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The best of Houston
NOTE: Given current regional and national guidelines, certain businesses mentioned in this article are operating on different schedules and limited capacities. We've indicated in the text which of our favorite restaurants, bars and museums are temporarily closed right now, but it's always best to check ahead since venues may be operating a limited capacity. The best things to do in Houston range in scope and genre: local museums will cater to the artsy crowd while lovers of Asian cuisine will delight in the city's restaurant scene (the Houston brunch game is pretty strong). The country's fourth largest city by population is also a haven for space aficionados (the Space Center is here!) and a home to a super-cool outdoor theater, recognized all across the nation. One more thing to call out: the Underground Tunnel Tour is one of the most exciting things to do in town. There are about 7.5 miles of tunnels twisting their way beneath the city's surface—and exploring them all is just as exciting as it sounds. Remember: everything is bigger in Texas. Done something on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutDoList and tag @TimeOutEverywhere. Find out more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world.
In a sprawling metropolis like Houston, the restaurant scene is as varied and interesting as the city itself – and it doesn’t easily fit into neat categories. Besides, not only is Houston the fourth largest city in the United States (with loads of things to do to prove it), but it's also home to food as diverse as the people within its vast geographical scope. For Bayou City, think beyond multi-course meals at meticulously designed Downtown destinations. Tex-Mex, barbecue and Gulf Coast seafood are musts – but so are top-notch New American/Texan spots and the multi-faceted flavors of the city’s international residents. So if you want to get a taste of local flavour, then you're in luck. Get your knives and forks ready, because here's our list of best restaurants in Houston.
We’ve all picked up a sagging bunch of flowers from the gas station at some point in our lives (right? It's not just us?). Sadly there's no more obvious way of screaming 'I forgot all about you' than a handful of pathetic petals. Good news: you can forget those days. Thanks to some super online delivery services, you can now order last-minute blossoms that look infinitely better than their corner store counterparts. So, from the global symbol of love (roses), a spectacular bouquet for your dear mom to some sweet, sweet blooms for a good pal, we’ve got you. These Houston-based flower delivery services will have what you need. Trust us. Seeking even more inspiration? Treat that special someone to a meal at one of the best restaurants in Houston or go try one of the 50 best things to do in Boston.
When it comes to sheer cultural output, Houston packs a mighty punch. This dynamic, sprawling metropolis boasts some of the finest restaurants in the country, gorgeous architecture and a wonderful arts scene. So it’s no surprise, then, that Houston’s museums (of which there are many) are simply world-class things to do, not to be missed. The Museum District, a leafy, quiet neighborhood between the Texas Medical Center and Rice University, contains 18 museums in a 1.5-mile radius. Best of all, there’s a museum to suit nearly everyone’s interests here – whether you’re fascinated by great art, Texas culture or even funeral history (yep!), or looking for fun things to do with kids in Houston, there’s a little something for every type of museum-goer in this city.
A sprawling, high-cultured metropolis, Houston is a fabulous place to be a kid. Visitors with kiddos headed to H-Town should rest assured that boredom simply isn’t in the cards – there’s a vast array of family-friendly things to do, including activities, parks, museums, playgrounds, events and attractions in and around the Houston area—even family-friendly dining options from brunch spots to five-star restaurants. Not only is Texas’s largest city home to Space Center Houston, a sprawling aquarium complex, the finest children’s museum in the country and several inspired green spaces and parks, but Galveston and the Gulf Coast are just an hour’s drive away, where families can take advantage of a myriad of fun waterfront activities.
Houston is often touted as being one of the most exciting food destinations not just in Texas, but in the entire country. Well-known chefs and food writers consistently praise the city’s swanky, diverse international dining scene – in addition to traditional Texan fare, Houston is home to truly excellent Vietnamese, Italian, Cajun, South African, Thai and Lebanese food, to name just a scant few of the city’s culinary traditions and top restaurant offerings. This high-profile foodie reputation extends to brunch, too, of course. In fact, there are a near-obscene number of great brunch spots in H-Town, from delightfully long-standing cafes to new, intensely hip establishments. Brunching is quite the popular thing to do here, and a great thing to do with kids if you're looking to plan a weekend family outing. Anywhere you go is likely to be jam-packed, but hey, that just means more time for pre-meal champagne cocktails and bottomless Bloody Marys (for the adults, of course).
It’s hard to grasp just how big Houston is until you visit. Home to more than 2 million residents, Houston is the fourth most populous city in the U.S. Geographically, the square footage of the metro area is larger than the state of New Jersey. It’s one of the most diverse major cities in the country with no racial majority and nearly 150 languages spoken. And its $500 billion gross domestic product is higher than that of some European nations. With hundreds of cultural institutions, historic sites, and entertainment venues, it’s hard to whittle down to a list of just 20 attractions. These spots reflect Houston’s rich cultural diversity and history, and are a sampling of the countless sites and events to visit throughout the year. The following locations were selected based on its popularity among locals and connection to the city. While some are fairly predictable, others might surprise you—just like the city itself.