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Houston Tunnel Tour

Heart of the Tunnel Walk

General Info | Photo Gallery | Traveller Feedback
Review rating: from 58 reviews


Tunnel into the heart of Houston on this adventure from  the 1920's to now. Trade in Art Deco for contemporary and head underground into the city's tunnel system to discover what lies beneath. A nifty chance to escape the Texan heat, this Houston tour even surprises locals. 

Highlights:
  • Discover Houston's underground Tunnel System with a local guide
  • Learn about the history of Houston through its architechture and art
  • Take pictures from the 60th floor of Chase Tower, the tallest building in Texas
  • Shop at Houston’s visitor centre inside City Hall

Tour style:Walking & Orientation, Local Life & Culture, Heritage & History
Inclusions:

Local English-speaking guide


Exclusions:

Personal food, beverages, tips and gratuities for your local guide.


Group size:Maximum 12
Schedule details:
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Meeting point:

    Café Express, 650 Main St, Houston, Texas 77002

  • Starting time: 9.30 AM
  • Ending point:

    Café Express, 650 Main St, Houston, Texas 77002


Additional information :
  • Voucher exchange details:

    Please present your voucher to the local guide at the beginning of the tour.

  • Confirmation of booking:

    If you have your voucher, your booking is confirmed. We'll see you at the start point. 


    Get in touch if you have any concerns or require more information via the email address or phone number (business hours only) on your voucher.

  • Additional information:

    Downtown parking: Do not park at a parking meter for this tour. The meters are good for only two hours and violation tickets are quite expensive. Please park at an indoor garage or on an outside lot. For more information about parking downtown, go to www.DowntownHouston.org.

  • Dress standard:

    Please wear comfortable walking shoes and clothing. While the weather outside from May-November can be hot and humid, the Tunnel System is air-conditioned. While the weather from December-February can be cold, the Tunnel System is heated. Please check the local weather forecast and dress appropriately in case of rain and/or high winds.

  • Child policy:

    This is a child-friendly tour. Children between the ages of 6 and 11 inclusively are permitted on this tour at the rate listed above. Please select ‘child’ above when booking. Children under the age of 6 are permitted to join this tour free of charge. Please inform us at the time of booking if you’ll be bringing a child under the age of 6. You can do so in the special request box on the checkout page.

  • Language: English

Itinerary:

We would be the first to say that walking through the streets of Houston is pretty special, but did you know that there is a whole underground system of tunnels below the city? This Heart of the Tunnel Walk will take you through the city, over and underground, and into the sky to the best lookout point in Houston. You’ll get to know the city from every angle on this Houston walking tour!

Meet your local guide and begin this Houston tour by walking down Main Street to the Chase Bank Building, which features eight frescoes depicting Texas history. With your local guide to explain these pieces, you’ll gain a greater understanding of the history of the city. From here we’ll enter the Downtown HoustonTunnel System and walk over to Chase Tower, the tallest building in Texas. Ride an elevator up to the 60th floor and take some epic photos of Houston from the sky lobby!

Time to head back to ground level and go outside for a photo op in front of Joan Miro’s 1982 Personage and Birds. Next on this historical Houston Tour you’ll head across the street and enter Philip Johnson’s award-winning Pennzoil Place. You’ll ride an escalator down to the Tunnel and walk underground to Skidmore, Owings and Merrill’s 1972 One Shell Plaza, where you’ll have a shopping opportunity at Mendota, a unique boutique featuring gifts from around the world.

Next, you’ll head outside to walk through Hermann Square Park into Houston’s City Hall, home to one of the largest visitors centers in the U.S. Watch a short video about Houston, pose for a photo with a life-size statue of Houston’s namesake, purchase cowboy hats, postcards and souvenirs, look at exhibits, and pick up free literature about what to do in the nation’s fourth-largest city. 

