a bite to eat.
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4. Glenwood Cemetery
|Location||2525 Washington Avenue, Houston, TX 77007|
|Main Attraction||Historic Cemetery|
As part of Houston’s past for over 150 years, this is probably one of the city’s most historical and touching places you can visit.
While it may seem a little morbid to some, I find anything to do with cemeteries and graveyards and the history of people’s lives fascinating. I will never tire of visiting Glenwood.
Now I realize it might not be for everyone and that it’s not somewhere you’re going to find a quirky little gift shop and boutique wine bar. It continues to be one of Houston’s nicest and most historic locations in my opinion.
As you can imagine, the atmosphere here gives you a strange and sad feeling. It’s calming yet entirely thought-provoking.
While you’re here, check out the incredible stature adorning some of the graves and read through some of the beautiful words engraved on the headstones.
Scattered around the cemetery, you will find all kinds of fantastic artwork, impressive fountains, eerie statues of angels, and other such pieces.
One of the most exciting parts of this cemetery, and one that you have to go and see, is the Howard Hughes family plot. I would also advise taking the guided tour to learn all about the buried people, including Howard Hughes himself.
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5. Gerald Hines WaterWall Park
|Location||2800 Post Oak Blvd|
|Main Attraction||Water Wall|
Although you may think this is just one of many parks across Houston, you’d be wrong because what other park you know of has a 64-foot water wall?
The spectacular monument is a must-see, a staple of Houston tourism.
Located right near the business center, it has the same historical background as some of the city’s most prominent skyscrapers.
The waterwall is surrounded by fabulous oak trees, which add to the ambiance of the cascading water, and sounds of nature.
This is an excellent place to visit if you want somewhere to clear your mind, meditate, or take in the surroundings in a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere. Personally, I always find it perfect for taking a book, setting myself up with a flask of drink, and spending a couple of hours away from city life.
I would also highly recommend visiting in the evening, just as the sun goes down. It is a beautiful sight to behold.
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6. Houston Arboretum And Nature Center
|Location||4501 Woodway Drive, Houston, TX 77024|
|Main Attraction||Hiking, special events, scenery|
This historic arboretum was founded in 1951, making it a staple of the city’s history and a well-established part of nature.
Any hikers looking for a historic site will absolutely love this place because it is a walker’s wonderland. With over five miles of hiking trails available across various scenic routes, you can visit here many times and not do the same course twice.
One of the best things about hiking here is habitat hiking, where you can walk through wetland, woodland, native prairie, savanna, and riparian habitats.
There are also multiple educational points throughout the reserve, where you can sit peacefully and learn about the unique plant life and the wildlife that frequents the area.
It’s not too far from Buffalo Bayou, so you can continue your day with even more adventure and activity when you’re done here.
There is a nature center, gift shop, and an interactive discovery room where the kids can explore exhibits, participate in hands-on activities, and view live animals.
You might be thinking, this doesn’t sound like too much of a historic site, but in fact, the land where the park is situated was once the site of Camp Logan, a training camp during World War I. When the war ended, the land was handed over to the city of Houston as a designated park and memorial. This was devoted to the soldiers who lost their lives during the war.
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7. Bishop’s Palace
|Location||1402 Broadway Galveston, TX 77550|
Bishop’s Palace is a mansion located in Galveston in which you can purchase tickets to get a guide attic to basement tour.
The three-story mansion was initially designed by Nicholas Clayton, a Victorian architect who lived on the island. Today, the building is one of the nation’s most prominent homes. The home survived the great Galveston hurricane of 1900 with minimal damage.
The home is stunning, and the architecture and carvings that cover the site are awe-inspiring.
The tour here lasts an hour or two, and you can expect to spend a couple of hours exploring the grounds in your own time, especially if you want to visit the gardens.
The site is open to the public for tours between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. The tickets are $15.00 for adults and $9.00 for children; under 5’s get free admission.
8. George Bush Presidential Library And Museum
|Location||1000 George Bush Drive, West, College Station, TX 77845|
|Main Attraction||Exhibits, events, gift shop, grounds, presidential artifacts|
Now I couldn’t tell you about these historical places in Houston without talking about the George Bush Presidential Museum. Although I understand it may not pique everyone’s interest, anyone interested in the history of America will find something interesting here.
At the museum, you can expect to find all kinds of fascinating artifacts on display throughout three separate holding rooms. You will see many gifts given to the President and his wife during their eight years in office.
There is all the information you can think of surrounding the personal life and career of President George Bush, ranging from his childhood through his business life, as well as his presidential years.
Some of the displays you must make sure you don’t miss out on is the World War II Avenger Torpedo Bomber, a similar model to the one that George Bush flew during the war.
There is also a museum store, should you wish to buy yourself a souvenir after your visits, such as jewelry, mugs, ornaments, and accessories.
The museum is open from 9:30 am – 5:00 pm and Sundays from 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm. It is open all year round except for Christmas Day, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s Day.
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To Sum Things Up
So if you thought you had run out of exciting and historical places to visit around Houston, I hope my guide has opened your eyes to some new destinations.
Suppose you think this guide has been informative to you. In that case, you might be wondering what else there is to do in Houston.