Houston Museum of Natural Science

After my visit to the Downtown Aquarium Houston, I headed towards Hermann Park, where most of the attractions included in the Houston CityPass are located. Since I wanted to go further to the Kemah Boardwalk and many attractions would close their doors soon, I limited myself to the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

That was the right thing to do, because you can easily spend a very long period of time at this place. The Museum of Natural Science is without question one of the most breathtaking museums I have visited so far. This is mainly due to the Morian Hall of Paleontology, which contains over 450 fossils, including skeletons of the Tyrannosaurus Rex and other large dinosaurs.

Equally interesting is the Hall of Ancient Egypt, which houses numerous exhibits from ancient Egypt, or the Farish Hall of Texas Wildlife, where over 250 native species of animals are displayed to visitors.

In the Wiess Energy Hall 3.0, visitors can expect a very impressive and mostly interactive insight into energy production. In addition to two simulators there is a short film by Kurzgesagt to be admired.

All in all, I could hardly stop being amazed at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, making it one of the highlights of my trip. At least it shaped this day, which is why I would highly recommend a visit to everyone.

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Space Center Houston

Since amusement parks in the United States are usually not open on Easter Monday, I had to discard my original tour planning right at the beginning of the tour and re-schedule it. Between the weekend in San Antonio and the next amusement park of the tour there should be two days off, whereby I declared one of them as a pure road trip day – after all, there was still a distance of about 1000km ahead of me.

After the night on Galveston Island with the best view on the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier – which is not so historical – I started to focus on the attractions of the nearby city of Houston. On this occasion I decided to go for the offer which is part of the Houston CityPass.

The first stop of the day was the Space Center Houston. The official visitor center of the NASA Johnson Space Center offers an authentic look behind the scenes of space travel. Several guided tours are offered, including a look at the NASA campus and key historical sites. In addition, the Space Center offers a huge museum and numerous exhibitions – for example, a Saturn V rocket can be admired in its full length in Rocket Park.

However, things only become really interesting with the Level 9 VIP Tour, where you can get an insight into the daily business of NASA. But the extra charge for the five-hour tour is really something special, which is why only space enthusiasts should treat themselves to this package. Friends of science museums will be well entertained by the overall offer of the Space Center Houston.

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Wandering around the Palo Duro Canyon

I did not think my journey would start like this. The Palo Duro Canyon, however, was the most interesting way to somehow bridge the time until the opening of the Wonderland Amusement Park in the evening.

I’m not a philistine, I visit cities, museums and other sightseeing attractions and I always enjoy going to the theatre – but on a roller coaster tour it can be quite difficult to accommodate all of these and rushing through a city is not really my thing. Daniel’s reports about his adventures away from the usual paths of a roller coaster enthusiast always made me curious, which is why I had to visit a State or a National Park during my holiday. Luckily, the second largest canyon in the USA was just on my way.

Excited, I reached the entrance to the Palo Duro Canyon State Park around noon. After paying the small entrance fee and provided with a map, I started my discovery tour through the canyon. After a few miles, the canyon showed itself and I was immediately impressed by the beauty of the canyon. This landscape is just breathtaking.

Of course I did not want to sit in the car all the time. The flagship of the State Park is the Lighthouse Rock, which can be reached via the Lighthouse Trail (2.7 mi one way) or a combination of Givens, Spicer, Lowry Trail and Lighthouse Trail (4.2 mi in total one way). Since I did not want to hike any of the routes back and forth and did not want to hike from parking lot to parking lot via the Paseo del Rio Trail, I decided to not have a look on the Lighthouse Rock.

Instead, I started on the Pioneer Nature Trail with its length of 0.5 miles, before I moved onto the 1.4-mile Kiowa Trail, where I was spelled by the nature’s colourful beauty. Since the weather was pleasantly warm and the UV exposure was low, you could walk here without any hurry and without any great safety precautions. In summer I imagine the hike should be way more exhausting.

For the way back, I hiked the Upper Comanche Trail. This trail turned out to be a pure adventure with steep gorges, narrow paths and oncoming traffic by mountain bikers. The view was always breathtaking and every meter of this 3.4-mile trail is a really great experience, which should not be missed.

I never thought that my tour would start with such a highlight. The Palo Duro Canyon State Park was just a great experience, which I would like to repeat at some point. There are still many more paths to explore and the Lighthouse Rock is still waiting for me. There is also an amphitheater in the middle of the State Park, where the musical Texas has been played for over 50 years. Although I doubt that I would like the patriotic spectacle; a visit to the canyon is just awesome.

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