Houston possesses treasures from across the globe. Because of the city’s flourishing diversity, the city is blessed with beautiful cultural relics, structures, and exhibits often hidden in plain sight. Here we’ve compiled a list of places in Houston that take us to other cities, countries or regions.
1. The Chong Hua Sheng Mu Holy Palace
The suburbs are known for many things: chain restaurants, strip malls, cookie-cutter homes, tumultuous HOAs — as mixed-residential counties devoid of personality and/or culture. While there’s no shortage of churches in Dairy Ashford, what you might not expect to find is an abandoned Taoist palace.
2. Old Town Harrisburg
In this glorious city of ours, we’re proud of our widespread prevalence of Latin culture. The people, the art galleries, the celebrations, and of course, some of our all-time favorite restaurants. Old Town Harrisburg in Houston’s East End offers a Latin oasis featuring vibrant architecture, indoor and outdoor markets, weekend art fairs, and more!
3. The Lanier Theological Library
Houston isn’t exactly known for its prominence of British culture. While one might not be all too surprised to happen upon a British pub in Montrose, say, one would register a more a delightful wonder to discover an English village in Northwest Houston complete with a 17,000-square-foot University of Oxford-inspired library, train, and cobblestone street.
4. Lucky Land
On the Northside lies one of Houston’s enchanting hidden secrets, a three-acre attraction park showcasing Asian culture and history that includes a full-scale replica Terracotta Army, Koi fish ponds, a Panda village, and much more!
5. The Japanese Garden in Hermann Park
The Japanese Garden, also known as the Friendship Garden, was designed by renowned Japanese landscape architect, Ken Nakajama. The late Nakajama, who arranged similar gardens all around the world, designed the Hermann Park Japanese Garden according to traditional Daimyo style. Over five acres, the elegant terrain features comely touches of lush flora, a stone Yukimi-style lantern, shaded stone paths, bridges, and cascading waterfalls.
6. The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Houston
The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Houston is a marvelous 11,500-foot traditional Hindu Temple in Strafford. On grounds that expand over 33 acres, the place of worship welcomes all to visit, offer devotion, and learn about Hinduism.
7. Newman’s Castle
A short drive outside of Houston in the small town of Bellville Texas lies a medieval castle equipped with a 3,000-pound drawbridge, moat, and a knightly guest quarters. His fortress, located in the rolling countryside of Bellville, five corner turrets, a chapel, portcullis, and courtyard – all of which Newman built brick-by-brick.
8. Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern
Oft cited as a Houston oddity, the Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern is a historic drinking water reservoir that was built back in 1926. It spans around 87,500 square feet, supported by 221 25-foot tall concrete columns placed throughout the space. When in use, the cistern is capable of storing up to 15 million gallons of water.
9. Teen How Taoist Temple
Located in East Downtown, the Teen How Taoist Temple has stood for 30 years as a place of tranquility. The Temple is often a site for ceremonies in reverance for the gods as well as ancestors. If you’re not coming to pray or pay respects, the temple offers a serene environment and architecture for marveling.
See also: Enjoy Sumo Wrestling, Lion Dances, And Sensational Street Eats At Otaku Food Festival This Weekend