Vibrant Texas city Houston is known for its NASA-related attractions and lovely Museum District, which showcases unique attractions like the biology-focused Health Museum or the National Museum of Funeral History, which is home to the world's largest collection of funeral-related artifacts. Visitors can check out one-of-a-kind attractions this fall like the ArtCar Museum, which honors the spirit of the Art Car Movement of the 1980s. Delicious restaurants pay homage to the state's border with Mexico, including upscale dining destination Xochi, which brings the unique moles and traditional entrees of the Oaxaca region north of the border.
1.The ArtCar Museum
© The ArtCar Museum
The ArtCar Museum is one of Houston's most unique cultural attractions, originally founded in 1998 by Art Car Movement supporters James and Ann Harithas. The museum, which is commonly referred to as the "Garage Mahal," showcases a rotating stock of redecorated and remodeled cars and mobile vehicles that have been completely reimagined as three-dimensional works of art. Its inspiration comes from the Art Car Movement of the 1980s, which encouraged artists to reclaim damaged or outdated vehicles as mediums for creating installation artworks. In addition to the museum's stock of art cars, visitors can also view period exhibits of other types of experimental and reclaimative works, including photography exhibitions. The museum is free and open to the public, though visitors coming with large groups should schedule tours in advance due to the museum's small size.
140 Heights Blvd, Houston, TX 77007, Phone: 713-861-5526
2.The Health Museum
© The Health Museum
The Health Museum, officially known as the John P. McGovern Museum of Health and Medical Science, is a unique museum located within Houston's Museum District, operated as a member institution of the nearby Texas Medical Center. The museum, which was originally opened to the public in 1969 within the Houston Museum of Natural Science, moved into its current facility in 1996. Today, it attracts more than 175,000 annual visitors and showcases a wide variety of exhibits connected to the human body and biological studies. Visitors can learn about genetic conditions and societal health factors in the unique Body as a Work of Art exhibit, which lets participants step inside the human body in a visual manner. The relationship between the body and food is highlighted in the Our Global Kitchen exhibit, while biology-based science is introduced at the DeBakey Cell Lab.
1515 Hermann Dr, Houston, TX 77004, Phone: 713-521-1515
3.Yia Yia Mary's
© Yia Yia Mary's
Yia Yia Mary's is a delicious Mediterranean kitchen in Houston, opened in 2005 by the Pappas family. The restaurant, which is named after the Greek word for "grandmother," highlights high-quality traditional recipes passed down through generations, served up at lunch and dinner throughout the week. Authentic Mediterranean cuisine include savory specialties like pastitsio Greek-style casserole, grilled lamb oreganatto, and traditional favorites like gyros and souvlaki kebabs. Fresh seafood specialties range from Texas redfish on the half shell to seafood yiouvetsi prepared with Mediterranean scallops and octopus flown in daily. Shareable mezze plates are also offered, ranging from keftedes-style Greek meatballs, fried calamari, and hummus with warm pita bread.
4747 San Felipe St, Houston, TX 77056, Phone: 713-840-8665
Potente is the latest restaurant offering from Houston Astros owner Jim Crane, located adjacent to Minute Maid Park in the city's downtown district. The restaurant, which opened in 2017, is helmed by executive chef Danny Trace, showcasing beautiful decor meant to evoke the ambiance of an Italian-style villa. Excellent upscale fare is served at dinner throughout the week, prepared with local produce and high-quality meats. Gourmet seafood, steaks, and pasta entrees are rotated regularly on the restaurant's delicious menus, which frequently highlight favorites such as polipetti arrostiti with charred octopus and squid ink fettuccine, fire-roasted barramundi with farmer's vegetables, Texas jumbo shrimp with artichokes and limoncello, and carved Salmoriglio beef tenders with espresso calabrese sauce. The restaurant also boasts one of the city's best happy hours, serving up highly-affordable drinks and bar bites between 5:00pm and 7:00pm.
1515 Texas Ave, Houston, TX 77002, Phone: 713-237-1515
© Pepper Twins
Pepper Twins is a favorite restaurant chain in the Houston area, originally founded in 2016 by restaurateur Dr. Yang. The restaurant is known for its excellent Sichuan-style Chinese cuisine offerings, which are prepared with Spring Mountain chicken meat, farm-raised Berkshire pork, and certified Angus beef. Classic Chinese favorites are served up throughout the day, including dishes like orange chicken, Mongolian beef, ginger fish, and Kung pao chicken. A wide variety of seafood entrees are showcased, ranging from spicy Sichuan crawfish and steamed garlic jumbo shrimp to clever house specialties like Fish Loves Tofu. Fried rice favorites are also served, along with vegetarian favorites highlighting tofu and sauteed vegetables.
