Sun’s out fun’s out. Summer is in full swing and Houston is buzzing. From enchanting candlelight concerts, to expansive patio bars and beer gardens, to a whirlwind of museum exhibits, bars, restaurants, and things to do, here’s a comprehensive list of 100 phenomenal things to do in Houston this July!
1-6. Experience Magical Candlelight Concerts
Experience a magical summer here in Houston thanks to the amazing venues the city has to offer. Luckily, Fever Originals has brought its popular Candlelight concert series to beautiful venues for the season with concerts. Highlights include:
- Candlelight: Romantic Jazz ft. Frank Sinatra and More
- Candlelight: A Tribute to Juan Gabriel
- Candlelight Flamenco: The Passion of Spain
- Candlelight: A Tribute to ABBA
- Candlelight: A Tribute to Taylor Swift
- Candlelight: A Tribute to Adele
7. Get Your Tickets to this Blockbuster Van Gogh Exhibition
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.
8. 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!
9-13. See the Places in Houston That Don’t Look Like They’re in Houston
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.
- Old Town Harrisburg in Houston’s East End offers a Latin oasis featuring vibrant architecture, indoor and outdoor markets, weekend art fairs, and more!
- Discover an English village in Northwest Houston complete with a 17,000-square-foot University of Oxford-inspired library, train, and cobblestone street.
- The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Houston is a marvelous 11,500-foot traditional Hindu Temple in Strafford.
- 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.
14. Bend Your Mind at the MC Escher Show
Explore infinity, symmetry, and impossibility this spring at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. This season, MFAH will debut the “largest and most comprehensive exhibition of works” ever of renowned mathematical artist, M.C. Escher, for their coming Virtual Realities exposition.
15-17. Explore Houston’s Best Gardens
While the city is more reminiscent of an urban jungle, there does lay lush pockets of flora manifested in parks, trails, and gardens. Discover Houston’s tiny pockets of Eden this season at these 10 gorgeous Houston gardens.
- Cast over five acres, the elegant Japanese Garden features elegant touches of lush flora, a stone Yukimi-style lantern, shaded stone paths, bridges, and cascading waterfalls.
- McGovern Centennial Gardens is comprised of 490 trees spanning 50 species, 760 hedge shrubs, 55,000 perennial bulbs, 650 azaleas, and 4.5 acres of grass – not to mention its four gardens.
18-20. Swoon Over Houston’s Most Romantic Restaurants
If you’re looking for somewhere sultry to dine out or have a drink this season, these local romantic restaurants in Houston set the table as well as the mood.
- If you’re looking for a taste of Spanish cuisine, with the sight, sound, and feel of Madrilenian nightlife, MAD Houston is your ticket.
- Sushi fans rejoice. More often than not, the only criticism that we see of Uchi is its tendency to draw massive crowds. Due to the fact that it is debatably Houston’s premier sushi destination, one can understand its mass appeal. Thankfully, the city is being blessed with another top-tier Japanese eatery: Uchiko.
- Rosalie Italian Soul began in 2019 as a personal endeavor from Top Chef Masters’ winner Chef Chris Cosentino. Per the website, Rosalie Italian Soul offers a “fresh, upscale take on the beloved ‘immigrant cuisine’ that put Italian-American food on the map.”
21. Enjoy Unreal Street Eats, Mexican Crafts, And More At This Authentic Farmers Market
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.
22. See a Sexy Burlesque Show
Come for a night of spectacular dance performances that you will never forget. With a line-up of amazing performers, sit back and be taken away by their dance moves and amazing costumes. This is the perfect way to start your weekend in style. Share this experience with colleagues, or even on a date that will have you talking about it into the weekend.
23-24. Sea these Stunning Waterfront Restaurants
Hop to it this breezy season by being outside for the best weather we’ll probably get all year. 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.
25-26. Laugh Your Face Off
If you’re looking for an evening of side-splitting comedy, The Riot Comedy Show is the place to be! Join fellow comedy-hungry fans at Rudyard’s for a hilarious experience.
- The Riot Presents Gianmarco Soresi: Gianmarco’s stand up has been featured on Netflix’s Bonding, PBS’ Stories from the Stage, SeeSo’s New York’s Funniest, Real Housewives of New York, NY1, New York LIVE, Vanity Fair, George Takei presents and he was the winner of Amazon’s Comics Watching Comics Season 8.
- The Riot Presents Brian Scolaro: If you’re looking for an evening of side-splitting comedy, The Riot Comedy Show is the place to be! A special stand up showcase headlined by Brian Scolaro. Scolaro is most known for his appearances on “Conan”, his half hour Comedy Central special “Comedy Central presents Brian Scolaro”, as Brian on ABC’s “A million Little Things” amongst many more TV appearances.
