Houston, Texas: A City Bursting with Culture and Energy
By Vange Tapia
Did you know that Houston has been recognized as one of the largest and most culturally diverse cities in the U.S.? That's why up to 90 languages can be heard in different parts of the city. Now imagine the culinary scene, local art and cultural mix to be found here. Houston is constantly evolving and that is why I love to vacation here.
A Dose of Culture in the Museum District
In Houston’s Museum District, you can find more than 20 museums, galleries and cultural centers all in a short distance from each other. During my visit to the Houston Museum of Natural Science, there were several schools with kids visiting at the same time, but the museum is well organized so nobody had difficulty getting from room to room. From its ingenious demonstrations featuring the elements and periodic table, to a giant-screen theater, planetarium, butterfly center and dozens of exhibits about astronomy, paleontology, energy and more, there is so much to take in here!
A Place from Another Planet
When I think of Houston, one of the first places that comes to mind is the Official Visitors Center of NASA’s Johnson Space Center Houston. You can’t miss it; it’s like taking a trip out of this world! This educational and entertainment complex teaches you the history of American space exploration in a fun and exciting way. You can see real astronauts training and even to touch a moon rock. The different interactive simulations and exhibitions also give you a good feeling of what astronauts experience in space.
Endless Fun and Entertainment
Near NASA, I visited one of the top ten attractions of Texas according to Forbes, the maritime corridor and amusement park known as Kemah Boardwalk. From waterfront restaurants and entertainment to amusement park rides, the fun in the park does not end. You can take a boat tour from the marina, or you can fly through the heights and see the entire park from the Iron Eagle zip line. I could not help but hop but on the Boardwalk Bullet, a towering wooden rollercoaster that runs like a bullet at 51 mph. Pure adrenaline!
Extensive Shopping Options
What else comes to mind about Houston? Exactly – shopping in the international Galleria shopping mall! The Galleria offers more than 375 shops, 30 restaurants, two hotels and an ice rink, as well as recognized department stores such as Macy's, the largest department store chain in the United States.
I let myself be pampered by a Macy’s consultant that helped me choose the best fashions for me in a private room. And there’s more! At the Tax-free Texas shopping counter on the first floor, I got a Macy’s 10% off Visitor Saving Pass. I returned to the same counter later where I received rebates on the taxes for all my purchases from Macy’s and other stores in the Galleria. Both are benefits for international visitors only.
Among its diversity and wide range of attractions, there is so much to do and see in Houston; be sure to book enough days to visit!