21 Houston Landmarks

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Houston’s dynamic blend of innovation, talent and attractions makes it a world-class city. Alive with energy and rich in diversity, Houston is a city with a thriving economy, an optimistic vibe and is known around the world for the famous line in Apollo 13, ‘Houston, we have a problem’.

The city has a fantastic choice of dining and entertainment options and punches way above its weight when it comes to the number and calibre of its sports teams. Houston has risen from a city founded on oil and transformed into a sprawling metropolis filled with greenery, history and cultures from every corner of the globe. Explore this blend of creativity and culture by visiting these Houston landmarks.

Houston Landmarks

21 Landmarks In Houston

1- Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

houston landmarks longhorn cattle
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is a cultural landmark of Houston.

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is the city’s biggest annual event, taking place over 19 days in February and March.

Packed to the brim with food stalls, carnival rides, and enough entertainment for a year, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is the ideal location to experience Texas’s best.

At the rodeo, cowboys brave untameable stallions and charging bulls show off their skills in front of a raucous crowd.

Live music shows by some of the biggest stars in the world are also major drawcards, it is much more than simply a livestock event.

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is at NRG Pkwy, Houston, TX 77054, United States.

2- Hermann Park

Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the state’s parks, with Houston’s Hermann Park occupying 445 acres (180 ha).

Bordering many of Houston’s neighbourhoods, each with its own unique culture and attractions, Hermann Park is filled with every outdoor activity and amenity you can imagine.

It is the location of the Houston Zoo, the McGovern Centennial Gardens and the Miller Outdoor Theatre.

The park also has picnic areas, lakes, gardens, pavilions, hiking trails and a golf course.

Hosting many outdoor concerts and events throughout the year, Hermann Park is one of Houston’s standout landmarks.

Hermann Park is at 1700 Herman Dr, Houston, TX 77004.

3- Battleship Texas

houston landmarks Battleship Texas with blue sky
Battleship Texas is one of the most impressive landmarks in Houston.

Battleship Texas is a one-of-a-kind vessel that is one of Houston’s most famous historic landmarks.

The last surviving Dreadnaught battleship and the only remaining vessel to see action in WWI and WWII, Battleship Texas led to significant advancements in radar, gunnery and aviation technology in future US battleships.

Moored at La Porte, east of downtown Houston, the Battleship Texas is a striking memorial and museum, allowing visitors to tour the inside of this hulking warship.

Paying a visit to the Battleship Texas is a highlight for history buffs and a Houston landmark that must be seen first-hand to be appreciated.

Battleship Texas is at 3523 Independence Pkwy, La Porte, TX 77571.

4- Galveston

landmarks houston Galveston
Galveston’s theme park is the most famous landmark of the city. Photo: Travel Texas/Jaime Hudson.

While not in Houston itself, Galveston is a popular vacation destination home to incredible beaches and exciting attractions on the Gulf of Mexico.

Galveston is easy to reach, with numerous busses carrying passengers to and from Galveston every day and guided tours on offer to Galveston and many of its most popular attractions.

Galveston’s many attractions make it a popular destination to visit year-round.

Be sure to visit the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig and Museum to learn more about the challenges and tragedies involving oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Strand Historic District is also a significant landmark in Galveston to learn more about the town’s rich history.

Pleasure Pier is Galveston’s main attraction, housing several amusement rides and fun activities to keep the entire family busy.

Galveston is 50 miles (80 km) southeast of Houston.

5- George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum

100 miles (161 km) north of downtown Houston on the campus of Texas A&M University’s College Station campus, the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum honours the legacy of the 41st President of the United States.

With permanent and rotating exhibits, the museum tells the tale of the president’s life before, during and after the White House.

There’s a replica of the Oval Office, Camp David during President H.W. Bush’s time in office and the former president’s situation room.

Be sure to pay tribute to the former president, his wife Barbara and their daughter Robin, whose graves can be visited at the facility.

George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum is at 1000 George Bush Dr W, College Station, TX 77845.

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6- Discovery Green

The Discovery Green in Houston’s business district is a 12-acre (5 ha) park surrounded by downtown Houston’s best hotels, restaurants and entertainment.

Despite the park’s small size, it’s packed with fun outdoor activities for the whole family to enjoy, featuring a lake, playgrounds and fountains, reading rooms, a putting green and many more attractions within its boundaries.

The Discovery Green is a haven for art lovers, with various unique art displays dotted throughout the park for visitors to enjoy.

The park features two top-notch restaurants and performance spaces where visitors can enjoy the great outdoors alongside good food and excellent entertainment.

This park is an absolute treat to visit and is a famous downtown Houston landmark.

Discovery Green is at 1500 McKinney St, Houston, TX 77010.

7- San Jacinto Battleground

San Jacinto Monument houston
The San Jacinto Monument is a historic landmark in Houston.

San Jacinto Battleground is the site where General Sam Houston’s men defeated General Antonio López de Santa Anna’s forces to gain independence for Texas in 1836.

