When your schedule feels overly packed between work and responsibilities at home, life can feel impossible to take a vacation. Luckily, you don’t have to book a flight to escape. There are plenty of adventures to be had within short day trips from Houston.
Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge
Located east of Houston, the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge provides over 34,000 acres of prairies and coastal marsh to explore.
The refuge is free to the public. You can spend the day enjoying the fishing platforms, hiking trails, photo blinds, and butterfly garden in this beautiful outdoor sanctuary.
Located in Galveston, Moody Gardens is an expansive complex of large glass pyramids filled with various family-friendly attractions.
You can explore the Aquarium Pyramid complete with sharks and penguins. You can also learn about the plants and animals of the rainforest in the Rainforest Pyramid.
Consider also visiting the Discovery Museum for a science lesson on bones.
Armand Bayou Nature Center
Drive southeast of the city, and you will find the Armand Bayou Nature Center. This 2,500-acre “urban” preserve is one of the largest in the United States and is home to over 370 different kinds of wildlife you can hike among, ranging from alligators to river otters.
Texas Seaport Museum
Home to the 1877 tall ship Elissa, the Galveston Texas Seaport Museum brings history to life.
Explore this historic vessel, which happens to also be one of just three remaining three-masted barque ships of its kind that can still actively sail the open seas.
Seawall Boulevard Galveston Island
At 17 feet tall and 10 miles long, the Seawall Boulevard on Galveston Island landmark is one of the longest continuous sidewalks and remains a reminder of resilience and rebuilding after the Great Storm of 1900 destroyed the city.
The Seawall now plays a central role in shopping and entertainment as well as acts as a haven for surfers and beachgoers alike.
Heritage Village Museum in Woodville
Interested in history? The Heritage Village Museum in Woodville can help you to learn about life in the1800s.
Explore this pioneer town where it’s citizens reenact life in East Texas in the 1800s. The town includes a restaurant, village shop, blacksmith, Sherriff’s office and more.
When considering day trips from Houston, consider the museum capital of Texas in Beaumont.
Beaumont has more museums per person than any other city in Texas. Just a short drive away, you’ll find four historic adventures. Beaumont boasts the Babe Didrikson Zaharias Museum, the Fire Museum of Texas with the world’s largest fire hydrant, and the Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum.
One of the most popular attractions is the Texas Energy Museum. Here you can explore the unique role oil has played throughout the state’s history.
Lake Somerville State Park and Trailway
With nearly 40 miles of trails, you could explore the lakeshore of this hiker’s paradise at Lake Somerville State Park and Trailway. Located in Ledbetter, Texas, you can spend all day exploring these hiking trails!
Beyond hiking, this location is perfect for fishing, mountain bike riding, canoeing, bird watching, and even horseback riding.
San Jacinto Battleground State Park
With over 12,000 acres, this historic site takes you back into history to the time when Texas gained its independence from Mexico.
There’s lots to do here. You can spend the day walking the battleground and go up to the San Jacinto Monument. If you want to learn more about the history, check out San Jacinto Museum of History.
Whether you’re a history buff or a nature lover, Texas has you covered with new adventures ripe for exploring without having to take extended vacation time. All you have to do is get in your car and drive.