10 Best Day Trips From Houston, Texas

Houston is a welcoming and accessible Texan city. Houston is a fantastic base for the enthusiastic day tripper because it is close to a variety of attractions outside of this bustling and energetic city, including breweries, historical and science museums, shopping malls, and national forests.

This list of top 10 day trips will take you from north to west in a clockwise direction around the compass. So no matter where you go, there will be something to keep you entertained, from Houston day outings for couples to Houston day trips for families, from beaches to barbecue restaurants, and much more.

1. Galveston Island

day trips from Houston - Galveston Island

Galveston Island is an excellent option if you’re seeking a location that will bring you close to the Gulf of Mexico.

It is only 30 miles long, barely an hour away, and has numerous beach parks along its shores.

There are several activities including fishing, boating, and other water sports available at all of these locations, which are open to the general public.

At Seawall Boulevard, where the beach is connected to pathways for pedestrians, there is a considerable concentration of tourists visiting Galveston.

The Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, an amusement park, is also located nearby.

2. Kemah Boardwalk

day trips from Houston - Kemah Boardwalk

The city of Kemah, which is situated along Galveston Bay and is known as the “Gateway to the Bay,” is particularly appealing to tourists.

The city features a whole entertainment zone filled with tourist-friendly eateries and attractions along the bay. Most notably, Kemah boasts a sizable boardwalk with many rides and other amusement park attractions that are situated right on the bay.

It is only 40 minutes away. The boardwalk offers thrilling rides, restaurants, shops, and vintage arcade games, many of which have a view of the lake. The city also has carriage and boat rides, as well as a frightening tour of its haunted lighthouse zone, in addition to the boardwalk.

3. Dallas

day trips from Houston - Dallas

This is a significant urban center for the state of Texas as well as a southern hub. Like any large city, Dallas features a striking skyline as well as a wide variety of entertainment, dining, and cultural attractions.

Dallas is a fantastic city for art lovers because it is home to the AT&T Performing Arts Center, the Nasher Sculpture Center, and Deep Ellum, among other attractions. Dallas is also notable for its abundance of green spaces and its unique link to John F. Kennedy.

4. Port Arthur

day trips from Houston - Port Arthur

Another little city located on the Gulf of Mexico coast is Port Arthur. It features multiple beaches along the Gulf of Mexico, all of which provide a habitat for a variety of local wildlife species, including alligator, fish, and bird populations.

The areas here are ideal for things like fishing, boat excursions, swamp tours, and water sports, so if you appreciate outdoor adventures this is the place for you. It is only 1 and a half hours away.

In Port Arthur, you may also go biking or hiking.

Places like Faith Trail and the Museum of the Gulf Coast are good choices for those who want to experience the culture.

5. Texas City

day trips from Houston - Texas City

Texas City is a small town in Galveston County, on the state’s southeast coast. Its distinguishing feature is that it runs for more than 5 miles and is the longest man-made pier.

Along the shore, there are fantastic picnic and fishing spots.

The city’s numerous museums serve as a platform for showcasing its rich historical past. For example the Texan City Museum.

The best part is that it just takes a 45-minute journey to go to these sights and more.

6. San Marcos

San Marcos

Another Texas town that is ideal for fun water activities on your day trip from Houston is San Marcos. Self-directed and guided tours are offered by Snorkel Texas. Sunfish and sea turtles can be expected to be seen by snorkelers in the crystal underwater environment.

When it comes to tubing, kayaking, paddle boarding, and private float tours, the San Marcos River is top-notch real estate. The Glass-Bottom Boat Tours at Meadows Center provide visitors with a 30-minute up-close and personal look at a variety of aquatic species.

Visitors can rent tubes at the Rio Vista Dam and float through 13 acres of man-made rapids. Alternatively, you can hire kayaks and canoes for $45 for a full day at the adjacent Olympic Outdoor Center.

7. College Station

College Station

The Texas A&M University campus is the most well-known feature of College Station, as the name implies imply.

The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum is on the premises and it contains some extremely amazing relics including a model of the Oval Office.

The campus is beautiful just to look at. Additionally, Research Park is another fantastic location for a picnic.

8. The Woodlands

The Woodlands

One of Houston’s most well-known suburbs is The Woodlands.

It is renowned for its food, shopping, and outdoor attractions and is situated north of the city. It’s a 40-minute drive. Take the complimentary Town Center Trolley to Waterway Square to people-watch while the kids play on Market Street. Even more spectacular is how it lit up at night. Additionally, cruises on the Waterway are available.

For those who enjoy nature, Lake Woodlands is a favorite day trip from Houston because you can go kayaking there.

9. Beaumont


Beaumont is located one hour and fifteen minutes from Houston.

Checking out the Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum, a living museum is among the best things to do in this area. At the Lucas Gusher reenactment, you may witness a recreated firefight from the past.

The Fire Museum of Texas, the Clifton Steamboat Museum, and the McFaddin-War House Museum are three places you should absolutely visit if you enjoy spending a lot of time in museums.

Additionally, visitors searching for a beautiful spot to stroll will like the paved paths at the Beaumont Botanical Gardens.

10. Rosenberg and Richmond

Rosenberg and Richmond

Rosenberg, a small town close to Houston, is well-known for its elegant downtown.

If you simply take a stroll, you will notice a lot of beautiful Western-style structures and many of them have been restored to reflect their former splendor.

There are also several boutiques, cafes, and antique shops.

The Rosenburg Railroad Museum is another fantastic destination for families with young children.

If you enjoy visiting museums, you should also visit the Fort Bend Museum, which will give you an inside look into the area’s first colony, which was founded in the 1820s.

The George Ranch historical park is a great place to go if you like parks and want them to have a little history to them. The George Observatory is a great place to go if you enjoy stargazing.

Additionally, this area has the Brazos Bend State Park, where you may go hiking or see alligators.

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