Houston Travel Guide

Houston Travel Guide

Alamy

Energy and Fortune 500 companies. Life-saving advancements and the world's largest medical center. Aerospace technology and NASA. And, yes, automobil... Read More

Energy and Fortune 500 companies. Life-saving advancements and the world's largest medical center. Aerospace technology and NASA. And, yes, automobile-clogged urban sprawl. These are things for which Houston is known, but the United States' fourth largest city—soon to be third, if population trends continue—has many surprises in store for those who arrive with an open mind and choose to stay a little while.

Visitors often hear locals touting that their city is the most diverse in the country. Indeed, its business backbone and Third Coast location make for a multicultural, metropolitan mix. Houston's arts and dining scenes particularly intrigue; add to that pro sports teams in nearly every arena and more green space than most might envision from an oil and gas capital, and it's hard for the average tourist to leave unfulfilled.

T+L’s Houston travel guide lends an insider’s view of a city that can seem daunting, but is well worth digging into. We’ll take you from the funky pockets of Montrose—where dive bars share blocks with tattoo parlors, high-end restaurants, and world-class museums like the globally revered, architecturally marvelous Menil Collection—to the Galleria area, a commerce corridor so stacked that it’s often mistaken for the city’s downtown business district, and beyond.

Like Texas itself, Houston transcends its own clichés and stereotypes and is increasingly impossible to pin down. In a city untamed by zoning laws, these multiple personalities exist side-by-side, and the sheer randomness of the place is sometimes appealing, sometimes appalling, yet always exhilarating. Three separate skylines jagged with audacious towers—by the likes of I. M. Pei, Cesar Pelli, and Philip Johnson—tower over prim, leafy residential neighborhoods. Exquisite museums, fine restaurants, and fashionable shops lie just off the pristine avenues of downtown. You never know what awaits around the next corner, but therein lies the appeal of this unpredictable and incomparable city.

Black gold and Texas tea are what put Houston on the map, but if you visit Houston, you aren't going to look at oil derricks. Instead, its rich cultural offerings, exciting things to do, and laid-back Southern atmosphere not only will draw you in, they’ll keep you there, too.

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Visit Houston

Best Time To Go

A near-coastal city with a mild, tropical climate, Houston is lush and green almost year-round. For a uniquely Texas experience, the acclaimed Rodeo takes place each March, while in April, the world’s largest Art Car Parade draws the crowds, too.

Transportation

Cars reign in Houston, and enjoying all there is to see is hard without a rental, though there is an efficient metro rail and city buses ($3 for a day pass). Neighborhoods like downtown, the Galleria, and the Museum District are easily walkable.

Weather

July is the hottest month, with an average high of 94°F (34°C). January is the coldest month, with an average high of 62°F (16°C).

Know Before You Go

Famous for its record humidity, Houston’s spring and summer months can feel much warmer than they are. The city also is an international arts destination, and most museums are free on Thursdays.

Language

English

Electric

Type A two-prong plug or Type B three-prong plug

Currency

United States Dollar ($)