Looking for summer fun without the travel chaos? Here are 10 Houston-area staycation destinations

Jacob Rascon Image
Tuesday, May 16, 2023
10 affordable Houston-area staycation destinations
Want to plan an unforgettable vacation without breaking the bank? From hidden gem museums to waterpark fun, here are 10 staycation ideas you can take advantage of this summer.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Summer break is just around the corner and many families have their minds on vacation.

Just because you aren't traveling doesn't mean you can't have fun in your hometown!

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Want to plan and enjoy an unforgettable vacation in the Houston area without breaking the bank? Here are 10 staycation ideas you can take advantage of this summer.

  1. Have you ever dreamed about life in a massive castle? Well, there's a medieval castle you can visit only about an hour from Houston! Newman's Castle, located just outside Bellville, Texas, even has a giant drawbridge. Visitors can tour the castle six days a week for $20.
  2. Did you know you can enjoy the Lone Star Flight Museum for only $5 on Thursdays? That's less than a third of the regular price. The museum, located on Houston's southside, features amazing vintage airplanes and artifacts.
  3. If you're more interested in outdoor fun, how about Galveston Island State Park? It's open every day for $5 a person and features 2,000 acres of island habitats, swimming, kayaking, camping, fishing and hiking.
  4. If you're ready to set sail, the Sam Houston Boat Tour is free! It's a 90-minute ride exploring the Houston Ship Channel. Visitors can enjoy air-conditioned indoor seats or stand on the deck. The charter boat fits about 100 passengers.
  5. Have you walked Houston's downtown tunnels? Many Houstonians are surprised to learn there are six miles of tunnels 20 feet below downtown, spanning 95 blocks, with restaurants and shops. It's free to visit, but you'll have to pay for the shopping and dining.
  6. Did you know the National Museum of Funeral History is right here in Houston? It's the country's largest collection of funeral service items, featuring massive exhibits including the funerals of presidents, popes and celebrities.
  7. If you missed Houston's Art Car Parade, you can check out the free Art Car Museum instead. The museum features elaborately decorated cars on display. It's one of 12 free museums in Houston.
  8. Your Batman dreams --or nightmares -- can come to life at the massive bat colony at the Waugh Drive Bridge during the summer at dusk. A quarter million bats feast on insects under the bridge.
  9. Did you know tickets to Typhoon Texas Waterpark can be more than half off if you buy a ticket in advance for a specific day? You can buy the tickets on their online calendar. Another waterpark called Pirates Bay just opened in Baytown. Tickets are a lot cheaper during the week -- just $15!
  10. 7 Acre Wood fun park in Conroe has mini-golf, a petting zoo, zip lining, a scooter track, a giant Lego room, a giant sandbox, a playground, a swing set and much more for $8.50 per person. You can add a pony ride on the weekends for $5.