The state of Texas is a great place for a vacation, whether it is a young couple, entire family, or even a large tour group looking for a place to go. The state offers a wide array of different scenery including desolate prairie land, rolling green hills, agricultural areas, beautiful ridges, sparse forests, and of course a very inviting coastline right on the Gulf of Mexico. Texas also has a number of cities and towns which are worth visiting, some for just a day, some for an entire vacation. One of the more interesting cities to visit in the state is Houston.
The city of Houston is the fourth largest city in the entire United States and has a great deal of things to offer vacationers who go there. It has an active theater district, which is very popular with all sorts of people. It has a number of different shopping areas, each of them delivering great retail experiences to those that venture there. The city also has some great attractions that are not duplicated anywhere else in the world. Traveling can be expensive though, but Houston also has a number of things for travelers to experience that actually don’t cost a thing.
Here are eleven fantastic free things to do when visiting the city of Houston, Texas.
Though the shopping is not free, attending Houston’s largest flea market is. Traders Village covers 100 acres of land with vendor booths and activities every weekend. In the summertime there are even live concerts and special celebrations going on. This is a great opportunity for two age old American customs, browsing and people watching.
See The Bats!
The Waugh Drive Bridge in the city of Houston is home to an extremely large colony of Mexican Free Tailed Bats. Estimates put the colony’s population in the area of 250,000. The bats take to the air nearly all together almost every night as they venture out to both stretch their wings and dine on insects in the area. There are several great viewing locations for this free and very interesting event.
View Historic Homes
The Heritage Society owns and maintains seven historic homes and an old wooden church in Houston. Most of the homes date back to the early to mid 1800s, and many are kept the way they looked back during their glory days. The Heritage Society is open from Tuesday through Sunday, and admission is free. This is one of the best free attractions in the Houston area for anyone who is interested in the local history.
Take In A Museum!
The Houston Museum District is home to eighteen different museums. These include general history museums, art museums, and museums associated with a specific event or people. More than half of those museums, including the Buffalo Soldiers Museum, the Children’s Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts, offer free admission on certain days of the week.
Take A Break At Discovery Green
Covering a little over two acres and located right in the middle of downtown Houston is Discovery Green. This is a wonderful spot for visitors to the city, locals, workers, and others to take a break from the city and enjoy the outdoors. Discovery Green has a number of features that are both free to enjoy and available for use including play areas, open grass fields, a model boat pond, playground toys, a completely fenced dog park, amphitheater, fountains, picnic facilities, and paths for walking or jogging.
View Great Photography
The works of some of the most talented up and coming photographers can be seen on display at the Houston Center for Photography. This non profit center has a deep commitment to provide a venue for the works of undiscovered photographers. The center puts on a nice mix of admission and admission free events and exhibitions.
Enjoy Some Sculptures
For the traveler who wants to be outside and still get the chance to enjoy some artwork, the Lillie and Hugh Roy Cull Sculpture Garden may be just what they need. Here visitors can stroll along paths across manicured lawns, stopping every so often to enjoy the outdoor sculptures on display there.
Visit The Buffalo Bayou
When the city of Houston was founded in 1836, it was founded along a slow moving section of water referred to by locals as the Buffalo Bayou. Today, much of this area is accessible through the use of both man made parks as well as protected natural areas. This is a very popular way for both visitors and locals to escape the city.
Listen To The Music
Music has a way of bringing people together and delivering with it special feelings and experiences. The city of Houston is blessed with a number of opportunities for both residents and travelers going there to enjoy free concerts. The Houston Symphony puts on a number of concerts during the year, some are free admission and even the ones that are not usually have some free lawn seats available. The City of Conroe, a suburb of Houston, has a free concert series that it runs on Thursdays all summer long. There are also free concerts run nightly all summer long at Northshore Park courtesy of the Woodlands Association.
Experience The Kemah Boardwalk
The Kemah Boardwalk overlooks Galveston Bay and is an extremely popular area that attracts both tourists and locals. The shops, restaurants, and attractions may have a cost associated with them, but turning up to people watch and take in the live entertainment that regularly appears there is absolutely free.
Get On Board The Sam Houston!
One of the best opportunities for free entertainment and great sightseeing in the Houston area takes place out on the water. The Sam Houston Boat Tour is operated by the Port of Houston Authority and takes visitors on a 90 minute round trip tour of the Houston Ship Canal. Though there is no cost for the tour, it is recommended that visitors wanting to do this make reservations in advance.
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Texas is a huge state, and there are fun things to do and see from north to south and from east to west. Houston is a great destination because it offers all of the benefits of a large world class city, plus has the added bonus of being located very near to many great beach areas right on the Gulf of Mexico. Vacations can be quite expensive at times though, so many travelers are more than happy to find out that Houston has a good selection of no cost activities and experiences to take part in too. Doing so can make a vacation budget stretch farther, and it can make it so other experiences are easier to afford.