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People gather around Hermann Park Reflection Pool in Houston

In the Neighborhood: Your ultimate guide to Houston’s Museum District

Experience one of the most vibrant neighborhoods in Houston, home to several world-class museums, diverse dining and unique boutiques waiting to be explored.

By Shayla Martin | January 17, 2024

With 19 museums, the Houston Zoo and a sprawling park dotted across Houston’s Museum District, there’s no shortage of things to do and enjoy in this cultural hub. In fact, you’re likely to need several days to take in the sights and experience the neighborhood’s fantastic restaurants and shops.


You’ll likely want some quality cuisine to fuel all the museum-hopping you’ll be doing. Fortunately, you don’t have to leave the area to find plenty of it. Try:

- Lucille’s: This refined Southern restaurant pays homage to Lucille B. Smith, an African American culinary innovator, educator and entrepreneur. Founded by her great-grandsons, Lucille’s serves her famous original biscuit recipe, and other Southern favorites like fried green tomatoes and shrimp and grits.

- Fia’s Pizzeria: Nicknamed the “unofficial pizza of the Houston Museum District,” Fia’s serves signature and build-your-own pizzas alongside cheesy garlic bites, fried mushrooms and meatballs.

- MF Sushi: One of the 12 seats at the sushi bar is the prize at this elegant hot spot, where you can watch skilled chefs prepare beautiful nigiri and rolls right before your eyes. Not sure what to pair your meal with? Try the sake flight with four varieties.

Photo credit: Houston First Corporation


Choose from 19 museums all within the district before relaxing in a park filled with entertainment areas. Explore:

- The Buffalo Soldier National Museum: This museum celebrates the legacy of six all African American Army units; the 9th and 10th cavalry and the 38th, 39th, 40th and 41st infantry regiments. Known as the Buffalo Soldiers, the museum displays historical artifacts, documents, videos and other memorabilia that details the history of the brave men and women who overcame extreme adversity while serving since the Civil War.

- The Museum of Fine Arts Houston: The permanent collection at MFAH houses 70,000 works from six continents that span more than 6,000 years of history. You’ll find paintings, sculptures, antiquities, photography and more. Best of all, it’s free on Thursdays!

- Hermann Park: Opened in 1914, Hermann Park is well beyond a green space. Within, you’ll find the Houston Zoo (with more than 3,100 animals), the open-air Miller Outdoor Theatre, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, Japanese and rose gardens and a golf course.

Photo credit: Houston First Corporation


From artful museum shops and home decor galleries to fashionable boutiques selling showstopping gowns, you’ll find something lovely to bring home. Browse:

- The MFA Shop: The gift shop at Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts is a must-stop after you're done exploring the museum for the perfect souvenir. Choose from incredible statement pieces, sculptural lamps, jewelry, toys, colorful kitchenware, coffee table books and more.

- Melodrama Boutique: This upscale boutique specializes in chic womenswear (think ombre tunic accordion dresses and sequined mini dresses), including two-piece sets and bold statement jackets.

- Oasis | Fino: Bring a touch of Houston into your home from this furniture gallery where you’ll find one-of-a-kind home accessories and accents, alongside custom furniture pieces.

Photo credit: Houston First Corporation

As the cultural hub of greater Houston, the Museum District offers some of the best dining, educational experiences and entertainment in the city. Explore Houston’s diverse offerings and make your next Texas stay a memorable one.

Hero photo credit: Houston First Corporation

Shayla Martin is an award-winning travel and culture journalist based in Washington, D.C. Find her work in outlets including The New York Times, Architectural Digest, Coastal Living, Hemispheres, Veranda Magazine and many more. She specializes in content about Black history and culture, luxury travel, historic preservation, wellness, interior design and personal narrative topics. She is also the founder of The Road We Trod, a bi-weekly newsletter that explores travel destinations through the Black gaze.