TRAVEL: HOUSTON, TEXAS

Every time I meet someone new and I tell them I am from “HOUSTON, TEXAS”, the first thing that comes to their mind is: “Houston, we’ve had a problem!”, but there are no problems here right now! haha 🙂 Did you know that Houston is the fourth largest city in the US? and that we are known for having the world’s largest medical center and livestock show, many oil and gas and Fortune 500 companies, great aerospace technology at NASA and yes….crazy humidity, traffic jams and sometimes some major flooding!?!?

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I am sooo excited to share with you a few of my favorite things to do in my beautiful hometown! Every time family and friends come to visit, I always try to do a few of the following things with them:

 Things to see:

Space Center Houston:  is the ultimate tourist attraction in Houston! This Space City destination is about 30 min from downtown and you will be able to see some cool rockets including the Saturn V, which is the tallest, heaviest and most powerful rocket ever flown!

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Kemah Boardwalk: is a 60-acre theme park with plenty of restaurant in Kemah, TX and it’s approximately 40 min from Downtown. The Boardwalk is along the shores of Galveston Bay and Clear Lake.

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Water Wall: is a signature landmark of Houston and it’s right across from the Houston Galleria Mall. Many Houstonians love taking pictures here for weddings, engagements and quinceañeras!

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Downtown
Discovery Green is a park with a stage for public performances, two dog areas, a playground, a lake and multiple recreational lawns… best part, in the wintertime they have an outdoor ice-skating ring!

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Want to catch an awesome view of downtown Houston? Then head over to the 60th floor of the JP Morgan Chase Building, on 600 Travis! Best part, it’s FREE!

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Museum District
The Museum District is Houston’s 9-mile cultural square! This area houses 19 museums, galleries, cultural centers, and community organizations including the famous Museum Fine Arts Houston and Houston Museum Natural Science. Within walking distance, you will find the Houston Zoo, which houses more than 6,000 animals! Right across the road, there’s Hermann Park! Where you can go for a run, play some golf or simply take a walk thought the beautiful Japanese and McGovern Centennial Gardens.

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Got kids? No, worries! You can take them to the Children’s Museum or catch a performance at the Miller Outdoor Theater. Looking for something more adventurous? Then take them on a ride on the Hermann Park Railroad or to the pedal boats on the lake!

On a budget? Most museums are FREE on Thursdays or the Contemporary Arts Museum, Menil Collection and Rothko Chapel are ALWAYS FREE!

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 Fun IG spots:

If you have time, make sure to visit the colorful, Instagram-famous, pop-up art exhibit called the Color Factory Houston, located in the Upper Kirby area.

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Houston Graffiti Walls

-1503 Chartres, Houston, TX 77003 (Downtown)

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-1001 Austin St, Houston, TX 77010 (Downton intersection with McKinney St)

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-3601 White Oak Dr, Houston, TX 77007 (Heights)

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Fun Houston Facts: Some nicknames for Houston are H-Town, Bayou City, Space City, Clutch City and the 713!

Activities to do

Performing Arts
Houston hosts 21,000 concerts, plays, exhibitions and other arts programs annually, giving visitors and locals access to a wide variety of cultural experiences. Houston’s Theater District is made out of 17-blocks that house the Houston Ballet, Houston Grand Opera, Theater Under the Stars, Alley Theater and the Houston Symphony, so make sure you catch a show during your stay!

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Shopping:
For high-end brands try River Oaks District, for ice-skating and all your favorite stores try the Houston Galleria; but if you for looking for something more unique try the shops on 19th St. in the Heights or the Rice Village. 

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Events to consider

About 35,000 people participate every year in the Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Half Marathon! This race is usually held on the Sunday before MLK day in January.

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Fun Fact: I ran my first half marathon in 2017 and my first full marathon in 2018!

The Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo kicks off with the BBQ cook off on the last Thursday in February and the actual rodeo competition, concerts and carnival start that following Monday and it last for about 3 weeks in March!

The Houston Art Car Parade is a spring staple activity in H-town since April of 1988! Over 250 vehicles participate in this parade and it has an audience of some 250,000+ spectators!

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Fun Fact: I rode in one of the winning art cars in the Art Car Parade in 2016!

The Texas Renaissance Festival also known as RenFest, is a 55 acre medieval times themed fair grounds. In this festival you will find interesting medieval performances, all kinds of food and snacks! Best part, visitors come dressed in royal medieval attire! Come check out this month long festival from late September to late November.

Places to eat/drink

 Restaurants
Tiny’s N. 5 is a great spot for brunch or a cute date night!

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Come have an authentic Mexican meal at Cuchara.

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Taste some real Texas BBQ at Goode Company! They have a few locations.

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For the most AMAZING sushi dinner, try Uchi! I highly recommend trying their tasting menu. 😉

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Bars
If you are into local breweries, then check out Saint Arnold’s, Karbach,  8th Wonder or Platypus Brewing!

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Present Company is a fun bar in the Montrose area that has cool Texas décor, which makes it great for pics! But if you are looking for some mixology cocktails, then try Anvil just few blocks down. In the Heights area you can find Eight Row Flint with a nice patio or if you are downtown, check out Pastry War for mescal & tequila…insider tip, there is a secret bar called Tongue-Cut Sparrow! Double points if you can find it! 😉 For something more laidback downtown, you can visit Truck Yard or Miss Carousel!

Sports

If you love sports, then Houston is the city for you! We are lucky to have pretty much every sport from the Astros, Rockets, Texans, Dynamo and Dash! And our newest addition the XFL Roughnecks!

Where to stay

Looking for somewhere nice to stay with a great location? Then consider the JW Marriott Houston Downtown, it’s the one with the cool Texas shaped lazy river pool! Are you more into boutique hotels? Then try Hotel Granduca! This Italian inspired hotel also has a great restaurant and it’s located in the Galleria area. The Post Oak Hotel is also in this area and it’s one of Houston’s newest and most lux hotels with a couple of fine restaurants inside. Coming with a big group? Then consider staying at this chic airbnb in east downtown-EADO!

Now you have all the insider tips to make your next visit to H-town totally awesome! 😉

#adios
Dorina

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