Houston is a city filled with lots of fun and interesting activities for solo travelers to enjoy. If you visit the city on your own, you’ll find the people welcoming, the green spaces gorgeous, the museums engaging, and the entertainment endless!
Here are 18 fun things to enjoy in Houston, Texas when you are traveling alone!
1. Go on a kayak tour
Taking a guided tour is an excellent way to get to know Houston in the company of others. Plus, guides are generally attentive to solo travelers to make sure they don’t feel apart from the group. A kayak tour is a unique way to experience Houston, so definitely look into taking one. Buffalo Bayou Kayak Tours offers several tours along the Buffalo Bayou Waterway. Tours last 2 hours.
Choose from a Houston Skyline Tour, where your guide navigates you through this beautiful bayou while telling you about the history of Houston’s noticeable landmarks along the beautiful skyline. Other tours are a Sunset Tour, a Sunrise Tour, and a Full Moon Tour!
2. Play an escape room
At The Escape Game Houston, you can have fun collaborating with others as you play an escape room hunting for clues to find the way out! Each escape room at The Escape Game Houston accommodates up to 8 players and there’s no requirement that you sign up with someone else. So there’s no reason why you can’t have fun in this group activity! Chances are that you’ll connect with others since it takes a collective effort to solve all the riddles and puzzles you’ll be facing! In fact, you might meet other solo travelers looking to connect, which means you may walk away with a travel buddy! Plus, every room is hosted by a staff member who will be sure to include you in the adventure.
Rooms have unique, fun themes like escaping from a 1950s prison, capturing an art thief, time traveling, hunting for a treasure of gold, and others. The Escape Game Houston has two locations so you choose whichever is convenient to you: at The Galleria and CityCentre. Find out more here.
3. Discover Houston’s Mural Art Scene
Mural art is an increasingly popular and accessible form of artwork that one can see for free. No better place to see mural art exists in Houston than the Houston Graffiti Building. Located at 1503 Chartres Street in Downtown Houston, the building has dozens of quality murals in vibrant colors, some making powerful statements, and others playful messages.
The streets surrounding the Graffiti Building also have some fantastic works as well. If you are already a street mural fan, this Mural and Instagram Tour takes you to 40 murals throughout Downtown, Midtown, and EaDo (East Downtown) on a golf cart! There are lots of opportunities to take photos and post them on Instagram along the way so you can share your adventures with your friends back home!
4. Explore Hermann Park
Hermann Park is a huge, wonderful park with so much to offer that it is easy to spend several hours here without even realizing how much time has gone by! Throughout the park are public art installations to admire, fountains to cool off at, and monuments where you can learn about some of the city’s history. Visit the Houston Zoo, wander through the Japanese garden, and stroll through the McGovern Centennial Gardens, an eight-acre botanical garden.
5. See theater under the stars
The Miller Outdoor Theatre inside Hermann Park is a one-of-a-kind theatre in the U.S. in that it offers the public free of charge an eight-month season of performances of all kinds. Take your pick from classical music, jazz, world music and dance, ballet, Shakespeare, musical theatre, classic films, and more! There’s a covered seating area and also a lawn to sit on. Bring some food, a drink and enjoy the show!
6. Relax on the green
Discovery Green is a small 12-acre urban park that is an oasis in Downtown Houston’s hustle and bustle. Surrounded by skyscrapers, it’s regarded by some as “Downtown’s backyard”. That’s not too far off the mark! Self-described as a village green, Discovery Green is a place for the community to gather for lots of activities and events in a relaxed atmosphere. By day you can kayak on the small but pretty Kinder Lake, and take fitness classes both in the mid-morning and early evening, like Tai Chi, Yoha, and a high-energy HIIT workout!
Discovery Green is open until 11 pm every night (and midnight in the summer) and nighttime activities include a Flea Market after dark from 6 pm to 10 pm, movie screenings on the lawn, and a live music series, the UHD Thursday Night concerts. For travelers of any kind, solo or not, Discovery Green is one of the very best places to go at night in Houston for fun!
7. Stroll around 19th Street
Many solo travelers like to blend in with the locals by doing something that everyone who lives down does. Checking out the neighborhood known as 19th Street in the Heights will let you blend right in and make for a pleasant way to spend a few hours. The district goes back to 1890 when a city planner chose Houston Heights to create a planned community where both entrepreneurs and working people could live and work side by side.
A commercial strip at 19th and Ashland Streets was included and stores opened and thrived there. Today 19th Street retains that vision as stores are locally owned and include eclectic shops, charming boutiques, art galleries, and cozy cafes in an area of charming architecture.
8. Take a hike
You don't have to attempt a strenuous hike to see some wonderful things in nature. The Houston Arboretum and Nature Center, located in Memorial Park, is a peaceful place with five miles of trails that are easy to walk. What is special about the Arboretum is that you can learn about five distinct natural habitats in one place! On the habitat hikes, see the flora and fauna, as well as some native creatures of prairie, ravine, savanna woodland, and wetland.
Take classes like Painting With Plants or DIY Nature Journals, try nature-inspired cooking and tasting classes, gardening classes, and others. There are evening night events like night hikes, adult howl prowls (beers and beverages sold), and other evening events for adults. The grounds and trails are open from 7 am to dusk, daily. Admission is free! Now that's a perk! Parking costs $5.50 but is free on Thursdays for all guests.
9. Go to the theater
Houston’s Theater District is one of the finest hubs for the performing arts in the country. It spans 17 blocks and is filled with lots of theaters, music venues, movie theaters, and public spaces. The Hobby Center for Performing Arts is at the top of the list, with Broadway musicals and plays performed in a glorious space designed by renowned architect Robert A.M. Stern.
