As the largest city in Texas, Houston is home to diverse cultures and cosmopolitan attractions, as well as distilling the vast Texas spirit into one glorious urban environment. Visitors to the city will find themselves enriched by its singular culture and inspired by its many accomplishments. While any visit is sure to please, here are five excellent ways to explore and experience this vibrant city to its fullest.
1. Hop on Houston’s METRORail
In addition to being an efficient and cost-effective method for getting around the city, the METRO is an excellent way to see the sights most travelers miss. With easy access to the museum district, midtown, and the downtown attractions on the METRO line, visitors can make the most of their travel budget and mix with the locals at the same time.
2. Catch a Festival
Houston offers a vast range of cultural events, from the dazzling Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, America’s largest agricultural fair, to the Art Car Parade, an exhibition bursting with vehicular creativity. While attending these attractions means travelers will have to coordinate their travel time to match the dates, Houston’s festivals are a great way to experience the city and the broad range of cultural events, delicious foods, and fantastic art it has to offer.
3. Live like the locals
Eschewing a hotel to stay in one of the many excellent urban Houston lofts will give visitors a sense of being a “local” in a way that more traditional types of accommodation never can. Truly feeling the heart and soul of a city while just a visitor means staying in urban neighborhoods and seeking out eateries where the locals prefer to eat, rather than the more ubiquitous chain restaurants. Houston benefits from the wealth of seafood caught in the nearby Gulf of Mexico and eating at a local seafood restaurant has chain fast food beat by a Texas mile. Visitors can also pick up some great local produce and cuisine at the Urban Harvest Farmers Market for a great impromptu picnic lunch in one of the city’s fine parks.
4. Live Like a Texas Cowhand for a Day
History buffs will swoon at the chance to visit the George Ranch Historical Park, a four-generation working ranch that allows visitors a chance to enjoy some hands-on Texas history taught by costumed guides. Traveling back in time to 1824, Texas-style, with fun for the whole family, is a great way to explore Houston’s historic beginning. There are calf-roping demonstrations to time-honored ranch recipes, and everything in between.
5. Visit the Stars
Nothing’s more evocative of Texas’s untamed spirit and search for excellence than the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. The Space Race was won in Houston, and wandering through the Space Center’s interactive displays and museum pieces will fire the imagination of visitors both young and old.
From Houston’s humble beginnings in 1836 to its history as the home of cutting edge technology and vast oil reserves that power the world, the city is a powerhouse of economics, culture, art, and entertainment. Taking in its treasures will be vastly rewarding to any traveler and will make memories that last a lifetime.