Article Summary: Houston Landmarks
Houston Landmarks. More Than Just Parks has 10 incredible must-see sites for you to visit.
There’s so much more to this exciting place than the Houston Astros. In this article, we’ll familiarize you with the incredible landmarks located in Houston.
We’ve got incredible places, iconic memorials, fascinating museums, epic monuments and so much more.
We’re going to give you our list of the Top 10 Landmarks In Houston.
So, What Is A Landmark?
Well, it’s a place of “a special character or special historical or aesthetic interest or value as part of the development, heritage, or cultural characteristics of a city, state, or nation.”
Why visit these places? Because landmarks connect us to the past. Through visiting these wonderful places where history occurred we find our roots. It allows us to feel like we are a part of something much bigger than ourselves.
And, speaking of history, did I mention that I taught the subject? I spent a lifetime teaching about the history behind many of these amazing sites. Then I got to see them firsthand. And now I’m sharing the fascinating stories of these places with you. It doesn’t get any better than that!
So, without further ado, let’s dive in.
Table Of Contents
Table of Contents: Houston Landmarks
- Houston Landmarks
- Some Fascinating Facts About Houston
- Top 10 Houston Landmarks
- Top 5 Houston Landmarks
- Map Of Houston Landmarks
- We Hope You’ll Join Our Journey
Some Fascinating Facts About Houston
Here’s some interesting facts about the city of Houston:
- Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States, with a population of over 2.3 million people.
- Houston is known as the “Space City” because it is home to NASA’s Johnson Space Center.
- The city was founded in 1836 and named after Sam Houston, a hero of the Texas War for Independence.
- Houston is one of the most diverse cities in the United States, with a large Hispanic, African American, and Asian population.
- The city is home to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, one of the largest rodeos in the world.
- Houston is a major center for the oil and gas industry, and is home to many of the world’s largest energy companies.
- The city is also known for its world-class medical center, which is the largest in the world and includes the Texas Medical Center, the MD Anderson Cancer Center, and the Houston Methodist Hospital.
- Houston is home to many professional sports teams, including the Houston Astros (baseball), Houston Texans (football), Houston Rockets (basketball), and Houston Dynamo (soccer).
- The city has a vibrant arts and cultural scene, with numerous museums, theaters, and music venues.
- Houston is prone to hurricanes, with Hurricane Harvey in 2017 causing catastrophic flooding and damage to the city.
We’re Excited To Share Our List Of The Top 10 Houston Landmarks With YOU
Home to world-famous clutch rockets, the Houston Texans, NASA, lush reserve parks, pristine bayous and Queen Bey herself, Houston is one of the most diverse, charming and unique cities in the United States. And it’s a city with some amazing landmarks.
More Than Just Parks is excited to share our list of the Top 10 Houston Landmarks with you. And we’re kicking off our list at #10 with the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center.
Top 10 Houston Landmarks
10. Houston Arboretum & Nature Center
The Houston Arboretum & Nature Center is a 155-acre nature preserve located in the heart of Houston. The center is dedicated to the preservation and conservation of the natural environment through education and public awareness.
The arboretum features a variety of ecosystems, including forests, meadows, wetlands, and ponds. Visitors can explore over 5 miles of hiking trails that wind through these ecosystems, offering opportunities to observe native plant and animal species. The trails are well-maintained and easy to navigate, making them suitable for visitors of all ages and abilities.
In addition to the hiking trails, the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center also offers a variety of educational programs and events for visitors of all ages.
These programs include guided hikes, bird watching tours, children’s camps and classes, and more. The center also features an interactive nature center with exhibits, a discovery room, and a gift shop.
9. Houston Zoo
Our next Houston landmark is home to more than 6,000 animals and it is the second most visited zoo in the U.S. Exhibits range from the African Forest, which features rhinos, zebras and giraffes, to the new Galapagos Islands habitat.
At #9 on out list of the Best Houston Landmarks is the Houston Zoo.
The Houston Zoo is a 55-acre zoological park located in Hermann Park, near downtown Houston. It is home to over 6,000 animals from over 900 species, making it one of the most diverse and popular zoos in the United States.
The Houston Zoo is divided into several different sections or exhibits, each representing a different geographical region or ecosystem. These include: the African Forest, the Kipp Aquarium, the McNair Asian Elephant Habitat, the Natural Encounters exhibit, and many others.
Visitors Can Participate In A Variety Of Activities
In addition to viewing the animals, visitors to the Houston Zoo can participate in a variety of activities and experiences. These include feeding giraffes, petting goats and other farm animals, riding the Wildlife Carousel, and more.
