On second thought, with the way the weather has been lately, an endless summer might sound exhausting. But you know what they say: when life hands triple-digit temperatures, make lemonade. Continue reading to discover 50 bucket list summer experiences in Houston!
Whether you’re looking to catch a wave, plunge down a towering slide, or simply sip a tropical cocktail poolside, you’ll find it at one or more of these wonderful waterparks in Houston.
Nothing compares to the blissful relaxation of floating in the heat of the Texas sun with a cold drink in hand. While lazy rivers are not so easy to come by in Houston, you can now swim over to the Marriot Marquis in Downtown, Houston, where visitors at the hotel can float the Texas border.
Artwork from the iconic post-impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh will come to life in a 360-degree digital spectacle that’ll illuminate and transform the physical space into a fully immersive exhibit. You’ll see Van Gogh’s work take over the walls and encompass your surroundings through the lenses of several dozen projectors, hyper-realistic VR headsets, or a mix of both.
Experience a magical summer here in Houston thanks to the amazing venues the city has to offer. The Candlelight series is bringing its signature sea of candles and talented musicians to illuminate the impressive Lone Star Flight Museum, The Astorian, the unique and elegant features of Paraiso Maravilla, and more. Take in the breathtaking architecture at some of Houston’s finest venues while listening to captivating performances. Highlights include:
- Candlelight: A Tribute to Celine Dion
- Candlelight: The Best of Zelda
- Candlelight: Romantic Jazz ft. Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra and more
- Candlelight: Neo-Soul and Hip-Hop Favorites
- Candlelight Open-Air: Día De Los Muertos: Celebrating the Day of the Dead with Mariachi
The sun is shining on Houston this season. Solecita Churrería y Taqueria, a brand new Mexican street food, churro, and taco truck has opened Downtown and let us tell you: it’s a beauty.
With temps teetering on triple digits, Houstonians are faced with two choices: escape it, or embrace it. Apply some sun screen, grab your beach towel, and get yourself a cocktail at these eight poolside bars in Houston to beat the heat this summer!
13. Dine in the Dark
Ever wondered what it is like to eat in the dark? Eminent psychologists have been advocating dining in the dark as the ultimate taste experience for many years. Studies show that 80 percent of people eat with their eyes; with that sense eliminated, the theory is that the other senses—namely taste and smell—take over to elevate your meal to a whole new level. After donning your blindfold in the darkened, candlelit room, you’ll soon realise that focusing on taste and smell alone can be a truly enlightening experience—provided you’re not afraid of the dark!
While there are plenty of fine patios in the city, there are just a few with a waterfront view.
- Located just a half-hour drive or so outside of Houston, BARge 295 is a two-story bar and patio anchored off the shores of Clear Lake. Open daily from 11 am to 2 am, BARge 295 is perpetually afloat with cold drinks, cool vibes, and unbeatable lake views.
- The Big Vibe Group has debuted their latest concept in Houston. Located at 3422 Allen Pkwy, in the space formerly occupied by The Dunlavy, Flora offers a breathtaking culinary oasis along the Buffalo Bayou.
Nothing quite says “living the highlife” like clinking glasses on a city rooftop. Touch the sky this season with a brunch, evening, or nightcap on the most jaw-dropping rooftops in Houston.
- Perched on top of the 23rd floor of La Méridien hotel in Downtown, Houston, Z on 23 has some of the most elevated views in the city.
- Opened this past December, Cielo XLIII offers a lavish new hangout in the sky with unparalleled, 360-degree views of the city from the tallest bar in the city Houston.
- Fresh on the scene, Sunset Rooftop Lodge is an East Downtown newcomer that’s hit the ground running. With DJs on deck, Sunset offers an array of bright, tropical cocktails of which to enjoy against the backdrop of the downtown skyline and the festivities of Truckyard patio bar below.
20-21. Experience Cinema Al Fresco
It’s the season for summer blockbusters. Catch cinema’s latest hits at the most unique theaters in Houston.
- Rooftop Cinema Club has announced their seasonal program from now until September 5, with blockbusters, cult-classics, tearjerkers, horror shows, true cinema, and a whole lot of Harry Potter.
- Located at Midway’s 150-acre East River development on 100 Bringhurst St., Moonstruck Drive-In screens a variety of 4K features on a 80 x 40-foot screen with a stunning skyline backdrop.
Dinner and a movie is one thing, but how about dinner and a horseback riding? Nestled in the area of Rosharon just south of Houston, Water Stone Turkish Ranch is a one-of-a-kind dining destination that offers exquisite farm-to-table Turkish cuisine, overnight cabins, horseback riding, and much more.
Located in the historic East End District, Old Town Harrisburg is a flourishing community that wears its Mexican influence on its sleeve in the best way possible!
With the sun here to stay for the next few months, it helps to wear as minimal – as decency allows – clothing as possible. In no place outside of the beach is it more acceptable to wear bikinis and tank tops than on a volleyball court. Here in Houston, you can do just that at Wakefield Crowbar.
Wade into a sea of sunflowers this season at P-6 Farms. Recently, the farm in Montgomery has opened their gorgeous field to the public with sunflowers as far as the eye can see!
The Galveston Island State Park is reopening just in time for summer fun. Beginning on June 27, organizers are reopening the beachside front to the public.
Open 365 days of the year, the Azteca Farmers Market is one of Houston’s premier farmers market. With stellar street eats, fresh produce, and over 50 vendors, Azteca gives visitors 13 acres of vibrant market space.
