Houston has two major airports: George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), 15 miles northeast of downtown, and Hobby Airport (HOU), 9 miles southeast of the city. Taxis and shuttles are available into town from the airports, but it’s probably best just to rent a car, which you’ll most likely need to get around Houston during your stay.
Unfortunately, a car is a must if you want to really explore Houston. There are walkable areas (Midtown, Neartown/Montrose, and Downtown), but access from those neighborhoods to the rest of the city by public transportation is quite limited. The light rail is called METRO and runs 7.5 miles from Reliant Park to the University of Houston-Downtown.
One thing that surprises visitors and newcomers to Houston is its world-renowned arts scene. The city is second only to New York City for the number of theater seats in a concentrated U.S. downtown area, and it has its own opera, ballet, symphony, and theater companies. Houston is also a great museum city with 19 different museums offering a range of exhibits, collections, workshops, and live performances all in one district. The Menil Collection, MFAH, Museum of Natural Science, and CAMH are must-visit museums.
From fall through spring, Houston is the perfect setting for outdoor festivals and events like the Greek Festival in October, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in March, and the Art Car Parade in May.
A native of East Tennessee, Jessica Lymberopoulos has been based in Houston since 2010. She has lived and worked in the Heights, Medical Center, and Kingwood and loves all this sprawling, energetic city has to offer. She works as a marketing copywriter and studies rhetoric at Northern Arizona University.