Houston Travel Guide
Whatever you're looking for, Houston's got it.
America's fourth-largest city, Houston is a fast-growing melting pot of cultures. It's home to several professional sports teams, a world class zoo, a top-notch symphony, and the Houston Rodeo. Beaches are just a short drive away.
The Houston metropolitan area is home to nearly seven million people. More than 20% of the population was born abroad, giving the city a rich cultural tapestry that spans religions, languages, and cuisines. Houston has significant Indian, Vietnamese, Chinese, African, and Hispanic populations.
Want to watch professional basketball? Catch a Houston Rockets game. Prefer football? The Houston Texans have you covered. Baseball more your speed? Plan your trip around a Houston Astros game.
For a real Texas treat, check out the Houston Rodeo, the largest livestock exhibition and rodeo in the world. Millions of people visit the 20-day event each year. Performers including Beyonce, Ariana Grande, Kiss, Taylor Swift, even Elvis Presley have taken the stage at the Houston Rodeo.
Don't miss a chance to visit the Johnson Space Center, which serves as Mission Control for American space missions and welcomes visitors to explore the artifacts of American space exploration. Afterwards, walk along the beach in nearby Galveston.
One thing's for sure, you'll find plenty of things to do — and eat — in Houston.
Central Standard Time. (Daylight Savings Time is observed seasonally)
Best Time to Go
Summers may swelter, but winters are mild, making Houston an excellent escape from freezing temperatures elsewhere. The first several months of the year are the best time to visit Houston. Basketball season is in full swing. Mild temperatures make a January marathon bearable. February brings Lunar New Year and Mardi Gras celebrations as well as the start of the Houston Rodeo, a weeks-long event that draws top recording artists to the city. March brings the Bayou Regatta, Texas' largest canoe and kayak race. April offers a chance to see creatively decked out cars at the city's annual Art Car Parade while May brings the Houston Dragon Boat Festival. For football fans, September through November offer bearable temperatures and the chance to see the Houston Texans in action.
Things to Know
Houston summers are hot and sticky. Temperatures in the 90s and 100s aren't uncommon. If you must visit during the summer, don't forget the sunscreen and do carry a water bottle.
Houston is a sprawling city that covers more than 637 square miles. Houston traffic is among the worst in the U.S. While public transit has improved in recent years, you'll still need a car to get most places.
Houston is pronounced differently in Texas than it is in New York.
How to Get Around
Trains: Houston's METRORail system covers downtown, midtown, the Museum District, and the Texas Medical District. Routes are limited, but the rail system does make it possible to get to baseball games and the rodeo for just $1.25 a ride.
Buses: Houston bus services run on a series of color-coded networks. Routes are limited, but buses run between 14 and 18 hours a day with rides priced at $1.25 each.
Taxis: Several taxi companies operate in Houston with meter rates at $2.75 for the first 1/11 mile. Riders over the age of 60 receive a 5% discount.
Rideshare: Both Uber and Lyft operate in Houston.
Things to Do
Neighborhoods to Know
Montrose: Montrose is a quirky Houston neighborhood known for its gay bars, vintage shops, and independent art galleries. The neighborhood is home to the Rothko Chapel, a non-denominational chapel filled with abstract murals by its namesake artist. It's a great place to take in views of the city skyline, have a picnic, and play sand volleyball.
Museum District: This is Houston's beating cultural heart. The Houston Museum District is home to 19 institutions, 11 of which are free. This is where you'll find the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Children's Museum of History, and the Houston Zoo. A grassroots effort in the late 1970s led to the creation of this pedestrian friendly district.
Midtown: Midtown was a Victorian-style residential neighborhood that declined during the latter part of the 20th century. It was home to Little Saigon in the 1970s. Gentrification and redevelopment have since pushed much of the area's Vietnamese population to move. Nowadays, it's a millennial hotspot known for restaurants, bars, and breweries.
Uptown: This upscale area is a shopping mecca. It's home to the Houston Galleria, the Uptown Park open air mall, and the Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park. Uptown has more than six million square feet of retail space and more than 1,000 stores. It's where you'll find upscale retailers including Versace, Yves Saint Laurent, and Bvlgari. And there are plenty of restaurants, cafes, and wine bars to fuel those shopping sprees.
June to September can be down right steamy. Snow, ice and freezing temperatures are rare. Below are average temperatures in Fahrenheit for each month.
January 44 - 62
February 46 - 65
March 54 - 72
April 60 - 78
May 66 - 84
June 72 - 90
July 74 - 92
August 74 - 93
September 70 - 88
October 61 - 81
November 52 - 71
December 45 - 63