Commemorating the landmark battle stands a 567-foot tall (173 m) obelisk, topped with a 220-ton star made of stone, steel and concrete, which towers over the 1,300-acre (526 ha) San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site.

Located in La Porte, the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site is next to Battleship Texas, making it possible to see both historic Houston landmarks in one day.

Visitors can relive the past through re-enactments of the famous battle and venture toward the obelisk’s observation deck perched 500 feet (152 m) above the ground.

The San Jacinto Battleground is a great place to learn more about this state’s history and enjoy unbelievable views from atop the San Jacinto Monument.

San Jacinto Battleground is at 3523 Independence Pkwy, La Porte, TX 77571.

8- Minute Maid Park

The home of the Houston Astros, the Major League Baseball team, since it first opened in 2000, the 45,000 seater Minute Maid Park in downtown Houston has ushered in a new era for baseball in Houston.

Minute Maid Park’s intimate and lively atmosphere makes it the place to be whenever the Astros are in town.

The architectural landmark in Houston has an impressive retractable roof, 400 speakers placed in the seating areas and has won three engineering awards.

Minute Maid Park is at 501 Crawford St, Houston, TX 77002.

9- Buffalo Bayou Park

landmarks in houston Buffalo Bayou contemporary wall
Buffalo Bayou is one of the incredible landmarks in Houston to tick off your to-see list. Photo: Travel Texas/Pierce Ingram.

Buffalo Bayou Park is a lovely 160-acre (65 ha) lush urban oasis that runs right across the city, centred on the slow-moving waters of the Buffalo Bayou.

There are walking and bicycling trails, a dog park, sculptures and shady spaces to rest in this urban park.

Kayaking or canoeing are other ways to enjoy the bayou’s natural splendour, with various guided tours on the water to learn more about the region’s history and unique geography.

Similarly, you can also join guided cycling tours if you prefer to stay on land.

Home to a large bat colony and even an underground water reservoir dating back to 1926, there’s no shortage of experiences in Houston’s Buffalo Bayou Park.

Buffalo Bayou Park is at 1800 Allen Pkwy and Memorial Dr, Houston, TX 77019.

10- James Turrell Skyspace

This acoustically-engineered light and sound installation created by artist James Turrell is one of the most impressive art installations in the world.

Graving the campus of Rice University next to the Shepherd School of Music, the site is nicknamed ‘Twilight Epiphany’ for its unique natural light displays at dawn and dusk.

Best observed during sunrise or sunset, the James Turrell Skyspace harmonises nature’s sound and light to create a bedazzling experience well worth watching.

This incredible, one-of-a-kind Houston landmark is free to visit but make reservations as the skyspace can get crowded.

James Turrell Skyspace is at 6100 Main Street, Adjacent Shepherd School of Music, Houston, TX 77005.

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11- Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center

houston Space center displays
The Space Center is a famous Houston landmark to visit. Photo: Travel Texas/Pierce Ingram.

The sprawling Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center is synonymous with NASA’s intrepid space explorations during the 20th century, which eventually led to man’s first landing on the moon with the Apollo 11 mission.

This incredible facility served as mission control during the Apollo 11 mission, including many more future missions, eventually becoming famous worldwide for the phrase: ‘Houston, we have a problem’ from the movie Apollo 13.

While the facility is still actively used today for research and training, it houses an incredible collection of artefacts and attractions relating to all things to do with space for guests to marvel at.

Head to the Rocket Park to marvel at full-scale replica rockets, including the Saturn V rocket involved in moon landings.

The original and perfectly preserved mission control centre is also one of the facility’s highlights, giving visitors a behind-the-scenes look at mission control for the Apollo 11 mission.

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center is at 2101 E NASA Pkwy, Houston, TX 77058.

12- NRG Stadium

famous landmarks in houston Nrg Stadium at night
NRG Stadium is an impressive contemporary landmark in Houston.

NRG Stadium has been the home of the NFL’s Houston Texans since 2000.

Hosting events throughout the year, including rodeos, music concerts and various functions, the NRG Stadium is much more than a football stadium.

If you’re interested in experiencing the stadium at its liveliest, get some tickets to catch a live NFL game amid 72,000 raving Texan fans.

For a behind-the-scenes stadium experience, join a guided tour to explore parts of the stadium that are usually off-limits to the public.

NRG Stadium is at NRG Pkwy, Houston, TX 77054.

13- Houston Zoo

Houston Zoo occupies 55 acres of Hermann Park and is one of the city’s most popular attractions, drawing both locals and tourists.

Opened in 1922, the zoo has about 6,000 native and exotic animals, an education centre and a children’s zoo.

Various fun and engaging activities await visitors to the zoo, such as feeding giraffes and observing marine animals up close at the zoo’s aquarium.

Conveniently located inside Houston’s sprawling Hermann Park, the Houston Zoo is close to many other landmarks in Houston.

Houston Zoo is at 6200 Hermann Park Dr, Houston, TX 77030.

