Travel Guide of Houston for: Magnolia Hotel HoustonHouston, Texas Gulf Coast, Texas
- Great restaurants featuring all kinds of cuisine
- Numerous museums, particularly in the Museum District
- Arts hot spot, with a great ballet, symphony, and opera
- Lively nightlife
- Lots of shopping
- Family-friendly city, with plenty of activities for kids
- Rich in history, with many historic homes and sites
- True Western city, with an annual rodeo
- Beaches at nearby Galveston
- Hot, humid summers
- A car is almost a necessity
- Some areas can be sketchy
- Slight risk of hurricanes during the summer and fall
What It's Like
Everything's bigger in Texas, and Houston is the state's biggest city (and the fourth largest in the U.S.). Although in many ways Houston is a refined, upscale city, with an impressive performing arts scene and a plethora of museums, it holds on to its Southwestern roots through its love of barbeque, honky tonk, and rodeos. Every March means the start of the annual rodeo, during which hotels fill up quickly, and delicious Tex-Mex for every budget can be found. But Houston is also an emerging foodie capitol, featuring fine dining restaurants for all kinds of cuisines.
Houston is a very diverse city, not only in its people but also in its landscape. The downtown area, home to the business district and the theater district, has a skyscraper-dominated skyline, while some parks, such as the George Ranch Historical Park, take up hundreds of acres of undeveloped land. Houston is also home to several popular sports teams, including the Astros (baseball) and the Rockets (basketball), and the city is crowded with fans during their seasons. Crowds filter out of the city during the summer months -- which are brutally hot and humid -- but the nearby Galveston beaches, as well as the family-friendly Splash Town waterpark, about 45 minutes from Downtown Houston, allow visitors and locals alike to cool off. Houston is known for being a very family-friendly city, with numerous kid-friendly outdoor activities and tons of museums geared towards children. But a draw-back is that the city is not very pedestrian-friendly, and having a car is almost required.
Where To Stay
Most hotels in Houston are concentrated in The Galleria area and Downtown. Downtown is home to Houston's business district, as well as its theater district and many tourist attractions. There is also a lightrail connecting Downtown to the Museum District. Though many of the hotels in Downtown are upscale, there are so many in the area that rates can often be pretty heavily discounted. The Galleria area is also home to upscale hotels, due to its proximity to upscale shopping. But Houston has a range of hotels for varying budgets, particularly in areas on the outskirts of main neighborhoods.