Native Houston inside tip:
People who actually live around the Galleria usually go to Memorial City Mall. It is very nice, not too big, and has all the store you really want. Unless you want D&G or Gucci and such. The go to the Galleria. Don't get me wrong- I love to walk around the Galleria once and a while or if I need to find something very specific. But come on-Memorial city has a Sephora, Coach store, what else do you need? :)
Also-I was looking at the official Houston tourism website and it had the Harwin area on there as a good shopping area---NOT TRUE! They only sell crap down there for the most part. Unless you like beads. This is your heaven. But otherwise-steer clear. This is in a bad part of town and I really recommend not coming here unless you are with someone who has been.
Houston "Aquarium"--Don't do it!! This is just an overpriced seafood restuarant with a fish tank. For the amount of $$ you will spend here you might as well go to one of our many fine dining venues and enjoy a world-class meal.
Kemah-Terrible! I made the mistake of coming here in the summer once and I was not pleased. There are a few stores, but mainly just some chain restuarants and a boat ride you can take. There was no beach near by and it was just sweltering outside. I don't know how this place stays in business it was insanely boring.
Unique Suggestions: Visit us for all the restuarants we have. THERE ARE TONS
Fun Alternatives: Memorial park/arboretum, the museum of natural science is awesome. Galveston is acutally a pretty ok place to visit. the shops are fun but don't expect too much from the beach.
if you like to bike Terry Hershey park is nice. Brazos Bend state park is pretty neat, in the spring there are alligators everywhere, makes for good photos.
We started the 1.5 hr tour with great excitement. After hours in the children play area it was time to get on the tour. We got to Mission Control which started out alright. Upon taking our seats in the stadium seating area of mission control-this blonde crowd control girl was shouting out commands on moving to the right, keeping quiet, etc. She sounded like she meant business. As the host came out to talk to us my baby became active. He wasn't crying, but making some sounds. This blonde girl came over to me and told be to get out. As she followed me to the back she told me to go into these tiny phone booth-like rooms and shut the door. Let me tell you that this was humiliating. I am a doctor and an officer in the armed forces and am not used to being so disrespected. It is one thing to be told to leave a room, but another to be forced to go into a room that is as small as a tiny closet. Asking us to be quiet when there is nobody working in mission control is a joke to begin with. So if the staff at NASA wants to have a completely silent room full of robots than perhaps that should have been the criteria to enter this tour. But if they wanted kids to go on this tour than perhaps they should have done something completely different than what they did. I am sorry I didn't get the name of this blonde girl because I would have had her head on a platter. I was just too frustrated at the time to think about it. We asked to leave asap and they made it sound like a big deal that they had to get someone special to get us. Ofcourse they had to get the most unfriendly person who worked in NASA which made it even a more entertaining trip back.
Unique Suggestions: Kemah Boardwalk is expensive but worth it for kids.
Fun Alternatives: Avoid Space Center Houston like the plague. Try Kemah or the aquarium.
This is not an Aquarium, it is a very clever attempt to market a restaurant. Do not expect an aquarium. It is a corporately owned restaurant that happens to have a very nice aquarium. It is not a civic aquarium...not endorsed by any Houstoniona governmental agengy. Houston does not have an aquarium. Houston natives know this, but nobody takes the time to tell tourists...let this post be a warning to all tourists!!! It is a RESTAURANT!!!
Unique Suggestions: At least let your kids play (for free) in the dancing water interactive fountain. They will get soaked, but you'll get soaked in the Houston humidity anyway!
Fun Alternatives: Go to the remarkable Houston Zoo. It is free on holidays (see below). The admission is very cheap, almost free: US $7 adults, US $3 kids and FREE to kids 2 and under. Seniors get in for US $5 and you can opt to buy a family pass for US $30. Not bad for a whole day excursion!
The Zoo is FREE on the following holidays:
Martin Luther King Day
The Friday after Thanksgiving
Six Flags Astroworld can be fun, but lots of cities have a Six Flags theme park.
If you're in Houston and want to visit a theme park, Six Flags Astroworld will do. But it's not in the best around and can get expensive.
If you do go, do not go in the summer -- or be prepared for 95+ degree heat and crowds.
Unique Suggestions: Take plenty of cash. Be prepared for crowds and a lot of walking.
Fun Alternatives: Unless you really want roller coasters and the such, visit NASA or Kemah instead.
The only reason to come to Houston is to do business. With its heat, humidity, mosquitos, lack of real scenery or much of genuine historical interest, there is no reason for anyone to make it a tourist destination. In that sense, anyone who has been to real tourist destinations and for some unfathomable reason comes here for that purpose will find that the whole place is, in that sense, a trap.
The Richmond Strip. Avoid this place like the plague! The Richmond Strip is a part of Richmond (a street) that is lined with terrible, generic clubs and bars. It is slowly becoming the slummy part of town with the rebuilding of downtown. On the weekends, people with really dumb cars insist on driving up and down Richmond which causes hellish traffic. So, unless lowered cars with unnecessary bass, ground effects, neon license plates, and tiny chain steering wheels is your 'thang', stay away from the Richmond Strip.