Plan a Group Trip to Houston’s Hidden Gems

Organizing a group trip around a major city can be tough. That's where Longhorn Charter Bus Houston comes in! We'll reserve your group safe and comfortable transportation across the city, no matter the occasion. Visit Houston's many highlights, plan a field trip to educational destinations, or even delve into the city's "hidden gems."

Give us a call at 713-344-0553 to get a free, personalized quote!

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Explore the Best of Houston's Oddities

As the biggest city in Texas, Houston is home to some of the most popular attractions in the state. Tourist spots like Space Center Houston and the Houston Museum of Nature & Science make amazing stops for first-time visitors. But locals or returning visitors may be a little tired of the huge crowds at top Houston attractions. So why not make a group trip of visiting the city’s lesser-known gems? Sure, Austin is the Texas hub for oddities, but Houston has its own flair too.

Longhorn Charter Bus wants to help you travel to Houston’s best hidden gems! Gather a group, book a private charter bus and check out amazing locations off the beaten path. Longhorn Charter Bus specializes in all types of group transportation and works with your personalized itinerary, no matter where you want to go. Travel around Houston’s oddest attractions at your leisure while a professional driver and our team of experts handle getting you there.

Just give us a call at 713-344-0553 to reserve a minibus or charter bus for your group trip around Houston or anywhere else your Texas exploration takes you.

the baps hindu shrine gate in houston

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Houston

Address: 1150 Brand Lane, Stafford, TX 77477 USA
Phone: (281) 765-2277

This elaborate Hindu temple is located about 20 miles from Downtown Houston and is a must-visit spot for groups interested in world religions, culture, art, and architecture. School and university groups will learn a great deal immersing themselves in the beauty of The Mandir and the practices of Hinduism.

Although this temple primarily serves as a place of worship, visitors are welcome and group tours are available by reservation for those with 8 or more people. Tour requests must be made at least 15 days in advance for the temple to accommodate your group. If you’re traveling with fewer people, you're welcome to visit the temple and take an audio tour around the grounds and to visit the Understanding Hinduism exhibition.

All visits are free and visitors are encouraged to participate in daily rituals and activities. Be sure to check The Mandir’s website for temple guidelines and prayer and ritual schedules.

Bus tip: The Mandir has ample parking for charter buses. Parking attendants are on-site to guide your bus driver to an appropriate parking area. If you're visiting during exceptionally busy times around holidays like Diwali, expect much bigger crowds and tighter parking.


inside the buffalo bayou cistern in houston

Image courtesy of Nelo Hotsuma on Flickr.

Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern

Address: 105 Sabine St, Houston, TX 77007
Phone: (713) 752-0314

Buffalo Bayou Park is by no means considered a “hidden gem,” but its underground cistern definitely qualifies as one. The retired water reservoir may resemble a horror movie set, but it makes for a cool photo op too.

With 87,500 square feet of space and 25-foot columns, the cistern has served as the backdrop for art installations in partnership with local museums. Works by Magdalena Fernández and Carlos Cruz-Diez have created impressive optical illusions along the cistern’s cement columns.

The Buffalo Bayou Partnership offers a variety of tours in the cistern, including a 30-minute history tour, a one-hour photography session, and private tour options for groups of up to 30 people. Tickets for individuals range from $5-10 and private one-hour group tours cost $150. Reservations are required for all visitors to get the most of their experience. Walk-in tours are available but are exceptionally limited and only last 15 minutes.

Travel tip: The time you can spend in the cistern is relatively short, so plan other things to do around Buffalo Bayou and Downtown Houston. Take a walk along the river, grab a bite at one of many local eateries, or visit one of the nearby museums and performing arts centers.

art car covered in fruit

Image courtesy of A Yee on Flickr.

Art Car Museum

Address: 140 Heights Blvd, Houston, TX 77007
Phone: (713) 861-5526

Cars really can tell a lot about their drivers. Art cars are the pinnacle of personal expression through vehicles. These cars can include everything from simple additions like wraps and decals to full-blown welding and adhesion of foreign objects (Have you ever seen a car covered in fake fruit? Yeah, probably not.)

The Art Car Museum is a small but quirky private collection and worth a quick group visit. The cars on display do periodically rotate, so you may see a car covered in seashells or cowboy regalia, or even a few tricked-out classic cars. It’s an interesting place to plan a short outing for seniors who love cars or even a unique group trip for your community art club.


