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Houston Travel Tips

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Houston is a very modern metropolis – one of the largest in the United States, in fact. But it boasts a decidedly laid-back vibe that feels a world away from the frenzied pace of New York or LA. With some of the country’s biggest museums and most celebrated performing arts venues, it’s a must-visit destination for culture vultures. The restaurant scene will please hip foodies too.

 

Best Time to Travel

 

Houston has a humid subtropical climate. The summer months of June to August can get scorchingly hot, although the ubiquitous air-conditioning makes the heat entirely bearable. Winters tend to be mild and temperate, while rainfall is reasonably consistent throughout the year. Spring and fall are great times to visit, as you can generally enjoy some warmth and sunshine without intense humidity.

 

Not to Miss

 

Space Center Houston offers visitors an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at the mind-blowing Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. You can take a thrilling tram tour and come face-to-face with real spacecraft, enjoy awe-inspiring large format movie presentations, and even see moon rocks and space capsules. Meanwhile, Houston’s museum and theater districts are justly famous – you could easily spend days amid masterpieces by Picasso, Van Gogh, and Jackson Pollock. Afterwards, you can take in a blockbuster musical or award-winning drama at Jones Hall or the Alley Theatre.

 

Getting around

 

George Bush Intercontinental Airport is conveniently located around 20 miles from Downtown Houston. It handles direct flights from most major US cities, as well as international transport hubs like London, Paris, Beijing, and Dubai. Taxis, rental cars, public buses, and private shuttles are all readily available at the airport. Renting a car for your trip may be the best option, as Houston is very much a driving city, with plenty of free and cheap parking. Saying that, many of the major sights and attractions are served by the speedy and affordable light rail network.

 

Cuisine

 

Tex-Mex is a famous local specialty – you’ll find an abundance of great places to gorge on sizzling steak fajitas and moreish cheese enchiladas with red chili gravy. Southern BBQ is another Texan staple, and you shouldn’t leave town before sampling melt-in-the-mouth, slow-smoked beef brisket in tangy barbecue sauce. Houston’s history as a port city ensures that local seafood has become a major component of local cuisine – boiled shrimp, freshly-shucked oysters, and Louisiana-style fish fries are all firm favorites.

 

Customs and etiquette

 

Houston is a chilled-out, tolerant, and friendly city, so you can be assured of a warm welcome, and there’s no need to worry about breaches of etiquette. As is the case throughout the United States, tipping for services is expected. As a rule of thumb, you can follow these suggestions: 15 to 20% of the total bill to restaurant servers, 15% to taxi drivers, food deliverers, and hairdressers, and a dollar per bag to hotel bellhops.

Fast Facts

 

Population: 2.2 million

Spoken languages: English

Electrical: The USA runs on 120V, 60 Hz current

Phone Calling Code: +1 713/281911