27-31. Get the Best Cold Brew In Town
Thankfully, there are plenty of coffee houses scattered about the city for residents to take refuge, re-energize, and maybe eat a scone or two.
- The Coffee House at West End is now open at 802 Shepherd Dr., that is, a three-story coffee shop that features top-notch joe, a cozy interior, and a stunning rooftop with sweeping views of the Houston skyline.
- Rev up your mornings at the motorcycle and coffee garage.
- Secret Garden offers various international coffees with options in the form of Vietnamese, Greek Espresso, Greek Freddo Cappuccino, Turkish Coffee, and more.
- Husband-and-wife caffeine team, Manuel and Martha Gil, have recently opened Segundo Lab inside Ironworks near downtown, bringing rich, creative java flavors to the Second Ward.
32. Enjoy an Intimate Evening at this ’20s Era Mediterranean Wine Courtyard
Tucked away in a “forgotten” nook in Midtown, 13 Celsius is a quaint wine bar and open-air courtyard that offers a subtle Mediterranean oasis reminiscent of European terraces.
33. Watch Summer Cinema
Though the Houston heat would have you think otherwise, today is the first official day of summer. In celebration of an action-packed summer, 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.
34. Make a Splash at Houston’s Hottest Waterparks
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.
35. Float a Lazy River on a Rooftop
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.
36. Bask in the Big Flavors of Solecita
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.
37. Visit This Glamorous Cinema-Themed Speakeasy
Inspired by the likes of Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, and London, Juliet is a black-owned speakeasy and restaurant that aims to provide an experience it describes as modern American vibe dining.
38. Post Up At The Post
Behold, the former USPS warehouse as a new a cutting-edge, multi-purpose, multi-layered facility with a complete technical re-design. Featuring multiple double-helix staircases, a trio of skylit atriums, and a FIVE-ACRE ROOFTOP PARK AND FARM, the complex will go down in history as one of Houston’s most innovative projects to date.
39. Uncork On Thai and Bottomless Wine
Grab your friends or co-workers and come enjoy some mid-week fun at Yi Peng’s Bottomless Wine Experience! Delight your senses with a unique taste of Thailand as you demolish some delicious Thai food made from quality, seasonal ingredients. Choose from a selection of authentic appetizers, entrées and desserts, each washed down by free-flowing wine. Soak up the relaxing and majestic atmosphere as you embrace the culture of Northern Thailand, the land of smiles. Honestly, Wine Not.
40-45. Sweeten Up at a Speakeasy
There’s something special about speakeasies. The secretive, vicarious forbidden feel of transporting back to the prohibition make imbibing cocktails all the more tantalizing. Stow away in wonderful hidden bars that Houston has to offer!
- So Clutch, the owners of the Concrete Cowboy, Clutch Bar, and a host of establishments in other US cities, opened the doors of the Sugar Room on Washington Avenue. The cocktail lounge hidden inside a local bakery features a glamorous selection of drinks as well as tasty treats.
- Tucked away in the corner of Cantina Barba’s back patio is a scanty, nondescript, somewhat rusty container. The door on which advertises “Mijo’s Mezcal Bar” – which, to our knowledge, lays the smallest bar in Houston.
- The latest nondescript local is to open in town is Patton Steakhouse in Savoir at Yale Street and 14th Street.
- The Four Seasons Hotel in Houston is a five-star hotel home to over 400 rooms, suites, and residencies across 13 stories. In addition to a global Pan-Latin steakhouse, a poolside cafe, and a bourbon lounge, the hotel has added as a classy hidden speakeasy to its scene.
46. Let It Fly at the Top Golf of Darts
Houstonians can now get a taste of UK pub culture. British-based gaming pub, Flight Club, is throwing itself into the Houston bar scene with its 21st century digitized dart boards, sharing boards, and bespoke cocktails.
47-50. Elevate Your Lifestyle at these Houston Rooftop Bars
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.
51. Roll Your Own Sushi
Don’t let the sushi chef have all the fun! Come and learn how to spread, layer, tuck and roll your way to sushi heaven! In this fun, hands-on social cooking class, you’ll learn all the skills needed to make sushi and spring rolls like a pro, including how to prepare sushi rice, cut your fresh ingredients using proper knife skills, and master the art of rolling using a variety of techniques. It’s the perfect activity for friends, family, colleagues, or even a romantic date!
