Houston

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Houston is a sprawling port city in Southeastern Texas. A recent oil boom and continuing international immigration has brought explosive growth to the city, and it is now the fourth largest city in the United States, but only the fifth largest metropolitan area. While at first glance, the city appears to be a 9-5 central business district surrounded by a sea of suburbs and strip malls, there are many hidden gems to be discovered.

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Hotels

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  • 1 star hotels 1 star hotel

Cities

  • Metropolis over 100 hotels
  • Big city 50-100 hotels
  • Medium city 20-50 hotels
  • Small city 5-20 hotels
  • Village below 5 hotels

Points of Interest

  • Beach Beach
  • Business object Business object
  • Casino Casino
  • Civic property Civic property
  • Education Education
  • Entertainment Entertainment
  • Golf course Golf course
  • Green space Green space
  • Harbor Harbor
  • Historic site Historic site
  • Interesting place Interesting place
  • Medical Medical
  • Monument Monument
  • Museum Museum
  • Shopping Shopping
  • Skiing Skiing
  • Sports facility Sports facility
  • Theater Theater
  • Winery Winery

Points of Interest in Houston

Travelers planning to visit multiple attractions may benefit from Houston CityPASS, which grants admission to 6 Houston attractions within 9 days of first use for a much reduced rate and includes expedited entry in some cases. The included attractions are: Space Center Houston; Downtown Aquarium; Houston Museum of Natural Science; Houston Zoo; Option Ticket One with choice of either Museum of Fine Arts or The Children's Museum of Houston and Option Ticket Two with choice of either George Ranch Historical Park or The Health Museum.

  • Astrodome. Dubbed the "8th Wonder of the World," it was one of the world's first fully indoor stadium and the birthplace of astroturf (that was vacuumed by people in astronaut suits between innings). It was abandoned when the Astros threatened to move unless Minute Maid Park (nee' Enron Field) was built. The stadium is no longer open to visitors, but it is still a spectacle.

Verizon Wireless Theater

Wortham Center

Houston City Hall

Sesquicentennial Park

Bayou Place

Tranquility Park

Alley Theater

Jesse H. Jones Hall

Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau

House of Blues Houston

Christ Church Cathedral

Sam Houston Park

Hobby Center for Performing Arts

Theater Under the Stars

Houston Public Library

Houston JPMorgan Chase Tower

Downtown Aquarium

George R. Brown Convention Center

Discovery Green

Minute Maid Park

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Popular events in Houston in the near future

Date: Category: The event list provided by Eventful
The event list provided by Eventful

About Houston

Climate

Houston's climate generally ranges from a hot humid summer to a mild winter. The months of October to April make for fantastic times to visit to avoid the heat. Visitors from areas with mild summers or dry climates should be extremely careful if planning to travel there in the summer months, especially around August. The combination of high heat and thick humidity can result in stifling and oppressive weather. It's by no means "a dry heat"! Even some lifelong residents of Houston complain about the August weather. If visiting in the summer, stay hydrated and try to limit outdoor exposure during the hours between 10:00 AM and 7:00 PM. The nights are very hot too, but not as dangerously hot as during the day. Visitors from cooler, drier places will be amazed at the tolerance levels of some of the locals. You can see people wearing long sleeve shirts, boots and jeans when the temperature is above 100 °F and humidity is in the 90% range. But it can not be stressed enough: this place is extremely hot and if you're not prepared or used to this type of heat, you're in for one rude awakening. But have fun!

Activities

Golf

  • Wildcat Golf Club

Houston Country club River Oaks Country Club Redstone

Parks

Events & Festivals

The Houston CaribFest! Celebrating Caribbean/West Indian Cultures!

  • Art Car Parade, Runs along Allen Parkway. May. A parade that must be seen to be believed. For example, last year there were cupcake motorcycles, fire breathing chicken cars, and many other spectacular cars. There are vendors nearby selling water, hats, and food as well. It can get very hot! Free.

Sports

Professional sports

  •    Houston Astros, 510 Crawford St..,  +1 713 259-8000. The city's Major League Baseball team, playing at Minute Maid Park in downtown, celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2012. It will also be the last season for the Astros in the National League; they will move to the American League in 2013.
  •    Houston Texans, Two Reliant Park,  +1 866-GO TEXANS (468-3926), fax: +1 832-667-2191. Houston's National Football League (NFL) team plays at Reliant Stadium in the South Loop area, next to the now-vacant Astrodome.
  •    Houston Rockets, 1510 Polk St.,  +1 713 627-DUNK (3865) or +1 877-NBA-ROCKETS (622-7625). The city's NBA (basketball) team plays downtown at the Toyota Center.
  •    Houston Dynamo, 1001 Avenida de las Americas, Ste. 200,  +1 713 276-7500, fax: +1 713-276-7572, e-mail: info@houstondynamo.com. Houston's Major League Soccer team opened its new BBVA Compass Stadium in May 2012. Located in the East End, it is the first major soccer-specific stadium in the US in a downtown area.

Houston Motocross, relient. May 22. factory motocross racers from all around the world. to race once a year. Free.

