Known affectionately as "H-Town" by locals, Houston, Texas, was once the capital of the Republic of Texas. As of 2010, it is the fourth-largest city in the United States, according to the Visit Houston, Texas, website. Comprising nearly 600 square miles of land, there are plenty of things for adults to see and do in Houston.
National Museum of Funeral History
The National Museum of Funeral History opened in 1992. This museum's trademarked motto is, "Any day above ground is a good one." Visit the diorama showing how embalming was performed on the battlefield during the Civil War; check out the "Fantasy Coffins" exhibit featuring coffins in the shape of a Mercedes-Benz, a leopard and a Yamaha outboard motor; and see the 5,000 square foot exhibit dedicated to the lives and deaths of the Popes.
Adult admission is $10 as of 2010. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
The National Museum of Funeral History 415 Barren Springs Drive Houston, TX 77090 281-876-3063 nmfh.org/
Beer Can House
Visit the world-famous Beer Can House, where visitors have been coming for over 30 years. John Milkovisch, a retired upholsterer who worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad, started inlaying objects like metal and marbles into redwood to make lawn landscaping objects in 1968. Once he'd filled the front and back yards of his home, he started cutting up and flattening his own empty beer cans and adding them to the side of his house. Toiling at his project for 18 years, Mr. Milkovisch eventually added over 50,000 flattened beer cans to the sides of his house - even going so far as to create hanging garlands from the home's edges.
Admission to the home's grounds is $2. A guided tour will cost you $5, and features the history of the home, the Rice Military neighborhood, folk art in Texas and Mr. Milkovisch's techniques. Prices are as of 2010. The Beer Can House is open from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
The Beer Can House 222 Malone St. Houston, TX 77007 beercanhouse.org
La Carafe Wine Bar
Experience the oldest commercial building still in use in the city and what is thought to be the oldest bar in Houston. Built in 1847, the La Carafe Wine Bar is listed in the National Register for Historical Places. Originally a bakery that made biscuits for Confederate soldiers during the Civil War, the building became a pony express station, then finally became the La Carafe in the 1950s. Dimly lit during the day, mostly by natural light, candles are lit after sundown and the wax has been allowed to build up for years. Though the small building is two-stories, the downstairs is the only portion open as of 2010 because of safety concerns regarding the second floor. The wood around the windows has been replaced over the years, but the brick is original. This piece of history is known for it's relaxed atmosphere.
La Carafe Wine Bar 813 Congress Houston, TX 77002 713-229-9399 owlnet.rice.edu