Your Houston vacation
While Houston is famous for its heat and humidity, there's life beyond July and August. This Texas belle is home to world-class attractions like the Houston Museum of Natural Science, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and the Space Center Houston.
Bring the family to the Houston Zoo, and experience one-stop-shopping in the Houston Galleria -- home to retailers, restaurants and hotels. If theatre is more your scene, hit the Theatre District for Broadway shows, the symphony and ballet.
From nature lovers to art connoisseurs, our Orbitz insiders will give you the scoop on the top 10 attractions for your Houston vacation.
Space Center Houston
Bring your wee astronauts to the Kid's Space Place, Blast Off Theatre and the NASA Tram Tour of the Johnson Space Center. Take a peek at the Mercury Atlas 9 "Faith 7" capsule, the Gemini V Spacecraft and a Lunar Roving Vehicle Trainer. And don't forget to buy some astronaut ice cream for your fellow earthlings.
Beer Can House
Retired upholsterer John Milkovisch keeps in real when it comes to exterior decorating. Started in 1968, he used thousands of marbles, rocks and metal pieces in concrete and redwood to landscape his yard. He redefined aluminum siding and eventually strung beer cans from the roof edges. It is estimated that more than 50,000 cans decorate the structure.
Wander through acres of green space dotted with trails, playgrounds and water features. There's also a golf course, railroad, Japanese garden and pedal boats.
Texans like to shop, and if you've ever been to Houston in the summer, you'll understand the genius of air-conditioned indoor shopping malls. Ice skate year round, shop and dine in more than 375 stores and restaurants and even stay the night -- there are two Westin hotels on the property.
Houston Museum of Natural Science
Located in Hermann Park, this dynamic museum is a favorite of children and adults alike. Spend an afternoon of stargazing and watching butterflies. View natural history exhibits ranging from paleontology to Texas wildlife.
Explore the African Forest, the 55-acre Houston Zoo's newest exhibit. Meet a troupe of chimps, white rhinos and giraffes. But for an up-close encounter, check out the McGovern Children's Zoo, which covers various Texas ecosystems -- and has a cooling water playground.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Refine your artistic tastes at this Houston museum, home to over 63,000 works of art from across the globe. The sculpture garden, designed by Isamu Noguchi, has works by Matisse, Giacometti, Miro and more.
Minute Maid Park
Home of the MLB Houston Astros, Minute Maid Park scores points for its retractable roof (fends off heat and rain) and grass turf. In an ode Houston's old Union Station, a replica 19th century train runs along the west side of the ballpark.
Theatre-buffs run the culture circuit here with nine major performing arts organizations in four venues: Jones Hall, Wortham Theater Center, Alley Theatre and Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. Enjoy touring Broadway shows, local opera, symphony, ballet and more.
The Menil Collection
This Renzo Piano designed museum showcases antiquities, Byzantine and Medieval collections, as well as modern masters. View the Africa, Pacific Islands and Pacific Northwest Coast collections for a primer on the roots of many modern works. Admission is free.
More on Houston from AOL Travel
Even thought it is the fourth largest city in the United States, Houston, Texas remains somewhat of a hidden gem. Still, this thriving cosmopolitan center can satiate any wanderlust thirst for travel. From fine-dining establishments to thriving nightlife, from bustling urban neighborhoods to tranquil rural areas and beyond, there's a little something for every man, woman and child in the Bayou City. History buffs will get a kick out of the aristocratic charm of Bayou Bend, a sprawling estate and sleepy, marshy oasis tucked within Houston's buzzing metropolis. Other educational sightseeing options include Houston's Museum District, the NASA Johnson Space Center and the Museum of Fine Arts. After a day of stuffing your brain, you'll probably want to stuff your mouth with amazing food. That won't be a problem in Houston, as the city is chock-full of award-winning eateries, cafes, taverns and pubs. Also explore one of Houston's many districts, including Montrose, a century-old neighborhood; The Heights, a funky district founded in 1890; and River Oaks and The Galleria, one of the most luxurious areas in Texas, if not in the United States. The Galleria is a four-story mall that features high-end retail stores and the kind of food all epicures aspire to eat.