The zoo also offers educational programs and events, such as overnight stays, camps, and classes, that help visitors learn about the animals and their habitats.
The Houston Zoo is committed to conservation and sustainability, and has a number of initiatives and programs in place to promote these values. These include animal conservation projects, recycling programs, and efforts to reduce waste and energy use throughout the zoo.
Houston Zoo | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
8. Sesquicentennial Park
At #8 on our list of the Best Houston Landmarks is a place that’s often the site of family reunions and primitive group campouts. The Retreat Center is popular for various groups looking for meeting room and overnight facilities.
Interpretive nature programs are a major attraction to the park. Welcome to Sesquicentennial Park.
Sesquicentennial Park is a 10-acre park located in downtown Houston that was built in 1989 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the founding of Houston. It’s situated along Buffalo Bayou and offers visitors a peaceful oasis in the midst of the bustling city.
The park features a number of amenities for visitors to enjoy, including walking and biking trails, picnic areas, and a boat launch for kayaking and canoeing on the bayou. The park also has several sculptures and art installations that pay tribute to Houston’s history and culture.
One of the most notable features of Sesquicentennial Park is the “Houston Founders Memorial,” a large bronze sculpture that depicts the city’s founders, Augustus and John Allen, along with several other early settlers. The sculpture is located at the park’s entrance and serves as a welcoming symbol for visitors.
Another notable feature is the “Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark,” a world-class skatepark that is located adjacent to the park. The skatepark offers skaters of all skill levels a chance to ride its ramps, rails, and bowls.
7. Fallen Warriors Memorial
Our next Houston landmark is a memorial that lists the names of all of the soldiers from Texas who have died on active duty in the nation’s two most recent conflicts.
Set along a peaceful stretch of the park, the memorial offers a quiet place for reflection and remembrance of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
At #7 on our list of the Best Houston Landmarks is the Fallen Warriors Memorial.
The Fallen Warriors Memorial is a tribute to the men and women who have lost their lives while serving in the military. The memorial was first proposed in 2004 by a group of veterans who wanted to create a lasting tribute to their fallen comrades.
ESC Honors Their Fallen Warriors on Memorial Day | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
The Memorial Was Dedicated On Veterans Day
After years of fundraising and planning, the memorial was dedicated on November 11, 2013, which was Veterans Day in the United States. The design of the memorial features a central obelisk surrounded by 10 granite walls that bear the names of fallen soldiers from Texas who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The memorial also includes a reflecting pool and a bronze statue of a soldier in combat gear.
One of the key features of the Fallen Warriors Memorial is the interactive kiosk located near the entrance. The kiosk allows visitors to search for the names of fallen soldiers and learn more about their lives and service. The kiosk also includes videos and photographs of the soldiers, as well as information about the conflicts they fought in.
The Fallen Warriors Memorial is located in Memorial Park, which is one of the largest urban parks in the United States. The park has a long history dating back to the early 20th century when it was established as a tribute to soldiers who fought in World War I.
Over the years, the park has been expanded and improved, and it now includes a wide range of amenities such as hiking and biking trails, sports fields, and picnic areas.
6. Bear Creek War Monument
Our next Houston landmark is a monument that commemorates the Battle of Bear Creek, which occurred during the Creek War of 1813-1814. At #6 on our list of the Best Houston Landmarks is Bear Creek War Monument.
The Creek War was a conflict between the United States and the Creek Nation, a group of Native American tribes located in what is now Alabama and Georgia. The war was sparked by tensions between the two groups over land and resources, and it ultimately resulted in the defeat of the Creek Nation and the ceding of millions of acres of land to the United States.
The Battle of Bear Creek was a significant engagement during the Creek War, in which a force of Creek warriors ambushed a group of American soldiers who were camped along Bear Creek. The Americans were able to repel the attack and ultimately emerged victorious, but the battle was costly for both sides. Many soldiers on both sides were killed or wounded, and the battle had a significant impact on the course of the war.
In the years following the Creek War, a monument was erected in Bear Creek to commemorate the battle. The monument was dedicated in 1931 and features a large granite boulder with a bronze plaque that describes the battle and lists the names of the American soldiers who were killed or wounded.
The monument is located in a small park near the town center and is a popular spot for visitors interested in learning more about the history of the area.
Top 5 Houston Landmarks
5. Rodeo Houston
We’re on to our Top 5 Houston landmarks and our next one is an annual event held in Houston. The event began in 1932 as a way to promote and showcase the region’s livestock industry.
Since then, it has grown to become one of the largest rodeo events in the world, attracting over 2 million visitors each year. At #5 on our list is Rodeo Houston.
