New York isn’t the only city touted as a melting pot in America. This Texas city is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the U.S., while maintaining its unique southern charm, of course. If you’re embarking from the Port of Houston, go early to sample the city’s surprising mix of arts, sports, and dining hot spots.
What We Love
Museum District: Spend a day getting lost in the Health Museum, one of 19 cultural institutions in this neighborhood. If that's not your thing, check out the Museum of Fine Arts or the Museum of Natural Science.
Discovery Green: This 12-acre expanse in the middle of downtown (often compared to New York City's Central Park) has all the markings of a great urban park: open lawns, a lake, a performance stage, and a weekly green market.
Best Known For
Space City: Houston is home to NASA’s Johnson Space Center and Space Center Houston. Learn all about the wonders of space exploration just steps away from Mission Control.
Minute Maid Park: The Astros' ballpark was built on the site of Union Station (its main entrance was once the station's main concourse). Aside from pro baseball, the park also hosts soccer, college baseball, and concerts.
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Who It's Best For
Foodies: The city’s cultural variety is best showcased in its food options. From Mexican to Cajun to Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, and Japanese, Houston’s cuisine is said to showcase more than 70 countries and regions.
Young Folks: Houston’s median age is a young 32. From hot restaurants to top-notch museums and events, the city has transformed from a once dreary metropolis into a stylish destination.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
It’s Hot: The subtropical climate often brings afternoon showers in the summer. It stays warm throughout the fall, and temperatures creep back up in early spring.
Honk Honk: Houston is one of the most car-dependent cities in the U.S., and its highways are some of the most congested in the state. Keep in mind, the Port of Houston is 30 miles from downtown.
Kristen Boatright is the New York City-based senior video editor of ShermansCruise.com.