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This is a leading science and space learning center and the official visitor center of NASA Johnson Space Center where NASA conducts its astronaut training and Mission Control. Since its inauguration in 1992, the center has had around 1 million visitors every year and is one of the top visited destinations in Houston. There are around 400 space artifacts, attractions, travelling and permanent exhibits, theatre and live shows showcasing the history of the spaceflight program of America.
The Houston Zoo is spread across an area of 55 acres and houses around 6000 animals from 900 species. Every year nearly 2.25 million guests visit this facility making it the second most visited zoo of U.S. It aims at connecting people with wildlife and inspiring them to save animals.
This public aquarium and restaurant is located on a 6 acres site and is home to around 200 marine species living in 500,000 US gallons of water. Within the aquarium are five main themed areas housing different types of marine animals, a tiger habitat housing White Tiger and various interactive displays. There are two restaurants, a banquet and a bar too within the complex. Various outreach programs are conducted by the education department in collaboration with school groups to spread awareness.
Nearly 64000 works of art from six countries showcasing more than 6000 years of history is on display in the museum. These include American paintings, French Impressionism, European works post 1945 and Renaissance. Among the most appreciated are the major works by Rembrandt and Picasso. The museum conducts educational programs, media presentations, workshops and publications which benefit 1.25 million people annually.
Spread across an area of 2.77 acres, the main attraction of this park is its 64 foot high sculptured fountain called the Waterwall. This wall is semi-circular and postmodernist and was designed by John Burgee Architects where re-circulated water pours like a curtain over its outer and inner surfaces at the rate of 11,000 gallons per minute. The falling water lowers the temperature of the enclosure noticeably making it favorable for visitors.
This stellar museum displays world-class traveling exhibits on Mayan civilization, prehistoric cave paintings and the likes. The permanent collection showcases massive dinosaur skeletons, rare gems, and mummies from ancient Egypt and also exhibits on the Biosphere of the Earth. Their Science exhibits provide hands-on learning to kids. IMAX theatre, shows, films and butterfly house are the other attractions of the museum.
Houston is one of the most populous and large metropolitan cities of Texas, U.S. and is located close to the Space Center Houston, the coastal visitor center at NASA's astronaut training and flight control complex. Downtown Houston boasts of Houston Grand Opera, Theater district, and historic district having 19th-century architecture and fashionable restaurants. Houston is a mix of casual and upscale lifestyle. During the day you can chill out in your most casual ensemble, visit museums, go shopping and relax on a deck. At night you can soak in Houston's cultural and culinary bliss at any of the renowned restaurants.
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How To Get Around?
Metro rail and bus service is one of the safest, cheapest and most efficient transit authority of Houston with nearly 30 rail routes and 1218 buses operating around the city. You can also get around the city easily and conveniently with more than 2200 taxis in operation along with 1700 limos and cabs. A hybrid between limo, taxi and the public bus called the Wave also operates in Houston. It shuttles people around the nightlife areas of the city. The Wave also provides private rental along with concierge services.
What Should I Wear?
The weather is usually hot and humid in Houston, so pack some lightweight, breathable clothes preferably cotton. Select a casual daytime wardrobe including shorts, some t-shirts, tank tops and dresses and other tops. Carry a pair of pants or jeans and a warmer layer to evade the chilly air-conditioning of Houston. For wintertime pack a few pairs of jeans, some warm t-shirts and a cardigan. Carry one or two stylish night time outfits and a pair of heels if you plan to visit downtown restaurants and clubs. A pair of comfortable walking shoes is a must along with a pack of sunscreen as walking would be an integral part of your travel across the city.
Best Time to Visit
Summer in Houston is sweltering hot. October-November and February- April are the best months to visit as the temperature is fairly cool and there are a number of festivals to enjoy. Weather is pretty warm all year round but spring and fall give you ample opportunities to explore the city.
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Will I Need a Guide?
If you are visiting Houston for the first time it is recommended to take a tour. This way you can cover all the important sites without the fear of getting lost or missing out something.
How To Get There?
You can reach Houston through flight, train, bus and taxi. The George Bush International Airport located 37 miles from downtown Houston connects it with a large number of international as well as domestic destinations. By train, Houston can be reached in a matter of hours from any major U.S. city. Buses also connect Houston with all the nearby cities.
Do not carry any valuables. The ones you have must be kept in safe deposits boxes in your hotels. In order to avoid getting robbed by pickpockets keep all your cash and cellphones in an inside pocket of your bag.