Home to a respected and energetic cultural arts scene, celebrated restaurants featuring flavors from more than 70 global regions, world-renowned theater groups and the brains behind U.S. space exploration, Houston is a diverse metropolis brimming with personality. After all, there is a reason Thrillist named Houston one of the “8 American Cities You Should Visit Before They’re Too Popular”.
This is the Culinary and Cultural Capital of the South where new experiences and adventures are right around the corner. In fact, there’s never been a better time to visit the city of Houston than right now.
Houston is also home to four James Beard award-winning restaurants. Plus with more than 7,000 different cuisines and five new food halls coming, there’s no wonder why GQ Magazine named Houston “The New Capitol of Southern Cool” this year. Add that to the city’s five cultural districts, the Innovation Hub, and the fact that it’s home to four performing arts disciplines (ballet, opera, symphony and theater), there is something for everyone.
One of the country’s most visited and diverse cultural centers, you’ll want to explore the tree-lined Museum District by foot to visit the 19 different institutions – 11 of which are free to the public – that make this a major arts destination. Houston also rates first in total park acreage among U.S. cities with more than one million residents. The new Emancipation Park, designed by the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s architect Phil Freelon, offers 10 acres of fun activities to explore near the Museum District. Close to Downtown Houston, you can cycle, walk or kayak at Buffalo Bayou Park. Or, take time while you’re there to see some of the city’s hidden gems like The Cistern, a hypnotic underground chamber, and Waugh Bridge Bat Colony, home to over 250,000 Mexican free-tailed bats. While at Hermann Park, walk under the shadows of ancient oaks, explore the lush Centennial Gardens, golf 18 holes, get wild at the Houston Zoo or catch a free show at Miller Outdoor Theatre.
In Downtown Houston, you’ll find exciting nightlife and entertainment options, from live music at hole-in-the-wall speakeasies to celebrity performers at Toyota Center, and everything in between. Catch up with colleagues at one of Main Street’s unique bars, or use the light rail to get around in East Downtown (EaDo), Midtown and beyond.
At the George R. Brown Convention Center (GRB), there are two headquarter hotels connected via air-controlled skywalks: the 1,200-room Hilton Americas-Houston and 1,000-room Marriot Marquis Houston. Additional restaurants fill the ground floors of both hotels, while guests will find the Marriott’s famous Texas-shaped lazy river on the open air deck, with gorgeous views of the downtown skyline. The GRB itself underwent a renovation. You’ll also be inspired by the 97,000-square-foot pedestrian plaza and its many options for a world-class experience, including new restaurants, a 12-acre Discovery Green Park, more nightlife concepts, hotels and dozens of public art installations throughout. The area, called Avenida Houston, is the city’s newest entertainment destination.
What visitors will find outside of the convention center, is a diverse culinary scene with dozens of restaurants just a short walk away, and activities such as professional sports, concerts and more. The 17-block Theater District includes some of the world’s top performance organizations and always has something going on.
Always evolving, Houston continues to impress and inspire. Take some time to explore what the city has to offer while you’re in town for AADE19.