ATXtoday City Guide Play Banner

The ultimate road trip to Houston

Hit the road and head to Houston — we’re sharing all the details about what to do and eat, plus where to stay.

A woman stands facing a Rothko painting at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston

Houston’s Museum District spans 14 acres.

Photo by ATXtoday

Table of Contents

Itching to get out of town, Austinites? Skip those pesky airport security lines and jump in your car for a road trip to Houston instead. From watching the Houston Astros play at Minute Maid Park to a mole flight at Xochi, we’re spilling all the details on how to have an unforgettable time in H-town.

📍 Essential info
Drive time: ~3 hours
Year city was established: 1836
Est. population: 2.29 million

A photo of Ed Sheeran performing to a packed crowd at Minute Maid Park.

Houston’s Minute Maid Park has a massive capacity of 51,000.

Photo by ATXtoday

🎟️ Experience

The Galleria
Put on your shopping shoes and treat yourself at the largest shopping mall in Texas.

Minute Maid Park
Depending on the day you visit, you can catch either a Houston Astros game or a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert.

The Museum District
Peruse Houston’s impressive array of exhibits in the Museum District, which houses 19 museums within walking distance of one another. Don’t miss the Contemporary Arts Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts.

NASA Space Center Houston
All ages are invited to learn about the history of human space travel through more than 400 space artifacts, exhibits, and experiences.

Rothko Chapel
View several original Rothko paintings for free in this completely silent building. Editor’s pick: have a seat and revel in the chapel’s silence and see what you can find.

Two decorative shrimp tostadas with flowers on top.

Xochi is pronounced “so-chee” after Xochitl, Goddess of the Flowers.

Photo by @xochihou

🍔 Eat

Nancy’s Hustle
This East Downtown New American bistro is famous for its “Nancy-cakes,” served with butter and trout roe, and is nominated for the James Beard Award’s Outstanding Wine Program.

Phat Eatery
Try some Malaysian street food crafted by James Beard Award-nominated chef Alex Au-Yeung — with dishes including roti canai and curry crawfish — at an affordable price.

Street to Kitchen
Run by Best Chef: Texas nominee Benchawan Painter, Thai restaurant Street to Kitchen is famous for its drunken noodles, Panang curries, and basil chicken.

Tatemó
Nominated for a host of awards — including by James Beard, Esquire, and the Houston Chronicle — Tatemó is known for its heirloom nixtamalized corn tortillas and BYOB tasting menu nights.

Xochi
This Mexican restaurant highlights Oaxacan cuisine, including mole flights and seafood plates, made by James Beard Award-winning chef Hugo Ortega.

A blue door next to a garage and plants on a tiny little townhouse in Houston.

Stay in this quaint little Montrose townhome for $75 per night.

Photo via VRBO

🏨 Stay

Apartment near The Galleria
This 1,100-sqft apartment features panoramic downtown views, walkability to Memorial Park, and enough room to host six guests.

Downtown Rooftop Terrace
Stay seconds away from Minute Maid Park and soak up the views at this rooftop terrace apartment.

Hotel ZaZa
Stay in Houston’s massive Museum District near Montrose at this luxe-yet-Texan hotel, which has a sister location here in Austin.

The Houstonian
This lavish hotel is surrounded by 27 acres of woods, and has a full spa, multiple restaurants, shopping, and a resort pool.

Midtown Townhome
This quaint little pied-à-terre has everything two visitors need in the walkable Montrose area, all for a low price.

Wait a minute, Austinites. Before you head out the door, find the cheapest places to fill up your gas tank and stock up on road trip snacks from Buc-ee’s. Also, bookmark this map so you have no trouble finding all of our recommendations while visiting Houston.

Check out our other Guides
If you don’t have coffee already in hand, consider this your sign to grab some.
Decide where to eat, then you can help us decide which restaurants should be on our Austin taco bracket to determine the top tacos in the city.
Make the most of the warm weather with this list of the best local events and activities happening this summer.
We’re highlighting the 22 best parks that Austin, TX has to offer — complete with swimming holes, pickleball courts, and playgrounds.
Dig into delicious and nutritious plant-based fare in every corner of the Capital City.
Check out all the best events happening in and around Austin in this seasonal guide.
We’re here to make your flying process plane and simple.
Learn about the biggest industries and employers in the Austin metro area with this guide to local business.
We’re highlighting the best kid-friendly activities that Austin has to offer — complete with art classes, animal encounters, and outdoor fun.
Lifting weights, indoor rock climbing, personal training, dance fitness, boxing classes, and martial arts programs — we’ve rounded up 35 gyms and fitness offerings around Austin.
ATXtoday phone
Good news for Austin.
Get the best local news & events sent to your inbox each morning, for free.