Rough-and-tumble East Houston is the city's beating, industrial heart - along with William P. Hobby Airport, you'll find the Houston Ship Channel and working-class neighborhoods (as made famous by John Travolta in the film Urban Cowboy) in the shadow of the somewhat alien landscape of oil refineries that line the shores. On closer inspection, though, East Houston is not so easily defined - here is also rich Hispanic culture (and eats!), Houston's namesake university (with surprisingly good student-run hotel and restaurant!), and off-the-wall live theater (bring the kids!).
Battleship Texas and San Jacinto Battleground Monument, , in San Jacinto State Park, Battleground Rd., LaPorte (From IH-610 east, take SH-225 east for 11 miles to Battleground Road (SH-134), continue north approximately 2 miles. Turn right on Park Road 1836 for the Monument or continue on SH-134 another mile to reach the Battleship.), . Open every day (closed for major holidays), 10-5 (battleship), 8-6 (monument). San Jacinto Monument is free. Tour a World World II battleship. The monument commemorates the battle at which Texas won its independence from Mexico. Adults $5, Children (6-18) $3, Children (5 and under) free. Senior discounts..
Linh Son Pagoda in Santa Fe, Texas has a 50ft/15m high brilliant white statue of the Buddha, North America's largest.
Space Center Houston Indoor fun space museum with lots of hands-on space-science exhibits and artifacts from the full history of U.S. space exploration. Highlights include the actual Apollo and Mercury launch vehicles, and a tour of astronaut training facilities.