Houston Zoo

The Houston Zoo is one of the cheapest and most democratic of local attractions (despite being a top-notch facility, as far as zoos go), and one of the few places in the heart of town where one can see lots of tourists, both foreign and domestic. The animals are pretty great, too, with everything from the popular sea lions to the creepy-crawly stuff in the humid confines of the reptile house. If you've got young kids, throw them in the dolphin strollers and make a day of it. If you're just planning a trip with grown-ups, forget your pride for a minute and take a ride on the miniature train that takes off from just outside the entrance gates and circles Hermann Park.