The fourth-largest city in the USA, and the largest in Texas, Houston offers the best of both worlds.
There's an old-town southern charm in the city's laid-back attitude, while its bustling downtown is every inch the modern cityscape. Synonymous with NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston provides visitors with the chance to visit the Apollo Mission Control Center, where flight controllers launched the historic Apollo 11 space shuttle to the moon. There is plenty more history to be discovered across the city's world-class museums, as well as the 19th-century Historic District, while culture abounds in the famous Houston Grand Opera and the exquisite galleries housed in the Museum District.
Houston Zoo is another popular visitor attraction, with more than 6,000 animals spread across its 55-acre site and a number of education and animal care programs, global habitats and 'Meet the Keeper' talks. Wildlife lovers can also pay a visit to the Armand Bayou Nature Center. This nature preserve, one of the largest in North America, is home to around 370 bird, reptile, and mammal species, with a focus on education projects and local conservation efforts.
Houston has a great array of restaurants
Ranging from fine dining to casual joints, you won't be stuck for choice in this varied city. Some favourites include Guard and Grace, Barbecue Inn and Christie's.
Breakfast is very important in Houston, and nothing epitomises this more than the breakfast burrito. Head to Laredo Taqueria to find out how much you can actually fit into one burrito.
Houston culinary tours wouldn't be complete without a taste of East Texas-style barbecue. Classic staples include pork ribs, fried okra and banana pudding.
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