One of the biggest influences in prompting us to start BOMBEROS was travel. A transparent example of this is the Belgian loafer. Upon my first trip to Europe I was introduced to this style of shoe which I had not seen in my previous 20+ years in the States. I loved the silhouette from the moment I laid eyes on it and wondered why it isn’t bigger in the States ever since.
Another curiosity of mine is why people don’t “visit” the City of Houston. Through nights at the bar, airport lounges, sporting events, or taking in a museum – I’ve never met anyone expressly in Houston for the sole reason of taking in the city we’re lucky to have as the base for our US operations and play home to such a supportive developmental community. In an effort to change this, we felt it appropriate to shine a light on what a vacation to the place we’re lucky to call home may entail.
Getting here: Houston is home to two major international airports. This makes for relatively low cost and direct flights from the majority of cities in the States. This means more time and money on your excursion, we’re starting off on the right foot.
Thursday night: You’ll have a wealth of hotel options, the kind you expect in the 4thlargest city in the country, but with Houston’s year around warm temperatures we can’t think of a better way to spend some time relaxing than floating in theTexas-shaped lazy river found on the roof of the Marriott Marquisdowntown.
Once you’ve arrived at your downtown hub for the weekend, you’ll be within walking distance to Minute Maid Park – home of the World Champion Houston Astros – as well as a number of other attractions. Get right into your getaway with a quick snack sampling some true local flavor. Take a short walk to Jackson Street BBQ for world-class brisket and 10+ local beers on draft. This should serve as a great welcome to The Lone Star State. Houston is a sprawling urban metropolis, since you’re probably not wanting to travel any further than you already have today, we recommend a quick jaunt across I-59 to “EaDo” Houston’s East end neighborhood. Here you’ll find a plethora of options, ranging from live music at Warehouse Liveor Continental Club, an uber-Houston themed brewery at 8thWonder, or a backyard style hangout with an incredible skyline view at Moon Tower Inn. No matter what you’re in the mood for, you’ll find it in EaDo, and make it back to the Marriott easily to get rested up for your first full day in H-town.
Friday: Hop in a car from the Marriott and head west toward the Montrose/Museum District area to take in some of the many museums Houston has to offer. Featuring three distinct walkable zones, we recommend the Menil and MFA areas as your go-to spots. Start the day off with coffee at Blacksmithand/or breakfast at Snooze Eatery. You’re going to be doing some walking today, so don’t feel guilty when ordering Snooze’s Blueberry Danish Pancakes. As if buttermilk pancakes covered in blueberry coulis, sweet cream, and almond streusel weren’t enough, they build them around a lemony cream cheese filling to flaunt the culinary decadence.
Now that you’re fueled up – we recommend first stopping at the Menil Collection. Although I’m partial to Modern and Contemporary art, the Menil features collections showcasing the carefully curated works from Africa, the Pacific Islands, Art of the Ancient World, and Medieval and Byzantine periods. There’s always a broad collection on display, but I find myself staring at the Jackson Pollack, Max Ernst, Dan Flavin, John Chamberlain, and Rene Magritte works most often. There is also a world beating collection of Mark Rothkos, which is highlighted in your next stop, the Rothko Chapel. A two-minute walk through century old oaks, this is a place for reflection and to take a breather in the A/C. Next on your Menil area tour, we recommend the Cy Twombly Gallery, another highlight of this beautiful campus. As you’ve discovered, you’re in a dense area of timeless art. If you’ve visited your share of the Menil district, make the quick drive over to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. One of the world’s truly great museums, you’ll want to budget at least 2 hours.
By now, it’s late afternoon and you no doubt need a respite from the sun. Head back to the Marriott and its lazy river, put on some sun screen and take a break from the action in the cool waters of the roof top pool/wet area. After you’ve showered and prepared yourself for the evening we recommend Moving Sidewalkfor a cocktail before dinner at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse. I can tell you without a doubt, it’s the best steakhouse in town. You can’t visit Texas without having a steak, can you?
Saturday: On Saturday morning, catch a car or a Houston Bcycle(our bike sharing network with 60 stations around town, open 24/7/365) over to the Heights. Nothing beats moseying around 19thStreet on a Saturday morning, taking in the open-air markets, window shopping and people watching while enjoying a coffee from Boomtownor an acai bowl or smoothie from Juice Girl. Once you’ve explored this Bohemian-chic historical part of the city, walk a few blocks over to Down Housefor a bit of southern hospitality with a side of comfort food. Whether you’re an early riser looking for breakfast, in search of a trendy brunch, or are well into afternoon on the hunt for lunch you’ll be in good hands.
With the morning behind you – I’ll provide two Saturday afternoon recommendations:
- Golf Club of Houston– There are not many opportunities in the US to play the same course the pros do but you can in Houston. If you enjoy great rounds of golf I would strongly recommend playing 18 holes at G.C.O.H. It’s 25 minutes from downtown but feels a world away, prices are reasonable with tee times frequently offered around $99 on comon the weekends, and there’s 5 sets of tee boxes to ensure all skill levels have fun.
- Bayou City Adventures- My favorite BCA hub is their Allen Parkway location on Buffalo Bayou, but if you desire to see a bit more of the city than you already have you can check out their Sugar Land and Memorial Park locations. Our floating mechanism of choice is the Kayak, allowing you to relax and sit down as well as jump in when you get hot. Route options include paddling downstream first through downtown and Allen Parkway park or starting upstream with views of sprawling mansions in River Oaks, River Oaks Country Club and Bayou Bend, one of the most beautiful pieces of acreage you’ll ever see. You can bring any refreshments you’d like and enjoy at your own pace – it’s a great way to explore while working up a sweat.
After your day outdoors, I can’t think of a better last dinner in Houston than a bit of Tex-Mex and you can’t go wrong with the fajitas at El Tiempo on Washington. They’ve got amazing margaritas to cool you down following a day in the sun, homemade tortillas, and use the finest cuts of meat available to serve what I feel are the best fajitas in the city.
Pro tip: if you’re looking to go out afterward, you can leave your car valeted at El Tiempo and walk to a number of bars and nightlife hot spots close by.
Sunday: All good things come to an end but fear not you can always come back. Never one to step on a plane on an empty stomach, prepare for your travels the right way with one last stop at A’Bouzy. Their motto is “The love of food and champagne” and once you step foot inside you’ll see they’re focused on their mission. Blend in with a $45 bottle of Veuve Clicquot and help yourself to anything on the menu. Everything I’ve had here is stellar, and don’t forget to ask about the off-the-menu seafood tower.
So there you have it. Our weekend recommendation for a fun, and busy, weekend in Houston, TX. If the Astros, Rockets, Texans, or Dynamo (Don’t sleep on soccer, between the tailgating and energy in the stadium they’re actually my favorite games to attend of the teams mentioned above) are in town, do your best to grab a seat at one of our four world-class stadiums.
If you’re planning a trip and are after different restaurant/nightlife recommendations, have a specific activity you’d like opinions on or just have questions please email us at email@example.com we’ll be happy to assist as we can.
Matthew D. Werner