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What Is Houston, Texas Known For?

Houston is the biggest city in Texas, with a population of over 2 million people. In such a big city, there are naturally many things to do. Tourists may find themselves wondering what the local culture is like. Houston is also one of the top 7 cities the state of Texas is known for.

Houston is known for:

  • Having a rich culture.
  • Being great for sports fans.
  • Having great events.
  • Being a hub for space travel.
  • Having beautiful trails.

If you’re planning a trip to Houston, you will want to know more about the city. This article covers the things Houston is known for in more detail.

Houston Has Unique Culture

According to WalletHub, Houston is the most diverse city in the United States. Because of this, the city has many people from unique backgrounds. 

Many cultural events happen throughout the year, such as Lunar New Year Houston, The Original Greek Festival, and Japan Festival Houston. People from all countries can find a bit of home in this city.

 

Houston’s Theater District

If you’re a fan of performing arts, you’ll love the Theater District. According to Houston’s official website, the Theater District has over 12,000 seats spread throughout eight different organizations.

Enjoy a play at Alley Theatre or the Hobby Center for Performing Arts. If traditional plays aren’t your style, you can watch a ballet or an opera at the Wortham Theater Center. Or maybe you prefer music, in which case you can see the symphony at Jones Hall. 

No matter what genre you choose, you are sure to leave the Theater District feeling more refined. 

 

Art Museums and Galleries

If visual arts appeal to you more, Houston’s got you covered. 

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, is one of America’s top ten biggest art museums. The Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, is home to art created within the last 40 years. And if you’re looking for something a little different, there is also the Houston Center for Photography. Delight your mind while learning about something new.

Houston even has a Museum District, just like the Theater District. The Museum District features 19 museums, many of them in the realm of art. In addition to art, you will find history museums and science museums. 

The Houston Zoo is even a part of this district. 

Food and Drink

Houston has won many awards for its outstanding culinary scene. From Jetsetter to Food & Wine, many publications have ranked Houston among the top cities for food lovers. 

Locals recommend these restaurants:

  • Crawfish & Noodles
  • Christie’s Seafood & Steaks
  • Kenny & Ziggy’s Deli
  • Picos Restaurant

No matter what cuisine you enjoy, there is something for everyone to enjoy. From Tex-Mex to Vietnamese, many cultures’ delicious food can be found in the city. In fact, Trong Ngyuen, owner of Crawfish and Noodles, was a finalist for the James Beard Award in the Best Chef: Texas category. 

Such a rich and unique culture comes from a long history, check out Houston Then and Now here. to

 

Houston Is Great for Sports Fans

You’ll love Houston, whether you’re a lifelong sports fan or just like to catch a game once in a while. The area has several stadiums and many different major league sports. 

Grab your favorite team shirt and cap, and enjoy the day at the ballgame!

Minute Maid Park

Minute Maid Park is home to the Houston Astros, a Major League Baseball team. 

Built in 2000, it was the first Major League stadium in the city since 1964. After its completion, Minute Maid Park welcomed over 3,000,000 guests in its first season alone! 

Due to Texas’s climate, Minute Maid Park has a retractable roof, and there is a glass panel on the roof in order to show beautiful views even when the top is closed. Settled in downtown Houston, the stadium is just minutes away from some of the best sights in the city.

The ballpark offers tours, which is a great way to spend an afternoon, and the options include daily tours of varying lengths, a Touch of History Tour, a Ghost tour, and several others. 

If you want to take a tour, tickets are available on the MLB official website.

 

Toyota Center

The Toyota Center may attract many musical performers, but it is also the home of the Houston Rockets, which are affiliated with the National Basketball Association (NBA). The Toyota Center is located in downtown Houston and takes up six blocks. 

The Toyota Center hosted the NBA All-Star Game in both 2006 and 2013, and it holds a Silver Certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

When visiting the Toyota Center, make sure to try some of their dining options, such as HTX Brew & Grub and Golden Nugget.

 

NRG Park

This stadium hosts many types of sports, including football, basketball, and even a rodeo. Similar to the Toyota Center, this venue also hosts concerts and conventions, shows, and other events. 

The park measures out to 350 acres (1.4 sq km) and has four main buildings. 

NRG Stadium offers tours as well that are perfect for a sports enthusiast. NFL fans will appreciate seeing the stadium from the field, as well as the locker rooms.

Houston Has Fantastic Events

Tourists will love all the events the city has to offer. No matter what time of year you visit, you are sure to find something you love! 

 

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

It wouldn’t be Texas without a rodeo! 

Don your cowboy hat and boots and head on down to NRG Park for a day full of fun. Visit the livestock show and admire the goats and lambs, or watch them compete for the title of Houston Champion. 

You can also whet your appetite with some delectable barbeque at the Bar-B-Que Contest happening in February or try some fine dining at the Best Bites Competition. Visit the Downtown Rodeo Parade for some good old-fashioned Western fun. Horseback riders accompany floats in this exciting event. 

If you’re looking for the true Texas experience, you do not want to miss this spectacular rodeo!

 

Houston Art Car Parade

This parade is the first of its kind in the world and features over 250 art cars and attracts visitors from all over the world. This event is free to the public, making it a great addition to any Houston tourist’s itinerary.

