Right off of Galveston Bay in Texas, near the southern coast, you will find the sprawling metropolis known as Houston. Houston is a lively city center full of really great things to do, see, and eat! Some of the most popular claims to fame of the city are the Houston Space Center, Houston Grand Opera, and outstanding Houston cuisine that artfully mixes the soulful south, Texas barbecue, and authentic Mexican flavors so very nicely.
Where to Stay:
When in Houston you will have several options for great lodging, ranging from luxury accommodations to budget quarters, historic buildings and intricate architecture to modern design and high tech amenities.
For more high-class lodging head to the Lancaster or Hotel ZaZa, the first being one of the oldest hotels in the city and the later containing a high-end spa worth the stay itself. For history and luxury head to Sam Houston Hotel, a chic, modern, 4-star hotel built in the 1920s.
If you are looking for something that won’t break the bank, yet still offers some excellent amenities head to Embassy Suites by Hilton, the large outside pool perfect for family vacations, or the Doubletree Downtown, a garden-filled oasis within easy distance of most downtown attractions.
Where to Play:
Houston Aquarium and/or Zoo ($)- The Houston Aquarium is always an excellent option while here in town, providing your group with endless marine life education. You can ride the iconic aquarium train, marvel at the massive Ferris wheel, or just hang out with the sharks here, you can even opt to head over to the 50-acre zoo with over 6,000 animals!
Houston Space Center ($$)- The Space Center is considered to be the ‘pride of Houston’, an always-busy atmosphere filled with historic artifacts and a robust schedule of exhibits, one of the most popular being Star Wars. Did we mention you can have lunch with an actual astronaut while here? Sign us up!
Houston Arboretum (Free)- Nature lovers will adore this option, the Houston Arboretum. Enjoy Houston’s more natural side in this expansive 155-acre green space filled with educational and wildlife viewing opportunities galore. They even host occasional evening events, wine tastings, and trail runs!
Houston Museum of Natural Science ($$)- The Houston Museum of Natural Science allows your group to get to know the dynamic of science and nature much further, presenting everything from dinosaurs to space exploration. Enjoy the planetarium, butterfly center, theater, and educational programs throughout!
Galleria ($-$$$)- If you are in the mood for some shopping then head to Houston’s Galleria, the classy local mega-mall with over 400 brand name shops. Explore Gucci, Apple, and Tiffany and Co. before heading to any of the dozen restaurants or indoor ice skating rink!
Children’s Museum ($)- Have a lot of kids in your group? You’re going to want to head to the Houston Children’s Museum, the fun establishment that allows kids to let loose with hands-on learning and exploration options, the Invention Convention and Kidtropolis areas being among the favorites.
Museum of Fine Arts ($)- The Houston Museum of Fine Arts is one of the largest and finest of it’s kind, containing over 63,000 really amazing works. Art lovers will fall in love with this stop, especially after seeing all the classic Renaissance and French Impressionist works!
Where to Eat:
Houston has many great options for authentic Southern food, from amazing barbecue and steak to Mexican food that is over-the-border authentic. You will have to choose from some serious seafood and southern classics while here, as well.
Hugo's - Head to Hugo’s in Houston to eat some of the absolute best Mexican on this side of the border, the restaurant earning countless awards and recognition, locally and internationally ranking it as one of the best places to eat authentic cultural food in Texas. Why would Gourmet, Bon Appetit and Travel + Leisure all lie?
Breakfast Klub - The Breakfast Klub in Houston is a Good Morning America top 4 picks for breakfast stops, as well as a favorite by Zagat and Esquire. This Midtown staple has long lines but for good reason, which will be obvious as soon as you get close enough to smell the catfish and eggs, or chicken and waffles.
Killen’s Steakhouse - Killen’s Steakhouse is sort of a Houston staple, for locals and tourists alike. This is the absolute best place to find smoked meats and barbeque sides, earning several awards itself for its steak and creme brulee bread pudding. Try the Texas Trinity here, all the delicious smoked brisket, pork ribs, and polish sausage you can handle!
Oxheart - Oxheart Houston is a downtown gem in Houston that is considered by many to be one of the most ‘thoughtfully served’ eateries in the state, providing you with extremely fresh veggies and extremely unique plating. The countless accolades lining the walls should clue you in on how well-liked this eatery is if the smell of the crystal dumplings or mung bean pancakes don’t!