One surefire way to capitalize on the weekend, weekday, weeknight – really just any time – is to have a couple drinks amongst friends in the open air of a patio. Get out and about this season at some of our favorite watering holes in town
- Inspired by its surrounding scenic bayou environment, Patterson Park is housed in a campy 4,000-square-foot building fixed with garage doors, tall windows, skylights, exposed wood beams, and other nature-imbued accents. The building opens up to its sprawling 5,000-square-foot deck patio overlooking a grove of trees. Throughout which, Patterson Park will feature, 40+ TVs for watching sports, yard games, as well as string lights for nighttime ambience.
- Nestled on 1239 W 19th St. among a familiar crowd of patio bars – Preslee’s, McIntyre’s Heights, and Bungalow Heights– is a newcomer known as Moonshine Deck, a throwback Americana-inspired bar and kitchen with moonshine and whiskey to boot.
- Hip new market, M-K-T Heights, is ready to welcome a new tenet on the grounds of their mixed-use space. Recently, Casa Nomad – a Tulum-inspired Mexican patio and restaurant– opened to the public with tropical chic and jungle disco vibes.
As a landlocked city (Galveston doesn’t count) Houston is in desperate need of some water-based activities. With summer here, the urge to hit the open seas (metaphorically speaking) is at an all-time high. Still speaking metaphorically, if you want to dip your toes in the water, we humbly suggest a boat trip around the waters of Hermann Park.
33-37. Imbibe Some Crazy Cocktails
From classic margaritas to summer-fried Bloody Marys, tropical ‘tinis, and everything in between, you’ll find your preferred elixir in Houston.
- Be it frozen or on the rocks, salty, bitter, or sweet, when searching for pitcher-perfect margarita in Houston, here are the 10 spots you have to check out.
- Trash Panda Drinking Club is a raccoon-themed bar and patio features an enticing variety of cocktail options, that include such titles as the Bubble Gum Martini, Purple Kush, and Walk in the Woods.
- Coast into Houston’s top tiki bars for that feeling of beachside sunshine, fruit-flavored rum, and entirely too colorful libations.
- Ever wanted to spice up your breakfast? Well they have a bowl of Frosted Flakes topped with bourbon and cognac-infused milk. But that’s just a starter, see what else the chemists of Diversión have brewing in their laboratory of spirits.
38-42. Take a Bite out of Houston’s Hottest New Restaurants
Despite its faults, 2022 has been very good to Houston’s dining scene. If you haven’t already, check out Houston’s best new restaurants.
- Flora, a concept from the same minds behind Coppa Osteria and Gratify Houston, has opened with a breathtaking dining experience.
- Welcome to the royal family, Houston. The princess-themed Amrina restaurant has opened in The Woodlands with class, worldly cuisine, and cocktails served from designer handbags.
- Directly translating as “child of Uchi”, Uchiko is a concept from Uchi founder Chef Tyson Cole started back in 2010. Whereas Uchi was a way for Cole to convey, culinarily, his take on modern Japanese food, Uchiko takes its flavors to an even higher level.
- Atlas Restaurant Group, responsible for some key culinary concepts in Houston, including Ouzo Bay and Loch Bar in River Oaks District, has debuted latest project, Marmo Italian chophouse at the Montrose Collective.
- From Brian Doke, owner of Savoir in The Heights, comes Patton’s – a new speakeasy steakhouse concept. Tucked behind the Savoir bar, Patton is a 1,500-square-foot chamber ensconced in the ambient light of chandeliers. Furnished with leather banquets and moody chairs, Patton’s offers a one-of-a-kind atmosphere by which to savor prime meat cuts, classic cocktails, and live jazz performances.
- After opening up two locations elsewhere in Texas, Loro Asian Smokehouse & Bar has finally opened in Houston. From the grill to the dining room, and everywhere in between, Loro blends flavors of Southeast Asia with that of the Lone Star State. Culinary wise, Loro pairs traditional Japanese flavors and techniques with low-and-slow Texas smoked flavors:
43-44. Eat All the Ice Cream
Hot, cold, rain, or shine, ice cream is a good call on any day. Here’s the scoop on where to find the best ice cream in Houston.
- Houston’s culinary world continues to develop by the day. With a roster full of fantastic gelato and ice cream parlors in town already, a Michelin-starred Spanish pastry chef has opened his first US location in Uptown.
45-49. Brunch So Hard
Let the mimosas flow this summer at one of our top 10 favorite brunch spots in Houston!
- You don’t have to journey all the way out to Mordor to enliven your Tolkien-esque fantasies. Here in Houston, just southwest of Montrose is The Hobbit Café. Since 1972, the café has served all the hobbits, elves, wizards, and dwarves the best food Middle Earth, Houston has to offer.
- Don’t give in to the banality of growing up. Let your youth loose with a brunch burger made of chocolate donut and Fruity Pebble French Toast at the Bosscat Kitchen & Libations.
- Common Bond Brasserie & Bakery has opened up their location in the Theater District, fit with an absolutely adorable interior and one, bubble gum-styled back dining room and bar.
In this day and age there are very few contemporary artists with worldwide recognition. On that shortlist – whether he likes it or not – is the elusive artist known as Banksy. While his usual canvases are in England, or elsewhere overseas, his artwork will make a stop in Houston for an immersive three-day exhibition.