Houston, America’s 4th largest city, is home to world-class dining, with over 11,000 restaurants featuring cuisines from more than 70 countries, and is also a thriving cultural destination including resident opera, ballet, symphony and theatre companies. Boasting the famous Space Center Houston, inspiring museums and lush green spaces for outdoor activities, it is easy to find fun in this large metropolis. However, there is no shortage of things to see and do around the vicinity as well. Houston might be the heart of Texas but truly revel in the essence of Texas by taking short trips from Houston to these unique towns and cities where you catch a glimpse of the true local life. Whether you call this urban chic city your home or you’re here on a vacation with extra time on your hands, get ready to book these weekend getaways to experience the very best around Houston, Texas.
Salado is a village in Bell County, Texas. Head to St. Cyril and Methodius Catholic, a Roman Catholic Parish established in 1891. 290km (180.2 miles) away from Houston, it is just a 3hr drive away.
Where to stay: Boasting gorgeous sceneries and friendly staff, Stagecoach Inn is a great home away from home
“Everything’s bigger in Texas”, and Arlington is the epitome of this saying! Catch an entertainment or sports event at the AT&T Stadium, home to the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, and also one of the largest domed structures in the world, capable of accommodating up to 105,000 people. In January, the Cotton Bowl Classic, a historic college football game, is played there. View the Old Masters amid modern, architecturally designed splendour at the Kimbell Art Museum or head down to the oldest zoo in Texas - Fort Worth Zoo. Stroll and shop along Grapevine Historic Main Street District, featuring wine tasting rooms and the Glockenspiel Clock Tower. Head out to the old town heart of the city to find the epicentre of western cattle industry come to life at Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District. Arlington is a 4h 15min drive from Houston, being 412km (256 miles) away.
Where to stay: Melbourne Manor is an air-conditioned holiday home offering a comfortable stay just 3.6km away from AT&T Stadium
Advertising itself as the place where the American West began, Fort Worth stubbornly clings to its cowboy roots, making it unique among other urban centres of its size. Wander through stunning floral displays and tree-lined paths at Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens or examine the life, death, and legacy of John F. Kennedy in the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza - where Lee Harvey Oswald fired those three infamous shots, before visiting the John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza. Fort Worth is 432km (268.432 miles) away from Houston, needing a 4h 30min journey by car. If you’re hoping to visit when it’s hot and sunny, May till September is a good period. Held from January to February, the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, is a major agricultural show and series of Western events. In April, there is the Main St. Fort Worth Arts Festival which includes an art exhibition and live music. The Van Cliburn International Piano Competition (quadrennial, May-Jun) showcases the talents of many leading pianists. Winter, which is from December to February, is mild, with cool overnight temperatures.
Where to stay: Have an elegant stay in the heart of Fort Worth at Hilton Fort Worth, possessing a rich history with John F. Kennedy having been one of the patrons. It has one of the best-rated locations in Fort Worth, and it is particularly recommended for couples.
Jefferson is a historic city in Marion County in northeastern Texas. Visit The Grove, an 1861 historic home, a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places - only if you dare! It has been known to be haunted! Jefferson is 376km (233.64 miles) away from Houston, needing a 4hr car ride.
Where to stay: Located in one of the best-rated locations in Jefferson, couples particularly like White Oak Manor Bed and Breakfast. It is also rated to have the best value in Jefferson.
Located in north-central Texas, there are loads to see and do in Graham! Awaken your senses, stir your spirit and relax your mind at Clark Gardens, a breathtaking 35-acre oasis before heading to Lake Mineral Wells State Park. Pay a visit to The Old Post Office Museum & Art Center (OPOMAC), that is dedicated to the development and maintenance of the general museum of history and fine arts for the education and enrichment of the citizens of Young County. Be sure to visit one of the most popular recreation lakes in north Texas, the Possum Kingdom Lake, with an estimated three million visitors annually. Graham is on the slightly further side, being 482km (299.5 miles) away from Houston, requiring a 5hr 15min flight.
Where to stay: Best Western Plus Graham Inn is located ideally with convenient facilities, offering a comfortable stay in Graham
Around a 4hr 15min drive from Houston, Gladewater is 343km (213.13 miles) away. Points of interest include the Gladewater Museum, Penick Park, as well as Mrs. Lee’s Garden.
Where to stay: Look forward to a satisfactory stay with clean rooms, a good location and everything you want nearby at Regency Inn Gladewater
There is a Paris right here in Texas, located in Lamar County! A must-see is the Endangered Ark Foundation - a private non-profit dedicated to ensuring the future of Asian elephants in North America, providing a retirement ranch for circus elephants, and educating the public about this endangered species. Paris (this one!) is 493km (306.34 miles) away from Houston, with a 5hr 15min travel time by car.
Where to stay: Amazing bed, breakfast and location at La Quinta Inn & Suites Paris
Second in population to Plano, McKinney is a city in and the county seat of Collin County, Texas. Go to Historic Downtown McKinney, where Main Street, a national program born out of the National Trust for Historic Prevention was developed. 401km (249.17 miles) away from Houston, take a 4hr flight to McKinney!
Where to stay: With beautiful, spacious, and quiet rooms, Sheraton McKinney is even pet-friendly.
From hikers to water lovers, there is a multitude of recreational opportunities for everybody at Lake Somerville State Park & Trailway, located in Washington County! Alternatively, head to Star of the Republic Museum that depicts the colorful saga of the Texas Republic, located at the site where 59 delegates gathered on March 2, 1836, to declare Texas’ independence from Mexico. Just a mere 129km (80.16 miles) away from Houston, Washington County provides the shortest getaway - just a 1hr 30min drive to arrive there!
Where to stay: Motel 6 Brenham is definitely a recommended stay in the area with wonderful rooms and basic amenities covered
Located in Brazos County, Texas, Bryan is 161km (100 miles) away from Houston, just needing a 1hr 45min drive. Once you’ve visited Messina Hof Winery, that has held a place in the local community since its founding based on family values, tradition and romance in the 1970s, check out and learn more about the life and career of America’s 41st president by visiting the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum that includes 1,800 sqm (20,000 sq ft) of exhibit space.
Where to stay: 2500 ft3 Home in Bryan is a property that offers an authentic Texas experience
Houston is already a popular city among tourists, but now you can have a short easy restful weekend getaway to these different nearby cities surrounding Houston. Just hop on a car or a plane and you’ll be well on your way to have a slight escape from the city to unwind and relax.
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