The Secrets to a Stress Free Houston Trip

Houston is the largest city in the state of Texas both in area and population. Tourists, particularly those who aren’t used to big cities, can find navigating around the city a bit overwhelming. Public transport is convenient only if you’re confining your trip to the downtown area, but for the most part, having a rental car is still the best way to go around town. Whatever your reason for visiting, consider these suggestions for a stress free Houston trip.

The Secrets to a Stress Free Houston Trip

Google Map It and Stick With It

Planning the logistics of your vacation can either be the most fun or the most stressful part of your trip. That’s true everywhere and especially important during those shorter trips. With that said, the major attractions are scattered around Houston and since most people who come here and visit, stay only for a short period, it’s best to travel smart and plan for your trip ahead in order to have a stress free Houston trip.

Stress free Houston trip. Houston Arboretum and Nature Center
Houston Arboretum and Nature Center

If you’re only in Houston for 48 hours, why not focus on a particular district to explore rather than crisscrossing the city in one day. You might find yourself spending more time driving around and getting stuck in traffic than enjoying the sights if you insist on visiting places located across town from each other. Samples of bundled itineraries include a day focused on the Museum District to check out the Menil Collection and the Houston Zoo or a day that includes a stop at The Galleria and the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center.

Relax and Go with the Flow

Another secret to a stress free Houston trip is to relax and go with the flow. Houston might be the state’s largest metropolis but this is still Texas. No one is rushing you to get to one point or another, especially not while on vacation.

Houston's Discovery Green Urban Park. Stress free Houston trip.
Houston’s Discovery Green Urban Park

Visitors wishing to take solace from the big city life should check out one or two of the many urban parks around the city. There’s Discovery Green, the city’s Central Park equivalent. This is the go to spot for events and festivals. Then there’s Market Square Park, located right in the heart of downtown and a perfect spot to people watch. This compact space is surrounded by some of the oldest buildings in Houston. If you prefer somewhere indoors, take a leisurely stroll while window-shopping at The Galleria.

Land of Beef and Fried Chicken and Waffles

Part of being on vacation is eating delicious food and a visit to Houston, Texas isn’t quite complete without eating steak.

For a stress free Houston trip, head over to the original Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, consistently rated as one of Houston’s best. The ambiance is intimate but not intimidating; elegant yet relaxed. Imagine cozy leather booths with men wearing suits with cowboy boots while women put on some of their most comfortable Sunday best clothes. Go with the filet duo or the New York strip.

Fried Chicken and Waffles at the Breakfast Klub. Stress free Houston trip.
Fried Chicken and Waffles at the Breakfast Klub

If you’re looking for down home cooking however, secure a table for brunch at the acclaimed Breakfast Klub and order their infamous fried chicken and waffles. This place is very popular with the locals so get in line early.

Room with a View

Sure, there are plenty of cheaper hotels in Houston but you’re on stress free Houston vacation after all so why not treat yourself a little and stay at one of the downtown hotels that offer luxurious rooms with nicer views.

A Room at the Hotel Icon, Houston. Stress Free Houston Trip
A Room at the Hotel Icon, Houston

Take the Hotel ICON Houston  for example, that sits right on Main St and is a landmark building on its own. Guests will have stunning views of the distinctive buildings around the hotel that include a mixture of 19th century urban architecture, art deco designs, and Renaissance styles. In addition to the lovely views, amenities include a 24-hour concierge, an in-house restaurant, and an urban day spa.

Do you have other suggestions on how to have a stress free Houston trip? Let us know in the comments below.

About Iris A


Born in the Philippines, but grew up in Texas, Iris has been traveling and writing about her experiences for well over a decade. Her work has been published on well-known travel sites like Hipmunk (#hipmunkcitylove) and D Magazine Online Travel Club. She has been all over Europe, the US, and has recently started exploring Latin America. She loves trying local cuisine and visiting UNESCO deemed World Heritage sites. Her favourite city is New York, with London, following a close 2nd. You can follow her on Twitter @sundeeiris or through her travel blog, Traveling With Iris.

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