But what is an art car? 

According to the Parade’s FAQ, an art car is usually an older car altered to be something new. Instead of modifying the engine or the car’s inner workings, owners of art cars prefer to make their vehicles look unique on the outside. 

Some even essentially become “moving sculptures.”

The parade started in 1988 and has grown substantially since then. The first year an estimated 2,000 people attended, which is a big difference from the current attendance of over 300,000! It also expanded the definition of an art car, opening parade entries to anything with wheels. 

Make sure to bring sunscreen and sunglasses, as Texas gets sunny in the spring.

The organizers also suggest wearing unrestrictive clothing and staying hydrated. This event combines the city’s love for fine arts and the city’s fantastic outdoor events.

 

Bayou City Art Festival

This festival is another testament to the city’s rich art culture. 

Bayou City Art Festival is run by the nonprofit Art Colony Association. The festival is dedicated to promoting the arts and supporting artists.

Bayou City Art Festival has raised over $3 million for Houston nonprofits. Some of the organizations they’ve donated to are Houston SPCA, The Museum of Fine Arts, and The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art. 

The Orange Show is also the organization that runs the art car parade.

If you’re planning on visiting the Bayou City Art Festival, be prepared to buy some fantastic art from local artists. Supporting local businesses feels great, and you never know which artist could make it big in the future.

 

McDonald’s Houston Children’s Festival

This festival is the largest children’s festival in the United States. Kids can see their favorite performers, like Pete the Cat and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

There are tons of kid-friendly activities at this two-day event. 

Kids can eat breakfast with their favorite characters, enjoy lots of arts and crafts, and even get their favorite teddy bear checked out by a doctor. Have fun with the whole family at this event!

Houston Is the Center for Space Travel

Houston has strong connections to the stars as well. 

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (also known as NASA) has a main base here, as the Johnson Space Center hosts NASA’s Mission Control Center. There is also Space Center Houston which introduces a love of interstellar travel for people of all ages. 

 

Johnson Space Center

Established in 1961, the mission of the Johnson Space Center is to further the process of human space exploration. It has launched several of NASA’s famous projects, including Gemini, Skylab, and most notably, Apollo. 

Johnson Space Center also directs the International Space Station mission. 

Following their mission statement, Lead Human Space Exploration, the center also is working on establishing a basis for missions to Mars. The most notable current project is Artemis, the goal of which is to further lunar exploration. 

 

Space Center Houston

Space Center Houston is the visitor center for Johnson Space Center and attracts visitors from all over the world with its educational exhibits. Visitors can enjoy seasonal activities, interactive experiences, and the NASA Tram Tour

The tour allows you to learn more about NASA’s path to human space travel.

Starship Gallery is home to several flown spacecraft and other samples from space. Here you can see Apollo 17, Gemini V, and a Lunar Roving Vehicle Trainer. If you’re more interested in our planet’s side of things, visit the podium where John F. Kennedy made a speech about the moon.

Mission Mars is another interactive exhibit centered all around the red planet. Guests can experience a simulated sunset on Mars and feel a Mars rock. The exhibit answers many questions about the challenges of getting to visit our planetary neighbor.

Houston Has Beautiful Trails

If you visit during the cooler months or just don’t mind the heat, you should consider hiking in Houston. One of the best months to hike is in May when it’s mostly warm and not too hot. Unplug from nature and explore your surroundings on your trip to Houston.

 

Houston Arboretum and Nature Center

In the heart of the city lies Houston Arboretum and Nature Center. The location has 13 different hiking trails of varying lengths. The arboretum is perfect for people of all ages, as they have programs for children, families, and adults. Children aged 2-4 can enjoy the Tiny Trekkers program, while older kids can experience Discovery Days. Naturally Wild Families caters to all ages. 

Meanwhile, grown-ups can sip an adult beverage during an Arboretum at Night hike.

 

Brays Bayou

See for yourself why the locals call it Bayou City! 

Experience both rural and urban scenery on this trail that runs over 30 miles (48 km) through the heart of Houston. You can hike on foot or take your bicycle on this trail. 

There are two bridges open to pedestrian traffic on this trail: Bill Coates Bridge and Mason Park bridge. You’ll pass through downtown, seeing sights such as NRG Stadium, the Houston Zoo, and several beautiful parks. 

 

Lone Star Hiking Trail

This trail runs through Sam Houston National Forest and runs for a whopping 129 miles (208 km). If that sounds unmanageable, don’t fret- you don’t have to hike the whole thing at once. The webpage warns visitors to be careful as the trail crosses some roads and private property. 

However, the terrain is flat, and bridges assist in areas where there may be water. 

Final Thoughts

Houston is an excellent destination for tourists and can suit many different people. It doesn’t matter if you’re a solo traveler, couple, group, or family. Houston has something to offer for everyone. From its diversity and culture to its sports and events, you’re sure to find something you love. If you’re deciding where to go on your next vacation, consider Houston.

This city should definitely be on anyone’s bucket list.

For a more in-depth guide into things to do and see when in Houston, check out this guide.

 

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