Let me just start by saying how happy I was when I went to Texas and me using the word “ya’ll” didn’t get me strange looks anymore. It was great, but certainly not the best part about my week long exploration of the lone star state.
I’ve got your top 12 reasons to head to the 4th largest city in the United States. I’ll be sharing the list today and might do another Houston centered post to let ya’ll know where we stayed, how we got around and all of the logistics so leave me a comment if you’re interested in that!
12 Reasons You Need To Visit Houston, Texas:
// NRG Stadium
I went to my very first NFL game while in Houston and it was such a blast. I’m not a Texans fan, nor a Tennessee fan (that’s who they were playing that week) but I had such a good time I could have fooled anyone there. The stadium is huge and beautiful and features a retractable roof!
The fans were incredible, everyone was cheering the whole time, and the Texans had the best music play whenever they did something great. Down with the Sickness by Disturbed. My inner punk teenager came out that day and I was not mad about it. Even if you aren’t an NFL fan you’ll get caught up in the rush of the excitement. The Texans won that day and the joy on the tram (it stops right at the stadium!) was palpable. So, if you find yourself in Houston you must go to NRG Stadium. They even host the worlds largest rodeo there and mark your calendars because they’ll be home to the 2017 Superbowl!
// Food & Drink
The food everywhere in Texas was amazing but I had some killer fish tacos as this place called Bodegas Taco shop. Not sure if it’s well known or not but we stumbled across this in a hangry haze after hitting up a museum and were not disappointed. They have every kind of taco/nacho/burrito you can imagine and this place was packed. Plus the margaritas were off the chain. Yes, I just said “off the chain”, deal with it. :-] Another place we had great food? MKT Bar. It’s part of a hip grocery store but it was great!
We also went to the oldest bar in Houston- La Carafe and had some very tasty beers. If it wasn’t so dim inside i’d have taken some pictures. This was the perfect after dinner spot to lounge and relax. Be warned, it’s cash only but checking out the fabulous antique register is well worth having to pay in cash.
Go to the MFAH (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston) and take a wander. They have something for everyone in this gigantic museum. Plus, there are always cool installations going on. You could easily spend a whole day just stopping in and out of all the museums nearby.
This is something I didn’t get a chance to do but I hear the theater district is amazing. It is the second largest in the country by seat space, obviously second to NYC. But, for anyone who can’t ever get to NYC this is so much closer!
// Discovery Green
As soon as we got to Houston we headed up to Discovery Green. This park had everything, green space, food, a pond, a jungle gym, a stage, even a tiny putting green! You’d never know that this was in the center of a huge city, it is so peaceful and lovely.
// Medical Campus
Houston has the largest medical center in the world. So, whether you need the best care possible, or your considering a career in medicine, Houston is the place to go. Plus, the buildings are beautiful.
I can’t decide if I had more fun here than at the football game. It’s a pretty close tie. Needless to say, you need to go to the space center when you’re in Houston. You could easily spend and entire day here so come prepared. (Side note: who the heck would think that thing above would fly? That’s why I don’t work for NASA) There is a lot to see and do so make sure you get everything checked off before you leave. I highly suggest getting there as early as possible and getting on the first tram tour of the day. It’ll be cooler you won’t have to wait in line.
When you’re done you’ll be able to brag to all your friends and family that you got to visit the actual Mission Control. My inner nerd was having the time of her life.
// The Galleria
If you like shopping, this is the place for you. The Galleria is the largest shopping center in Texas and the fourth largest in the country. Also, I cheated and this picture was taken in the airport, not the mall but I had nothing else to show ya. With over 2.4 million square feet of space you’re sure to find something you like. The floor plan was a bit confusing to me but you better believe I found the stores I wanted. Oh, and in case you’re tired of shopping there is a full sized skating rink open all year round. No big deal.
// Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park
When you’re all set at the mall be sure to wander on over to see the water wall. Doesn’t sound impressive but that picture above will hopefully change your mind. It’s beautiful. And a quick walk over from the mall. We didn’t originally have plans to go here even though it was on my list because we were car-less so i’m so happy we made it.
Did you know that Houston has over 40 different colleges and universities? Well, it does. So, if you’re in search for a college to attend in a great city you should head on over to Houston to check them out. Especially if you want to get into the medical field.
Potentially my favorite of the parks in Houston. Hermann park is 445 acres of bliss. There is a golf course, Japanese gardens, a zoo, an outdoor amphitheater, a museum of science, a rose garden and even a planetarium.
So much to see and do but the reflecting pool might be the best part. It’s like a mini Washington DC in the heart of Texas (clap clap clap clap). There is a huge hill leading up to the amphitheater and kids were having the time of their lives rolling down it. My friend and I watched the sunset over the treeline and just relaxed in the park. It felt like home.
// Street Art
Okay, I know I keep saying that everything was my favorite but I might have had the most fun wandering around looking at the street art. I wish we had had more time to explore. On our final day in Houston we rented a car to go to the Space Center so it was a lot easier to get around the city. I had one spot that as an Instagrammer/Blogger I needed to see but beyond that we just wandered. I might do a whole post on the street art just so I can show off all the pictures so i’ll just include this one. The one I had to have at the #biscuitpaintwall.
And there you go! 12 reasons you need to visit Houston. Let me know your suggestions in the comments below!