College sports

Houston has four universities whose sports teams play in the top-level NCAA Division I:

  •    Houston Cougars. The teams representing the city's largest school, the University of Houston, currently compete in Conference USA (C-USA), but will move to the Big East Conference in July 2013. Most athletic venues are on campus, with the best-known being Robertson Stadium (football) and Hofheinz Pavilion (basketball).
  •    Rice Owls. Rice University, the city's most prominent private school, currently competes alongside Houston in C-USA, but will not move to the Big East. As with UH, Rice's main venues are on campus, among them Rice Stadium (football), Tudor Fieldhouse (basketball), and Reckling Park (baseball).
  •    Texas Southern Tigers. Especially of interest to African American visitors, or those interested in African American culture, are the teams representing Texas Southern University, the city's historically black university. The Tigers compete with other HBCUs in the Southwestern Athleitc Conference. Most venues are also on campus, but the football team plays off-campus; it will share BBVA Compass Stadium with the Dynamo, and occasionally uses Reliant Stadium.
  • Houston Baptist Huskies. Houston Baptist University, a relatively new addition to Division I, is located in the Sharpstown area along the Southwest Freeway. The Huskies are currently in the Great West Conference, but will move to the Southland Conference in 2013. HBU does not have a football team yet, but plans to start one in 2013.

Theater

Houstonians like theater and the community supports many types of performing arts companies. Most professional theater is centered in the Theater District[15], but other companies are located in different districts around town. The lively culture of Houston also includes numerous community theater organizations and several well regarded university programs.

The major downtown performing arts venues include The Wortham Center [16] The Hobby Center [17] Jones Hall [18] and The Alley Theater. [19]

Food

Houston has outstanding dining options, and is widely considered the most restaurant-oriented city in the United States, with a thriving community of ethnic restaurants, superb Tex-Mex, classic Texas steakhouses and Gulf Coast seafood, as well as chain restaurants. Houston's fine dining scene has exploded in recent years, with Downtown, Montrose, Midtown, and the Heights (including the Washington Corridor) as the epicenter of what's hot-and-happening now.

Although high-quality, authentic Mexican food can be found just about anywhere in the city (for some of the best surprises, stop by any nondescript taqueria and order nearly anything at random), the best ethnic dining is generally found in West Houston - in particular the area west of Highway 59 and south of I-10, with everything from Middle Eastern to Ethiopian to Bosnian. The bustling Mahatma Gandhi District around Hillcroft St. is the place to go for top-notch Indian and Pakistani cuisine. In years past, you'd go east of Downtown or to Midtown for your Chinese or Vietnamese fix (respectively); nowadays the new Chinatown (or sometimes "Asiatown") is the new one-stop shop for your cravings. Lying just north of I-10, Long Point Drive and North Gessner sport crowded Korean joints, fantastic taco trucks, and hidden Thai gems.

With hometown stars such as Monica Pope (T'afia) and Bryan Caswell (Reef, Little Big's, El Real) making their debut on TV shows such as Top Chef and on the Food Network, and more and more chefs and restaurants getting name-checked in media (like GQ's Best Of lists, or Bon Appetit's recent declaration of Houston as the best food city in Texas) and earning award nominations (Randy Rucker's Bootsie's Heritage Cafe was up for the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant - the "Oscars of the restaurant world"), Houston's dining scene seems slowly but surely to be staking out room on the national stage.

Eating Local

Like any city with a respectable, trendy food scene, Houston's top restaurants seem to be all about what's seasonal and local these days (oh, and Houston is just now getting into gourmet food trucks), as well as becoming increasingly prominent in stores as well. Fresh produce to seek out include tomatoes, sweet "1015" onions (not as sweet as the Hawaiian variety, but pretty impressive), watermelon, strawberries, peaches, corn, carrots, and squash blossoms. Look for local cheese from the Houston Dairymaids - who make just about any variety you can think of - and bread baked daily and shipped to restaurants from the Slow Dough Bakery. Houstonians are just as crazy for crawfish (no "crayfish" down here, Yankee) as Louisianans are, as well as catfish and Gulf seafood such as red snapper, blue crab, and shrimp; gaining in popularity are local species that were previously overlooked, such as blackfin tuna, tilefish, grouper, almaco jack, and black drum. Houston has always had a steady supply of oysters from Galveston Bay, but the program of oyster "appellations" has only recently been revived, meaning high-quality specimens are labeled with their reef of origin, just like the well-known varieties from the east and west coasts - look for varieties such as Ladies Pass and Pepper Grove.

Drinks

Local Beer

  •    The Saint Arnold Brewery. Located in Houston, is billed as Texas' oldest microbrewery. Their brews are often sold in local bars. Very popular beers are the Texas Wheat, Oktoberfest (August through October), and Christmas Ale (November through December). The brewery tour is open Monday through Friday from 3:00PM to 4:15PM, and Saturday 11:00AM to 2:00PM.
  • Karbach Brewing Co. Located in Houston, built in 2011. Tours are offered Friday at 6:00PM and Saturday at 1:00PM and 2:15PM.

Shopping

Many of the shopping malls are concentrated to the west of downtown in Uptown.

In general, prices in Houston are lower than in other major US cities.

A very popular place to go shopping in Houston is the Houston Galleria. The Galleria is the largest mall in Texas and the ninth largest in the United States. They have anything you could ever think of and more. At the Galleria you can find people shopping at high end stores such as, Bebe, Coach, Neiman Marcus, Cartier, Gucci, Macy's, Tiffany & Co., Saks Fifth Avenue, The Sharper Image, Ralph Lauren Collection, Louis Vuitton and Houston's only Nordstrom. You can also find people ice skating in the ice rink on the bottom floor. Also, you will find nail salons, 375 fine stores and restaurants. And to top it off at the Galleria there are two Westin hotels. The Galleria is widely recognized as the number one shopping and tourist destination in Houston. [20]

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Houston on Wikivoyage.

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