Houston is a state in the United States that is known for its diversity in dining, shopping, culture, and unique attraction. It manages to attract millions of tourists each year and even people from other states such as New York and Las Vegas tend to pay a visit to Houston for a much-needed change. Furthermore, this is the fourth largest state in the United States that is famous for many attractions such as the famous Space Center Houston.
With direct flights from all over North America, Houston happens to be a great weekend getaway. Moreover, it is not far from Dallas and Austin either. The distance between Houston and Dallas is 385 kilometers if you were to travel by motorway. Therefore, let’s take a deeper look at Houston and why you should give it a visit over the weekend especially if you are residing in Dallas or Austin. Let’s begin.
Is Houston Closer to Dallas or Austin?
As mentioned earlier, if you were to travel by road, the distance between Houston and Dallas is 385 kilometers. Whereas, the distance between Houston and Austin is approximately 260 kilometers. Therefore, if you are living in Dallas or Austin, it will take you somewhere between 3 to 4 hours to reach Houston.
Why go to Houston?
Most people know Houston from its history with oil and landscape climbs but what they are not aware of the fact is that Houston is home to eclectic galleries, grassy parks, and a burgeoning art scene. In addition to that, there is a huge variety of hotels as well for you to consider while visiting Houston. If you are traveling with family, your kids will love to visit the Houston Space Center and Museum of Natural Science to spend some quality family time.
What are the best months to visit Houston?
If you were to ask, the best time for visiting Houston is between February to April or from September to November. Since Houston is located near the Gulf of Mexico, it receives warm weather as well for most of the year. However, when the spring and fall seasons set in, the temperatures drop and there is always something for everyone. There are a lot of festivals that take place here as well that your family will find extremely entertaining. Some people tend to visit during the months of December or January as well. To survive these months you need to pack extra layers of clothing. Therefore, make sure to bring some warm clothes along.
What are the best attractions in Houston?
Space Center Houston
When in Houston, you should definitely checkout the official visitor center of NASA’s Johnson Space Center. It is a huge center with a replica of the space shuttle Independence with the shuttle carrier aircraft it is mounted on. Furthermore, you can visit the visitor center, where you get to touch a rock from the moon and witness Skylab, which was America’s first space station. This is also the place where you get to inform yourself about the upcoming NASA projects, including the Mars project. Moreover, if you want the ultimate experience, you should sign up for the Level 9 Tour and experience Johnson Space Center from behind the scenes. You will get to see the simulation labs, Buoyancy lab, and the ISS Mission Control.
Houston’s Museum District
The museum district is exactly what it sounds like. It is basically a district that is home to 19 museums with some of the greatest cultural attractions. Amongst them, 11 are free for the public. In addition to the museums, you also have the lovely Hermann Park, Miller Outdoor Theater, and the Houston Zoo.
Furthermore, most of the museums are just walking distance away from each other. However, the Menil and the Rothko happen to be a little farther out. The museums that are free to visit include the Lawndale Art Center Houston Museum of African American Culture and Moody Center for the Arts along with several others.
Buffalo Bayou Park
You cannot leave Houston without visiting Buffalo Bayou Park. It is an extremely beautiful 160-acre green space, where you can walk, bike and paddle. It also includes a dog park along with trails for biking and several shady areas to relax. If you want to get out and enjoy some of the outdoor activities, you can rent a canoe, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard. Rentals are easily available at the park and you can opt for tours as well. A unique feature of the park is the Cistern, which was back in 1926, an old water-drinking reserve. However, visitors today can visit it for a short tour.
The Houston Zoo is situated in Hermann Park and is an area spread over 55 acres. It is one of the key attractions of the city. The zoo happens to be home to around 6,000 species of exotic animals in addition to an education center and children’s zoo. You can get close to the giraffes and aquatic life to feed them. The Hermann Park features several other attractions as well such as a Japanese Garden, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, and the Miller Outdoor Theater.
Discover Houston’s Street Art
Houston’s love and talent for art cannot only be seen in museums but on the street as well. If you were to take a look, there are several walls in Houston that are covered with remarkable graffiti designs. The colorful attractions are worth stopping for a while and admiring the top names in street art around the world. Houston’s own Gonzo247 is the unofficial curator of Houston’s street art and is the face behind the ‘Houston is Inspired’ mural.
Shop the Vintage Stores
If you are a fan of vintage items and collections, you should shop at vintage stores. These stores are located on 19th street in the Heights. The street happens to consist of funky shops, selling all kinds of quirky stuff. You will find everything from jewelry to evening gowns and whatnot. Furthermore, if you are looking for gifts, this is the best place to visit.
The beautiful beaches of Galveston are not to be missed. Located less than an hour away from Houston, this place is an ideal area for a quick getaway and soaking in the sun. You can wander through the historic downtown and dine at some fine restaurants as well. While munching on delicious food, you can look across the endless beach with turquoise water to have a once in a lifetime experience.
Furthermore, if you do not have a car, you can take an organized tour of the island as well. You can hop on the 90-minute double-decker bus as well for Houston Sightseeing Tour and Galveston Day trip.
Attend the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is Houston’s biggest annual event. It is a 19-day event that is filled with excitement and fun to the core. Held in February or March, this festival brings out the entire Houston. Consider yourself lucky if you are visiting Houston this time of the year. However, if you are waiting for the best time to visit Houston, then this is it. The event is famous around the world for its diversity of activities. It is not just a Livestock Show and Rodeo but home to countless games, carnival rides and food stalls, etc. You will also get to see some cowboys showing off their skills and the biggest music names performing on the stage as well.
As the article reaches its conclusion, it needs to be said that Houston is an ideal place to live or at least visit, especially for people residing in nearby cities such as Austin or Dallas. Not many cities in the world offer such diversity as offered by Houston. From some of the top attractions of the world to the best cultural attractions and events, Houston will never disappoint. If you do plan to visit Houston in the near future, make sure that you visit between November and March.