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Key Info

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Amusement Parks, Beaches, Free, Neighborhood/Area, Sightseeing Type
More than Full Day Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 3.0Food Scene
  • 4.5Atmosphere

If you'll be in Houston long enough to squeeze in a daytrip, head to Galveston. Located 50 miles southeast of Houston, Galveston is a barrier island on the Texas Gulf Coast that boasts miles of beaches, a lively amusement park pier and a state park.

The best beach for you in Galveston depends on who you are as a traveler. Families like Stewart Beach for its ample amenities (including a kids playground and concession stands) and its ban against alcohol. Adults will enjoy East Beach and the beaches lining Seawall, where alcohol is permitted. Seawall Boulevard is also where you'll find the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier. For its small size, the pier is populated with plenty of arcade games and thrill rides, including a rollercoaster, a Ferris wheel, a carousel, a water ride and more.

If you're interested in exploring the bayside of the island, venture to Galveston Island State Park. Here, you'll find lookout points and scenic trails that lead to the bay as well as paddling trails in the water. Keep in mind that the park does not offer kayak or canoe rentals, you'd have to bring your own. After you've gotten your fill of the outdoors, be sure to visit The Strand, Galveston's downtown area, for a bite to eat, a drink, some shopping, or all three.

For more information detailed information on what to do in Galveston, check out our Galveston travel guide.

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#1 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

No trip to Texas is complete without a visit to a rodeo. And in Houston, there's no better place to watch riders saddle up than the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. When competition season rolls around (typically between late February and early March), crowds descend on NRG Stadium to watch daily rodeo shows that feature a variety of competitions, such as bareback riding, bull riding, steer wrestling, tie-down roping, barrel racing and more. Livestock shows, which also occur during rodeo competition season, feature traditional events such as livestock auctions, calf scrambles and horse shows. 

Travelers who were visiting Houston during rodeo season said the events are a blast. Those who said they've been to rodeos or livestock shows before say the Houston Rodeo is one of the best they've ever attended, and encouraged families to bring kids as they'll be fascinated by all of the animals. Even if you aren't particularly into rodeos, visitors say a trip here is still worth your time because the venue offers so many attractions, activities and events. Some of these include an amusement park, concerts (which in the past have included the likes of Kacey Musgraves and Cardi B), parades, barbecue contests, trail rides and more.

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Courtesy of Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
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