On her hometown tour, interior designer Paloma Contreras pointed out world-class art collections and more of her picks for what to see in Houston.

what to see in houston

The Menil Collection (Photo by Don Glentzer, courtesy of The Menil Collection)

The Menil Collection is one of my favorite places in Houston. The Renzo Piano architecture creates a stunning space for the collection donated by philanthropists John and Dominique de Menil. With works by Cy Twombly, Alexander Calder, Dan Flavin, and others, this place is a must.

what to see in Houston

Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens (Photo by Rick Gardner, courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston)

Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens is another place that any design lover should visit. The 1920s estate has extensive gardens and is home to an important collection of American antiques.

what to see in houston

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Photo by Rob Williamson, courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston)

Houston is lucky to have so many amazing museums. The crown jewel is The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, which is in the midst of a massive expansion set to open in May. The exhibits there blow away my out-of-town guests.

After the museum, head five blocks west and see North and South Boulevards, where 100-year-old live oaks create a canopy for gorgeous historic homes, many designed by noted Houston architects John Staub and Birdsall Briscoe.

what to see in houston

James Turrell Skyspace (Photo by Florian Holzherr, courtesy of Rice University)

Down the street, the James Turrell “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace at Rice University is an incredible sight to behold. Light projected to (and through) the ceiling changes color at sunrise and sunset. It’s the perfect setting for contemplation.

what to see in houston

Buffalo Bayou Park (Photo by Rick Gardner)

Houston is known as the Bayou City, and our newest outdoor space, Buffalo Bayou Park, is a great place to bike, walk, or even kayak.

By Kirk Reed Forrester | Photography by Max Burkhalter

More of Contrera’s Guide to Houston

More Hometown Guides