It should come as no surprise that the country’s fourth largest city has a lot to offer visitors.
But, again, we’re talking about Houston. After all, the city of Texas doesn’t exactly come to mind when you think of major cities.
However, Houston exceeded my expectations. It is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway or what I call a city.
It was based on the edge of the trendy Museum District in the huge Medical Center district. Almost everything to see and do was within walking distance of the Westin, a fairly generic hotel chain where I stayed.
I really enjoyed the early morning walk to the Rice University campus, which features a central quadrangle with Byzantine-style buildings, and the 445-acre Hermann Park.
The Museum of Fine Arts docks the Museum District.
The Historical Museum has an impressive collection of more than 70,000 works of art, including a great deal from antiquity. A special exhibition running until August 2023 displays paintings from the Spanish colonial era from the Carl and Marilyn Thoma collection. Outside, the slightly separated campus features a plaza with sculptures, including works by Auguste Rodin, a displaying fountain and even a walkable rooftop garden reminiscent of the Opera House in Norway’s capital, Oslo. As one might expect, people watching in and around the fountain is gorgeous.
The Museum of Natural Sciences is within walking distance. Visitors here find everything from a Butterfly Center and Planetarium to a permanent exhibition covering Egypt during the time of Egypt’s pharaohs.
Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church, a relatively neglected landmark, faces the Rice Campus.
Built in the early 1920s, the church is taken for its interior design from the 15th-century Basilica of Santa Maria dei Miracoli in Venice, Italy. It stands in stark contrast to the multi-religious Rothko Church, which is known for its high modern architecture. Nearby St. Basil’s Church at St. Thomas University, a small Roman Catholic college, is dedicated to Basil the Great, a 4th-century bishop. While it is similarly modern, it is completely Christian. The interior is flooded with natural light from an asymmetrical glass cross on the west wall.
Also be sure to explore the architecturally stunning Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern and Heritage Society at Sam Houston Park, which features restored buildings that tell the story of Houston.
if you go
Book a room at the Westin Houston Medical Center or the ZaZa Museum District hotel.
Most visitors will arrive by air at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Avoid the hassles of renting a car and take an Uber or Lyft when walking isn’t an option.
Dennis Lennox writes a travel column for The Christian Post.
Dennis Lennox writes about travel, politics, and religious affairs. It has been published in the Financial Times, The Independent, the Detroit News, the Toronto Sun, and other publications. Follow Tweet embed on Twitter.