Finish your Houston tour by walking through downtown’s newest tunnel and returning to Georgia’s Market with your guide. If you prefer to stay downtown, your guide will show you how to explore more of downtown’s best sites above and below, like Discovery Green, the Theatre District, and more via the Greenlink Connector and MetroRail.


Photo Gallery:

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Traveller Feedback:

Want to check out what other travellers think of their Urban Adventure experience? See below for our traveller feedback. 

Heart of the Tunnel Walk has an average customer care rating of 4.73 (out of a possible 5). The scores for each parameter are:
  • Your overall experience ...................................................................................... 4.74
  • Your guide’s enthusiasm, local knowledge and communication skills........................................................................................................................ 4.95
  • The level of opportunity to learn more about the culture, interact
    with locals, and experience their way of life......................................................4.50
  • The Responsible Travel philosophy implemented on your
    Urban Adventure................................................................................................... 4.78
  • Did the trip match your expectations?.............................................................. 4.69

Mr. Steve S.
USA ~ 14 Apr 2015
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Fun excursion. Tour guide Mike was exceptional. Would highly recommend to others.

 

Ms. Kayla V.
~ 10 Apr 2015
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I liked that the tour guide was so knowledgeable and really framed everything into context that was easy to remember and appreciate.

 

Ms. Lyana S.
~ 16 Mar 2015
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This guide had the perfect amount of sightseeing and listening to the tour guide giving a history lesson. I had a fun time exploring my own city. Our tour guide, Mike was beyond amazing. My friend and I were 15 minutes late due to an accident on the road (we drove from Spring to Downtown Houston) and he was understanding. He also had a great sense of humor and an extensive knowledge of the city. I would definitely recommend him!

 

Mr. Mike L.
USA ~ 06 Jan 2015
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The tour of Houston s underground was interesting. I wish the weather would have been clear to see the city from the 60th floor of the building we were in. The guide was very informative and had great stories of the history of Houston . Can't wait to do the pub crawl.Michael is a very good guide.

 

Mrs. Anne D.
USA ~ 22 Nov 2014
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Our tour guide, Mike, was excellent. As a visitor to Houston I learned quite a bit about the city and its history.

 

Ms. Paege F.
USA ~ 28 Oct 2014
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I had a wonderful time! I love Mike!

 

Mr. Eren Mehmet K.
Turkey ~ 24 Oct 2014
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It was a small group, I liked it very much. There was a lot of opportunity to ask questions.

 

Mr. Kellie A.
USA ~ 08 Sep 2014
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Really enjoyed the tour. The guide was very informative about history of the area. He also explained what we could expect from the tour at the beginning. Had a great time & would recommend to others.

 

Ms. Kassandra M.
USA ~ 25 Aug 2014
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Mikey is awesome of course...his advanced knowledge of Houston history really developed the touring experience! We had an absolutely wonderful time!

 

Mrs. Vivian A.
USA ~ 25 Jul 2014
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My husband is from Houston and he learned a lot from this tour!

 

Ms. Carolyn F.
USA ~ 02 Jul 2014
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Extremely enjoyed trip ... things I had never known about in Houston downtown ... Mike was a great informative guide.
This was our first Urban Adventures tour, but we look forward to others.

 

Mrs. Lenda J.
USA ~ 11 Apr 2014
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Mike did an awesome job of explaining and sharing Houston's culture and the tunnel experience. I enjoyed it so much that I plan on bringing my grandkids to take the tour when they visit this summer.

 

Ms. Tracy P.
USA ~ 06 Apr 2014
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I really liked the leisurely pace which allowed us to investigate the farmer's market while outside. I found it easy to ask any question that popped into my head and I feel comfortable exploring the tunnel system on my own now.

 

Mr. Alan N.
USA ~ 18 Mar 2014
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Very knowledgable guide. I had heard about the tunnel system but had never been to see it. Great experience for all of us.