Visiting the museum is free but donations are always welcome. Large groups should call ahead at (713) 861-5526 to ensure the museum can comfortably accommodate you. Be sure to check the museum’s calendar for special events and exhibitions like the Annual Art Car Parade.

Bus tip: Parking is very limited. So parking a full-sized charter bus can be a hassle (if not impossible). Groups traveling in a compact minibus will be able to find street parking available just down the road.

mosaic art at smither park in houston

Image courtesy of juliahello on Flickr.

Smither Park and The Orange Show

Address: 2401-2441 Munger St, Houston, TX 77023
Phone: (713) 926-6368

Bringing together the mosaic work of more than 300 artists, Smither Park is one of the largest ongoing community art projects in the city. The half-acre park was initially started by local artist Dan Phillips and now features several large-scale mosaic pieces designed and constructed by the community. Major features include the Lindley Fish Amphitheater, The Vinson & Elkins Pavilion, and the in-progress Burguieres, Hinton and Mathre Swings.

The Orange Show is adjacent to Smither Park and a must-visit spot if you’re already in the area. Local mailman Jefferson Davis McKissack started The Orange Show on an empty residential lot in 1956 as a love letter to all things citrus. McKissack solely worked on this piece of folk art until his death in 1980. It’s now run by a nonprofit organization with donors ranging from late philanthropist Dominique de Menil and Houston natives ZZ Top.

the orange show in houston

Image courtesy of cy esp on Flickr.

The more-than-3,000-square-foot monument is an offbeat mixture of structures that are honestly quite hard to explain. It’s equal parts a museum, a maze, and a performance stage, and it also has a gift shop, a wishing well, and viewing decks.

Entering Smither Park is free every day, but donations are always welcome. The Orange Show is $5 for adults, and children under 12 are free. Special events like wedding ceremonies and private performances may cause Smither Park to close to the public. The Orange Show also closes seasonally for routine maintenance and restoration. Check their website and event calendar before planning a trip to both sites.

Group tours for both attractions can be requested through this link and will cost an additional fee. Smither Park and the Orange Show are unique educational destinations for art classes, community organizations, and even big families who want to bring out the artist in their little ones.

Bus Tip: These attractions are located in a mostly residential area and have no formal parking lots. Street parking is available along Munger Street and enough space should be available for smaller models of minibus. Consider calling ahead to inquire about additional parking options if you’re visiting in a larger vehicle.


National Museum of Funeral Historyornate funeral carriage at the national museum of funeral history houston

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Address: 415 Barren Springs Dr, Houston, TX 77090-5918
Phone: (281) 876-3063

Alright, this one may seem a little macabre, but it's truly a hidden gem among the city’s many museums. It explores the long history of the funeral industry across different cultures. From the history of ancient Egyptian embalming practices to historical hearses and caskets from the Americas, Europe, Ghana, and Japan, you’d be surprised by how much there is to learn about funerals.

The extensive exhibits include permanent areas dedicated to Dia de los Muertos, funerals for U.S. presidents and Popes, and a rare collection of horse-drawn carriages and hearses from services for big names like Grace Kelly. The collection is relatively large, so give your group about two hours to explore everything.

Visiting the museum is an amazing educational opportunity in history, the sciences, and international cultures. If you’re planning to bring children, keep in mind the museum is recommended for ages 7 and up. The exhibitions are solely focused on education and most visitors wouldn’t consider them morbid or scary: older children are just more likely to get the most out of a visit.

Group rates require a minimum of 25 people and are $8 per person. Docent-led tours are also available for request over the phone or by emailing Tours are recommended for no more than 30 people at a time. So if you have a bigger group, expect to split into a few separate tours for the museum to easily accommodate you.

Bus tip: The museum is relatively far from other popular locations like the Houston Museum District. There’s plentiful, free parking for both charter buses and minibuses. So no need to worry about organizing difficult pick-up and drop-off processes with your charter bus driver.

Tour Houston's Oddities with Longhorn Charter Bus

Are you ready to see some of Houston’s hidden gems? Great! Longhorn Charter Bus has rental experts available 24/7 to book a motorcoach for your trip. Ride in complete comfort with amenities like WiFi and power outlets to share your interesting trip on social media, reclining seats to relax, and TVs with DVD players to pass the time on long drives. Call 713-344-0553 to get a free, no-obligation quote for your tour around Houston.