Taking it easy in Houston

With a population of nearly 2.3 million, Houston is the fourth biggest city in the United States.

However it has twice the land area of the biggest city (New York). For you, this means plenty of fresh air and room to move.

Hot air balloon travel allows you a glimpse of the morning movements of coyote and deer on the plains.

Urban oasis

Tucked away behind a suburban shopping mall you'll find the Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park. It's a tranquil oasis amidst the rush of the surrounding city and a refreshing spot to visit if you happen to be in Houston during the sweltering summer months.

The Waterwall itself is a 20-metre horseshoe-shaped fountain that's covered in cascading water.

The effect creates a mesmerising urban waterfall, which contrasts in a spectacular way with the surrounding skyscrapers.

In front of the Waterwall you'll find a pretty park lined with Texas oak trees. It's a popular spot for people to take wedding photos, lounge in the sun or throw a frisbee. Pack a rug, some yummy food and enjoy a relaxing picnic here. If you're driving, the best spot to park is at the nearby Galleria Mall.

Up, up and away

There's no better way to see the great state of Texas than by floating over the expansive prairies in a hot air balloon.

Houston, USA hot air balloons

Hot air travel is almost completely silent and allows you a glimpse of the morning movements of coyote and deer on the plains. It's like looking down on an untouched world.

Local balloon operators are known for their experience and knowledge, not to mention their entertaining stories and good sense of humour.

Typically you'll have an early morning start, which is totally worth it for the stunning Gulf Coast sunrise. Make sure you've got warm gear with you, as it can get chilly up there. The grand finale is a champagne toast to the success of the flight.

Relax and renew

When you're rushing around trying to see everything, you sometimes forget to take it easy. But if you include a day spa in your itinerary, relaxation is a certainty.

Woman getting a relaxing massage

Many of Houston's best day spas are clustered in the space between Buffalo Bayou and Southwest Freeway. Massage is the general go-to for helping you to relax, but it can be fun to try out some different treatments and see how they help. Reflexology and a detox foot bath can provide soothing relief for weary bodies and feet.

If you're unsure about what to choose, chat with the knowledgeable staff and they can help you decide what will work best for you. You'll find your treatment totally reinvigorating, giving you the energy to get the best out of your holiday.

Keep exploring Houston