Houston is known for many things. We are known for the fact that we don’t have any zoning laws, so you can find a tattoo parlor right next door to a preschool. We are known for our restaurants. There are so many fabulous places to eat in this city; you will never run out of places to try. We are known for our arts, our culture, and our growth. Houston is a fantastic city, and today we will introduce you to some hidden gems in Houston that are some real discoveries that you may or may not know about. If you don’t, you will be glad that you do now!
1. Houston Underground Tunnels
The Downtown Underground Tunnel is an amazing place you should visit if you are in Houston. The tunnels are 20 feet below Houston’s streets and are more than six miles long. The vast network of underground tunnels will connect to all of downtown Houston. The tunnels are big hallways connecting Chase tower and Business in Houston.
To access the tunnels, go to Chase Tower, head down using the escalators, and see the entrance. The best bit is that at the entrance, there is a map of the tunnel network. In addition, the tunnels have small businesses and shops, so you can shop as you explore this amazing place.
Location: 909 Fannin St #1650, Houston, TX 77010
2. Museum of health and medical science
In the heart of Houston, the Medical and Health Museum is another amazing Gem you can visit. The Museum is a place that fosters wonders and curiosity about medical science, health, and the human body. It features permanent exhibitions, Sue Trammell Whitfield Gallery for traveling exhibitions, McGovern Theater, and four Learning Centers for classes, camps, and activities.
The Museum of Health and Medical Science has a 27’’½-foot intestine, a large-sized walk-through brain with memory games, and a colossal. It also has a walk-in eyeball that clearly shows how our eyes perceive images. There is also a massive model of the human heart that beats.
This place draws over 200,000 people annually and is Houston’s favorite city destination. The amazing bit is that you could buy unique gifts or souvenirs from this place. Again, the museum provides affordable membership rates for individuals and families.
Location: 1515 Hermann Dr. Houston, Texas 77004
3. Leopard Lounge
Leopard is one of the coolest places you can visit while in Houston. This place is one of the best vintage clothing stores in Texas. The place has been operational for over 20 years and is located in the heart of Montrose in Houston. This store is covered from wall to wall with true vintage American clothes from the 1920s to the early 2000s.
Amazingly, they also have shoes and suspenders to match your chosen clothes. Then they have an amazing staff passionate about vintage and knowledgeable in eras. They will help you pick an amazing outfit for a party or even find something special for your loved ones.
Location: 1657 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX
4. Haak Winery
Though Haak Winery isn’t officially in Houston, it’s close enough that we are calling it a hidden gem. What started with two grapevines and a hobby has become a beautiful spot for wine tasting. The winery artwork is spectacular and reminiscent of Greece, Spain, and Portugal.
The Haak winery has, over the years, grown into a tourist destination for most locals and tourists in Santa Fe, Texas, and Galveston County. But, the amazing bit is that you can enjoy your wedding or just a day out of the city to enjoy a walk in the sun and among the award-winning Blanc du Bois grapes.
Location: 6310 Avenue T, Sante Fe, TX 77510
5. Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
This is a stunning display of Turkish architecture at its finest. The Mandir is the first traditional Hindu Mandir of its kind in North America, and we are lucky to have it right here in Houston! The Mandir, comprised of 2 types of stone, exterior Turkish Limestone, and interior Italian marble, has more than 33,000 individual pieces carved by hand in India, then shipped to the USA and assembled in Stafford, TX, like a giant 3-D puzzle.
Since the Mandir is a place of worship and prayer for followers of Hinduism, if you are going to visit, please be sure to respect their guidelines, which are no tank tops, shorts, or skirts shorter than knee length, and you are required to remove your shoes before entering. Also, no phones or photography are allowed inside the Mandir. To see an actual hidden peaceful gem in Houston, drive to the Mandir in Stafford, TX; you won’t be disappointed.
Location: 1150 Brand Ln, Stafford, TX 77477.
6. Willow Waterhole Park
Sometimes the hidden gems in Houston sit right in the middle of Westbury. For example, willow Waterhole Park is a 290-acre development that offers ponds, walking trails, and pavilions and is a fantastic quiet place to go and reflect.
This stunning gem of nature is designed to protect against the inevitable flooding in Houston. The place brings the community together for education, conservation, and recreation. Willow Waterhole hosts music festivals and is a mecca of peace and tranquility. There are some great volunteer opportunities available.
Location: 5300 Dryad St.Houston, TX 77035
7. Wunderlich Farm
Imagine a working farm that has been restored from the 1800s that now sits among new homes in the suburban area of Klein, and you would come upon our next hidden gem, Wunderlich Farm. The farm portrays to Klein ISD school kids what life was like in the 1800s.
The 4th Graders spend a half day working the farm, from tending to the animals to working the crops. So, whether you go and explore the house, the farm, or the area, you will be amazed at how you are taken back in time and how much simpler things were back then. So, turn off your cell phones and leave them in the car when you visit this top ten!
