Space Center Houston, the official visitor center for NASA, features interactive exhibits, attractions and presentations to educate and entertain visitors. Learn about the history of space exploration in museum exhibits and short films or touch a moon rock. Take a tram-tour to Mission Control, the Astronaut Training Facility and Rocket Park, where a life-size Saturn V rocket ship is on display.
Located in the battlefield where Texas gained its independence from Mexico, the museum, at the base of the San Jacinto Monument, holds one of the largest collections of Texas art, artifacts and history. It was created as a steward of history—to promote friendship between Texas, Mexico, Spain, France and Latin America.
Visitors can walk through aquarium exhibits and amaze themselves with an unexpected exhibit of white tigers. Outside, the Ferris wheel and other rides make for a fair-like atmosphere. The train takes you around the small complex, stopping in the middle of an acrylic tunnel tank filled with sharks that swim above you. The aquarium contains, all in all, more than 200 species of marine life.
Located in the Museum District, it is home to the Houston Zoo, Miller Outdoor Theatre, Houston Museum of Natural Science and a golf course. Visitors can also enjoy the jogging trail, birding, bicycle trails, and pedal boats on the lake. The urban forest includes wheelchair accessible paths.
Downtown Houston is fast becoming an excellent urban walking area and people-watching hot spot. Just a quick stop off the Metro Light Rail, indulge in Broadway shows, concerts, live music, exotic fare, a vibrant museum community, professional and university sports, and an international social scene. A series of underground walkways, called “the tunnels”, provides a protected way to tour downtown.
Hiking and biking trails, as well as walking tours, help locals and visitors stay active while taking in the tranquility of the scenery. Discovery Green Parks includes a lake, restaurants, a children's area and multiple recreational areas. Also hosting events such as concerts and outdoor movies. Other parks such as Hermann, Sam Houston can be found downtown, while Memorial Park is just west of downtown.
The seaside town of Galveston is a popular weekend getaway and has become a regular departure destination for cruise ships. You should bring your walking shoes since the island offers 14 museums and 20 art galleries, but don't forget to spend some time relaxing in the sun and on the beach.
The Battleship Texas in LaPorte provides an educational experiences for visitors. It takes about three hours to tour the ship on the inside and on the decks. There is also a great video that tells the story of the Battleship Texas and the important role it has played in both World Wars.
The Museum Of Fine Arts offers a fantastic collection spanning classical to modern art, and every period in between. This huge museum has two gallery buildings, a sculpture garden, visitors centre, library, café, movie theatre, two art schools, two house museums, and two gift shops.
If you ever dreamed of flying then you should head over to iFLY Indoor Skydiving. Here you can experience the rush of skydiving without jumping from an airplane, just you floating on a cushion of air with the help of professional instructors. No skills are needed, and it is suitable for both kids and adults.
This gigantic 28-room mansion was donated and turned into a museum where visitors can experience the elegant lifestyle of the early 20th century. The beautiful gardens and surrounding wooded areas make for a wonderful and relaxing stroll. Call ahead for guided tours.
A chic temple of top-notch nouveau American cuisine, complete with a private dining chamber. Mark’s has an extensive wine list as well as a full list of cognacs, armagnacs and single-malt scotches. This church-turned-restaurant has been ranked in the top ten restaurants in the United States.
Located in the posh River Oaks Shopping Center and sporting a jaw-dropping, new-age design, Américas draws from the foods and cooking techniques of Latin countries, delivering a menu that merges the bold, rich flavors of South America with touches of the Caribbean and Mexico.
An extensive Tex-Mex menu complements the south-of-the-border flair at this bustling eatery. The popular restaurant and cantina has a solid reputation for creative yet consistent cuisine that ranges from traditional fajitas and enchiladas to festive seafood dishes with a Southwestern kick.
This urbanized, Texas-decorated barbecue joint is wildly popular, thanks to expertly smoked brisket and a variety of platters. Sausage (from a well-guarded recipe), fresh pies and bread are made daily. In addition, Goode also offers smoked duck and chicken. Additional locations at 8911 Katy Freeway and 20102 NW Freeway.
Gumbo, shrimp salad, red beans and rice, fried chicken and catfish, along with highly satisfying butter cakes, make this Old Market Square lunch-only eatery a favorite among many diners. Another outlet is below ground in the tunnels at 1100 Louisiana. Additional locations at 1200 McKinney, 1117 Texas, and 711 Louisiana (Pennzoil Place tunnel)
Enchiladas, tacos, chicken and beef platters, pork chops, quail and catfish along with sides of refried beans, guacamole and rice attract many budget-minded hungry visitors. It lies just across the street from Goode Company Barbecue, in a good centralized location.