 

Mr. Kuros S.
USA ~ 27 Nov 2013
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We took the Houston Tunnel Tour and liked it. Personally I loved the leisurely pace and the fact that there was no rush to get the tour done. Our tour was a little disjointed only because we actually had two tour guides who had quite different approached. Sandra was amazing and obviously LOVES leading the tours and is a natural at it. She really "makes" the tour and it would be a real pleasure to take any tour with her because she RELLY REALLY knows her stuff and relates it well. We both felt that she should consider getting a Segway so that she can continue to lead all of the tours. The other tour guide who was incredibly nice (her name escapes me at the moment) and whom we really liked was new and still has a ways to go before really being able to give a great tour. Overall we had a nice experience, enjoyed the tour, and were glad we took it.

 

Ms. Nicole Z.
Germany ~ 10 Nov 2013
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Great tour with a knowledgeable guide. Pace was good and we learned a lot...and I am fairly well read on Houston so that's saying something!

 

Mrs. Nicole F.
~ 13 Sep 2013
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I have lived in the Houston area (aka. Pearland) my entire life (over 30 yrs now) but I don't ventured into Houston very often. My husband and I heard about the tunnels a couple of years ago and we were able to make it out this year as an anniversary thing. It was so much fun. We loved hearing about the city and seeing all the history that is all around us. It was so neat to see a whole city going on underground. Jeremy was our tour guide and he was amazing. You have to check it out!

 

Ms. Jennifer S.
~ 03 Sep 2013
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I really enjoyed this tour and learning about the underground tunnel system in downtown Houston.

 

Ms. Susan M.
USA ~ 23 Aug 2013
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I think the Tunnel Tour exceeded my expectations in every way. My mom and I learned more about Houston than I could have thought imaginable, and we haven't been able to stop talking about it with our friends and family. Can't wait to try another tour! (Or maybe just head back down to the tunnels the next time we're in Houston!!)

 

Mr. Rudolph G.
USA ~ 06 Aug 2013
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We had a wonderful time. Our guide was very informative. Although we live in Houston, we felt like we were discovering the city for the first time. Thank you for a most enjoyable experience.

 

Mr. Warren B.
USA ~ 23 Jul 2013
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This was Jeremy's first tour. He is a keeper for sure.

 

Ms. Kaura W.
USA ~ 05 Jul 2013
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Sandra, our tour guide was knowledgeable, friendly, and professional. I learned a lot and had an enjoyable experience.

 

Mr. Omurhu O.
~ 14 Jun 2013
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Excellent tour. Guide was very knowledgeable. Enough breaks and stops to keep things interesting.

 

Ms. ana a.
Mexico ~ 28 May 2013
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We had a good time while doing the walk in the Tunnels in Houston Downtown, the guide tour knew a lot of history and he was sharing it with us all the time, we are glad we bought the groupon for this adventure!

 

Mrs. Hilary P.
USA ~ 21 May 2013
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The Tunnel Tour was very good & enjoyable, & Ron was very knowledgable.
I saw little point in stopping for lunch, as the Tour ended 15 minutes later. I guess it gives the restaurants business.

 

Ms. Crista C.
~ 30 Apr 2013
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we loved our guide (maybe ray or roy...it was a pace that was very comfortable, we were not rushed...and what a pleasant surprise that we were all called by our first names

 

Mr. Greg Q.
USA ~ 30 Apr 2013
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We have lived in Houston 30+ years and did not know that the tunnels existed. Sandra did an excellent job explaining the history of the downtown area as well as the development of the tunnel system. Her passion for the city is very evident and made the tour a great experience for all! Highly recommend!!!

 

Mr. Lindon G.
USA ~ 22 Apr 2013
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Loved it! Sandra was unbelievable with all the dates & info she gave us. She was the best we could have received! Will definitely do another tour.

 

Mrs. Stacy W.
USA ~ 18 Apr 2013
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Ron was quite knowledgeable.

 

Mrs. shelley j.
USA ~ 26 Mar 2013
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the tunnel walk was truly an adventure. i have talked to many people, some that actually live in houston, and they didn't even know there were tunnels under downtown. the guide was well versed on many of the buildings in the area, and their history. very enjoyable tour .

