Offbeat Houston

Houston may have the reputation as a business-oriented city, but it also has a plethora of unique and offbeat attractions. Discover Houston’s unpretentious side by visiting a monument inspired by oranges, a beer can house, or a weekly bingo night at the lodge. Yup—wacky, weird, and quirky—this city has got it all and may surprise you.

222 Malone St, Houston, TX 77007, USA
What started as one man’s simple hobby has turned into a Houston landmark that attracts visitors from across the country: The Beer Can House. Back in 1968, owner John Milkovisch, a retired upholsterer for Southern Pacific Railroad, realized he really enjoyed drinking beer but was tired of throwing his cans away. Instead, he decided to recycle them as decorations for his house, from aluminum beer-can siding to beer can garland that hangs from the roof’s edge. Now, 50,000 cans later, it’s a stunning work of art that stands as a testament to, well, beer. Admission is $5; children 12 and under are free. From June through August, the Beer Can House is open Wednesdays through Sundays from 12-5pm. From September through May, it’s open Saturdays and Sundays from 2-6pm. The Beer Can House is closed on most major holidays.
Waugh Dr, Houston, TX 77002, USA
Eleanor Tinsley Park in Houston is a great place to spend time outdoors. There’s the Waugh Bridge Bat Colony, hiking and biking trails, and tons of green space to enjoy.
1601 NASA Pkwy, Houston, TX 77058, USA
Who hasn’t daydreamed about being an astronaut at least once? Thankfully, Space Center Houston makes it easy to learn about the great beyond. It’s the area’s No. 1 attraction for international visitors and the first Smithsonian Affiliate in the greater Houston area. The center features more than 400 space artifacts and several exhibits related to the past, present, and future of America’s human spaceflight program. It’s also home to the world’s largest collection of moon rocks and lunar samples for public view, and offers guests the opportunity to go behind the scenes to see NASA’s Johnson Space Center.
2007 Grant Street
Many people consider Anderson Fair – Houston‘s legendary folk and acoustic music “listening room"– an unsung cultural treasure. Grammy Award-winning artists like Nanci Griffith, Lyle Lovett, and Lucinda Williams have all played here. It began as a coffee shop and restaurant, hence the name. Doors are usually open on Thursdays at 8 p.m. for a $10 cover (bring cash). Photo via Flickr user Nieve44/Luz
1435 Beall St, Houston, TX 77008, USA
As strange as it sounds, about 700 Houstonians of all ages meet on Thursday evenings to play bingo at a Czech Farmers Insurance Lodge. People actually start lining up just after 4 p.m. for a 7 p.m. start time! What makes this place so appealing to so many? Getting to people watch among the diverse, mishmash of participants? The cheap pitchers of Shiner Bock? People booing the winners (in good fun)? Go play and see for yourself.
140 Heights Boulevard
One of the most beloved Houston celebrations is its annual Art Car Parade, which takes places in downtown Houston every spring and showcases cars decorated in every material imaginable. Even if you can’t make it to the parade, you can still find the flavor of the festivities at the Art Car Museum, which is free and open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. The museum includes a variety of exhibits by local, national and international artists as well as actual art cars. It was founded in 1998 and has since become an excellent place for up-and-coming artists to be seen while also paying tribute to the postmodern age of car culture. Even the building facade, which is covered in scrap metal and chrome, is a work of art.
415 Barren Springs Drive
When you hear the name of this unusual museum—the National Museum of Funeral History—you can’t help but have a little morbid curiosity about what’s inside. The motto here is “Any day above ground is a good one,” and the inside is filled with death-related artifacts and exhibits that have included a “fantasy coffin” collection with casket shapes including a shallot, a Mercedes, and a chicken; a re-creation of a 1900s casket factory; a tribute to Batman star Adam West; a diorama on embalming practices during the Civil War; and a full-scale replica of Pope John Paul II’s crypt. Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and veterans, $7 for children under 12, and free for children five and under.
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