Houston Bucket List -- 100 Things to Do in Houston Before You Die: Saddle Up, Cowboy

Page 3 of 3

Nine More (in no particular order)

Brush up on your Houston and Texas history at Houston Public Library's Julia Ideson Building. Certain places in our city, where architecture has been preserved instead of torn down, hold a kind of mystique because they are so unique. This is certainly true of the HPL's Julia Ideson Building, which sits adjacent to the downtown library and across the street from City Hall. In addition to its extensive collection of Texas history books, it has the largest photo archive in the city, where you can find just about any historic photo of Houston you want.

Take a picture with a David Adickes statue. The iconic Beatles statues and presidents' heads from artist David Adickes are ideal public art for Houston. They aren't stuffy and they are truly public, along freeways and sitting in oversized yards. And if you're going to live in Houston for any period of time, you probably need to get a picture taken next to one of them because they really are quintessentially Houston.

Float down Buffalo Bayou in a canoe or kayak or pontoon boat. It's not exactly the Rhine, as the Allen Brothers depicted it in magazine ads selling the city all those years ago, but the bayou that inspired a brilliant book of black and white photography from local photographer Geoff Winningham is a pretty fascinating thing to see close up. You'll be surprised at how unique the view of the city is from this vantage point.

Take the Saint Arnold and Karbach brewery tours. I love factory tours. There is something about seeing the inner workings and machinery of a big commercial facility that reminds me of being a kid. Fortunately, we not only have two good tours, they include beer! Both Saint Arnold and Karbach offer tours of their facilities complete with samplings of their wares.

Go to the largest quilt festival in the world. You might be surprised to learn that the biggest tribute to quilting in the world happens every fall here in Houston with the International Quilt Festival. In fact, the show began here and is now the largest in the world, drawing enthusiasts from across the globe. If you think quilts are just boring-looking ways to keep warm at your grandma's house, you haven't seen some of the incredible works of art and historic blankets this festival boasts every year.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke