When driving down the streets of downtown Houston, there is a distinct impression that the heart of the city is full of corporate offices and restaurants. However, do not be fooled because downtown Houston has a lot to offer in terms of entertainment for Houstonians during the daytime and the nighttime. Come explore ten attractions that will be sure to spice up any weekday or weekend plans!
George R. Brown Convention Center
The George R. Brown Convention Center is one of the largest community centers open for public and private events in Houston. The center sits on over 11 acres of land and is three stories tall with a multitude of rooms and exhibit halls available. Most all of the important conventions, shows, indoor competitions, and conferences occur at the center. Events range from art shows to scientific conferences and weapons/firearms exhibitions. The center is also located close to many restaurants and sports stadiums for those who want to extend their day past their time enjoying whatever event is going on at the center. The Houston Metro also runs close to the convention center and right through the Museum District. Experience the George R. Brown Convention Center in its prime when all of the different events and gatherings are in full swing.
The Big Bubble is a little bit of a confusing installation. There is a red button found somewhere on the park’s premises. If the button is pushed, a big air bubble is released in Buffalo Bayou, which sits to one side of the park. On the other hand, the art installation Seven Wonders by Mel Chin is a commemoration of Texas through seven themes, such as agriculture and infrastructure, distributed between seven pillars. Each theme is represented through children’s drawings etched onto the metal of the pillars. Sesquicentennial Park is a great place to enjoy a quiet park setting while still being a short distance away from the city streets of downtown.
Bayou Place is the place to go when looking for food and fun in the same location downtown. Nestled in the heart of the Theater District, Bayou Place is the perfect location to go after a performance or show. This large, indoor facility is home to a variety of restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues. The Houston Hard Rock Café calls Bayou Place home. There is also a sushi bar and an Italian restaurant housed at this location. On the second floor of Bayou Place is Live! At Bayou Place. Four bars can be found on the second floor, which include Shark Bar and PBR Houston. Entertainment is also available to customers, including a show at the Bayou Music Center or a film at Sundance Cinemas.
Bayou Place, 500 Texas Avenue, Houston, TX, USA, +1 713 227 0957
Saint Arnold Brewing Company
When in Houston and wanting to experience the creation of a product from start to finish, head down to Saint Arnold Brewing Company to learn about the process of making beer. Even though it was only founded in 1994, Saint Arnold is the oldest craft brewing company in Texas. This location makes and ships out fresh beer to restaurants and stores all over Texas, Louisiana, and Florida. Nine different types of beers are available from ‘Saint Arnold Amber Ale’ to ‘Saint Arnold Endeavour.’ Seasonal beers are also brewed and made available to customers throughout the year. Saint Arnold is open for tours every day except Sunday; it’s only $10 a person. At the end of the tour, each customer gets a free souvenir glass and can have ‘Lunch at Saint Arnold’ with a full menu of appetizers and meals to try. This brewery is great for any beer aficionado and offers a wide array of special events for the public to attend as well.
JP Morgan Chase Sky Lobby
When looking at the Houston city skyline, one building that is sure to stand out is the JP Morgan Chase Tower on Travis Street. Known to be the tallest skyscraper in Houston as well as all of Texas, the tower is 75 stories tall and is mainly home to commercial office spaces. However, the 60th floor of the tower is open to the public. Open 9am-5pm from Monday to Friday, the Sky Lobby offers patrons the highest vantage point from which to view the city of Houston. The Sky Lobby also boasts a scale model of the 55-foot sculpture sitting in the JP Morgan Chase Tower plaza titled Personage and Birds by Miró. This abstract sculpture is one of the artist’s largest pieces and boasts a colorful scheme.
JP Morgan Chase Tower, 600 Travis Street, Houston, TX, USA, +1 713 223 0441
The Alley Theatre is the hub of contemporary live performance arts in Houston. Being a non-profit theatre, the Alley relies on the support of the city and patrons within the community. It consists of two performance spaces as well as a full workshop for building outrageous sets and scenery. Staff members at the Alley select, develop, produce, and run shows from start to finish. The two performance spaces switch off being active and inactive so that the Alley Theatre is constantly bringing the community new and fresh material. One performance space is always running some type of show or event, while the other performance space is dismantled from its previous show and is prepared for the next show to be run in that space. Education is another staple at the Alley, offering camps and classes to the public as well as internships for those interested in a career in live performance.
Alley Theatre, 615 Texas Avenue, Houston, TX, USA, +1 713 220 5700
White Oak Bayou
Waterways surround and run throughout Houston. One of the waterways that flows through downtown is called White Oak Bayou, which has been renovated and converted to a more public-friendly space. This waterway is a great spot for bird watching as well as experiencing the various plant life thriving in and along the water. White Oak Bayou also features appealing hiking and biking trails available for the public to enjoy. Most of these trails have similar starting points but begin to branch off and vary in length. Water fountains and picnic tables dot the trails and entice hikers/bikers to stop and enjoy what nature has to offer.
White Oak Bayou, Houston, TX, USA
By Samantha Beckett
Samantha Beckett is a a twenty-something world traveler, media enthusiast, and hardcore foodie.
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