Houston is a melting pot of bubbling culture and nothing can be more satiating than spending a wholesome day in this southern city of Texas.
It becomes a bit daunting to curate a day of experience when there is a tonne of things one can do at a destination. I skipped the usual ‘running around like a headless chicken at the last moment’ and missing out on the important activities and decided to design an ideal day in Houston in advance.
But did it pay off?
Find it out from my top five moments to remember from my Houston trip.
Biking in the Buffalo Bayou
I am a big outdoorsy person, craving for lush green spread always and love to live my life sunny-side up! The city of Houston is dotted with a plethora of open spaces, but none as beautiful as the Buffalo Bayou (especially if you are looking for a biking trail). This place is a prime example of how you can create best from waste – although bayous were a natural drainage and not much of a waste, to begin with. But then people were never bothered and kind of ignored them for a long time. Duh!
But now it charms my heart to see green lungs amidst the concrete city, meandering around a lazy waterway. Buffalo Bayou ranks second amongst most coveted bike trails within Houston – and with its mile-long winding and concrete-laid trails – I would say it rightfully earned the position. Occasionally, I would stop to take in the views. Your heart really warms up when you gaze at the dazzling downtown during the sunset. The city does look lit!
Food hopping in Houston
After working up an appetite with all that exercise, I just knew I had to hit a food trail. Still, in my workout gear, I wasn’t up for any fancy-pants fine dining. So I decided to hit the streets of Houston and experience some fusion food that I have heard so much about. The city’s diversity does find itself pride in a bowl of Bibimbap and in the folds of a Kakuni burrito.
I ‘yelp’-ed myself to spot a few food trucks and zeroed in on the Korean-Japanese fusion cuisine of Muiishi Makirritos over at 1000-1348 Post Oak Park Dr. I went with the crowd favorite of Swaggy Dog and it didn’t let me down. They were absolutely mouth-watering and fresh. My next on-the-food-map was a stop with some scrumptious crawfish offering!
I was just plain lucky that Crawfish and Noodle on Bellaire Blvd have reopened (check their closing season as when I was there it was from July to August). The heap of medium spiced mudbugs was a treat to my tongue. Of course, I broke a sweat. But I tried to balance it out with an order of calamari, fresh palm sized oysters with lime and a side of fried blue crab. The amount of seafood choice this place has, I advise you to take your friends for the meal (I bow to Tania for joining me at the last moment) – so that you can try as many dishes as you want. And yeah! Thank me later.
No work and only play at the Theatre District
If you are hit by Houston’s fame of fanning science by being host to NASA Johnson Space Center and cutting-edge medical miracles, then you should step into the arteries of art spread across the Theatre District. I was spoilt for choices. After all, there are 9 performing arts centers spread across 17 blocks! Phew.
The vibe of this place was so catchy and contagious and the atmosphere was pulsating with such creative energy that my nerves were left tingling with excitement. In the end, I settled for a play of the day at The Hobby Center. I would definitely suggest you inquire beforehand to find out if they are playing any of your favorites or embrace something brand new and experimental, like I did.
Houston Hidden Gem
I’m always on a lookout for the quirky. It builds a character of the place I’m visiting. With its glitzy city spread, I was a little doubtful about whether my thirst for the unusual will be quenched here or not. But both the Art Car Museum and the Beer Can House managed to impress me.
Art Car Museum located at 140 Heights Blvd, Houston, TX 77007 is a tiny space which can be covered in a jiffy if you are in hurry. But I gave it some of my special time as the exhibits were stunning. A mix of vintage and artsy cars (displays keep changing across the year); this place was totally ‘insta-worthy’! It is a proper mix of whimsical personality and crazy concept. And guess what! Entry is free. If you are impressed or want to encourage arty-automobiles, do donate nonetheless.
The house with gumption
Beer Can House is a proof that some men don’t get lazy ass after drinking beer. If they want they can create jaw-dropping stuff with all that containers and be environmentally friendly too. Isn’t that a complete win-win?!!? Hah! This was what crossed my mind while I was touring the inside of the Beer Can House.
Did you know? This man actually brought down his energy costs by fixing aluminium beer cans on the outer walls of his house. Five stars for just that!
City visits are always tricky – but if you are lucky like me you will unearth the myriad characters of its inhabitants in its shapes and shadows. Hurricane Harvey couldn’t scar the indomitable spirit of the hardy Houstonians. And everything in this city reminds of how they welcome strangers with open arm and constantly weave a new fabric of rich culture and ethnic diversity.