Despite its proximity to the gorgeous Gulf Coast, Houston isn’t often thought of as a tourist destination. But see if this Texas-sized helping of sights, sounds, eats, drinks and activities doesn’t make you reconsider its charms. Hey, worked for Dwight Howard!

 

Art Car Museum: Classic automobiles crash into contemporary art full speed at this whimsical venue. Delightfully nicknamed “Garage Mahal,” it’s guaranteed to bring a whole new meaning to the term “pimp my ride.”

 

Space Center Houston: Interactive presentations, a full-scale replica of a space shuttle, live science demonstrations, a NASA tram tour and a movie theater with a five-story-tall screen await you at the Space Center. Houston, we have an infotainment-packed afternoon planned.

 

Skydive Spaceland: Twenty-five minutes south of Houston proper, you can take a brief class, sign your lie away and then jump out of an airplane from 14,000 feet (with a trained professional, of course) and hurtle toward the Earth faster at 120 miles per hour—faster than you can say “impact crater.”

 

Sam Houston Race Park: Two words: camel racing. Two more words: ostrich racing. All the available dining, drinking, horse races and big winnings at these hallowed grounds cannot possibly match the splendor of watching determined jockeys ride these majestic beasts.

 

Gatlin’s BBQ: Fair prices, loads of variety, quality sides, great sauce and, of course, beautiful barbecued meats make this one of the best BBQ joints in the state. From cow and pig to turkey and chicken, Gatlin’s BBQ is made with a whole lot of love and a whole lot of smoked animal.

 

Anvil Bar & Refuge: Houston’s premiere gastropub is serious about its original and classic cocktails, cheese and meat plates, fancified bar snacks and Tiki Tuesdays. This is not the place to order a Bud Light and potato skins.

 

Onyx Houston: If you’re a discerning chap who enjoys frequenting your local gentlemen’s establishment, don’t miss out on this one. Just make sure to bring some fat stacks for an experience you’ll never forget.