52. Take a Culinary Trip to Thailand
Experience a traditional Thai cuisine meal with dynamic duo Chef Jett and Chef Jira. This experience is a sensory trip through Thailand thanks to two exclusive tasting menus on offer. These menus offer top grade meat and seafood, making this a dining experience you will never forget! This is the perfect experience for something special, whether it is a romantic date night or celebrating.
53. Rage Out
Blow off some steam at this raging destruction site as you rock out to your favourite tunes. Combining sophistication with obliteration, get ready to relieve stress and all of that pent up energy while sipping on champagne. Within this safe, judgement free environment, you can expect to throw, smash, hit and kick everything in sight. Destructive therapy done right. Set to be an unforgettable experience, where the only thing that won’t be broken is the law!
54. Knock Twice at This Historical Concert Venue and Tex Mex Cafe
Don’t let the locked doors turn you away. Just knock twice to get in to the Mexican restaurant and oldest live music venue in Houston. No, you don’t really have to knock twice – at least, not anymore.
55-58. Hit the Dive Scene
Houston thankfully has plenty of places to take shelter in a flurry of rain: whether to escape the weather, shoot a round of pool, grab a cheap beer, or to play a song on a jukebox, consult this list to discover where to go.
- Those who leave up their festive decorations year round, like the people over at Grand Prize Bar, are complete freaking lunatics – and we love them for it.
- La Carafe Wine Bar is a historic haunt housed in a building that’s stood for over a century and remains to be the oldest in the city of Houston.
- As with its moody interior, deep red walls, scant lighting, and shrine of spirits, so does Poison Girl offer an idyllic atmosphere for various drinking moods.
59-66. Eat Your Heart Out
Houston’s culinary scene is a vast, rich landscape populated with delicious eateries, scrumptious bakeries, and Tex-Mex as far as the eye can see.
- Whether it’s a classic Neapolitan-style Margherita, a traffic cone-sized slice, or some warped creation piled high with everything and the kitchen sink – we don’t discriminate when it comes to pizza. Any way you slice it, here’s 10 of the best pizza parlors in the Houston area!
- Not all buffets are created equal. When seeking out a local in which to stock up on calories to last you the winter hibernation, we recommend heading to one of our 10 favorite all-you-can-eat buffets in Houston.
- Whataburger, Taco Bell, McDonald’s – the usual suspects when it comes to late-night munchies. Sometimes, though, you got to broaden your horizons, especially when a glorious late-night food scene of delis, pizzerias, taquerias await in the city of Houston.
- 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
- Like breakfast tacos, kolaches are synonymous with breakfast in Texas. Savory, comfortable, portable – perfect for an on-the-go breakfast, or bought-by-the-dozen hangover cure. Unlike similar handheld breakfast staples such as donuts, bagels, and croissants, it’s not so easy finding kolaches outside of Texas. We’d probably travel more if you could, but for now, we’ll stay here in Houston with our favorite comfort breakfast food on the go.
- In addition to its bistros, cafes, and restaurants, you can find an array of fantastic food trucks rolling through town from sun up to sun down.
- East Downtown Houston is heating this season with the opening of the new craft meat maker, bar, and beer garden, J-Bar-M Barbecue on 2201 Leeland Houston
67. Float like a Butterfly
Enter a stunning, three-story glass structure built around a 50-foot waterfall. This simulated tropical rain forest is filled with exotic plants and thousands of live butterflies. As you walk through the three-story glass rain forest at your own pace, feast your eyes on a rainbow of color provided by the thousands of live, fluttering butterflies and exotic flowering plant species. Absorb all the beauty of the living rain forest, and then make your way to the Brown Hall of Entomology and witness astounding living insects, spectacular mounted specimens, larger-than-life models, and interactive games!
68-71. Staycation in Texas’s Amazing Airbnbs
It’s with a tinge of guilt that we find ourselves traveling nationally and/or internationally knowing that the state of Texas has so much to offer. Whether it’s to save money on airfare, get closer to local nature, or simply getaway without all the fuss, here are 10 Texas Airbnbs that make for a sublime staycation!
- Basecamp Terlingua is an other-worldly glamping experience that integrates the future with the past, giving its visitors the impression of luxury camping in the cosmos.
- Beyond having second breakfast at the Hobbit Cafe, experiencing the lifestyle of a Hobbit is hard to come by here in Houston. If you want to embrace the lifestyle to its fullest, take your steeds out to McKinney, Texas for a stay at the Hobbit House.
- Here in Texas, there are numerous Air B&Bs in which to staycation in state. While it’s hard to say which is our favorite, you could say that the Giraffe Cabin at Blue Hills Ranch is head and shoulders above the rest.
