Downtown Tours

Welcome to the 4th largest city in the United States of America with one of the largest downtowns/central business districts.  Downtown is surrounded by I-45 on the south, southwest, and west side, I-10 on the north side, and US 59 on the east and southeast side.  We have so much to see and do in downtown that we offer 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7-hour tours of the area.

Note: The different lengths can be mixed and matched. On Sundays when the City Hall is closed and Saturdays and Sundays when the underground tunnels and skyscrapers are closed, we can supplement the vacuum with sites from the longer tours.


Two (2) Hour Tours

This tour includes a 12-minute movie about Houston with about 18 minutes to do Texas and Houston souvenir shopping and use bathrooms (Monday through Saturday), at the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Center located in City Hall at 901 Bagby Street, Houston, Texas 77002.  Enter on the north side of Walker Street.  This is accompanied by an approximately 30-minute walk to a skyscraper with a visit to the 59th and 58th floor observation decks, plus a 3-block walk through the underground tunnel system that has over 500 businesses (Monday through Friday). 

This is followed by a driving tour to drive-by:

  • 7 of the 8 houses of worship that are located in downtown (including 1 Catholic church, 1 Catholic cathedral, 1 Episcopal cathedral, 1 Black Baptist church, 1 Christian Science church, 1 Methodist church, and 1 Islamic mosque).  We miss 1 small Catholic chapel.
  • 12 of the more than 20 parks and plazas in downtown Houston, including Hermann Square Park, Tranquility Park, Sesquicentennial Park, the Riverwalk, Fish Plaza at the Wortham Center, Jones Plaza, Market Square Park, Old City Hall Clock Plaza, Discovery Green Park, Root Memorial Square Park, Sisters of Charity Park, Sam Houston Park, and Antioch Park.
  • The Theater District that has 5 separate buildings, including the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts (for the off-Broadway musicals and Theatre Under the Stars), the Wortham Center (for the Houston Grand Opera and the Houston Ballet), the Alley Theatre (for locally produced plays), Jones Hall (for the symphony) and the Houston Ballet Center for Dance.
  • 10 of the eleven 50-story or more skyscrapers including driving along skyscraper row, Louisiana Street, that has 4 such buildings on it:  Enterprise Plaza, the Wells Fargo Plaza, One Shell Plaza, and the Bank of America building.
  • 2 athletic stadiums including Minute Maid Park (home of the Houston Astros) and the Toyota Center (home of the Houston rockets basketball team and the Houston Aeros minor league hockey team).
  • Recreation areas such at Bayou Place, the Aquarium, and the Houston Pavilions.
  • Over one-dozen (12) public works of art such as the Tony Cragg’s In Minds, Mel Chin’s Seven Wonders, Chas Fagan and Wei Li (Willy) Wang’s George Herbert Walker Bush Monument, David Adickes’s Virtuoso at the Lyric Center, Marcello Mascherini’s The Ballerina, Ketria Bastian Scott’s Tendrils, James Surls’s Points of View, Joan Miro’s Parsonage and Birds, Jean Dubuffet’s Monument Au Fantome, Margo Sawyer’s Synchronicity of Color, Doug Hollis’s Listening Vessels and Mist Tree, Carter Ernest and Paul Kittelson’s Heritage Lanterns, Claes Oldenburg’s Geometric Mouse: Scale X, and Peter Reginato’s High Plains Drifter.
  • Several fountains including those in Tranquility Park, the Robert (Bob) Smith Fountain, and the Cotswold Project.
  • 2 of the oldest (and haunted bars) in Houston:  La Carafe and The Brewery Tap as well as the bar with the most beers in Houston, the Flying Saucer.
  • The downtown shopping mall:  The Shops at Houston Center.
  • Restaurants including steak, seafood, Mexican, Spanish, bar-be-cue, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Cajun, Italian, Greek, hamburger, deli, and more.
  • Jesse Jones Library and Julia B. Ideson Library.
  • The Lee P. Brown Metro Center.
  • 10 hotels including the Lancaster Hotel, Magnolia Hotel, the Alden Hotel, the Hilton Americas, the Four Seasons, the Athens Hotel, the Marriott Courtyard Hotel, the Hyatt Regency, the Doubletree Hotel, and the Crowne Plaza.
  • One law school: South Texas College of Law.
  • One hospital:  St. Joseph’s.  It covers 9 blocks.
  • The Courthouse District.  It has over 20 courthouses, jails, and prisons serving the city, county, state, and federal government.  Civil and criminal facilities are here.
  • The former banking district through World War II.
  • The site of the former capital of the Republic of Texas from 1837 to 1839.

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Three (3) Hour Tours

Everything above plus:

  • 20 minutes in the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart (provided that no service is occurring)
  • 20 minutes in Discovery Green Park.
  • 20 minutes of photographic stops at Minutemaid Ballpark and or elsewhere.

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Four (4) Hour Tours

Everything above plus:

  • 15 minutes to take photographs at the George Herbert Walker Bush Monument and or elsewhere.
  • 45 minutes to walk through Sam Houston Park and see the statue of John Connally, see from the outside 10 historic buildings from 1823 to 1905, tour the Heritage Society Museum, including seeing a Ford Model T, walking in the 1878 reconstructed Duncan General Store from Egypt, Texas, and viewing a short movie about the history of Houston (Tuesday through Sunday).

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Five (5) Hour Tours

Everything above plus:

  • Lunch in Downtown

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Six (6) Hour Tours

Everything above plus:

  • 30 minutes to shop in the Shops at Houston Center (Monday through Saturday).
  • 30 minutes to shop and stroll through the Houston Pavilions.

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Seven (7) Hour Tours

Everything above plus:

  • 60 minutes to go through the 5th Ward section of Downtown that is north of Buffalo Bayou, east of White Oak Bayou, and south of I-10.  The area is sometimes known as the Warehouse District and includes a variety of art studios, lofts, restaurants, and bars.  Some of the more notable sites are Mother Dog Studios, Houston Studios, the Museum of Cultural Arts of Houston (Mocah) (open Monday through Friday), and the former bordello and now restaurant The Last Concert Cafe.

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