Do you have a choice where to stay? All of the shopping is in the Galleria area, and there’s lots of nice hotels and restaurants there. Or a lot of people stay downtown – the bar scene there isn’t super popular anymore, but there are nice hotels and some great restaurants. (Our faves are Bombay Pizza and Sambuca – check out their menus! And the best bar downtown is the Flying Saucer, they have hundreds of different kinds of beer.)
July and August are the peak of summer here so be sure to bring your swimsuit and sunglasses! If you are planning on going out at all, bring some nice clothes – a dress or a skirt – because most young people get somewhat dressed out when they go out, especially in the summer. I can give you some bar/club recommendations if that’s what you’re into.
The most important thing in Houston is that you have a rental car, because the city is huge and the public transportation isn’t great! When you’re in downtown everything is walk-able, but everything else you must drive to. Here are some of my favorite things to do with my friends when they visit from out-of-town:
-Go to the top of the Chase Tower. It’s free and it’s by far the best view in Houston. Most of my friends who live here don’t know about it 🙂
-Eat at the Spindletop as the sun sets if you’ve never eaten at a revolving restaurant online. Look up some pictures – it’s a beautiful view.
-Go shopping at the Galleria – super upscale mall with so many stores you can imagine.
-Go to Hermann Park – I think it’s the prettiest park in Houston, it has a long Italian-style pond, a lake, a zoo, a Japanese garden, an outdoor ampitheater for concerts on Saturday nights during the summer, etc.
-If you like museums, the Natural Science Museum has a pretty butterfly exhibit and an exhibit with precious stones and diamonds, and the Museum of Fine Art Houston has lots of famous impressionist paintings and plenty of visiting exhibitions.
-Summer is baseball season, so if you’ve never seen a baseball game you can go see an Astros game one evening! Don’t worry, it’s air conditioned 🙂
-If you have leisure time and want to get a coffee somewhere, go to the Empire Cafe, which is on Westheimer. They have great drinks (including mojitos). There are some cute antique shops that you can walk to from Empire Cafe, too.
-The Discovery Green in downtown Houston is a really cool modern park, good for picnics.
-If you want to go to the beach, Galveston is a little over an hour away by car, and it also has a historic city center with cool old Victorian buildings. The beach isn’t as scenic as Californian beachs but it does have sand and lots of sun in the summer.
-Some of our favorite restaurants are Jenni’s Noodle House, on Shepherd St. (Vietnamese food), Benjy’s in Rice Village (upscale American restaurant for special occasions), 100% Taquito (fairly authentic Mexican restaurant), Goode’s Barbecue (Texas barbecue), Jus’ Mac (a mac-and-cheese restaurant!), Amy’s Ice Cream, and gosh so many others, depends on what kind of food you like. Anyways, that’s probably way too much information but PM me if you want more tips!