Houston, Texas, is indeed the home of NASA’s Manned Spacecraft Center, Rice University, and the nation’s oil industry. But these are just three of the most visible institutions of this modern, global city. To get below the surface on your next short-term stay in Houston, check out our guide to some other Space City highlights.
Top-Rated Restaurants in Houston, Texas
Fine Dining, Charity Drinking, and Barbecue
— Brennan’s of Houston (@BrennansHouston) January 30, 2017
Brennan’s of Houston
Houston is the Bayou City, after all, so it only makes sense to get a taste of New Orleans while you’re in town. In fact, Brennan’s of Houston opened in 1967 as a sister restaurant to Commander’s Palace, a New Orleans institution. Here, you’ll find “Texas Creole Cuisine” such as Texas Redfish “On the Half Shell” and Shrimp Chippewa. If the weather’s nice, try to get a table in the courtyard by the fountain. 3300 Smith St.
What “best restaurants in Houston” list would be complete without at least one outstanding barbecue joint? Located on the city’s northwest side, and run by former Rice football player Greg Gatlin, Gatlin’s BBQ knows ribs like nobody’s business. From rich, ultra-meaty baby back ribs to St. Louis spare ribs, you’ll be in carnivore heaven at Gatlin’s. And you’ll definitely need plenty of napkins. 3510 Ella Blvd.
The Pass & Provisions
The Pass & Provisions are located in the Montrose district, known as “the Heart of Houston.” The ampersand is important because The Pass & Provisions are two restaurants under one roof. You can choose dinner-only at The Pass for a more elegant dining adventure with two tasting menus – one for omnivores, one for vegetarians. Or, you can stroll into Provisions for a lower-key yet equally delicious selection of pastas, pizzas, meats and fish for lunch, brunch and dinner. 807 Taft St.
Pappas Bros. Steakhouse
When it comes to steak, Pappas Bros. Steakhouse knows best. It’s been serving up choice cuts of porterhouse, filet mignon, and ribeye with class since 1976. Sophisticated without the stuffy factor, Pappas Bros. prides itself on exceptional service, excellent steak and seafood options, and delightfully decadent desserts. This family-owned treasure also offers an extensive wine list to complete your culinary experience. Two locations: Downtown, 1200 McKinney St.; Galleria, 5839 Westheimer Road.
The Original OKRA Charity Saloon, Houston
The Original OKRA Charity Saloon is more than just a great bar with great food – it’s a chance to enjoy a nice evening out and sleep a little better at night. That’s because part of what you pay goes to a good cause. For each drink purchased, the saloon gives patrons a vote for one of four charities. At the end of the month, the charity with the most votes gets the next month’s proceeds. 924 Congress Ave.
Museums, NASA – and Shopping!
The Museum District
Many people flock to Houston for the visual arts, and the city’s Museum District is a major attraction. The district houses 19 museums and attractions. Among them:
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, one of the most extensive collections of fine art in the United States, containing 63,000 works.
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, featuring changing exhibitions in a signature stainless steel building.
Houston Museum of Natural Science, which includes a planetarium, a butterfly center, and a giant-screen 3D theater.
Houston Zoo, with more than 6,000 animals, including gorillas, chimps, rhinos, elephants, lions and tigers.
Reflecting Houston’s diversity, the Museum District also includes the Buffalo Soldier National Museum, the Houston Museum of African American Culture, the Holocaust Museum Houston, the Asia Society Texas Center, the Czech Center Museum Houston, and DiverseWorks.
Space Center Houston
Houston’s nickname “Space City” comes from the city’s legendary location as the home of NASA’s Johnson Space Center. The official visitor center for the facility is Space Center Houston, which offers a number of exhibits for space enthusiasts. The NASA tram tour includes 90 minutes of guided access to the Johnson Space Center. You’ll see historic Mission Control, the new Mission Control center, as well as Building 9, the astronaut-training center. 2101 NASA Parkway.
Architecture Center Houston Tours
Houston has a storied history, which visitors can uncover by taking part in a guided tour of the city’s most important landmarks and neighborhoods. Architecture Center Houston leads tours on foot and by bike to explore skyscrapers, urban art, Rice University, the University of Houston, the Buffalo Bayou waterway, and the Montrose neighborhood including the Rothko Chapel. 315 Capitol St., Suite 120.
The Galleria Mall
It might come as a surprise, but Houston is considered to be one of the nation’s great shopping destinations. To that end, The Galleria is a must see. We’re talking Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Tiffany, Fendi, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, etc., etc., in the largest shopping center in Texas. The Galleria is a city within a city with two hotels, 400 stores and restaurants – and even a post office. 5085 Westheimer Road.
Houston Sports Teams
Big Leagues in the Big City
Houston Astros, MLB
The Houston Astros were established in 1962 and originally named the Houston Colt .45s. The professional baseball team changed its name to the Astros in 1965, in salute to the space program, when the famous Astrodome was built. In fact, the Astrodome was the very first stadium in the world to feature the architectural dome. The Astros now play at Minute Maid Park. 501 Crawford St.
Houston Texans, NFL
The Houston Texans are relatively new in the National Football League, playing their first game in 2002. The team was born following the departure of the Houston Oilers to Nashville, where they would become the Tennessee Titans. Today, the Texans play at NRG Stadium, which hosted the 2017 Super Bowl. The stadium is next door to the historic but now vacant Astrodome. 1 NRG Parkway.
Houston Rockets, NBA
The Houston Rockets National Basketball Association team is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017. Before laying down roots in Houston, the Rockets called San Diego, California home during the first four years of operation. The Rockets play at the Toyota Center, which also hosts major concerts. 1510 Polk St.
Houston Dynamo, Major League Soccer
Established in 2005, the Houston Dynamo is an American Major League Soccer team that hit the ground running during its first two seasons, winning the MLS Cups in both years. The name “Dynamo” references Houston’s longstanding position on the forefront of the energy industry. The team plays at BBVA Compass Stadium, which also hosts the Houston Dash of the National Women’s Soccer League. 2200 Texas St.
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