Location: 18218 Theiss Mail Rte Rd, Spring, TX 77379
8. Eclectic Menagerie Park
Located close to TX-288 South, just past W Bellfort Avenue, the Eclectic Menagerie Park has a variety of handmade metal sculptures. In addition, this park provides a collection of giant-sized landmarks that will help you navigate. Jerry Rubenstein founded the place in 1987 with a single hippo sculpture.
This open-air museum is a folk art with amazing pieces like a giant spider, rhino, eagle, Snoopy flying a fighter plane, a fishing pole reeling in a pickup truck, and even a prehistoric stegosaurus that are all designed with repurposed materials. The founder handpicks the artists who make the amazing art, but most of them are done by Houston’s local artists Ron Lee and Mark Rankin.
Location: West side of 288 South Avenue, Houston, TX 77051
9. James Turrell’s Twilight Epiphany Skyspace
This place is located on the Rice University campus and is one of our favorite hidden gems in Houston that is not to be missed. The skyspace is acoustically engineered to host musical performances and to act as a laboratory for music school students.
The skyspace is best viewed at twilight and sunrise, when the light perfectly reflects through the aperture in the 72-foot square knife-edge roof, transforming the Skyspace and the entire surrounding campus with natural beauty.
Location: Suzanne Deal Booth Centennial Pavilion, Houston.
10. McGovern Centennial Gardens
The McGovern Centennial Gardens are a hidden gem inside a gem! Located within Hermann Park, The McGovern Centennial Gardens is an oasis of various gardens you can meander through via a spiral path. When you get to the top of the path, you will have an aerial view of the entire scene from 30 feet up, which is spectacular!
The McGovern Garden has over 385 acres of custom-made land for Hermann Park, adding a new dimension to Houston’s garden attractions. While in this place, you can explore various themed garden rooms along a spacious central lawn. You will find over 50 species of trees, 760 hedge shrubs, 650 azaleas, 55,000 perennial bulbs, and 4.5 acres of grass in the Centennial Green. Be sure to bring your camera!
Location: 1500 Hermann Dr, Houston, TX 77004, United States
11. Karbach Brewing Company
We talked about the hidden gem of a winery, so why not a brewery? Karbach Brewing Company, named after the street it sits on, just loves to make beer. The brewery was founded in 2011 by former beer distributors Ken Goodman and Chuck Robertson.
Whether you take a tasting tour or go for the day and have lunch, you will certainly enjoy watching the beer being made and get an education on how to taste and enjoy some hops and lager.
Location: 2032 Karbach St, Houston, TX 77092
12. Houston Arboretum & Nature Center
The Arboretum and Nature Center is another hidden gem in Houston that you can visit. Established in 1967, the center is the first and the most visited nature education facility for children in Texas. You can enjoy over 5 miles of nature trails looping through wetland, savanna, prairie, and riparian habitats.
You will also find six education field stations spread over the area if you need more information about the plants or wildlife. In addition, the Nature Center houses also have a Nature shop and a Discovery Room with aquariums, microscopes, and interactive exhibits. The place is open daily from 7 am to dusk, and the field stations are open daily from 9 am to 4 pm, except on major holidays.
This 155-acre center serves as an outdoor classroom and backdrop for educational opportunities. The natural setting in this place also provides an amazing space for special events such as weddings or birthday parties.
Location: 4501 Woodway Dr, Houston, TX 77024
13. Glenwood Cemetery
If you want to find peace and tranquility in one of the more unusual hidden gems in Houston, visit Glenwood Cemetery. This cemetery is landscaped in a naturalistic style with curving roads and walkways and is one of the oldest cemeteries in Houston.
It is a private cemetery but is open to the public, and plots are still available to be purchased. While walking through, visit some of the famous that have been buried here, such as the founders of Baker & Botts, George R. Brown, and Roy Hofheinz.
Location: 2525 Washington Avenue, Houston, TX 77007
14. Kingspoint Mullet
We talked about the most inspirational places to find graffiti walls in Houston, but we didn’t talk about Kingspoint Mullet, a hidden gem and one of the largest graffiti hotspots. The place was founded by Jonathan Eastes and is located east of Hobby Airport, close to Almeda Mall.
This area, which was once a place for graffiti artists to show their stuff, is now a virtual gallery, and if you go and visit, you can ask permission and do your artwork on the walls if you can find some spare wall on the inside of the building. We love our graffiti!
Location: 10950 Tanner Park Ct, Houston, TX 77075
15. Archbishop Joseph A Fiorenza Park
Want to see a beautiful sunset? Take a drive out to Archbishop Joseph A Fiorenza Park off of Eldrige. Here you can fish, run, walk, go birding, enjoy nature, walk your dogs, and have a picnic, and there is a great play area for the kids. Fair warning, when the gem of the sun starts to fade in the sky, the park can get crowded because everyone wants to see the show, it’s not only free, but it’s gorgeous.
Location: 4025 Eldridge Pkwy, Houston, TX 77082
Tell us some of your favorite hidden gems in Houston that we missed!