Think laid-back, pickup truck and boot-scooting town meets high-powered, high-cultured and high-heeled metropolis. During the day, chill out in your flip-flops, take in museums and shopping, then hit happy hour on a leaf-shaded deck. At night, revel in culinary or cultural bliss – the foodie scene and theater district are both nationally renowned. Sure, oil-and-gas wealth underlies a lot of the city's endeavors, but you'd never know it from the lack of pretension. What's not to like about a place where a weeks-long rodeo and barbecue cook-off is the favorite reason for stepping out? Here starched jeans are de rigeur in all but the very fanciest of restaurants.
Houston may rank behind Chicago as the nation's fourth most populated city, but it covers a greater area than all of New Jersey. Diverse residential neighborhoods and enclaves of restaurants and shops spread far and wide. You'll miss out if you limit yourself to Downtown. The leafy Museum District is the city's cultural center; Upper Kirby and River Oaks have upscale shopping and dining; Montrose contains cute bungalows, quirky shops and eateries; Midtown has up-and-coming condos and some good restaurants; Washington Ave is nightlife central and the Heights has historic homes and boutiques. Don't forget that a couple of the town's main attractions – NASA's Space Center Houston in Clear Lake and Galveston Island – are outside the city limits, requiring a 45-minute drive down I-45.
Best places to stay in Houston
Texas - Houston & East Texas (Chapter)
Houston has money and culture, but wears them like a good ol’ country boy come to town. And when you get sick of the concrete maze of interstates, it’s easy to escape to east Texas and its many natural attractions.
Houston destination guides
Enjoy Houston’s premier attractions at one amazing low price! See the Space Center Houston, Downtown Aquarium, Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston Zoo and more. You have nine days to use all admission tickets, so take your time and explore the city of Houston with this exclusive CityPASS! Save time and money on your trip to Houston with this convenient CityPASS.
Houston Arrival Shuttle Transfer: Airport to Hotel
Get to your hotel efficiently and effectively from Houston airport - no waiting for cabs or spending a fortune on last-minute transfers. Instead, take the easy way with a pre-purchased transfer from the Houston Hobby or Intercontinental Airport to your Houston hotel.