Houston is one of the most popular travel destinations in the USA. A hub for business and tourism alike, Houston has all the amenities and attractions a Texas visitor could ask for.

To make a good thing even better, many of the attractions in Houston are completely free! Below is a list of some of the best free things to do in Houston.

Sam Houston Boat Tour

For history buffs or even those with a passing curiosity of Houston’s history, the Sam Houston Boat Tour is a great way to learn a ton of information for completely free!

This 90-minute boat ride down the Houston Ship Channel is a completely free experience for visitors. The tour examines the history and maritime significance of Port Houston.

The Heritage Society

Continuing the adventure of Houston’s history, the Heritage Society preserves historic 19th and 20th-century Houston experiences.

The Society maintains nine preserved structures that stretch across 10 acres of Sam Houston Park. The Heritage Society offers cell-phone-based tours completely free of charge.

Tour instructions are posted throughout the historic sites and direct visitors to information about specific locations. The phone tour and entrance to the historical site are free, and paid, guided tours are available for those who are interested.

Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern

The Cistern is one of Houston’s most iconic landmarks. It is a massive underground structure once used as a water reservoir.

Today, it is used as an art gallery and preserved as a historical site. Built in 1926, the Cistern provided water for over 80 years before being finally decommissioned in 2007.

The 87,500 square foot structure once held 15 million gallons of water and today holds contemporary art and historical tours.

Visiting the Cistern is free, although guided tours are available for a small fee. There are other paid services, such as sound healing meditation, available as well. Please note that some parties will need to purchase a photography permit.

Memorial Park

Houston’s Memorial Park is one of the largest municipal parks in the nation. Sitting on just under 1,500 acres, Memorial Park is an affordable nature, history, and community hub. There are some paid services in Memorial Park, such as the golf course, which is one of the highest-rated in the state.

Free services include the massive trail network, the Houston Arboretum, and the Nature Center. Sports fields are also available and provide space for soccer and rugby matches.

Picnic areas are spread throughout Memorial Park, making this an excellent destination for walking and relaxing.


Art centers are already unique places, but DiverseWorks takes it a step further. This contemporary arts center has received national recognition for its showcases.

DiverseWorks regularly hosts cutting-edge literary, visual, and performance artists. The organization specializes in art that typically cannot find another outlet in the Houston area.

The gallery and showrooms at DiverseWorks are open to the public and free of charge. The organization also hosts special events and performance pieces, some of which are free and some which require entry payment.

The ArtCar Museum

The ArtCar Museum, also known by its quirky local name of the “Garage Mahal,” offers a unique spin on car museums. It features several unique automobiles, but rather than focusing on the car as it rolled off the assembly line, the ArtCar Museum celebrates special modifications of classic autos.

The ArtCar Museum was founded following the exclamative art movement of the 1980s. The museum is guaranteed to have something unique. The collection is regularly updated and rotated, making the museum perfect for repeat visits.

Best of all, the ArtCar Museum is free at all times.

The Contemporary Arts Museum

As far as art museums go, the vast majority are known as collecting museums, meaning they both display and store art for the long term. The Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston is a non-collecting museum, meaning that this unique art space hosts only temporary rotating exhibitions.

The museum is entirely free and open to the public. In addition, the museum regularly hosts free special events and guest artist lectures, film screenings, and art workshops.

The regular updates and frequent public events make the Contemporary Art Museum an excellent stop for frequent visitors to Houston.


It’s easy to find affordable adventures in Houston. From art museums to parks and historical landmarks, several options in Houston are entirely free.

First-timers and repeat visitors alike can enjoy the free, often updated attractions in Houston.