In its early years, Rodeo Houston was held at various locations around Houston, including the Sam Houston Coliseum and the Astrodome. It wasn’t until 2003 that the event moved to its current location, NRG Stadium.
Over the years, Rodeo Houston has evolved to include not only rodeo competitions but also a variety of other events and activities, including concerts, carnival rides, and livestock shows. The event has also become a major fundraiser for educational programs and scholarships, raising over $500 million to date.
Rodeo Houston has a rich history of notable performances and events. In 1971, Elvis Presley performed at the event, drawing a record-breaking crowd of 44,000 people. In 2019, country music star Kacey Musgraves became the first solo female artist to sell out the event’s closing night performance.
4. The Houston Museum of Natural Science
Our next Houston landmark is one of the most heavily attended museums in the United States. It features five floors of permanent exhibits, spanning astronomy, space science, Native American culture, paleontology, energy, chemistry, geology, seashells and Texas wildlife.
At #4 on our list of the Best Houston Landmarks is The Houston Museum of Natural Science.
The Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS) is dedicated to showcasing the wonders of the natural world. The museum was founded in 1909 and has since become one of the most popular attractions in the city.
The museum’s permanent exhibits cover a wide range of topics, including geology, paleontology, energy, chemistry, and astronomy. The museum’s centerpiece is the Burke Baker Planetarium, which features a state-of-the-art digital projection system that can simulate the night sky and take visitors on a journey through the universe.
The HMNS also has a large collection of artifacts and specimens from around the world, including dinosaur skeletons, gemstones, and ancient Egyptian artifacts. The museum’s collection includes over 2 million specimens, making it one of the largest natural history museums in the United States.
In addition to its permanent exhibits, the museum also hosts a variety of temporary exhibits throughout the year. These exhibits cover a wide range of topics, from ancient civilizations to modern art.
The HMNS is also known for its educational programs, which are designed to engage visitors of all ages. The museum offers a variety of educational opportunities, including school programs, camps, and workshops.
Houston Museum of Natural Science | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
3. Sam Houston Park
At #3 on our list of the Best Houston Landmarks is a historic park located in downtown Houston, Texas. The park is named after Sam Houston, a former governor of Texas and one of the most important figures in the state’s history.
Welcome to Sam Houston Park. Sam Houston Park is significant because it is the oldest park in Houston and one of the few remaining green spaces in the downtown area.
The land that is now Sam Houston Park was first designated as a public space in 1900, when it was used as a parade ground for the Texas National Guard. In 1903, the city of Houston purchased the land and began developing it as a park.
Over the years, Sam Houston Park has undergone many changes and improvements. In the early 1920s, the park was redesigned to include a reflecting pool and a large fountain.
During the Great Depression, the Civil Works Administration and the Works Progress Administration funded several projects in the park, including the construction of a playground and a rose garden.
Sam Houston Park Entrance | Courtesy Of Wikimedia Commons
The Park Underwent A Major Renovation
In the 1960s, the park underwent another major renovation, which included the addition of a log cabin, a church, and several other historic buildings that had been relocated to the park from other parts of Houston. These buildings were restored and turned into a museum called the Houston Heritage Society.
Today, Sam Houston Park is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. The park’s historic buildings, including the Kellum-Noble House and the Old Place, provide a glimpse into the city’s past. The park also features several walking trails, picnic areas, and a playground, making it a great place for families to spend a day outdoors.
It’s a beloved and historic park in downtown Houston that has been a public space for over 100 years. It features a variety of attractions, including historic buildings and walking trails, that offer visitors a glimpse into the city’s past.
2. The Galleria
We’re on to our final 2 Houston landmarks In the runner-up spot at #2 as a place spanning 2.4 million square feet of space, housing 400 fine stores and restaurants, two high-rise hotels, and three office towers.
Our next landmark is Houston’s most popular retail and tourist destination, meeting every style and taste. It’s The Galleria.
The Galleria is one of the largest malls in the United States. It was opened in 1970 and has since become one of Houston’s most popular tourist destinations and shopping centers.
The Galleria features more than 400 stores, including high-end luxury brands like Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Prada, as well as department stores like Macy’s and Nordstrom. The mall also includes a wide range of restaurants and cafes, from fast food chains to fine dining establishments.
While You’re There, Check Out The Ice Rink
One of the unique features of the Galleria is its ice rink, which is located in the center of the mall and is open year-round for public skating. The rink is also used for ice hockey games, figure skating competitions, and other events.
In addition to shopping and dining, the Galleria also features a number of other attractions and amenities. These include a state-of-the-art fitness center, a movie theater, a children’s play area, and a variety of special events throughout the year.
