An Off-the-Beaten Path Guide to Houston's Museum District

The Museum District is filled with notable destinations, including parks, lakes, and its 19 museums. Among the two largest museums in the area are the Houston Museum of Natural Science and the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. However, there are also several smaller museums that are unique in their appeal. Instead of the traditional museum exhibits, these museums feature interactive exhibits and live shows.

The Health Museum

Health Museum photo courtesy of WhisperToMe

For anyone interested in learning more about the human body, the Health Museum is the ideal destination. It features many hands-on exhibits like the Amazing Body Gallery exhibit, which features a 10-foot-tall walk through the human brain that includes memory games. Meanwhile, in the Debakey Cell Lab, you can throw on a lab coat, put on some goggles, then get involved with some laboratory experiments.

The Children’s Museum of Houston

Photo courtesy of The Children's Museum of Houston

Parents will be happy to learn about the Children’s Museum, which features exhibits about everything from technology to agriculture. At the EcoStation, kids can get down and dirty in the native plant garden and do water quality tests. Over in the “Cyberchase” zone, kids can get involved in a heroic battle against hackers who want to take over Cyberspace. This exhibit combines cartoon entertainment with a simplified approach to learning about the internet.

Diverseworks

DiverseWorks photo courtesy of Ed Schipul

Although it’s counted among this neighborhood’s museums, DiverseWorks is more like a home for Houston’s emerging art community. The center is known for risque visual and performance art in a variety of mediums that emphasizes artistic expression above all. The center helps to promote local and national artists while giving residents a chance to experience the arts up close.

The Lawndale Art Center

Lawndale Art Center photo courtesy of Emaileelink

Another center for artists, the Lawndale Art Center presents contemporary art with a heavy focus on regional artists. The center switches out exhibits on a regular basis, and these exhibits range from murals and sculptures to collages and photography. The center also features community events and accepts proposals from local artists for new exhibits. The center includes four museum-quality galleries in addition to numerous studios and a sculpture garden, making it an ideal destination for local art lovers.

Rothko Chapel

Rothko Chapel photo courtesy of Mike Linksvayer

The least museum-like destination on the list of Museum District destinations, Rothko Chapel inspired the murals of painter Mark Rothko. The chapel is carpeted with well-trimmed lawns, and it’s famous for the obelisk that sits on the grounds. While Rothko Chapel does act as a meeting place for people of all faiths, it’s also a general meditation space where visitors can sit and appreciate both the outdoor lawns and the unique chapel interior. Rothko Chapel is a special destination in the district, and it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Where to Live

Hermann Park

The Museum District is an enviable destination for art and culture lovers. Unsurprisingly, there have been recent efforts to build in the area. The Houston Business Journal reports that construction has begun on a new mid-rise condominium project. The new residential development, Museum Blvd, will eventually house 37 units starting in the $220,000s.

Main Street, which cuts through the heart of the district, runs along some of the most popular museum destinations and the large outdoor destination of Hermann Park. Just off of Main, residents can find homes starting in the $300,000s. Townhomes built with a New Orleans style courtyard can be found at 1307 Rosedale. These homes are built in a Mediterranean style, with floor layouts including as many as three bedrooms. 

The lack of space in the district puts homes lots in higher demand, as does the district’s convenient position at the juncture of Interstate 69 and Highway 288. This combination of factors means that many standalone homes carry a slightly higher price, with homes often starting at $400,000. Built in a traditional style, these homes can be found along not only Main Street, but other major roadways, such as Almeda Road and Southmore Boulevard.

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