Everything about Houston underlines its Texas sensibilities: it is big and proud. Much of that chest-thumping attitude is deserved considering that Houston is the oil and gas capital of the US, the fourth-most-populous and second largest city in America boasting the country’s first dome stadium and the greatest concentration of medical institutions in the world. Of course the city also hosts the foremost space centre in the United States.
As if these achievements were not enough, Houston is also an attractive, highly liveable and fun city, that is dotted with parks and green spaces and punctuated by off-beat public sculptures and fountains. The first impression visitors get when they step off cheap flights to Houston is the need for much of the local architecture to be big and imposing, the results of this approach can be mixed but nothing ever suffers for a want of trying. Examples include the name of the Texas Children’s Hospital spelled out on its lawn in brightly coloured letters as well as a Mayan pyramid plonked on top of a skyscraper.
As for things to do during your visit, consider that you are likely to not do more of what’s on offer than you actually manage. Obvious options include but are not limited to NASA, the rodeo, museums and the Astrodome.
Houston weather is pleasant starting in the fall through winter and into the spring but beware the summers, which are hot and humid in equally generous measure. Thunderstorms become increasingly frequent as the summer wears on and sometimes result in tornados. The city is also in the path of potential hurricanes so make sure to check the forecast before booking cheap flights to Houston. Winters tend to be mild but infrequent cold snaps have been know to arrive as a result of cold air moving south from the plains.
The city is best visited any time other than high summer but the best times to take cheap flights to Houston are spring and fall. October and part of November are still warm but without the oppressive humidity that makes the summer months so uncomfortable.
The majority of tourists steer clear of high summer when the heat matched with humidity make for an uncomfortable setting.
As long as you’re spending most of your Houston time downtown, you won’t need to rent a car. Houston’s downtown and museum district are small and compact, and many hotels have shuttles to help you get around. The city’s public transportation system is very good. The Metro has both bus and light rail services. If you do decided to venture out, you’ll want to rent a car. Finding your way around shouldn’t be too difficult. The city is smartly laid out, streets are clearly marked and the roads are well kept. The only trouble you’ll have is with traffic. Houston drivers are notoriously ruthless and fast, and you’ll want to stay off the road during rush hour.