The Galleria has undergone several renovations and expansions since it first opened, including the addition of a new wing in 2015 that includes several luxury stores and restaurants. Despite these changes, the mall has remained a popular destination for both locals and visitors, attracting millions of shoppers each year.
Houston Galleria | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
1. NASA Space Center Houston
As the #1 Houston Landmark, More Than Just Parks has selected NASA Space Center Houston. It’s home to the nation’s astronaut corps, the International Space Station mission operations, the Orion Program, and a host of future space developments.
The NASA Space Center Houston is a science museum and education center located in Houston, Texas. It was established in 1992 as the official visitor center for the nearby Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, which is NASA’s center for human spaceflight operations.
The History Of The Space Center
The history of the Space Center Houston dates back to the early days of the US space program in the 1960s. The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center was established in Houston in 1961 as the Manned Spacecraft Center, and it played a critical role in the development of the Apollo program, which sent the first humans to the moon.
As the space program grew, so did the public’s interest in it.NASA began offering public tours of the Space Center in the 1970s, which allowed visitors to see the facilities and equipment used in the space program up close. In 1982, NASA opened the “Space Center Houston” as a smaller visitor center to complement the existing tours.
In the 1990s, the Space Center Houston underwent a major expansion and renovation. The new facility featured a variety of interactive exhibits and educational programs designed to teach visitors about the science and technology behind space exploration. It also included a large screen theater, a space shuttle replica, and numerous displays of actual space hardware, including the Apollo 17 command module and a Saturn V rocket.
Today, the NASA Space Center Houston continues to be a popular destination for tourists and space enthusiasts from around the world. In addition to its exhibits and programs, it also hosts a variety of special events and educational programs, including summer camps and teacher training workshops.
It remains an important hub of research and development in the field of human spaceflight, and it continues to inspire and educate the public about the wonders of space exploration.
Things To Do
- Take a tram tour: The NASA Space Center offers several tram tours that take visitors to different areas of the Johnson Space Center, including astronaut training facilities and mission control. You can see the historic Saturn V rocket and explore the International Space Station Gallery.
- Visit the exhibits: There are many interactive exhibits that allow visitors to learn about the history and science of space exploration. These exhibits include the Space Shuttle, the Mission Mars exhibit, and the Lunar Samples Vault.
- Meet an astronaut: The NASA Space Center frequently hosts astronauts for meet-and-greet sessions and talks. Visitors can learn about their experiences in space and ask them questions.
- Watch a movie: The Space Center Houston has an IMAX theater that shows space-related movies on a giant screen. The films range from documentaries to Hollywood blockbusters.
- Take part in a simulation: The NASA Space Center offers a variety of simulation experiences, such as the Mars Base 1, where visitors can experience what it might be like to live and work on Mars.
- Attend a special event: Throughout the year, the Space Center Houston hosts special events, such as Space Center Houston’s Galaxy Lights, where the entire center is transformed into a holiday wonderland with light displays, ice skating and much more.
- Explore the Rocket Park: Rocket Park has been home to some of the most significant rockets in NASA’s history. It features restored rockets and mission control displays.
Map Of Houston Landmarks
List Of Houston Landmarks
- NASA Space Center Houston
- The Galleria
- Sam Houston Park
- The Houston Museum of Natural Science
- Rodeo Houston
- Bear Creek War Monument
- Fallen Warriors Memorial
- Sesquicentennial Park
- Houston Zoo
- Houston Arboretum & Nature Center
Why Trust Us About Houston Landmarks?
We’re Jim Pattiz and Will Pattiz, collectively known as the Pattiz Brothers (and sometimes as the “Parks Brothers”).
You should probably know that we don’t just make this stuff up out of thin air. We absolutely LOVE America’s public lands and have spent our entire adult lives bringing these places to life through our amazing short films.
We’ve worked with the National Park Service, the Department of Interior, USDA, U.S. Forest Service, and more for years creating films on important places and issues. Our work has been featured in leading publications all over the world and even some people outside of our immediate family call us experts on the national parks.
And, in 2018, our father – having spent a lifetime teaching history – joined us so that he could help us to tell the incredible stories behind these amazing places.
Meet The Parks Brothers
We Hope You’ll Join Our Journey
Our goal here at More Than Just Parks is to share the beauty of America’s national parks and public lands through stunning short films in an effort to get Americans and the world to see the true value in land conservation.
We hope you’ll follow our journey through the parks and help us to keep them the incredible places that they are. If you’re interested in joining the adventure then sign up below!