Unlike Houston (ok, my opinion), there is not a shortage of leisure activities in Ulsan.
If you’re into the outdoor scene, check out local hiking trails, mountain biking, or even some nearby ski resorts. Skiing is not available in Ulsan proper, but a day trip will do you good. Also check out these articles (here and here) on places to travel within Korea if you like to see the sights.
Locally, the mountains we have frequented include Yeompo and Nammok. If you’re looking for something a bit more treacherous, you can visit the west side of Ulsan near the KTX and hike up Sinbulsan. Or take a parachute off it. Taking a walk around the local scenic reservoirs in Dong-gu is great any time of year, especially to exercise our pups. Definitely check out the Bamboo Forest near downtown. It’s a great place to bike to from Dong-gu or enjoy a walk in the afternoon sun.
Noraebang is a popular Korean activity, known to Westerners as karaoke. But don’t call it that here! Other ‘Saturday night’ entertainment, as I would call it, includes bowling and movie showings at the theater, where they have current films running.
You can always check out the food scene, and a popular outing among the locals is called Chimaek, short for chicken and maekju, which is beer. It’s the Korean version of Buffalo Wild Wings, but without all the big screen TVs and they use different sauces for your chicken. There are plenty of more formal dining establishments as well, from Italian to Thai, Indian and American as well. See my food page for a restaurant list (at the bottom).
Shopping opportunities are everywhere to be found, and one of the best areas is just across the street from the Lotte Department Store in Samsan-dong, Nam-gu. Recently, an H&M even opened up in a new mall called Up Square, which also has a UNI QLO, a popular clothing store from Japan. A really nice movie theater called CVG is also located in UpSquare, and they play current movies showing at theaters in the US. Otherwise, there are plenty of coffee shops and clothing shops and local places that sell Korean trinkets and fun socks galore.