 

Mrs. Rosana Sonia J.
USA ~ 29 Jan 2013
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Thank you Sandra Lord!!!

 

Mr. Cledir L.
Brazil ~ 29 Oct 2012
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Ms. Sandra Lord was awesome! I really like it.

 

Mr. James S.
USA ~ 15 Aug 2012
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I have been living in Houston for 17 yrs and never been to the tunnels. This was a good introduction and the "non-tunnel" activity was better than the focal point of the tour. Susan was an excellent guide and would consider her for future tours without hesitation.

 

Mr. Eric H.
USA ~ 12 Aug 2012
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Great guide. She gave information about the Houston tunnels and city history that we would otherwise have missed. Good fun and enjoyed the educational experience.

 

Mr. Brian Z.
USA ~ 22 Jul 2012
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Great tour! Sandra is an outstanding guide, extremely knowledgeable,enthusiastic,and personable. Thank you!

 

Mrs. Carol B.
USA ~ 09 Jul 2012
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This tour was great! Our ladies'group had talked about touring the downtown tunnel for years, so we were really looking forward to this event. Sandra led the way and we gladly followed. She was a combination of Texas history & Houston information. We learned some things about Houston that we didn't know while admiring the various buildings on the tour. Sandra was great about letting us know when pictures could be taken & even showed us how to get that "perfect shot" from the 60th floor. We do have a great group shot that one of our ladies is planning on using on her blog - watch for that! Lunch was delish, we got to shop at the Visitor's Center and Sandra even showed us how to get to a local specialty grocery store downtown. Thanks to Sandra for making our experience such an enjoyable one.

 

Mrs. Delphine D.
USA ~ 29 Apr 2012
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This is the second tour that we take with Urban Adventures and Sandra Lord as our guide. She is a great guide that manages to adapt her tours to interest her visitors of the day. She has a great wealth of knowledge both historic and esoteric and she peppers her tours with both with great skill, gusto and panache. I highly recommend her tours as you will walk away with a smile and a feeling that you have spent a few hours with an old friend.

 

Mrs. Linda H.
~ 18 Mar 2012
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This is a great trip even for "locals" if you don't work and have never worked downtown. I learned a lot and enjoyed every minute of it.

 

Ms. Brenda B.
USA ~ 28 Jan 2012
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The tour is a different kind of view of the city, info you would never learn elsewhere. It is very interesting and makes me want to explore the places and enjoy the businesses I've been introduced to.

 

Mr. Vern V.
USA ~ 23 Jan 2012
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Great tour!!! We enjoyed it and our tour guide, Sandra, very much!

 

Mr. John K.
USA ~ 15 Jan 2012
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Very interesting tour.

 

Ms. Kerrenda B.
USA ~ 02 Jan 2012
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My tour guide was amazing. She was friendly and very knowledgable. She gave us so much information. Now I am so enthused about this tour I want everyone to try it. It was absolutly amazing.

 

Mrs. Rona F.
USA ~ 18 Dec 2011
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Tour guide was extremely knowledgeable, and friendly. We had a great time; and learned so much about Houston that we didn't know even after living here for decades! We would recommend this tour to friends.

 

Ms. Rose Ellen D.
USA ~ 13 Nov 2011
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what a great tour! the guide was extremely knowledgeable and i gained a lot of understanding of houston. i've lived here for a year and had no idea about the downtown buildings, architecture and tunnel system. this tour definitely helped me appreciate my city more!

 

Mrs. Renee H.
USA ~ 13 Nov 2011
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I am an (almost) lifelong Houstonian and was overwhelmed with the amount of "new" knowledge I gleaned from the tunnel walk. Sandra Lord, our guide, REALLY knew her stuff and went the extra mile to answer all our questions. Sign up - you will be glad you did!