1915 W Gray St suite a, Houston, TX 77019, Phone: 346-204-5644
6.The National Museum of Funeral History
© The National Museum of Funeral History
The National Museum of Funeral History is one of Houston's liveliest cultural museums, despite its morbid name. The unique museum, which opened to the public in 1992, strives to educate the public on the heritage, culture, and technology of funeral services and death care. 30,000 square feet of exhibit space make the museum the United States' largest educational center related to the funeral industry, populated by donations of artifacts that document the history of funeral practices. 15 permanent exhibitions highlight funeral rituals from cultures around the world, ranging from ancient Egyptian embalming rituals to 20th and 21st-century funerals of celebrities and public luminaries. One-of-a-kind coffins are on display, along with authentic papal funeral garments, human cargo containers, and custom-designed hearses, including official state funeral hearses.
415 Barren Springs Dr, Houston, TX 77090, Phone: 281-876-3063
7.The Lawndale Art Center
© The Lawndale Art Center
The Lawndale Art Center is a nonprofit contemporary art museum in Houston, originally opened in 1979 by artist James Surls. The museum, which has been housed within a beautiful Art Deco space in Houston's Museum District since 1992, focuses on works by Houston-area artists, showcasing up to 500 artists each year as part of rotating regular exhibitions. More than 20 exhibitions are presented annually, ranging from solo and group shows to special event exhibitions for occasions such as the Mexican Dia de los Muertos celebration. Special events held at the museum throughout the year include an annual Design Fair and a Big Show exhibition celebration. The museum is credited with breaking the careers of a number of Texas-based artists, such as Luis Jimenez, Sue Coe, Nam June Paik, and the Art Guys.
4912 Main St, Houston, TX 77002, Phone: 713-528-5858
Xochi brings the flavors of Oaxaca to Houston, housed within a sleek downtown space helmed by award-winning executive chef Hugo Ortego and the H Town Restaurant Group. The restaurant, which opened to the public in 2017, is named for the Mexican goddess Xochitl, known as the Goddess of the Flowers. Diners can sample the indigenous culinary traditions of Mexico's Oaxaca region, including house specialties like chamorro de borrego lamb shanks with mole de olla, pato crujiente crispy duck with tomatillo avocado sauce and chicharrones, or cochito istmeño dry-rubbed pork shank prepared with peppers and roasted pineapple. Mole tasting platters sample four creative mole sauce entrees, including tomato almond mole, chilhuacle pepper mole, and mole amarillo. Excellent Mexican spirits, wines, and beer are available on happy hour discounts.
1777 Walker St, Houston, TX 77010, Phone: 713-400-3330
© Evgeniy Kalinovskiy/stock.adobe.com
Killen's Steakhouse is a lovely family-owned steakhouse in Houston suburb Pearland, owned and operated by executive chef Ronnie Killen since 2016. The steakhouse is known for its high-quality meat and seafood entrees, which are prepared with top choice cuts of USDA Prime beef, Japanese wagyu, and Gulf Coast seafood. Delicious dinner menus highlight elegant entree preparations like chile lime glazed Gulf grouper with green papaya som tum, smoked Kurobuta pork chops with butter bourbon pecan glaze, and pan-seared Gulf snapper with lemon butter and jumbo lump crab. Wet and dry-aged steaks are available rare through well-done, served up alongside creative sides like fried egg skillet potatoes, lobster mac and cheese, and creamed corn souffle.
6425 Broadway St, Pearland, TX 77581, Phone: 281-485-0844
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© La Table
La Table is a multi-level restaurant helmed by executive chef Manuel Pucha, originally opened to the public in 2011 under the name Philippe. Since 2014, it has served up French-American favorites at several distinct dining spaces, including its casual bistro Marché, upscale dining experience Château, and classic French-style bakery. Diners can enjoy chic French bistro fare prepared with market-driven ingredients at Marché, including goat cheese ravioli with spring peas and mint, yellowfin tuna nicoise with anchovies and haricots verts, and Scottish salmon in tomato saffron broth with bok choy. Upstairs, diners can enjoy French classics like poissons et crustaces or veal filet mignon or share tableside classics for two like cognac-flambeed prime cowboy ribeye with caramelized onions or organic heritage chicken with seasonal vegetables in Pinot Noir sauce. Freshly-baked breads, pastries, and housemade macarons are available throughout the day from the restaurant's bakery.
1800 Post Oak Blvd #6110, Houston, TX 77056, Phone: 713-439-1000
10 Unique Things to Do in Houston This Fall
- The ArtCar Museum, Photo: The ArtCar Museum
- The Health Museum, Photo: The Health Museum
- Yia Yia Mary's, Photo: Yia Yia Mary's
- Potente, Photo: Potente
- Pepper Twins, Photo: Pepper Twins
- The National Museum of Funeral History, Photo: The National Museum of Funeral History
- The Lawndale Art Center, Photo: The Lawndale Art Center
- Xochi, Photo: Xochi
- Killen's Steakhouse, Photo: Evgeniy Kalinovskiy/stock.adobe.com
- La Table, Photo: La Table
- Cover Photo: f11photo/stock.adobe.com