5 Unique Things to Do in and Around Houston

Famous tourist attractions abound in Houston, Texas, but those visitors who want to experience something different don't have to look far from the city to find all sorts of interesting things to do and see. These lesser-known attractions are known as hidden gems, and the Houston area features many of them.

1. San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site

Located about 20 minutes from Houston, in La Porte, the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site is home to the San Jacinto Monument, a 567-foot tower commemorating the Texas Revolution. Feeling adventurous? The monument features an observation deck that overlooks the Houston shipping channel and the city of Houston in the distance. A combination ticket for the museum, observation floor, and A Destined Conflict exhibition can be purchased for $16.50 for adults, and $12.50 for children 11 and younger.

2. Historic Downtown Conroe

About 40 miles from downtown Houston is Conroe, Texas. The historic downtown here features galleries, quaint shops, and restaurants to explore. Nature lovers will be enthralled by the nearby Sam Houston National Forest and W. Goodrich Jones State Forest. A 22,000-acre lake provides for water skiing and other recreational activities, including excellent fishing.

3. Ghost Tours

Enjoy a real-life ghost tour in one of the haunted towns around the greater Houston area. Explore these haunted areas while listening to spooky ghost stories about freaky events that took place there. The most popular tour is the Old Town Spring tour, which is located about 25 miles outside of Houston. Tours last 60 to 90 minutes and are fun for the entire family. Tickets start at $20.00 per person, and reservations are required.

4. Kleb Woods Nature Center

Situated 40 miles from Houston, near Tomball, the Kleb Woods Nature Center features 133.5 acres of natural forest and trails. The vast nature park features areas of natural wetlands, forest preserve, remnant prairie, and multiple lakes and ponds. Take advantage of the picnic areas before taking a leisurely hike, or bring along a bird or butterfly guide to see how many different species you can find.

5. St. Francis Wolf Sanctuary

Just about 60 miles outside of Houston is the St. Francis Wolf Sanctuary. Founded in 2002, the sanctuary takes in wolves and wolf dogs and provides much-needed rescue operations for these animals. The animals are ultimately placed in permanent homes. Tours are available on Sundays, as well as Tuesday through Thursday (closed Monday and Friday) for $10.00. Before you head back to Houston, spend a night in nearby Magnolia. Enjoy the small town charm by taking a walk on The Magnolia Stroll, or check out the farmers market on a Sunday morning.

Whether it's your first time visiting the Houston area, or Houston is home to you, looking beyond the well-known tourist attractions opens the door to an entirely new experience and lets you take in all that the greater Houston area has to offer. There is much more out there than meets the eye.

Photos: Image via Flickr by BFS Man

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June 26, 2019

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