An icon of America's Deep South, the city of Houston combines modern theme parks and galleries with a rich local tradition to create a distinctive Texan flavour.
Born on the Buffalo Bayou in 1837, the city of Houston is named after the great Texan freedom fighter Sam Houston who led a courageous surprise attack to win independence from Mexico. This battle is commemorated at the battleground in San Jacinto, about 80 kilometres out of the city, by the towering San Jacinto Monument, a great place to learn about local history.
Climb to the top and you’ll get a breath-taking panorama across Galveston Bay towards the renowned Battleship Texas and the modern pyramids of Moody Gardens. The man-made golden beaches and theme parks of Kemah Boardwalk are near here too, perfect for an afternoon’s entertainment. If it’s hot, you can also take a short drive north of Downtown and cool off in the popular Splashtown water park.
Try out the local seafood, which is caught fresh daily in the Gulf and sold throughout the city and surrounding area. One taste of the intense, punchy flavours of Cajun Shrimp and you’ll be hooked for life!
Houston is a staple of modern science fiction and real-life space travel thanks to the world-famous Space Centre Houston, less than an hour’s drive from the city by car. You can’t help but get excited when visiting this incredible building, which has housed the dreams of a Nation for decades.
Back in the city centre, there is a wealth of things to do. Art buffs will be in heaven as Houston is a hub of modern and classical art. Visit the extraordinary Menil Collection or the immense Houston Museum of Fine Arts, housed across several buildings, to see many of the famous masterpieces from the last 100 years.
You may be surprised to find beautiful meadows and landscaped gardens right in the centre of the Metropolis, with numerous parks including the sporty Memorial Park, the theatres and flea markets of Discovery Green and the wilderness of the Houston Arboretum and Nature Centre. To get even closer to some of the wildlife, head to Hermann Park which houses Houston Zoo or take a trip to the Downtown Aquarium.
Hire a car during your stay to get the most out of the area. There is a metro within the city, but some of the attractions are a bit of a drive away.