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.