15 Best Houston Tours

With a population of just over 2.3 million at the last census, Houston is the most populous city in Texas and the fourth largest in the nation.

It has also been where fortunes make or break, mostly in the oil and gas industries, which tend to experience regular booms and busts.

Houston is also a large aerospace center. It’s also full of historic sites, trendy restaurants, shopping districts and plenty of live entertainment, so finding fun and educational ways to pass the time in the area shouldn’t be a problem.

1. NASA Space Center Tour

space center houston

Although it’s technically outside the Houston city limits, the NASA-Johnson Space Center is the largest tourist attraction in the area.

Often referred to as Space City America, this full-day tour is a great way to experience all its splendor.

Tour participants spend about six hours on site, which means they get behind-the-scenes access and fascinating insights into the program’s history.

This tour includes stops at the visitor center and museum, as well as a narrated tram tour, which is a real blast for adults and children alike.

There are many interactive exhibits along the way that tend to keep the little ones engaged and entertained.

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2. Downtown Houston Food Tour with Tunnel Access

Downtown Houston Food Tour

Houston, with its diverse cultural and ethnic influences, attracts tourists and business travelers from all over the world.

Unsurprisingly, the city has trendy food places that are definitely worth exploring, especially for foodies and amateur chefs.

This downtown food tour is perfect for travelers who want to experience all aspects of the city at the same time.

Guests will visit several local restaurants and sample dishes from Latin and South America, Asia and Europe. They’ll learn about the city’s unique history along the way.

They’ll also explore the most extensive tunnel system in the country — if they’re not squeamish and claustrophobic.

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3. Electric Vehicle Mural Tour

houston mural

For a city with such a long history in the oil industry, there must be plenty of tours in electric vehicles.

Like its various culinary influences, Houston has a vibrant arts community, and the city is full of colorful murals worth checking out.

This scooter mural tour is a great way for art lovers to get a fix without getting stuck in a stuffy museum or gallery, and a fun way to learn about local culture.

The tour lasts about 1.5 hours and sees dozens of murals in several neighborhoods.

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4. Historic Downtown Pub Crawl

pub crawl

Pub crawls are fun activities for crowds of over 21, and happy revellers often meet like-minded travelers from across the country and the world.

This 3-hour downtown pub tour includes stops at four pubs. Along the way, guests will learn about the neighborhoods they are visiting and the history of the city.

It’s a great opportunity to rub shoulders with the locals, so don’t be shy to ask them for advice on unique things to see and do in town.

Billiards, pinball and darts are great with adult beverages, and many guests set off to explore together after the tour is officially over.

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5. City Underground Tunnel Tour

Downtown Houston Tunnel System

The ground beneath the streets of Houston is a dizzying network of interconnected tunnels nearly 10 miles long.

Explore fascinating places with experienced guides, many directly affiliated with Fortune 500 companies located in some of the city’s towering skyscrapers.

The site also includes the historic courthouse, the state capital and some of the city’s most luxurious hotels.

The tour lasts about two hours. While it’s a tunnel at its core, there’s plenty of time on the ground as well. It’s a great way to see the city from a unique perspective and discover for yourself to explore later.

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6. Electric Vehicle City Sightseeing Tour

Houston, Texas

Electric vehicles are a fun way to explore a new city, even better when paired with a knowledgeable and enthusiastic local guide.

This sightseeing tour lasts 1.5 hours and includes stops at several historic sites, city parks, colorful murals, and the now-closed Astrodome stadium.

With a fleet of trolleys and guides available, tours range from a few to nearly 50 people. They are perfect for extended families, bachelorette parties and corporate events.

Participants will have time to stop for photos, learn about Houston’s theater district, and where to eat and drink later.

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7. Hop-On Hop-Off Houston City Tour

Hop On Hop Off Houston City Tour

For travelers who would rather visit Houston’s most popular attractions without wasting time on things that don’t interest them, this hop-on, hop-off city tour might just be the ticket.

Depending on the option you choose, the tourist pass is valid for one or two days.

Tour buses are reminiscent of London’s double-decker buses. Stops include City Hall, Downtown Aquarium, Theatre District, Market Square and the Museum of Fine Arts – just to name a few.

Guests can choose what they want to explore and how much time they want to spend at each site.

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8. Haunted Houston Ghost Walking Tour

Haunted Houston Walking Tour

Rumor has it that Houston has a vibrant ghost community, with many of its most active characters easily visible after dark.