14- Houston Museum of Natural Science

The fun and engaging Houston Museum of Natural Science is one of Houston’s popular museums and has something in store to entertain visitors of all ages.

See the fossilised remains of prehistoric dinosaurs at the Hall of Paleontology or catch a glimpse of beautiful butterflies in the museum’s Cockrell Butterfly Conservatory, which has over 1,500 of these colourful insects on display.

Try out the museum’s Planetarium to observe the planets, stars and galaxies high above the night sky over Houston.

The museum’s Wortham Giant Screen Theater also regularly hosts various engaging showings, making the Houston Museum of Natural Science a wonderful experience in the city.

Houston Museum of Natural Science is at 5555 Hermann Park Dr, Houston, TX 77030.

15- Toyota Center

Built and opened in 2003, the Toyota Center is the home of the NBA’s Houston Rockets franchise and plays host to a string of concerts, shows and events throughout the year.

Katy Perry, Fleetwood Mac, Prince and The Rolling Stones are just some of the names who have all performed at the Toyota Center over the years.

The stadium has also played host to the WWE’s Survivor Series wrestling, the 9th Latin Grammy Awards, and various UFC events, making it an all-purpose arena worth visiting.

Toyota Center is at 1510 Polk St, Houston, TX 77003.

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16- National Museum of Funeral History

This bizarre yet popular Houston landmark celebrates anything and everything relating to funerals.

The displays and exhibits range from ordinary to outlandish, including hundreds of coffins from across the world, embalming processes, presidential funerals and antique hearses.

The museum’s Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) details this unique Latin American celebration in a colourful and entertaining way.

The National Museum of Funeral History is at 415 Barren Springs Dr, Houston, TX 77090.

17- 19th Street In The Heights

Houston’s 19th Street in the Heights is home to quirky shops selling unique and bizarre items, ranging from evening gowns and casual clothes to gadgets and jewellery.

Famed for its vintage clothing, retro décor and old collectables, 19th Street in the Heights dates back to 1890.

19th Street in the Heights is at 19th Street Shopping District 300 19th St, Houston, TX 77008.

18- The Museum of Fine Arts

famous landmarks in houston Museum of Fine Arts words on the building
The Museum of Fine Arts is one of the most creative landmarks of Houston, Texas. Photo: Travel Texas/Pierce Ingram.

Houston’s fine arts museum is one of the best in the country.

Housing over 63,000 pieces of art, the museum’s collection is split between two buildings linked by the Wilson Tunnel: the Audrey Jones Beck Building and the Caroline Wiess Law Building.

The museum’s impressive collection is well worth a visit, from Italian and French Impressionist Renaissance paintings and sculptures to American and European decorative arts, to African and Colombian art clad in gold.

The best way to see everything is to join a guided tour of the facility.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is at 1001 Bissonnet St, Houston, TX 77005.

19- Sky Dance Mural

houston landmarks skydance mural
The Skydance Mural is one of the modern Houston landmarks that define the city. Photo: Travel Texas/Pierce Ingram.

In downtown Houston, the city’s largest mural, the Sky Dance mural, was created by C. Finley to celebrate the city’s vibrant arts and culture.

Depicting three Houston ballet dancers, the work of art captures the ballet dancers in mid-jeté en avant and is set to a blue backdrop.

This impressive public artwork is free to enjoy and is an excellent spot for some awesome pics and selfies, so head toward downtown Houston to see it for yourself.

The Sky Dance mural is on the side of the 1415 Louisiana building on Clay St., between Louisiana St. and Milam St.

20- We Love Houston sign

landmarks in houston We Love Houston Sign
One of the most recognisable Houston landmarks is the ‘We Love Houston’ sign. Photo: Travel Texas/Jaime Hudson.

The 28-foot-tall (8.5 m) We Love Houston sign has been captivating the hearts of Houstonians and curious travellers ever since the sign was first erected next to the I-10 freeway in 2011.

Created by local artist David Adickes, the sign was inspired by the famous Hollywood sign in Los Angeles, prompting Adickes to create Houston’s own quintessential welcoming sign.

Even though the statue does not stand next to its original location anymore, visitors can still see the sign at its new home, next to the 8th Wonder Brewery, where it stands proudly to this day.

Visiting the sign is free and creates an excellent backdrop for some fantastic photos to remember your stay in Houston.

The We Love Houston Sign is at 2202 Dallas St, Houston, TX 77003.

21- Giant Armadillo

Houston landmarks Armadillo
The giant armadillo is one of the quirkiest Houston landmarks you’ll see.
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Christina Pfeiffer Travel Writer
Christina Pfeiffer is a writer, photographer and video blogger based in Queensland, Australia. She has lived in three continents and her career as a travel journalist has taken her to all seven continents. Since 2003, she has contributed travel stories and photographs to mainstream media in Australia and around the world such as the Sydney Morning Herald, CNN Traveller, The Australian and the South China Morning Post. She has won many travel writing awards and is a full member of the Australian Society of Travel Writers.