What's good in Houston?
March 30, 2023 6:17 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to spent a week in Houston soon, possibly in May. What's worth checking out, given my interests?

Things I'm into:

electronic / experimental music (both dance-oriented and non-dance-oriented)

vinyl records (containing electronic / experimental music)


art (anything Dada or later – especially installation art and weird shit)

good food (I love trying new dishes and cuisines – turn me on to something new!) – I'm not into "fine dining", though

good drink (classic-style cocktails; craft beer)

walkable neighborhoods full of funky shops and such to explore

grand or otherwise interesting old buildings you can visit

big beautiful cemeteries

underground / DIY / counterculture scenes

hiking, mushroom hunting, the general dopeness of nature

anything else you think I shouldn't miss!
posted by escape from the potato planet to Travel & Transportation around Houston, TX (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Houston in May isn't really HOT, but you can expect it to feel around 90F with humidity, so plan for that. Our public transportation is laughable at best, unless you're straying pretty much directly on the light rail. A car or ubers might need to be planned for.

We have several vinyl shops, but I don't know enough to say if any have good electronic

There's the Orange Show. Rice University has some campus art including a Turell. The Menil for sure. I haven't been to the art museum in a decade, but it's really big. Personal favorite for the natural science museum, it is stunning and world class.

Nature.... ehh. The further you are willing to drive from Houston the better your options. Galveston has some nice beaches. I like the western part of George Bush park, since it is alongside a bayou and swamp and good for birds, deer. Sheldon Lake state park. Armand bayou nature center. Cullinan park has a lake and a small, old, cool cemetery. I enjoy Brazos Bend, which has alligators everywhere. Bayou kayaking is an interesting look at the city.

Galveston has a lot of cool historical architecture to tour, including a wooden ship, ELISSA. Battleship Texas is fairly neat.

Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens (The Hogg mansion.) A couple more plantations outside the city.

The Port of Houston offers educational tours.

Houston does have a fair number of music venues to possibly check to see who's performing... White Oak, Bayou music center, Toyota center, some others

Houston has the funeral museum. A couple cool cemeteries. I think Glenwood is the oldest (?). Also, Galveston has very cool cemeteries.

The cool neighborhoods in Houston are... Montrose and the Heights? Not sure we have much else at this point.
posted by Jacen at 7:49 PM on March 30, 2023 [1 favorite]

Problem, we have a Houston.
Info from May 2021, map

Rothko Chapel: timed tickets
Menil Collection: timed tickets
Dan Flavin installation at Richmond Hall
Cy Twombly Gallery

Houston Botanic Garden: timed tickets
Smither Park: dawn until dusk
Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park
Houston Space Center: 10am-5pm, book tram tour on app

Great Viet food scene in Houston. A couple restos
Kim Son: 11am-9:30pm - nice, beloved buffet including soups and chè dessert bar
Crawfish and Noodles: 12-10pm

Ice cream and craft beer
Aqua S: 12pm-10pm - weird soft serve
Matcha Cafe Maiko: 12-10pm - gold leaf soft serve
Bae: 1-9pm - soft serve
Urban South: 12-9pm - fruity sours
New Magnolia: 12-9pm - some sours?
Grand Prize Bar: 3pm-2am - dive with Skee-Ball
posted by eyeball at 10:23 PM on March 30, 2023 [5 favorites]

The Contemporary Art Museum has rotating exhibits rather than a permanent collection so check out what they’ll have while you’re there.

Although Houston isn’t known for it the way Austin is, bbq is a must-do for me when I go there. I like Goode Company which may be a bit basic but it’a also the taste of my childhood.
posted by jeoc at 3:15 AM on March 31, 2023 [1 favorite]

Two things that I can't personally vouch for, but are on my list: Seismique, a crazy immersive art museum, and The Art Car Museum. I second The Orange Show, which is adjacent to a lovely little park; and Brazos Bend, which is indeed full of alligators but a bit of a drive.

For DIY type things, try Art Asylum, Magpies and Peacocks, TRX Labs.

More normie activities that are still nice include the Houston Arboretum (nice walking trails, relatively quiet) and the Buffalo Bayou Cistern is very cool, they do regular tours and art installations, but the latter are a little harder to get tickets for.
posted by ailouros08 at 6:31 AM on March 31, 2023

Skyspace at Rice University is well worth a visit.
posted by Furnace of Doubt at 7:47 AM on March 31, 2023

Many local breweries have popped up in recent years. St Arnold's is the largest and oldest, they have a nice beer garden with inside/covered/outside seating. And they do tours. I haven't been but Eureka Heights is supposed to be fun to visit, I like their beer. If you search google maps you'll probably find one a sticks throw away from where you are.

Houston is very good for international dining, in particular Indian and Vietnamese. But many other varieties also. You won't have any trouble finding something to eat.
posted by beowulf573 at 7:48 AM on March 31, 2023

The Menil punches above its weight in a lot of ways, but especially in their excellent Surrealist collection. The wunderkammer is a joy. Don't miss it if you're into dada.
posted by minervous at 9:45 AM on March 31, 2023

If you happen to be in Houston on April 15th, be sure to check out the Art Car Parade. There are a huge number of highly creative vehicles. Thousands of locals and visitors line the route, starting early, to get an eye-full.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 10:53 AM on March 31, 2023

Seismique gets a mostly positive but mixed review from me. It's definitely not an art museum in any form. It's more like a combination of art installations. And those vary in quality hugely. I went maybe two-three years ago when I believe it was fairly new... And a lot of the interactivity features didn't seem to actually work. For every room/installation that was very cool to gorgeous, there was one or two that was much more mediocre, underdone or just meh.

Overall I'm glad I went, but I.... Just was left with a sense of a very uneven experience that I wanted to love more than the actual building and installations let me do. I have some cool pictures (For the insta, course!) And some good memories.... And more memories of wow, that was really underbaked and or I couldn't figure out how to get it to work.
posted by Jacen at 11:11 AM on March 31, 2023

The Rothko Chapel is one of my favorite art experiences I've ever had. It scratches an itch that's like an uncanny valley of natural and artificial.
posted by knile at 7:27 PM on March 31, 2023

For records: Sound Exchange and Vinal Edge
posted by unknowncommand at 9:10 AM on April 1, 2023

when I went to Ima Hogg's house there were armadillos in her garden
posted by brujita at 4:24 PM on April 1, 2023

Can you still do tours of NASA? Because I did a tour of NASA.
posted by Paul Slade at 12:46 PM on April 2, 2023

Johnson Space Center, yes. Mom went recently and enjoyed it, there's a lot to do there. The tram rides are probably the best part.
posted by Jacen at 2:16 PM on April 2, 2023

« Older Looking for a short excerpt from Thinking, Fast...   |   Perpetual teatime Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.