By Meena Thiruvengadam
February 11, 2020
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Credit: Getty Images

Houston, we have a solution.

The city of Houston is over 600 square miles, but it doesn’t have to be a challenge to figure out the perfect long weekend in this melting pot destination where Texas charm meets bayou culture.

From museums to sports to one of the best-known rodeos in the world, you’re sure to find plenty of things to do in Houston. Here’s how to have the perfect three days in this truly Texas-sized Texas city.

Credit: Courtesy of The Galleria

Friday

Kick off your long weekend in Houston with breakfast tacos at Liberty Taco, a casual spot on Richmond Avenue that will fuel your morning of shopping at one of Houston’s top attractions — The Galleria.

Each year, more than 30 million people visit the Houston Galleria to shop at high-end retailers including Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Valentino. The Houston Galleria is modeled after Milan’s elegant Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a historic Italian shopping center known for its iconic glass arcades. Plan to spend a few hours here perusing the Texas-sized mall’s 400 stores and restaurants or taking a spin around its year-round full-size ice rink.

Credit: Courtesy of BB's Tex-Orleans

Make a quick stop at the Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park for the perfect Instagram shot, then make your way to the original BB’s Tex-Orleans location on Montrose Boulevard. BB’s is a one-of-a-kind spot that serves up a special brand of Texas-inspired New Orleans cuisine. Start with the Tex-Cajun fries — which are topped with queso, gravy, and roast beef — but save room for Maw Maw's Bread Pudding.

Credit: Courtesy of The Houston Museum of Natural Science

After lunch, head to the Houston Museum of Natural Science in the city’s museum district. The museum is the perfect place to play with butterflies and walk among a collection of robotic dinosaurs that’ll make you feel like you’ve just walked into Jurassic Park.

For dinner, head to Taste of Texas, a restaurant that offers a truly Texan dining experience. Pick the cut of Certified Angus Beef you want from a butcher-shop style display, then wait for it to be cooked to perfection, and delivered to your table. Don’t leave without trying the Texas pecan pie topped with vanilla ice cream.

Credit: Kumar Sriskandan/Alamy Stock Photo

Saturday

Start your day with a hearty breakfast at The Breakfast Klub. The restaurant’s signature Wings & Waffle is a golden Belgian waffle topped with powdered sugar, a single strawberry, and six chicken wings.

Once you’re fueled up, make your way to the Johnson Space Center to check out the home of Mission Control. Plan to spend at least two or three hours at the complex, which serves as NASA’s hub for human spaceflight. It’s the only place where visitors can play with moon rocks and get up close to the space shuttle replica Independence. Timed tickets are required to visit the Independence.

Afterward, make the 21-mile drive to the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site and head to the top of the San Jacinto Monument. The monument’s observation deck is the perfect place to get a bird’s-eye view of Houston and get a feel for just how big this Texas city is. Next, stop in at the museum at the bottom of the tower to catch up on 400 years of early Texas history.

For dinner, head to Ninfa’s on Navigation, the original outpost for this small chain of Tex-Mex restaurants. Ninfa’s is known for its fajitas and for making fajitas a go-to dish for Houstonians.

Credit: Ian Dagnall/Alamy Stock Photo

Sunday

Start your morning with a trip to the Beer Can House, a truly one-of-a-kind piece of local art that’s an homage to recycling. The house on Malone Street began its transformation in the late 1960s and is now covered by an estimated 50,000 beer cans and bottles.

Afterward, head to Better Luck Tomorrow for the best brunch in Houston. Brunch here is both thoughtful and playful. Expect a menu of hangover cures like hashbrowns instead of bottomless mimosas at this kid-friendly hotspot.

Cap off your perfect long weekend in Houston with a trip to the 160-acre Buffalo Bayou Park. This expansive urban green space is home to a 30,000-square-foot skatepark, the cistern that was the city’s first underground drinking water reservoir, and a bridge that houses a community of about 250,000 Mexican free-tailed bats. The cistern has since been converted into an art space.

Like Houston itself, Buffalo Bayou Park is a place that has something for everyone.