Do more in Houston

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Home to a respected and energetic cultural arts scene, the fourth largest shopping center in the country, the oldest African-American theater in the Southwest and the brains behind United States space exploration, Houston is as diverse a city as they come. Regardless of what your interests are, Houston has something for you…

Houston after dark
Houston’s central business district is booming and the after-work energy covers adjacent Midtown. In downtown La Carafe offers romance in its historic locale, while Houston Pavilions downtown’s mixed-use development offers dining, entertainment and retail and is home to hot spots like House of Blues, Lucky Strike Lanes and Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar. Midtown night life favourites include How at the Moon, Christian’s Tailgate and the wine bar 13 Celsius. Rice Village, near Rice University, offers a variety of pubs and bars including, The Ginger Man, Kelvin Arms, Baker St. Pub, Brian O’Neill’s and Little Woodrow’s.

A couple miles west of downtown is Houston’s hottest nightlife spot, Washington Avenue. This area is a bar hopper’s heaven with nearly 30 bars and restaurants. To the southwest sits country nightclub Wild West, which has been a part of Houston for over 20 years on the Richmond strip, their motto ‘Two-Steppin’ & Longneckin’. This country nightclub was built and is operated by Texans and features a solid oak dance floor just for your boots!

For the sports fans
Houstonians have had many reasons to cheer on the home teams. Houston Dynamo, Houston’s professional soccer team, won back to back the Major League Soccer Cups in 2006 and 2007.  Houston’s other professional teams are the Houston Astros (baseball), the Houston Rockets (basketball) and the Houston Texans (football).
Houston offers four modern stadiums, constructed with the latest available technology, -the new BBVA Compass Stadium home of the Houston Dynamo; Minute Maid Park, home of the Astros; Reliant Stadium, home of the Houston Texans and the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo; and the Toyota Center arena, home to the Houston Rockets and the Houston Aeros.
Houston has successfully hosted national sporting events: Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004, Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game, 2005 World Series, 2006 NBA All-Star Game, WWE’s 25th Anniversary of Wrestlemania, the 2010 MLS All-Star Game, the NCAA Final Four in April of 2011 and the 2013 NBA All Star-Game.

On stage
Houston is one of a few cities in the United States with resident companies in the four disciplines of the performing arts—Houston Ballet, Houston Grand Opera, Houston Symphony and Alley Theatre. Houston’s 17-block Theater District is home to all of them, as well as musical theater performances by Theatre Under the Star, Broadway in Houston and innovative local groups like Dominic Walsh Dance Theatre and Da Camera.

Fun for the family
Visitors can stretch their vacation dollars by using the Houston CityPASS, a ticket booklet including admissions to Houston’s top attractions. Explore Space Center Houston, the Museum of Natural Science and the Downtown Aquarium, and choose between the Houston Zoo or Kemah Boardwalk and between The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston or The Children’s Museum, all-the-while saving 46 percent off regular admission prices. The Houston CityPASS is $46 USD for adults and $36 USD for children ages 3-11.

Culinary excellence
For a long while, Houston has had one of the most exciting food scenes within Texas. Home to more than 8,000 restaurants, Houston offers everything from fine dining to hole-in-the-wall Barbeque and Tex-Mex. You’ll find every variety of ethnic food found in America, from a slew of wonderful Chinese restaurants to fine Japanese sushi bars. You can get your fill of Gulf Coast Creole food, Mexican, South and Central American, Cuban, Korean fare and Spanish tapas at a variety of fine restaurants— not to mention Houston’s Italian restaurants of every style.

Off the beaten path
Through art cars, oranges and houses covered in cans, Houston embraces folk art and unique spaces. Only in Houston can you find a chicken-shaped coffin, on display at the National Museum of Funeral History, whose tagline is “every day above ground is a good one.” The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art is a major preserver and presenter of Houston’s folk art, organizing the annual Art Car Parade—the oldest and largest of its kind—and preserving notable sites like the Beer Can House and The Orange Show, a 3,000-square-foot monument to the creator’s favorite fruit. Houston has all kinds of hidden gems like these throughout the city— it simply takes a little exploring to find them.

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