The downtown skyline sparkling at night
BBVA Compass Stadium, home of the Houston Dynamo
The Hall of Paleontology at the Museum of Natural Science
Mural by graffiti artist Gonzo247 in Market Square Park
Indoor ice skating at The Galleria shopping mall
Nod to the past at El Real Tex-Mex Cafe in a former 1930s movie theater
Greeting a chimpanzee at the Houston Zoo
Sampling local cuisine on a chef-led Houston Culinary Tours outing
Houston: A city where urban chic meets Southern hospitality
In Houston, much of daily life happens outdoors, thanks to mild, year-round temperatures. Take time to explore eclectic, culture-filled neighborhoods, galleries and attractions, which offer diverse activities and vibes that can only be found here.
Take the food, for example. Countless cutting-edge chefs have made a home in Houston, where diners eat out more than residents of any other city. You’ll find James Beard Award-winners and internationally renowned chefs serving up innovative cuisine that frequently catches the attention of foodies in Bon Appetit, Food & Wine and Saveur.
The stylish dining scene is only a slice of Houston’s epicurean side, a fact that the city’s culinary masterminds intend to prove with the Houston Culinary Tours. Each intimate 16-person, chef-led tour shows the hidden side of the city’s food scene, one taco truck and ethnic market at a time.
Venture downtown during your stay and discover a thriving professional arts scene with professional resident companies in ballet, opera, symphony and theater, making it one of the few U.S. cities that can boast the same. The nearby Museum District stakes its claim as the country’s fourth largest with 18 cultural powerhouses set within blocks of one another.
Houston even has its own version of Central Park with more than 600 hectares of green space in the heart of the city. Just inside "the loop," an interstate highway around the city, Memorial Park is home to a public golf course, swimming pool, tennis courts, trails and more. Downtown, Discovery Green is a park with Wi-Fi, a farmers' market, dog runs, fine dining and ice skating during the winter, just one more of the 650-plus urban green spaces filling the city.
Businesses also recognize Houston’s allure. Twenty-five companies on the Fortune 500 list call the Energy Capital of the World home. Aeronautic research is unsurpassed at NASA headquarters – the facility responsible for putting the first man on the moon – and Texas Medical Center remains the largest in the world with 47 highly lauded research and treatment institutions.
Live like a local for a few days and discover why Houston’s mix of international appeal and Southern charm have captured the imagination of tastemakers the world over.
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It’s like the United Nations: Over 145 languages are spoken by the residents of Houston, a very international city indeed.