GUIDE: Bay Area local destinations


The Bay Area is home to several attractions, from outdoor destinations to historic locations to indoor venues. Here is a noncomprehensive guide to places to visit in the Bay Area.

Local Destinations

Armand Bayou Nature Center

Explore the largest urban wilderness preserve in the country. See birds, reptiles, deer and other animals on an early morning guided canoe tour of the bayou. Hike the trails at night as part of the “owl prowl.”  Explore exhibits housed on more than 2,500 acres of natural wetlands forest, marsh habitats and prairies.

8500 Bay Area Blvd., Pasadena
Hours: Wed.-Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. noon-
5 p.m., closed Mon.-Tue.
Admission: $4 (adults), $2 (ages 4-12)

Bayou Wildlife Zoo

Spend the day with rhinoceroses, camels, lemurs and monkeys without leaving the continent or even the state. A tram takes residents through different habitats on more than 80 acres of land, providing an up-close look at the animals.

5050 FM 517, Alvin
Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily
Admission: $20 (adults), $10 (ages 2-11)

Butler Longhorn Museum and Heritage Park

Longhorn cattle almost disappeared in the early 20th century. League City’s Butler family was instrumental in bringing the species back from the brink of extinction, and this recently reopened museum is a celebration of the breed now most identified with Texas. Visitors will learn about the Butlers, longhorn cattle and their contribution to Texas ranching.

1220 Coryell St., League City
Hours: Tue.-Wed. and Fri.-Sat. 10 a.m-4 p.m., Thu. 10 a.m.-7 p.m., closed Sun.-Mon.
Admission: $10 (adults), $9 (ages 6-12)

Clear Creek Vineyard

Residents do not have to travel to the Hill Country to experience Texas wine. Instead, they can tour the Clear Creek Vineyard, sample wines and enjoy a glass on the premises. Residents can also picnic on the grounds and buy wine bottles to take home.

709 Harris Ave., Kemah
Hours: Sat.-Sun. 1 p.m. guided tour and tasting by reservation only
Admission: $100 for two people

Funcity Sk8 & Play

Residents can rent a pair of quad skates and spend hours circling the rink. They can also play laser tag and arcade games and, for an additional fee, small children can enjoy the bounce houses in the Kidz Pit.

1500 N. Texas Ave., Webster
Hours vary.
Admission: $8, $4 (skate rentals)

Kemah Boardwalk

The Kemah Boardwalk is a destination for tourists and locals alike, featuring rides, games, chain and local restaurants, and more. Several events are held at the boardwalk each year, including boat parades and fireworks shows.

215 Kipp Ave., Kemah
Hours: Mon.-Thu. noon-7 p.m., Fri. noon-
9 p.m., Sat. 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun.10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
Admission: $24.99 (all-day ride pass).

Lone Star Flight Museum

Get up close and personal with historic aircraft and learn about the Texans who served their country and are now a part of the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame. Visitors can also hop into the simulator bay and see and feel what it is like to navigate a plane.

11551 Aerospace Ave., Houston 
Hours: Tue.-Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.,
Sun. noon-5 p.m., closed Mon.
Admission: $12.95 (adults), $10.95 (ages 12-17), $7.95 (ages 4-11).

Peninsula Wildlife Trail

Novice and expert bird lovers will find plenty to enjoy in this 76-acre park. Egrets and spoonbills populate the area and are easy to spot from dedicated viewing areas. Hike the trail and take in the views of nature while learning about the wildlife. Visitors can bring a lunch and picnic on the available benches.

End of Harbour Drive, Nassau Bay
281-333-4211 ext. 2944
Hours: 6 a.m.-10 p.m. daily
Admission: free

Space Center Houston

For those who cannot wait for commercial space travel, Space Center Houston gives visitors a tour of Johnson Space Center, a glimpse of what life is like on Mars, and the opportunity to explore the history and future of space flight.

1601 NASA Parkway, Houston
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.,
Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Admission: $29.95 (adults), $24.95 (ages 3-11)

Stingray Reef

Tucked away inside the Aquarium Restaurant is an opportunity to get up close and personal with the stingrays at Stingray Reef. Other fish and creatures are featured, but residents are able to pet and feed only the stingrays, making them a favorite attraction.

215 Kipp Ave., Kemah
Hours: Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Admission: $5.25

Sylvan Beach Park

This La Porte beach offers fishing from the pier, and fishers can keep everything they catch. Visitors can swim in the bay, play on the playground, picnic and use the skatepark.

636 N. Bayshore Drive, La Porte
Hours: 7 a.m.-10 p.m. daily
Admission: free

Worth The Trip

Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier

Supplement a trip to the beach by stopping at Pleasure Pier, which offers amusement rides and a view of Galveston Bay.

2501 Seawall Blvd., Galveston
Hours vary.
Admission: $26.99 (ride pass), $19.99 (ride pass for those under 48 inches), $10 (pier access), $8 (pier access for those under 48 inches), $7 (seniors)

Moody Gardens

Take in a show at the 4D Special FX Theater, wander through the Aquarium Pyramid, challenge yourself on the ropes course or relax on Palm Beach.

1 Hope Blvd., Galveston
Hours: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily
Admission: $64.95 (adults), $54.95 (ages 4-12)

Port of Houston boat tours

Get on board the Sam Houston and get a boat’s-eye view of this engine of Texas’ economy.

7300 Clinton Drive, Houston
Hours: Tue.-Wed., Fri. 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.; Thu. 10 a.m.; Sat. 10 a.m. and2 p.m.
Admission: free

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