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This article highlights the top 12 things to do in Huntsville TX.
Located an hour and a half north of Houston on I-45, Huntsville is one of the most well-known cities in Texas due to its ties to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Home to Sam Houston State University, Huntsville is also a great travel destination with many exciting activities to enjoy while you’re there.
If you’re visiting one of these 14 fabulous weekend getaways near Houston, Huntsville is on the same route to Dallas!
Here are 12 things to do in Huntsville TX.
Take a Picture with Sam Houston Himself
Just south of Huntsville on I-45, you won’t miss the sight of the 67-foot tall statue of Sam Houston, the tallest statue of an American hero in the United States. Sam Houston, one of the founding fathers of Texas who led the state to independence from Mexico in 1836, lived and died in Huntsville. The larger than life statue is a monument to his leadership and courage.
Tourists love having their picture taken in front of the towering figure and is one of the top things to do in Huntsville TX. The on-site Visitor Center houses several helpful travel brochures and information about the statue and the community of Huntsville. There’s also a gift shop inside to purchase Sam Houston memorabilia.
Feed the Ducks and Visit Sam Houston’s Home
If you find the Sam Houston Statue and the Texas history tied to Sam Houston interesting, you’ll certainly want to check out the duck pond in town, which sits on the property owned by the Sam Houston Memorial Museum. In addition to feeding the ducks that make their home there, you can visit the homestead of Sam Houston and several other historic buildings that are connected to him as well. Locals enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Duck Pond, which makes it the perfect background for photos. You can also learn more about Sam Houston inside the main museum itself.
Learn the History of the Texas Prison System
Because of the large number of prisons and the presence of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Huntsville is affectionately known as “prison city.” It’s also the perfect place to learn the history of Texas prisons. The Texas Prison Museum is home to a wide array of artifacts from Texas prison history, including “Old Sparky,” the electric chair that was used as the primary method of execution in Texas from 1924 to 1964.
Watch the Prison Bat Colony Fly By Night
You might be surprised to discover that Huntsville has its own colony of bats that live in an old abandoned Texas Department of Criminal Justice cotton warehouse that sits adjacent to The Walls Prison Unit. Just before sunset, you can park your car on the street and watch 750,000 Mexican free-tail bats fly out of the building into the Huntsville night sky.
Learn Military History at the H.E.A.R.T.S. Veteran’s Museum
Touting itself as less of a military museum than a celebration of the men and women who have risked their lives to serve and protect, H.E.A.R.T.S. Veteran’s Museum is home to several pieces of interesting military artifacts and memorabilia. The museum provides guided tours so visitors can take an interesting journey through Texas’ military past.
Go Fishing or Hike a Trail at the Huntsville State Park
Sitting on approximately 2083 acres of wooded area within the Sam Houston National Forest, the Huntsville State Park is a great place to enjoy the outdoors while you’re in Huntsville. Go fishing, paddle boating, or even take a swim in the lake [but watch out for alligators]! If you’re looking for things to do in Huntsville TX, Huntsville State Park is also a great place for camping and enjoying nature exploring through some of the hiking trails.
[Learn how to set up a camp kitchen with this AMAZING post!]
Take a Swim at the Frank D. “Poncho” Roberts Aquatics Center
The public pool at Huntsville’s Frank D. “Poncho” Roberts Aquatics Center is a great place to swim with two pools, one large pool dedicated to more experienced swimmers [and used by competitive swimming teams throughout the year] and a smaller pool for children, complete with a super fun water slide. Next to the pool is a splash pad that’s also great for kids.
Scuba Dive in the Blue Lagoon
Living up to its name, Blue Lagoon is a beautiful clear blue tropical paradise where you can learn how to scuba dive or practice your skills if you already know how to dive. If scuba diving isn’t your thing, Blue Lagoon is still an impressive place to swim and enjoy the crystal clear waters.
Check out a Book or Enjoy a Community Program at the Huntsville Public Library
The Huntsville Public Library is home to an impressive collection of books for readers of all ages, as well as a genealogy center. There’s an area for children to play while you browse, and if you need to access a computer, they have a fully equipped computer lab. Throughout the year, the library hosts special events for children and adults.
Enjoy Local Arts Programming at the Wynne Home Arts and Visitor Center
Located in a beautifully-restored mansion from the 19th century, Wynne Home aims to provide visitors with an experience in the arts that celebrates the history and culture of the community. The center is often home to local art exhibits, and it offers art classes and workshops as well as many other cultural events. Tours are available to the public.
Give the Kids a Unique Arts Experience at The Carol Turner Children’s Museum
Unique to Huntsville, the Carol Turner Children’s Museum is located in a house on University Avenue near Sam Houston State University. The museum provides many fun activities for children, such as painting, puppet-making, and toy car racing. Children’s artwork is also on display for visitors to enjoy.
Dine at Some of the Restaurants Unique to Huntsville
Huntsville is, of course, home to several great chain restaurants, such as Whataburger and Chick-fi-A, but the restaurants that truly stand out are the ones you’ll only find in Huntsville. Add checking out the local restaurant scene to your list of things to do in Huntsville TX!
The Walls BBQ has some of the best BBQ you’ll find in Texas, and the service is top-notch. Arnaud’s Food Park is home to several great local food trucks. It’s a great place to gather with friends or family and enjoy some great local food. If you want to enjoy some homemade country cooking, The Farmhouse is the place to go. Enjoy a tasty meal and follow it up with a delicious pie from the bakery.
Have you been to Huntsville, TX? What are your favorite things to do in Huntsville TX?