72-73. Pop Bottles at the Club
Party down this season at Houston’s hottest clubs.
- Billed as “the largest indoor/outdoor space of its kind in the city”, Sekai Night and Day is elevating East Downtown’s nightlife with top notch DJs, dancing, lounging, and private events just in time for the festive season.
- The public can now see what’s behind the red curtains at the new, Lynchian-inspired nightclub, Cherry. It’s set in the two-story space formerly occupied by the Nightingale Room – which is rather appropriate all considering.
74-77. Or, Hit a Patio Bar
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.
78. Saunter Through Railway Heights
Railway Heights is now open on Washington with two stories of vibrant businesses, food stalls, local vendors, and an art gallery on the second floor.
79-83. 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.
84. Skydive Indoors
Feel the thrill of skydiving without jumping out of an airplane. It’s true! Head to iFLY Houston Memorial, a premier indoor skydiving facility powered by a state-of-the-art vertical wind tunnel.
85. Smash It at this Striking Bar
Furnished with shagadelic psychedelia complete with flashy neon signs and a cigarette machine straight out of the 60’s, new downtown hangout, Unicorn Disco, gives Houstonians the chance to blast into the past.
86. Expand Your Mind in this Tiny Bookstore
You’ve heard of Half Price Book Store, but have you checked out Quarter Price Books in Montrose. Shelved on the corner of Shepherd Dr. and Lexington St., Quarter Price Books is a cozy little book shop positively overflowing with niche finds, collectibles, rarities, and books of proven merit.
87. Jazz Up your Wardrobe at these Vintage Thrift Stores
Whether you’re clearing out your closet or stocking it up, head the call at Houston’s best thrift stores. Here in Houston there’s plenty of second-hand stores with pre-loved goods to amp up your wardrobe without breaking the bank. Thankfully, most of them are located in walking distance of each other!
88. Go on a Mystery Picnic
This self-guided food adventure by Amazingco is the perfect way to explore Houston’s best neighborhoods and avoid the crowds! Starting with a picnic basket, have fun solving personally-curated clues and riddles sent to your smartphone that’ll take you on a journey to collect your special gourmet picnic food bit by bit.
89-90. Catch the Sunset
Texas Hill Country might get all the love when it comes to sunset-gazing. But here in Houston, the sky is puts on its own stellar show. When the time is just right, there are plenty of places in Space City that provide a perfect vantage point to catch the show.
- Two levels of steel, concrete, and stone beset under a slate-like canvas roof compose the Twilight Epiphany installation. During sunrise and sunset, the installation projects LED lights onto the ceiling that suffuse the portal’s border with a composed sequence of hues. Simplistic in form, the color sequence harmonizes with nature in light, time, and movement in a display of pure beauty.
91-94. Brunch Like You Mean It
Spring is in the air. If your allergy medication holds up, you can see how the mimosas fare 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.
95-96. Get Your Game On
Video games have been a past time since the days of Pong. Booze, well, it’s been a past time since the dawn of civilization. In Houston you can combine the two at the city’s best arcade bars.
- FAO HTX is now open on the top floor of the same building that houses Pub Fiction at 2303 Smith St. The newly minted speakeasy features over 6,500 square feat of neon-lit entertainment and lounge space. Arcade-wise, guests can hit the joysticks of their Pacman Battle Royal station, Terminator Salvation rig, Game of Thrones-themed pinball, and other games.
- Situated a hop skip and a dash from Minute Maid Park and BBVA Compass Stadium, is the new 18,000-square-foot, Cidercade. The boozy Dallas import features over 275 arcade games, including pinball, fighters and shooters, driving, sporting games, and more. Rather than toiling with quarters and tokens and whatnot, visitors at Cidercade pay $10 upfront for unlimited gaming, or $15 for the month.
97. Chase the Cup at this Canadian Hockey Pub
From their 24/7 game coverage, to the Canadian beer selection, bubble hockey set-up, and actual penalty box, The Maple Leaf is where Houston hockey fans can light the lamp.
98. Wade through a Field of Lavender
Planted under the big sky in hill country, Chappell Hill Lavender Farm is a quaint oasis populated with lavender, peaches, and a herd of friendly goats.
99. Believe in BYOB
While it’s true that a little scratch can unlock many excellent experiences in Houston, there’re still plenty of ways to enjoy the city on a budget. As such, we’ve compiled a list of our 10 favorite BYOB establishments in Houston from axe-throwing to restaurants, bingo, and more!
100. Serve ‘Em Up and Knock ‘Em Down at this Volleyball Bar
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.