The Wortham Theater Center is home to the superb Houston Ballet and the Houston Grand Opera while Jones Hall is home to the Houston Symphony and the Society for the Performing Arts. The list of theaters and venues doesn't end there! You have even more choices at the Stages Repertory Theater, the Music Box Theater, the Alley Theatre, and the Bayou Music Center Which hosts not only musical concerts, but also comedy, cabaret, and more.
10. Learn about astronauts
The NASA Johnson Space Center is one of the top tourist attractions in Houston, and it’s not surprising why. This is a rare opportunity to see some aspects of how NASA functions. The Astronaut Training Facility Tour lets you peek into the world of astronauts. The Historic Mission Control Tram Tour shows you where NASA led the Gemini and Apollo missions. At the George W.S. Abbey Rocket Park, you’ll see only three of the remaining Saturn V rockets. There are plenty of artifacts of NASA’s space program as well, like the Apollo 17 Command Module, a collection of spacesuits, a Moon rock, and more!
11. Gaze at a masterpiece
The Museum of Fine Arts is definitely worth a visit for its outstanding collection of works numbering nearly 70,000 pieces. See art from antiquity until today. For lovers of modern art, you'll be mesmerized by the collection in the The Kinder Building with over 1,200 works of modern art. See works of the masters of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and early Modernist paintings like Picasso, Cezanne, Degas, Gauguin, Van Gogh, and others. Contemporary artists in the collection include Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, and so many more.
The MFAH is an especially good choice for solo travelers as it offers free tours led by docents. It’s a nice way to see amazing artworks, learn about them, and also enjoy the company of others.
12. Head underground
If you find yourself in Houston on a hot day, don't flock to air-conditioned museums like every other tourist in town. Instead head underground to Downtown Houston’s tunnels, the largest downtown pedestrian tunnel network in the country, measuring more than 6 miles long and spanning 95 city blocks! The tunnels are a way for downtown workers to get from building to building quickly, dry when raining outside, and cool on a hot day! Take a guided tunnel tour and learn about architecture, art, and history as you travel the tunnels making stops at buildings and other Downtown sights along the way.
13. Go for a bike ride
Houston is bicycle friendly and as such has an easy-to-use bike share program, Houston BCycle. For $5, you can check out a bike at any docking station, use it for 30 minutes, and then return it to any other docking station. Use this Exploring Houston by Bike Guide which has bike routes and trails throughout the city and includes the closest docking stations. For a longer bike jaunt, take advantage of the large and pleasant Buffalo Bayou Park with its bike trails. Take a leisurely ride with Houston’s skyline as a backdrop. You can rent bikes from Bayou Bike Rentals or join one of their bike tours.
14. See Houston’s bats at sunset
You may already know about Houston’s huge Waugh Bat Colony, and while it isn't as huge as Austin's, these bats still put on a fantastic sunset show! Join the throngs of onlookers at the Houston Waugh Drive Bridge to see 250,000 Mexican free-tailed bats fly out from under the bridge as they go searching for dinner. The colony’s size is at its peak between summer and early fall. But if you can only come to Houston in the winter months, there are still more than enough bats to fly as they streak through the orange sky as the sun sets.
15. Take a food tour
Food tours are among the most inclusive tours one can take when traveling alone. These tours always have a few solo travelers. You'll find that guests traveling with others are friendly and happy to talk a bit. Part of this has to do with the fact that you'll be sampling new foods together inspiring conversation to crop up. In some cases, you may be sharing dishes communally.
The Astroville Food Tour of Downtown Houston is a three-hour tour that includes sampling foods at three restaurants, plus your guide will talk to you about Houston’s history as well as the sights you will pass on the tour. This tour starts at 6 pm which makes it an ideal, and safe way for you to experience Houston at night as a solo traveler.
16. Have an epiphany
One of Houston’s small treasures is the beautiful Twilight Epiphany Skyspace by artist James Turrell, located on the Rice University campus. This event venue is architecturally designed to enhance the acoustics of the musical performances put on. Skyspace doubles as a work of art as its design includes openings in the roof with an accompanying LED light show complementing the sunrise and sunset. The show is simply magical. Performances are free to attend. Skyspace is open to the public every day and free to visit.
17. Say hello to a T.rex
The Houston Museum of Natural Science is THE place for those who love the history of the planet from the time before humans existed to ancient civilizations to the modern world. A major highlight of the museum is the Paleontology Hall, with an outstanding collection of dinosaur fossils, including a T. rex skeleton named Stan! Interactive exhibits and informative panels keep you engaged.
Another highlight is the Hall of Ancient Egypt featuring lots of mummies and other artifacts from this glorious millennia-old civilization. See living creatures at the Cockrell Butterfly Center where thousands of butterflies circle you! If you are a space enthusiast, and a visit to the NASA Johnson Space Center didn’t scratch that itch, spend time in the Burke Baker Planetarium watching immersive shows that explore the mysteries of the cosmos.
18. Catch a baseball game
From April to October, the Houston Astros play baseball at Minute Maid Park. This stadium has a retractable roof, so if the forecast says it will be a rainy day in Houston, make this a destination! If you prefer other sports, you’ll have the opportunity to see the Houston Rockets shoot hoops at the Toyota Center, the Texans play football at NRG Stadium, and the Dynamo play soccer at the Shell Energy Stadium.
Explore more of Houston with our article, 30 Fun and Interesting Things To Do In Houston.
For suggestions on how to organize your time in Houston, see our Houston 2-day itinerary!
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