"The best Mexican food in Texas since Texas was in Mexico", Ninfa's likes to boast. An absolute favourite in the hearts and stomachs of Houston residents, it is as much a landmark as it is a restaurant. Their famous green salsa and always fresh-made tortillas are an experience. A must for any visitor to the city.
If you are craving traditional Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine, you should head over to Kim Son Restaurant. The chefs proudly use only the freshest ingredients and continuously strive to improve the quality of their food. On the menu you will find mouth-watering dishes such as "chicken lettuce wrap" and "BBQ pork and eggplant".
Wine isn't the only thing to get here, although it is a highlight, as they offer an impressive selection. Portions here are enormous, but you'll kick yourself if you don't finish your meal, which will consist of some interesting combinations (Lobster Thermadelphia or Texas Haute Dog), and will never fail to impress.
Benjy's specializes in what it calls "modern American cuisine", offering such dishes as seared sashimi-tuna pizza and pistachio-crusted goat-cheese cakes. This is a true example of how Houston's modern culinary scene continues to push the boundaries and create truly inventive meals.
Artsy types, poetry buffs and music lovers from all walks of life count this warm coffeehouse as a favorite. Brasil frequently hosts musicians of all persuasions, from fusion jazz to experimental noise to ambient grooves. You might be able to catch a traveling poetry slam team or a group of local poets and writers giving a public reading.
Music is the star here, courtesy of resident music-maker DJ Sun, though there is a steady flow of guest DJs bringing their own beats to the dancefloor. The ambiance is very laidback, and it is as much a place to relax and have a bite to eat as it is a place to dance the night away.
Hidden behind an unassuming and unmarked blue door, this interesting bar is, simply, different. When it opened it had one mission: to not have a theme. This allowed a truly eclectic group of "non-conformists and intellectuals" to gather naturally, drawn to this day by the classical music backdrop and the dim lighting.
"Ice houses" are quite literally where people used to go to get ice. Today, however, they are open-air bars, and this is the oldest one in all of Texas. It's a friendly place where all are welcome (including dogs) and where strangers make a habit of buying a beer for their new friends at the neighbouring picnic table.
In Uptown Houston, The Galleria is a wonderland for shoppers with discriminating taste and a budget to go with it. This is the fourth largest mall in the U.S. and an icon in the Houston retail scene, boasting some 375 stores and restaurants, an ice rink, two hotels and three office towers.
The welcoming staff is ready to help you with great music suggestions and pick out the perfect gift. Cactus Music also hosts international and local bands most weekends. In addition, the store is equipped with books, box sets, T-shirts, posters, DVDs, sundry souvenirs and art work.
Kuhl-Linscomb is one of Houstons best and most diverse shopping spots, best known for its impeccable stock of items for the home. This is a must-see five building complex that holds everything from jewelry, books, furniture, lighting, rugs, linens and home accessories to bath and beauty products and much more.
Pinto Ranch offers a wide variety of high-class collections that embody the romanticism and traditions of the old west with modern style and handcrafted quality. They stock both men's and ladies' apparel, hats, belts, buckles, jewelry and handmade cowboy boots.
For a unique shopping/bartering experience, head over to Buffalo Exchange to buy, sell or trade clothes. They're picky, meaning that the clothes you offer need to be in great condition and freshly laundered, but that also means that the clothes you leave with will be in top condition.
The main airport serving the Houston area is a hub for Continental-United Airlines. All major U.S. airlines, plus Air Canada, Air France, British Airways, KLM, Lufthansa, Qatar Airlines, Emirates, Singapore Airlines and Aeromexico also operate out of IAH. Nonstop service is available to approximately 110 domestic and 70 international destinations. The airport is 20 miles (32 km) from downtown with regular Metro bus service from the south side of Terminal C to downtown via the METRO Airport Direct. Super Shuttle offers collective transportation, and taxis can be hailed outside each terminal through ground transportation employees. Rental cars are available at the Consolidated Rental Car Facility.
Airport Direct services from Bush Intercontinental (IAH) Terminal C to the downtown Airport Direct Passenger Plaza (815 Pierce) has departures every 30 minutes. METRORail connects between downtown Houston and Reliant Park, with stops at the museum district and medical center. METRO bus routes cover the city. You can buy a METRO Q® Fare Card that works like an electronic wallet (you pay for each ride) or METRO Day Pass with unlimited rides on METRO for a day. You can buy these cards from the METRO RideStore, local food stores and kiosks.