Houston first stops

Every holiday has to begin somewhere, but knowing where to start isn't always easy. First Stops is a collection of top picks you can rely on for a great time.

Houston has done a beautiful job of balancing its hustle and bustle with beautiful pockets of greenery.

Woman in Houston, USA art gallery

See

Houston's art scene is thriving. Its theatres and galleries are among the best in the world and the Menil Collection is an excellent example. Its mix of classic and contemporary works is constantly surprising, no matter what your tastes. The building is an eye-catcher too. There's plenty of convenient parking and admission to the gallery is completely free.

 
Cocktails in Houston, USA

Drink

Houston's heat is guaranteed to get you thirsty, but a drink at the OKRA Charity Saloon will quickly solve that. The old brick walls and blackboard menus would be at home in a trendy café, but here they house a bar with a range of carefully curated cocktails. Even more unusual than the saloon's setting is its back story; it was established by a group of local bar and restaurant owners with all the proceeds going to charity.

 
Athlete wakeboarding on a river and looking away, in Houston, USA

Play

Just outside Houston, there's a big man-made lake that’s devoted to wakeboarding, wakeskating, waterskiing and kneeboarding. Whether you're a complete beginner or a seasoned rider, you're in for a huge amount of fun. If getting wet isn't your thing, the park also has an aerial climbing course and a paintball field.

 
Buffalo Bayou Park, Houston, Texas USA

Relax

Houston has done a beautiful job of balancing its hustle and bustle with beautiful pockets of greenery, like the Arboretum and Nature Center, which are hidden away in the impressively large Memorial Park. You can stroll along the winding wooden pathways for a lazy afternoon, or stop by at night for the chance to see some local nocturnal creatures.

 
Tasty red crab in Houston, Texas USA

Eat

The quintessential southern eat is crawfish. Essentially fresh-water lobster, these little mudbugs (also called crawdaddies) are around from February to May. For those who are prepared to get their hands sticky, working through a big plate of crawfish is an exercise in deliciousness. If you're travelling with kids, they'll love this hands-on approach to eating.

 
Kids at Space Centre in Houston, USA

Explore

Whether you were around in 1970 to hear "Houston, we've had a problem" or you know the line from the movie Apollo 13, the Houston Space Center will blow your mind. Wander through decades of once cutting-edge NASA equipment and spacecraft, meet real astronauts and step into a simulator to try your hand at being the pilot. If all your exploring works up an appetite, the Center's Zero-G Diner is the place to go for a bite.

 
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