Skip to main content
  • Displays at Space Center Houston near Claar Lake Shores, Texas
    View more

    Blast off to the Bay Area

  • Kayaking Crystal Bay in Baytown, Texas
    View more

    Become One with Nature in Baytown

  • Spotting murals on a bike tour of Beaumont, Texas
    View more

    Beaumont: An Artsy Haven

  • A replica of Janis Joplin’s car at the Museum of the Gulf Coast in Port Arthur, Texas
    View more

    Walk Among Legends in Port Arthur

Birdwatching on the Cattail Marsh Scenic Wetlands & Boardwalk in Beaumont, Texas
View more

Nature, History, and Culture Around Houston, Texas

By Leah Whitcomb

  • Route distance:
    325 km
  • Suggested Time:
    4 days

Exciting adventures and coastal wonders await on a trip Around Houston, where rich history meets unique neighborhoods.

Ready to explore the history of space travel, kayak urban waterways, encounter legendary musical memorabilia and swim with alligators? You may be surprised to find that you can set off on these adventures and more without ever leaving the Houston area. In the communities surrounding Houston, Texas, you’ll uncover a wealth of delightful attractions, from the quirky to the educational and everything in between. Hop a flight to George Bush Intercontinental Airport and get ready for unforgettable excursions Around Houston.

01
Displays at Space Center Houston near Claar Lake Shores, Texas
View more

Blast off to the Bay Area

Your journey begins in Texas’s Bay Area, comprised of five friendly towns brimming with adventure. The community of Nassau Bay boasts beautiful parks and green spaces with views of stunning wetlands and nature trails. Start the morning with a thrill at Nassau Bay Park, feeling the wind in your hair as you speed across Nassau Bay on a Jet Ski. Walkers, runners and bikers will delight in exploring nearby Seabrook, where they’ll enjoy the company of local birds, turtles, white-tailed deer and bottlenose dolphins along 17 kilometers of waterfront trails. Just a short drive away in Clear Lake Shores, Space Center Houston offers visitors the chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at human space exploration on NASA Tram Tours. Board a replica of the Space Shuttle Independence and explore one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of astronaut spacesuits. After an afternoon of space exploration, take to the seas with a cruise on Clear Lake. Enjoy themed dinner excursions while spotting native birds and beautiful waterfront homes.

31 km
0.5 hours by car
02
Kayaking Crystal Bay in Baytown, Texas
View more

Become One with Nature in Baytown

As you drive twenty minutes north from Seabrook to Baytown, you’ll notice that natural wonders are abundant in this part of Texas. Baytown has a myriad of exciting opportunities to get outside, like the Baytown Sculpture Trail. Dozens of sculptures are installed throughout the Downtown Arts District, allowing visitors the chance to view stunning art pieces up close while enjoying the charming atmosphere. For more outdoor sightseeing, visit Baytown Nature Center where you can enjoy birdwatching, fishing and kayaking in Crystal Bay, and the Eddie V. Gray Wetlands & Educational Center, where you’ll gain an appreciation for and understanding of the area’s ecology through exhibits and community programming. Tee off at the area’s first double loop golf course T36 Golf at Baytown, a unique eco-friendly experience that uses less land and water than traditional golf courses. Cap off your trip to Baytown by wandering the grounds and enjoying live music at Yepez Vineyard. Made with grapes grown in Texas, their handcrafted wines capture the culture and taste of the Southwestern USA.

More information
103 km
1 hour by car
03
Spotting murals on a bike tour of Beaumont, Texas
View more

Beaumont: An Artsy Haven

Hop on a bike and get ready to broaden your horizons, since this leg of your journey takes you one hour east to the fun and artsy community of Beaumont. A colorful collection of over 40 murals of cultural landmarks, wildlife and nature welcome visitors to the Downtown Beaumont Cultural Arts District. Visit the Fire Museum of Texas, where you’ll spot the world’s largest fire hydrant and see historic fire service equipment. The history tour doesn’t stop there. At Spindletop Gladys City Boomtown Museum, learn about Texas’s top export: Oil. See what life was like here in the early 20th century in this replica of an oil boomtown. Step back into pioneer times when touring the nearby John Jay French Museum—the home of Texas pioneer and merchant John Jay French. Built in 1845, this home’s antique furnishings as well as preserved blacksmith shop, tannery, privy and smokehouse are sure to wow history buffs. Finally, make a stop at Gator Country Adventure Park, the largest alligator sanctuary in southeast Texas with over 450 alligators, crocodiles and other reptiles. Spot snakes, tortoises and caimans during a swamp boat tour and enjoy unique excursions like wading with baby alligators.

More information
35 km
0.5 hours by car
04
A replica of Janis Joplin’s car at the Museum of the Gulf Coast in Port Arthur, Texas
View more

Walk Among Legends in Port Arthur

Drive 30 minutes south of Beaumont to Port Arthur, where fascinating legacies collide. This former oil boomtown has reared some of the USA’s most notable people, like musician Janis Joplin. Take this rockstar’s hometown tour to visit her childhood home and see a replica of her colorful Porsche in the Museum of the Gulf Coast. While you’re at the museum, learn more about Port Arthur history at the Music, Sports, and Notable People Halls of Fame, which highlight the famous people who have called Port Arthur home. A short drive from the Museum of the Gulf Coast lies a can’t-miss historic mansion. The Pompeiian Villa—modeled after homes in the ancient Roman city of Pompeii—boasts masterful architecture that you can admire on a tour of the fully restored mansion. Spend the night celebrating history, culture and art as you enjoy local seafood and live music at local eateries such as Neches River Wheelhouse and Tia Juanita’s Fish Camp. Before bidding Port Arthur farewell, stop by Sea Rim State Park, which boasts over 8 kilometers of beach shoreline and over 1,600 hectares of marshlands. You’ll create many captivating experiences you can reflect upon as you drive back to George Bush Intercontinental Airport to catch your flight home.