We’re thrilled to add Houston to the list of cities we call home and we’re excited to share some of its brightest finds. While brainstorming on obvious “must-dos” (in our Midtown neighborhood and beyond), we chatted with insiders to discover Houston’s lesser-known gems too.
Can’t-Miss Things to Do in Houston
Savvy travelers score nearly 50% in admissions savings—at five of Houston’s top attractions—when using CityPass tickets. Get lost in the Houston Museum of Natural Science, swept away by the Downtown Aquarium and propelled into another dimension at Space Center Houston. With these passes you can also choose between the Houston Zoo and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and between The Kemah Boardwalk and Children’s Museum of Houston.
For a completely unique Houston experience, relish the mesmerizing 40-minute, sunset light sequence on display at Rice University’s James Turrell “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace. Built in 2012, this pyramidal structure is made of grass, concrete, stone and composite steel—across two levels. Just before sunrise and sunset, the LED light sequence creates magic when projected onto the ceiling and through an aperture in the 72-foot, knife-edge roof.
Globally-Inspired Places to Eat
We can’t talk about Houston and not highlight its expansive food scene, serving up cuisines from every pocket of the world. Follow the glow of El Real Tex-Mex Café’s neon sign, or savor Japanese tapas at Kata Robata Sushi + Grill. Get a delicious sampling on a Taste of Houston Food Tour that explores downtown, The Heights and Montrose (an inviting neighborhood featuring tattoo parlors, vintage clothing stores, chic boutiques and bustling bistros).
Finn Hall is another destination for creating your own food crawl. In this Art-Deco, European-inspired venue, you’ll find 10 independently-run eating establishments and two full bars. Or for a cheers-worthy meal—enjoy regional favorites (from Cast Iron-Broiled Shrimp & Grits to Texas Hot Fried Chicken) alongside delicious beer at Saint Arnold Brewing Company, the state’s oldest craft brewery.
Houston’s Best Happy Hours
Feel good about ordering a cocktail at OKRA Charity Saloon, where exposed brick walls and gaslight fixtures accent an oval-shaped bar. For each drink bought here, guests cast a vote for one of four local charities. Another city favorite, High & Dry Rum Bar, showcases 200 rums from around the world, while Houston honky-tonk Goodnight Charlie’s serves up simple drinks, flavorful fare and live music.
Boutique Shopping Opportunities
For a completely different shopping scene, swing by Heights Mercantile, located in the historic Heights neighborhood. Locals are drawn to this low-rise urban market for its boutiques, breakfast crepes and Cloud 10 Creamery sweet treats.
Houston’s Alluring Arts Scene
Hop between the Museum District’s 19 world-class venues, including the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. Continue your cultural explorations in the Theater District—downtown’s 17-block zone that’s home to nine performing arts organizations. Expand your horizons while watching the Houston Grand Opera, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Houston Ballet and Alley Theatre.
Green Spaces & Public Parks
Slide away from the city hustle in Buffalo Bayou Park, a 160-acre greenspace. The welcoming park features stunning gardens and native landscaping; hiking and biking trails; paddle and bike rentals; a popular dog park; and an historic cistern often filled with art installations. Happy exploring!