 

Mrs. Dawn U.
New Zealand ~ 09 Nov 2011
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We thoroughly enjoyed our Heart of the Tunnel Walk through Houston. Not only did we see some great architecture and learned Texas history, but we discovered a whole new world underneath Houston. Miguel, our guide was fun and knowledgeable.

 

Ms. Robin W.
USA ~ 01 Nov 2011
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Great tour! It was fun and informative. Our guide, Miguel, was fabulous. I will take my out of town guests to one of these. I look forward to taking your other tours.

 

Mrs. Laurie O.
USA ~ 23 Oct 2011
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Our guide was very knowledgable and made the whole experience enjoyable. She even made it possible for us to have a photo with the Houston Mayor.

 

Ms. Amanda P.
USA ~ 29 Aug 2011
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Sandra is great & I never knew there was so much to see below and above Houston, Texas!

 
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Your trip:

For your Urban Adventure you will be in a small group of a maximum of 12 people.

Tipping:

If you are happy with the services provided by your local guides a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid Urban Adventures destinations. Please consider this when budgeting for your extra expenses on this tour

  • Cancellations made more than 2 days prior to travel receive a full refund
  • Cancellations made 2 days or less prior to travel attract a 100% cancellation fee.


Houston Urban Adventures

Houston Urban Adventures unlock the secrets of Houston and Texas.  Join us on a Heart of the Tunnel Walk or a Historic Downtown Pub Crawl to find out what makes the city tick and get acquainted with the local food, culture, and traditions.

For more fun, food and culture, take a tour of Los Angeles  or a tour of San Francisco.


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Responsible Travel with Urban Adventures

At Urban Adventures, we firmly believe local travel is one of the best ways we can support responsible tourism. In fact, we believe it so strongly that we’ve made it our entire business! All our tours are run by local experts, not some faceless corporate team located halfway around the world with no sense of the local vibe.

We craft our tours to ensure every traveller has authentic interactions with local people, businesses, transportation, and food and drink. Local travel gives you the opportunity to experience a destination as locals do, and has the potential to impact you in ways you never imagined. In short: local is awesome.

As a responsible travel company, we promise to:

  • Use locally owned infrastructure on our tours whenever possible.
  • Spread the financial benefits amongst local people and operators.
  • Provide employment and leadership opportunities for local people.
  • Respect local customs and culture.
  • Provide safe tours for Urban Adventure partners, staff, and travellers.
  • Educate travellers and our partners about how and why we choose to travel this way.
  • Limit any negative impact to the daily lifestyles of local people.
  • Limit any physical impact on natural and cultural environments.
  • Provide support to organisations and local communities.
  • Provide opportunities for travellers to interact with local people.
  • Actively ban partners, staff, and passenger participation in or endorsement of commercial sexual activities or illegal drug use on Urban Adventures tours.
  • Work to prevent the exploitation of children in tourism.
  • Actively discourage participation in activities that exploit animals.
  • Use local partners that adhere to Urban Adventures' responsible travel principles.
  • Support and encourage fair employment practices.
  • Give our travellers the best possible value.
  • Have fun!

As a traveller, we ask that you keep the following in mind:

  • People: Be mindful of the local citizens, and seek understanding through shared experiences. Consider their customs and values while in their homeland, and when in doubt, ask your guide for advice.
  • Environment: Be mindful of the local environment, and act with conservation and sustainability in mind. Follow local guidelines, as recommended by your guide, and make proactive decisions on your own.
  • Culture: When travelling to other cultures, remember that not everyone's customs are the same as yours at home. Be respectful, and be mindful of openly questioning a customary practice, even if you disagree with it. Try to understand from their perspective. You may learn something! Your guide will be an excellent point of reference here, so check with them if you're unsure.
  • Economy: Make every effort to use local businesses and put your tourism dollars in the right (local) pocket. We use local vendors and businesses, and your guide will be able to advise you on the best ways to support the local economy.

For more suggestions on how to be a responsible traveller check out our top 12 responsible travel tips, or check out what our friends at Intrepid have to say.


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