This week's post comes to us from travel blogger Jasmine Alley, who checked out out Houston with her Alvies boots and flops (and her husband) riding shotgun.
A couple of weekends ago, my husband Harrison and I had the pleasure of finally exploring Houston, Texas. As a Dallas-based travel blogger, I’ve road tripped through the Texas Hill Country and Austin multiple times. But somehow, we’ve never truly explored Houston outside of a few short day trips to visit friends.
We spent four days and three nights in Houston, and here are the highlights!
These are 10 spots I think everyone should visit when they’re in the Houston area.
But first, here are a couple of packing tips when it comes to traveling with Alvies.
Alvies Packing Tips
If you’re flying somewhere with your Alvies, here are two tips:
- Wear your boots and pack your flip-flops. As a travel blogger who tries to pack as many outfits into a carry-on as I possibly can, I simply don’t have room for anything besides sandals in my suitcase. So, I always wear my biggest or heaviest shoes to save room.
- If you must pack your boots, stuff socks/small clothing items into them to help them keep their shape and maximize space.
Since we drove to Houston, I wore my flip-flops so I could take them off and go barefoot in the car. My boots sat neatly on the floor behind my seat. Road trips are great because you can pretty much do whatever you want in terms of packing. I just prefer to keep my boots somewhere accessible in case they go with my outfit and we stop for an impromptu photo spot.
My Top 10 Houston Highlights
Now let’s get into those highlights I was referring to! Here are my favorite stops we made in Houston.
Houston Museum of Natural Science
This was one of my favorite museums to visit because of their epic dinosaur exhibit! It was so cool seeing what types of animals used to roam right here in Texas. The Houston Museum of Natural Science offers more than just that — they’ve got so many exhibits, including some that rotate. While you’re there, don’t forget to stop into the Cockrell Butterfly Center! This three-story rainforest has a waterfall, a ton of butterflies, and an iguana named Nacho. Admission is separate from the Museum of Natural Science, but it’s definitely worth it to me.
Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park
This was one of the coolest things we saw in Houston, hands down. The circular waterwall here makes for some epic pictures. We especially loved this place because it also tackled that famous Houston humidity — if you get close to the falls, you’ll get misted on (yes, that does mean that my Alvies got a bit wet, but they dried out with no problems at all).
McGovern Centennial Garden
This garden houses a spiral waterfall that you can walk around — it was so cool to see this manmade water feature in person! The McGovern Centennial Garden is located right by the Houston Museum of Natural Science — as well as right by some other cool parks. While you’re here, walk around Hermann Park, home to the Japanese Gardens and the Marvin Taylor Exercise Trail, among other things.
When in Houston, you’ve got to enjoy some of its restaurants! It’s known as being one of the best cities in Texas when it comes to dining, and our experience at Le Colonial sure made me agree! This was my favorite place we ate at in Houston. Le Colonial serves up Vietnamese French fusion in the cutest space! I highly recommend the Cha Gio appetizer (crispy shrimp and pork roll).
Tiny’s Milk & Cookies
Looking for something sweet? Tiny’s Milk & Cookies is located near Rice University and has the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had (I’m not exaggerating). Their coconut milk chocolate ice cream is also incredible. They also have two other sister locations — Tiny Boxwoods is known for their spectacular brunch.
Buffalo Bayou Park
Buffalo Bayou Park will give you some spectacular views of Houston. It’s huge, with an epic dog park (best dog park I’ve ever seen), miles of bike trails, kayaking on the Bayou, the Dandelion Fountain and more.
Art Around Houston
Houston has such a vibrant art scene. From its sculptures, murals, and art museums, there’s no shortage of art here! In fact, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is among the 10 largest art museums in the United States. It has multiple buildings and over 60,000 works of art.
Outside the Museum of Fine Arts, you’ll notice art even as you drive around downtown. This sculpture pictured above is the Wings Above Water sculpture in downtown Houston.
Bayou Bend Gardens
Bayou Bend Museum and Gardens is part of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. But it’s not what you’d picture when you think of an art museum. You’ll find 14 acres of gardens at Bayou Bend, all surrounding a gorgeous house with some of the museum’s art pieces.
Houston’s Live Oak Trees
Something that blew me away was how stunning all of the live oak trees are in and around Houston! As a travel blogger, I’ve visited a few cities this year that have wowed me with their live oaks, such as New Orleans, Savannah, and Charleston. But I had no idea that Houston had so many live oaks as well! The best places to see live oak tree tunnels in Houston include the Marvin Taylor Exercise Trail and in and around Rice University.
Just an hour away from Houston you’ll find the beach! Galveston was the perfect place to break in my Alvies flip-flops. Pictured above is the Pleasure Pier.
Well, there you have it: my top 10 highlights from exploring Houston in my Alvies!
If you’re interested in checking out the photos we got in Houston, I wrote a post that contains Houston’s most Instagrammable Photo Spots here!
Originally from Maryland, Jasmine Alley is a Dallas-based travel blogger with a passion for finding beauty wherever she goes. She and her husband have turned travel blogging into their full-time jobs, and love to show others how they can do the same! Check out her blog.