Tour It Up
There's a lot to see and do in America's fourth-largest city, but if you're looking for a tour to explore a particular element of H-Town, you're in the right spot. From art and architecture to ghosts and beer explorations, here are some organizations that can take you on your perfect adventure.
For a unique perspective, see the city by bicycle. Ride along with the folks at Bayou City Bike Tours and discover various areas of town in depth. Take the Heights Tour, for example, which guides riders along the tree-lined streets of one of Houston's oldest and most historically significant neighborhoods.
Check out a modern mode of transport on an excursion with Segway Tours of Houston. Guests ride along the newly-remade shores of Buffalo Bayou, taking in panoramic views of the skyline and see some great public art along the way.
Houston is known as a hub for great art and nowhere is that more apparent than in the city's Museum District. Gallery Sonja Roesch conducts guided, two-hour art tours of some of the best museums, including the Menil Collection, Contemporary Arts Museum, and Blaffer Gallery.
If learning about the architecture of the city's different neighborhoods is more your speed, Architecture Center Houston offers tours each weekend in areas such as Rice University, Montrose, and the Museum District. And Preservation Houston hosts architecture walks in places like Glenwood Cemetery and the Old Sixth Ward.
Food culture has become a major reason why people travel and few cities have experienced the kind of increased culinary attention that Houston now enjoys. Experience it first-hand on one of the Houston Culinary Tours. The organization offers weekly foodie walking tours in various parts of the city, as well as monthly chef-led tours focused on themes ranging from Korean to crawfish.
The double-decker tour bus may be synonymous with London, but Houston has one all its own and it ferries people to some of the most interesting spots inside the Loop. On Houston City Tours' Double Decker Tour, passengers ride along from Downtown to Midtown to the Museum District, stopping along the way to hop off and sightsee at the Downtown Aquarium, Houston Visitors Center and Museum of Fine Arts, among other stopping points.
There's rich history on Galveston Island and, with that, comes some great ghost stories. Go on a tour with Dash Beardsley who relates in haunting detail the supernatural experiences of this unique Texas city. Beardsley offers a number of different tour themes including the Original Ghost Tour (best for families), the Restless Spirits Tour (for more mature audiences) and the Secret Society Cemetery Tour, which reveals the lives and deaths of the island's more interesting former residents.
Even if you aren't a sports buff, going behind the scenes at Minute Maid Park is worth the price of admission ($11 for adults). Learn about historic Union Station and get a peek at the Houston Astros dugout, luxury suites, broadcasting booths and more. Tours last approximately one hour and are offered Monday through Saturday.
Many visitors (and plenty of locals, too) are unaware that beneath the bustling streets of Downtown Houston is an equally complex maze of tunnels that stretch more than seven miles. These mall-like subterranean passages are where many Downtown office workers dine, shop and knock out weekly errands. On Houston Urban Adventure's Heart of the Tunnels Walk, guests travel the underground city and go to new heights, rising 60 floors to the top of the Chase Tower and its panoramic sky lobby.
Are you a beer lover? Houston is home to the state's oldest craft brewery along with a number of new rising-star breweries. Many of the spots offer tasting tours at least one day a week where visitors can learn how brews are made and sample the product along the way. If you only have time to see one, head to Saint Arnold Brewing Company for lunch and a tour.
These are only a few of the many tours offered around town. Visit the Tours page on VisitHouston.com for more ideas.
Written by: A.J. Mistretta