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City slickers

Things to do in Houston and San Antonio

Clive Wedderburn October 6, 2016

For culture, cuisine, sunshine and southern charm Texas is hard to beat. From prairies to mountain ranges, white sand beaches to cosmopolitan cities, discover America’s charms past and present when you visit the Lone Star State. San Antonio and Houston are two fascinating city destinations that show why Texas should top your list of USA adventures. San Antonio – the Spirit of Texas

Howdy – welcome to Houston

   

The energy capital of the USA, Houston is the largest city in Texas and the fourth largest in the country, extending all the way to Galveston Bay. Discover a glamorous city where oil magnets and big businesses sit side-by-side with a world class arts district, award-winning restaurants and exciting pro-sports teams.

Dining out in Houston

Foodies will appreciate being in the ‘dining out capital of the USA’. Houston’s 2.2 million residents enjoy eating out more than any other city in the US. It must be the mild year round climate and the wide variety of quality eateries offering a range of food from breakfast tacos and kolaches to American classics such as shrimp and grits and meatloaf tower. Be sure to take a Houston Culinary Tour to discover the city’s award-winning food scene.

Space city

   

Visit the Space Center Houston, the home of Mission Control and NASA for immersive astronaut attractions, including a NASA Tram Tour, lunch with an astronaut, discover what life is like on board the International Space Station and experience the spectacular sensation of blast off!

Sports action

Houston is home to some of the biggest professional sports teams in the USA offering more fascinating insights into American culture. The Houston Texans play at the NRG Stadium and provide the ideal opportunity to check out some gridiron action. Join with thousands of chanting fans to watch American football at its very best.

Over at Minute Maid Park the Houston Astros are essential viewing for fans of baseball who wish to experience the thrill of this all-American pastime. Take a stadium tour, gain access to watch the players during batting practise, see the stars hit ‘homers’ and stock up on some amazing souvenirs at gift shops for the folks back home.

Houston Dynamo and Dash is the only MLS soccer team with a purpose built stadium, the BBVA Compass Stadium. Playing in their famous orange jerseys the club is situated in the same sports district that also includes the Astros at Minute Maid Park and the Rockets (basketball) at the Toyota Center.

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is a must-see event for people of all ages. Also called Rodeo Houston, it’s been held in the city since 1932 and the largest live entertainment and livestock show in the US. It features carnival rides and musical events, cook-offs and a major concert each evening.

Shopping in Houston

The Galleria, spanning over two million square feet of space, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Houston and features shops, cafes, an ice skating rink and upscale department stores. High end luxury shops can be found at the River Oaks District, or spend wisely at the Houston Premium Outlets.

Exploring outdoors

When the climate is this agreeable, for most of the year, life is something that happens outdoors in Houston. Step back in time and head to George Ranch Historical Park for hands on experience and knowledge of ranching and Wild West culture. Located 30 miles from Downtown explore historic ranch homes with guided tours by costumed interpreters.


Green spaces

Armand Bayou Nature Center is one of the largest urban green spaces in the USA (2,500 acres of protected fauna and flora) a diverse landscape of prairies, woodland and marshland all located in southeast Houston.

The Houston Arboretum and Nature Center is another urban oasis, found in Memorial Park a few miles from Downtown, the perfect contrast to the gleaming skyscrapers of the city. Discover native plant propagation, forest insects and wildlife conservation.  Enjoy a stroll or bicycle ride through Buffalo Bayou Park in Downtown Houston, and don’t miss the chance to take a perfect photo of the skyline at sunset.

Where to stay in Houston


Stay in the stylish surroundings of the Westin Oaks Houston At The Galleria, with its luxury spa, simple, elegant cuisine and easy access to the Galleria shopping mall.


San Antonio - Birth of a Nation

Explore San Antonio’s world-class museums, historical sites and cultural landmarks, including its 18th century Spanish colonial missions, for valuable insight into colonial history and the difficulties faced by the early settlers.

Located in Alamo Plaza is perhaps the most famous of these colonial missions: The Alamo.  Two million people visit the lush gardens and museum complex every year to see for themselves the place that came to represent the sacrifice, courage and resistance of Texas. 

Romance on the River Walk

Texas life means Southern charm. Take an evening stroll along the River Walk. Among the sparkling lights, mariachi music, scenic pathways and waterways, you’ll find an urban oasis setting that combines many cultural aspects with some of the finest bars and restaurants in the city. 

Foodie Destination

San Antonio is renowned for its restaurants and cantinas which serve up some of the finest culinary and mixology experiences in the USA. For tacos, tamales and enchiladas, this corner of the Lone Star State is a paradise for people who love authentic and cultural food. 

Here you’ll also find some of the bravest chefs in the US that fuse new-world flavours with an old world style. San Antonio’s culinary scene has been highly driven by the Culinary Institute of America’s third campus, which located in the city’s Pearl Brewery District and focuses specifically on Latin American flavours. Accomplished chefs and restaurateurs are creating a bright culinary future for San Antonio by blending the city’s authenticity with innovative and creative culinary techniques.  

Fiesta! 

Fiesta San Antonio first began more than 125 years ago, created to honour the heroes of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto of 1836. Over the course of 11 days, visitors will find 11 parades (including a river parade), music, food, military celebrations, theatrical performances and much more. The next Fiesta San Antonio occurs April 20 – 30, 2017 and is bound to be a festive, colorful and fun time to visit the city.

San Antonio Sports 

Sports fanatics visiting the Alamo City will be spoilt for choice; you’ll find your sports diary full of must-see sports action. 

In San Antonio, you can catch a basketball game almost all year long – with the five-time World Champion San Antonio Spurs (NBA) playing at the AT&T Center as well as the San Antonio Silver Stars (WNBA). The San Antonio Rampage (NHL) play at the same venue, which also holds the annual San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo. Meanwhile, soccer fans can cheer on the Scorpions, a North American Soccer League team, and baseball enthusiasts can catch a San Antonio Missions game (Double-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres).

Into the Wild 

There’s more to San Antonio than urban experiences. Get into the great outdoors and experience the countryside for hiking and biking adventures or climb into the saddle for horseback tours. Beautiful scenery awaits you at the Guadalupe River State Park, a short drive from San Antonio. This is the perfect spot for camping out under the stars. 

Great Place to Stay? 

The St. Anthony Hotel – a Luxury Collection Hotel – is situated close to the River Walk and features panoramic city views and has played host to celebrated figures including Franklin D. Roosevelt and President Eisenhower within its lavishly-styled interiors.

Need more inspiration? Visit our Texas pages to see what else the Lone Star State has in store for you.