The summer hustle never stopped a real Texan from taking a trip out to somewhere beautiful every weekend. Why? Because wherever you are in this state, you never have to go too far to stumble upon a hidden paradise.
Here are six fun places near Houston to take a day or two to de-stress and have the ultimate summer fun.
Address: 649 Pinedale Road, Huntsville TX 77340
Just a little over an hour away from the city in Huntsville, lies the Blue Lagoon—a dreamy, emerald waterhole with just the right amount of shade. This place is a Texas goldmine for scuba divers, but it's open for everyone to swim in as well. You can read more about it here.
Price: Varies by activity
Address: 2 hours and 50 minutes northwest of Houston
Why you should go: You can never visit Austin too many times. There's simply too much to do, and it has some of the most incredible views in Texas. Lake Travis offers boat rides, tubing, fabulous Airbnb's for a weekend trip, and of course, the famous Oasis. You can even take a beautiful hike and zip line on some of the longest zip lines in the state (now, for cheap.)
Shangri La Botanical Gardens
Address: 2111 W Park Ave, Orange, Texas 77630
Why you should go: For some of the most beautiful botany in the state, you need to visit this dreamy place. About two hours east of the city, this Japanese garden will make you feel like a goblin is going to pop out at any moment. You can read more about it here.
Price: $20 for tubing
Address: 3 hours west of Houston
Why you should go: This is the best spot in the state to go on a tubing adventure. For 2-3 hours, you can float the Comal River with your drunk, sun-burnt friends. But despite the heat, the river will always keep you cool. Then, once you've survived rocky waterfalls in the river, you can head to Greune for some dinner and adorable vibes.
Price: Free entry
Address: 601 Webster, Waco, TX
Why you should go: Because no Texan is complete without visiting this Joanna and Chip Gaines hot spot. Lined with food trucks, the adorable garden area welcomes doggies and relaxing, summer fun next to the famous rustic silos. The massive market in Waco sells all kinds of decor and clothing that you seriously need in your home—at least, you can convince yourself you do. You also have to make time to stop by always-packed Magnolia Table and see what all the hype is about.
Address: 2501 Seawall Blvd, Galveston Island, TX 77550
Why you should go: Nothing beats watching the sunset over the beach. Galveston gets a lot of flack, but Pleasure Pier is a party right on our quirky Texas beach, and we're still proud of it. Aside from the carnival atmosphere and refreshing ocean air, you can enjoy events all summer from movie nights to live events to firework spectaculars. Grab your grub from The Spot or Bubba Gump and head over to Pleasure Pier to watch the sunset in summer style.
From beaches to stunning gardens, your summer bucket list is now endless. And you don't even need to leave this great state to complete it! Happy summer, Texas!
We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.