HOUSTON — Houston will be the destination for college basketball fans across the country in the coming days. The Final Four is in town and fans of Florida Atlantic, San Diego State, UConn and Miami will join their teams in the Bayou City. While there's plenty to do related to Final Four weekend, there are also things that are uniquely Houston that visitors will want to check out while they're here!
Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park
It’s a 20-foot waterfall within the city of Houston! Check out Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park.
In the popular Galleria shopping district, it’s one of the most-visited attractions in Houston. The waterwall sits in the shadow of Williams Tower, the third-tallest building in the fourth-largest city. It recycles more than 78,000 gallons of water every three hours!
Rice University is known for its prestigious academics and beautiful campus, but there is much more to see there.
The details in some of the architecture is full of surprises, like the recipe for gold, a resting spaceship and a building that croaks like a frog.
The campus is also full of public art – all accessible for free – even the James Turrell Twilight Epiphany Skyspace. It puts on a stunning light show at sunrise and sunset, so you might want to time your visit around that.
Houston's Museum District
Nineteen museums, galleries and cultural centers all located in a 1.5-mile radius. That’s Houston’s Museum District.
We are absolutely spoiled in Houston. You want to check out contemporary art, natural history or the history of the American West, the Museum District has something for everyone
In addition to its world-class museums, the Museum District also offers a variety of dining options, outdoor spaces and public art installations.
Houston's graffiti scene
Houston is a city loaded with artists and art, some of which is on display at Graffiti Park right by downtown.
The buildings – most of which are covered in graffiti – is at 1503 Chartres. The art there spans different styles and topics, offering a pretty epic backdrop for photos. For that reason, there’s usually a good number of people there trying to get that perfect selfie.
World Series champion Houston Astros
The Final Four isn’t the only game in town this weekend. The World Series-champion Astros are celebrating their first homestand of the 2023 season this week.
The Astros host the White Sox Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so there are lots of opportunities for you to catch them in action.
Houston's own Megan Thee Stallion will throw out the first pitch of the home opener and country star Cody Johnson will sing the National Anthem.
We love our food in Houston!
Travel + Leisure and Food & Wine both declared Houston a Top 10 food city and that’s just so far this year.
If you want to try a bit of everything, you could stop by one of Houston’s food halls. Places like Finn Hall have a number of restaurants inside – all different cuisines – so you sample some of the goods that have writers’ mouths watering.
Tour the downtown Houston tunnels!
Twenty feet below downtown Houston, more than six miles of tunnels connect 95 city blocks.
This is the most extensive downtown tunnel system in the U.S. It was built in the 1930s, then expanded in the ‘50s and ‘60s.
Since it’s air-conditioned, it’s a great way to get around downtown when the weather is – well -- Houston weather.
The tunnels are more than just a way to get around, though. They’re full of restaurants and stores, even doctor’s offices and barber shops!
Houston's Theater District
Home to nine performing arts organizations and several cultural institutions, check out Houston’s Theater District.
With its world-class performances, stunning venues and vibrant cultural scene, Houston's Theater District is a cornerstone of the city's arts community and a vital contributor to its cultural and economic vitality.
While you’re here, be sure to check events calendars to see what’s going on at Alley Theatre, Wortham Center, Jones Hall or here at Hobby Center.
There are several smaller venues worth exploring too.
Buffalo Bayou Park
Around 160 acres of greenspace winds along its namesake – it’s Buffalo Bayou Park.
The natural beauty of this park is just west of downtown and offers a little bit of everything.
You can walk, run or bike the trails, have a picnic or check out one of its special features like Lost Lake or the Cistern.
Buffalo Bayou Park is one of more than 350 parks and 250 greenspaces around Houston.
If you’re looking for a really sprawling spot to explore, it's a great option, but there are plenty more, like Hermann Park, Cullen Park, Memorial Park or Lake Houston Wilderness Park.
Houston's craft beer scene
If you love beer, you’ve come to the right city.
The Greater Houston area has more than 60 craft breweries, but it all started at Saint Arnold Brewing Company.
Saint A’s is the oldest craft brewery in Texas and it was the only one in Houston for decades. Now the list is long and includes Eureka Heights, True Anomaly, 8th Wonder, Great Heights, Frost Town, Baileson and so many more inside city limits.
If you want to get adventurous, there are breweries scattered from Pearland to Porter and Conroe to Katy.
It's crawfish season!
You timed your visit to Houston well, smack dab in the middle of crawfish season!
Mudbugs are big business this time of year and you can find them at plenty of local restaurants including BB’s Cafe.
You can get crawfish in dishes, like etouffee, po’boys and mac & cheese.
If you don’t mind getting a little messy, order up a pound of boiled crawfish. The seasoning will vary depending on where you’re ordering.
Houston's food scene is second to none!
It is a great time to be a foodie in Houston.
Just last year, Julep brought home the city’s first national James Beard Award. Then this year, 10 chefs and restaurants were named semifinalists and three made the cut as finalists. That’s a pretty strong showing.
Now, grabbing a reservation at one of these spots might be a little tough this weekend, but it’s worth a try!
Houston's Art Car Museum and Beer Can House
Houston is so many things and weird is one of them. Look no further than the Art Car Museum.
The Art Car Museum owns about 20 different art cars, which it showcases along with more traditional fine art.
The organization is separate from The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art, which puts on the Art Car Parade every spring, but that group operates its namesake The Orange Show -- Smither Park.
There’s also the Beer Can House.
They're all exceptionally unique works of art, international or not, which you can visit while you’re in Houston.
Houston is a shopper's paradise
Vintage clothes? Handmade jewelry? Art? Houston tchotchkes?
If you’re looking to bring home more than just memories from your visit to Houston, we’ve got you covered.
19th Street in the Houston Heights has a little bit of everything, and you can check it all out by strolling a couple blocks. Meanwhile, the historic Ironworks building is home to shipping containers turned into boutiques.
Just like 19th Street, you can find just about anything there, including coffee and good eats.
Houston is famous for its BBQ
You weren’t going to leave Houston without having some BBQ, were you?
The chef at Gatlin’s BBQ is a semifinalist for a James Beard award this year. Last year, the chef at Blood Bros. BBQ received the same honor.
BBQ is a staple of Houston food culture – and we are serious about our food.
Wherever you decide to go, be prepared for a wait and get there early.
Most of the meats are first come, first serve.