That’s bad news for the fright-prone – but for lovers of the grotesque horror, guided ghost tours are a great way to get a cheap thrill.

This walking tour is approximately 1.5 miles and takes guests through multiple neighborhoods, each with its own dark and disturbing past.

Compared to some, the two-hour tour is relatively mild and even suitable for those traveling with small children.

Food and drinks are provided but not included in the tour.

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9. Apollo 13 Room Escape

Apollo 13 Room Escape

Room escape has become a popular holiday activity in recent years, and its prices are very reasonable compared to many tourist attractions.

Newbies have always found them valuable, and they’re also surprisingly exhilarating.

Located in the downtown area, the Apollo 13 escape room allows groups to test their teamwork and problem-solving skills in NASA and space-themed environments.

The event lasts an hour and includes non-alcoholic beverages, as well as plenty of time to take photos wearing space gear in a lifelike control room.

Groups of 6 to 12 people are allowed, but each participant must be at least 10 years old.

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10. Downtown Houston Food Tour

Downtown Houston Food Tour

For those with limited time, deciding what to see and do while in Houston can seem a little overwhelming.

Fortunately, there are many combination tours that allow visitors to make the most of their trip.

Houston is full of historical, cultural attractions and restaurants.

On this 3-hour tour, guests will experience all of the above under the guidance of an expert in local cuisine and history.

The tour supplier’s restaurant partners offer a wide variety of vibrant cuisine, most paired with retro-inspired cocktails, beer, and wine, so plan to show up on an empty stomach.

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11. General Admission to the Houston Museum of Natural Science

Houston Museum of Natural Science

Houston’s summer weather can be notoriously hot and humid.

The city is full of outdoor attractions that are definitely worth a visit, but indoor attractions like the Houston Museum of Natural Science are good options.

The museum is home to the largest dinosaur exhibit in the country. It includes a number of interactive exhibits dealing with Egyptology, local wildlife and environment, and entomology.

This is especially popular with young children, and general admission allows guests to see at their own pace. The museum is wheelchair and stroller accessible and has a lovely on-site café.

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12. Best 2-Hour City Tour

Minute Maid Park, Houston

You might be asking yourself if it’s possible to experience Houston in two hours.

It sounds unlikely, but for those with only a few hours to spare, there’s no better way than this small group car tour.

Guests will stop at some of the city’s main attractions, such as Market Square, Minute Maid Park, Buffalo Estuary and Astrodome.

Each tour includes the services of a friendly and knowledgeable local guide who will describe what you see and what it means.

This tour can accommodate up to 11 travelers and includes transfers from area hotels.

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13. Houston Sightseeing Tour and Galveston Day Trip

Happy Pier, Galveston, Texas

Houston is an impressive city with over 2 million residents. It’s also very close to the Gulf of Mexico, allowing day trips to coastal towns like Galveston for those in need of a break from the chaotic urban environment.

This 6-hour tour begins with a 90-minute bus ride around Houston’s hotspots, after which guests will travel to Galveston.

Galveston is full of historic charm, impressive Victorian mansions on quiet streets, and plenty of galleries, bars and restaurants.

Guests will have free time to explore on their own and can choose to take a boat ride to watch dolphins, or simply relax under an umbrella by the water with a refreshing drink.

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14. Houston Historic District Craft Cocktail Tour

Houston Historic District Craft Cocktail Tour

Just like the craft beer and microbrewery renaissance that has occurred across the country in recent years, craft cocktails are making a big comeback.

During Prohibition, Houston was full of shady speakeasies with loud music and tub gin flowing like water.

Those days are long gone, but for adult drink lovers there is a way to experience a little bit of the past without breaking any laws.

This historic area craft cocktail tour includes stops at several downtown bars and restaurants serving world-class drinks and food.

Each tour lasts approximately 2.5 hours and includes free coffee at the end.

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15. iFLY Houston Memorial Indoor Skydive

IFLY Houston Memorial Indoor Skydive

Indoor skydiving has significant advantages over outdoor skydiving.

For one, it’s cheaper, more convenient, and never has a guest hitting the ground at 300 mph because the chute won’t open.

While you don’t technically need a guide to experience skydive at iFLY, you’ll get all the gear and training you need from experienced staff before entering the wind tunnel.

Prepaid tickets give you the option to visit when you want, which will come in handy if you like to visit on days that are usually less crowded.

Each participant receives one minute of free fall and a personalized certificate to take home.

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