Houston

Houston Travel Guide

Credit :

Debora Smail/<a href='http://www.aurorapictureshow.org' class='external'>Aurora Picture Show</a>

Energy capital, rodeo town, biotech and medical research center, aerospace innovator, international arts destination: America’s fourth-largest city is many things to many, many people—2.2 million in the greater metropolitan area. 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 in comparable city.

Black gold and Texas tea are what put Houston on the map and made it the fourth most populous city in the United States. But if you have decided to travel to Houston, you aren't going to look at oil derricks, instead it's the cultural riches that followed the oil, including some world-class museums, and the laid-back Southern atmosphere that are likely the draws. The city is sprawling—its 2 million residents share an area twice the size of New York City—so while an excellent public transportation system does exist, a car will make it easier to get the most out of a Houston visit.

What Not to Miss in Houston

Make time for visits to these sights as you plan your trip with our Houston travel guide:

• Johnson Space Center
• Museum of Fine Arts Houston
• Menil Collection
• Rothko Chapel
• The Galleria

When To Visit Houston

Winter and spring are peak times for Houston travel, with pleasant temperatures and relatively little rain. Summers are hot and humid, while the hurricane activity in the Gulf of Mexico makes October one of the wettest months (though hurricanes rarely hit Houston itself).

DON'T MISS

  • Strolling (or jogging or cycling) around piney Hermann Park at the end of the day. Under the gaze of Sam Houston himself, take in the serene Japanese Garden, enjoy an impromptu jazz performance at Miller Outdoor Theatre or a sunset on the reflection pool.

  • Chowing down at Goode Company, a Hill Country-style BBQ stand—complete with wood-fired pit, picnic tables, and Texas honky-tonk music. Whether in drop-dead Blahniks or dusty cowboy boots diners line up here by the dozens for cafeteria-style eats.

  • Exploring the Menil compound of museums—including architect Renzo Piano’s first two buildings in the U.S., the Rothko Chapel, and clusters of outdoor sculpture surrounded gnarly live oak trees.

RECOMMENDED LINKS

  • Find Houston Hotels on Y! Travel
  • For more >restaurants in Houston, visit NileGuide

Articles about Houston

First it was a Hello Kitty themed restaurant, and now there's a plane flaunting the feline's famous face on its exterior. EVA Airways—a Taiwanese international airline—recently added its seventh Hello Kitty themed aircraft to its fleet, only this ...
Too time-crunched for an 80- minute massage? JW Marriott’s new Spa by JW recently launched express treatments at the Houston downtown property and will roll them out at more than 20 of the company’s hotels by year’s end. Guests can book podlike su...
Cowboys, cattle, and country-Western concerts are just a few of the attractions that will headline the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, running this year from March 3-22 in the Lone Star State. The event, an annual mecca for fans of everything We...
It’s rare that anyone actually enjoys being in airports these days, but if you’re obliged to wait out, say, a seven-hour layover, you’ll likely find it far more pleasant to do so overseas than in some bleak U.S. terminal. Consider your options abr...
When Matt McKinney took a 39-day road trip in 2012, he experienced one version of the American dream, just before he reached the Pacific Ocean: a flawless burger. “It was a really big, juicy patty and a perfectly moist bun,” says the Dallas-based...
See T+L’s Bucket List slideshows • Beach Vacations Bucket List • The Foodie’s Travel Bucket List • Celebrities’ Favorite Places • Ultimate Adventure Travel Bucket List • City Getaways: Ultimate Bucket List United States and Canada • Big Island,...
Los Angeles (%) Hotel Price Drop: -7.7%($) Average Room Rate: $112.34 Anaheim–Santa Ana (%) Hotel Price Drop: -11.4%($) Average Room Rate: $102.38 San Diego (%) Hotel Price Drop: -9.9%($) Average Room Rate: $118.54 Phoenix (%) Hotel Price D...
For spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, and for plenty of other reasons—many of them man-made, thank you very much—the fantasy of a coast-to-coast road trip endures. Want to make it a reality? From West to East (With Apologies to the Midw...
STAY The Hotel Icon (220 Main St.; 800/970-4266; www.hotelicon.com; doubles from $235), housed in a landmark 1911 bank downtown, is an intimately scaled grand hotel, and ideally located next to a light rail stop. Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s rest...
Number of New Hotel Rooms Las Vegas: 7,010 Orlando: 5,223 Houston: 5,145 San Antonio: 4,032 New York City: 3,920 Washington, D.C.: 3,082 Dallas: 2,936 Los Angeles: 2,929 Phoenix: 2,436 Atlanta: 2,154 * Figures from February 2009 to Fe...