It’s the oil capital of the world, one of the wealthiest cities on the planet and the fourth largest city in the U.S. - Houston, Texas is a great place to work, to live and an unforgettable place to visit. A bustling metropolis that hasn't forgotten its southern hospitality, Houston features great attractions, museums, beautiful parks, exciting events, shopping, innovative dining and plenty of hotels -- all the ingredients of a memorable vacation. And, when you need a break from the urban pace, nearby Galveston offers a seaside oasis where you can relax and unwind.
Insider tip: Save money and bypass long lines at some of Houston's top attractions with the Houston CityPASS, a prepaid admission booklet that saves up to half off the full-price admissions.
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One of the premier attractions in the Houston area is Space Center Houston, the official visitor's center of NASA's Johnson Space Center. The facility's incredible exhibits tell the story of NASA's manned space flight program. Visitors can see astronauts train for missions, touch a real moon rock, land a shuttle, and take a behind-the-scenes tour.
The Houston Zoo is an exciting adventure that is home to more than 6,000 exotic animals, representing more than 800 species. Unique experiences allow you to feed the giraffes, “swim” with the piranha, and ride the Wildlife Carousel.
The San Jacinto Battleground Complex commemorates the place where Texas won its independence from Mexico. Take the 489-foot elevator ride to the top of the San Jacinto Monument for a panoramic view of Houston and the Bay Area.
Houston's Museum District offers 19 world-class museums in a 1.5 mile radius. A cornerstoneof the district is The Museum of Fine Arts, one of the largest art museums in America, with more than 300,000 square feet of space devoted to over 63,000 works of art. Another favorite is the Children's Museum, featuring interactive exhibits, hands-on galleries and plenty of educational fun.
Others include the Holocaust Museum, Buffalo Soldiers National Museum and Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.
Beyond the district, another cool exhibition to see is the Museum of Funeral History. If it sounds a bit creepy, rest assured it's an interesting and educational collection that includes fascinating exhibits and amusing anecdotes.
Culture and Entertainment
Houston boasts a thriving cultural scene, featuring ballet, Broadway shows, opera, plays and symphonic music at the nine arts venues downtown. In fact, the seventeen-square-block theater district has more concentrated seating for arts events than any place besides Broadway.
Parks and Recreation
Not only does Houston have more parks than any other top 10 metro area in the US, but the city makes good use of them. Downtown’s 20-acre Sam Houston Park opened more than a century ago and remains a proud haven of living history. Discovery Green, Hermann Park, and Memorial Park host activities and community events regularly, typically at no cost to residents.
Located just 50 minutes south of Houston, Galveston features beautiful beaches and outdoor activities including deep sea fishing, kayaking, birding and championship golf.
Experience a variety of world-class attractions: take a historic war plane ride at the Lone Star Flight Museum or visit the OCEAN STAR Offshore Drilling Rig & Museum. Moody Gardens lets you travel the world’s oceans at the Aquarium Pyramid; mingle with tropical plants and birds at the Rainforest Pyramid; and unravel the mysteries of science at the Discovery Pyramid.
Don’t miss the number one indoor water park in the U.S. at Schlitterbahn Galveston Island
For more information on Houston and Galveston, visit MapAmerica.com
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