I've lived in a suburb of Houston for most of my life and while I don't often brave downtown traffic, when I do it's for good reason- Houston truly does have so much to offer! Whether you're looking for great eats or love museums as much as I do, Houston has some great options and there's always a concert or two to check out! So the next time you're in Houston, here's some places you should definitely stop and see, from my own experiences and crowdsourced from some of my more adventurous friends.
Museum of Fine Arts
I love the Houston MFA. There's a pretty good mix of modern to older works, everything from classical sculpture and renaissance paintings to impressionist pieces. If you're there during the week, keep in mind general admission is free for everyone on Thursdays. The most recent time I visited, I was thrilled to discover they were running a special exhibit on paintings and photographs of the English Royal Family.
The Houston Rodeo is the biggest rodeo in the United States and absolutely needs a whole section to itself to explain the experience. If you come to Houston during Rodeo season aka February-March, it is 100% worth checking out. There's a huge carnival during the day with rides and attractions, and food carts boasting fried everything, pizza on a stick, turkey legs, pecan cinnamon rolls as big your face… the list goes on and on. You can pet animals and watch cow births (okay, that might sound weird if you're not from an agriculture focused area…), listen to educational agriculture presentations, see ag students from around the state show their animals, or browse the shopping stalls and buy yourself a pair of nice cowboy boots. Before the concert at the end of the night (which always have an awesome lineup with both country stars like Luke Bryan and Thomas Rhett or pop singers like Ariana Grande and the Chainsmokers) you'll experience the joys of spectating pig racing, mutton busting (look it up on YouTube. You'll die of cuteness watching 5 year-olds ride sheep across a pen like baby cowboys), steer roping, and bull-riding. Whether you've been to a rodeo before or if the mere idea of going to a rodeo as 'fun Friday night' plans sounds foreign to you, it really is an awesome thing to experience.
Theater Under The Stars
The Theater Under The Stars (aka TUTS) has a ceiling that mimics the night sky with twinkling stars (I always think of the Hogwarts great hall) and has some really great shows throughout the year. I've seen Wicked and The Little Mermaid there, which were amazing.
The Houston area has several really great concert venues, and you really can't go wrong just checking to see if anything worthwhile is happening nearby. A few to check out:
Houston House of Blues
Miller Outdoor Theater- often has free concerts!
Revention Music Center
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion- The Woodlands area, not downtown, but worth the drive. I saw John Mayer there!
The perfect places for a little fresh air in the city: Houston Zoo, Hermann Park Conservancy, Discovery Green, and Buffalo Bayou Park.
Experiencing a new coffee shop is one of the great joys of my life, and downtown Houston has several great ones. A few to check out: Caffe de Firenze, Amaya Coffee, and Louie Coffee.
Brennan's, Juice Well, Velvet Taco, True Food Kitchen, Flower Child, Tiny Boxwoods, Bernie's Burger Bus.
For Your Sweet Tooth
Tiny's Milk and Cookies, Steel City Pops, Crave Cupcakes.
Dinner (recommendations by my foodie friends)
North Italia, Steak 48, Niko Niko's, The Rustic, Star Pizza, Kenny and Ziggy's, Bombay Pizza Company.
by Josie Bivens
Josie is a Creative Intern at Badala and communication major at Texas A&M University, where she keeps busy in bible studies. She loves coffee and any opportunity to be creative, dabbling in everything from writing to design to film photography, and we are going to miss her endlessly when she graduates.