Alex is from Houston, TX and we visit as often as we can to see his family and explore + soak up as much of Houston as we can! There is so much to do and such great food to eat! You honestly can not go wrong with whatever you choose.
When Alex and I go down to Houston together, we have spent as long as a week and a half, to as short as three days in Houston.
We went back to H-Town this February and had such a great time! Even though it was only three days, we had a blast + still did so much! I want to share our trip with you, and hopefully inspire you to book a trip down to Houston, TX
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Day 1 | February 5
We landed in Houston, TX at 12:30pm on February 5th and got picked up by Alex’s dad. We dropped him off at work and he gave us the car, off we went!
First Things First, Cupcakes!
And not just any cupcakes. CRAVE CUPCAKES!!
Each city we visit we try to find the best cupcakes the city has to offer! In Houston it’s Crave and everyone there knows it! Their fresh flavors + simple designs, along with the fact that their flavors taste like what they should! The cupcakes are moist and the icing is the perfect amount! Our favorite flavors at Crave are their Strawberry, Red Velvet, Carrot Cake, Cookies + Creme, Chocolate, and their Key Lime Pie!
We love going when events are going on as well. During baseball season they have baseball themed cupcakes, one is with a huge letter ‘H’ sitting on top of a baseball made out of fondant. When particular Disney movies come out, they will have Dory or The Incredibles themed cupcakes. It’s really cool and we go here every single time we visit Houston.
From my last trip to Kansas City in December 2018, I had two stops. Ontario, CA to Phoenix, to Dallas, and finally to Kansas City. That’s what you get for booking last minute and trying to find the cheapest deal! Anyhow, to avoid getting too dehydrated or exhausted, in Phoenix I ate at one of the restaurants within the airport. At the restaurant I got some pizza along with this DELICIOUS smoothie that was packed with oats, berries, almonds, honey and a few other things I can not remember. All I know is that it helped SOOO much. It gave me energy and made the trip a lot easier.
So once we landed in Houston and got our cupcakes, I was in search of a smoothie + salad to avoid jet lag and fill my body up with nutrients! We found HS Green Fresh Food Kitchen off Richmond Ave.
I am definitely a Cesar Salad kind of gal. Whenever I see it as a side option at a restaurant, it’s hard to turn down! BUT I decided to try something a little different and try a salad with shrimp, and get my green smoothie for some energy!
Each time we visit Houston for some reason we ALWAYS go to the aquarium! The first time we went was back in 2015, which was our first time going to Houston together. We toured through the aquarium and at the end we noticed that you can feed stingrays! It is a blast and we get a kick out of it every single time we go.
Here is thing though, when we drive to visit the aquarium we don’t go inside the aquarium to tour it, and haven’t since that first time in 2015. We literally just go to the stingray section and hang out there for 10 minutes or so, pay a couple dollars for the stingray food, and start feeding them!
In the video Alex is feeding them wrong, and almost has one fly out!
WHAT YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO DO is put the fish in between your fingers and lower your hand into the water. They will glide on top of your hand until their mouth feels the fish, and then they will suck it right out from between your fingers.
It’s really hard to describe how their mouth and teeth are….so just ask someone there or google it…but that’s not the point *haha!* They don’t have teeth like us, I don’t even think they are “teeth”, but they have something there! Whatever it is, it kind of feels like soft sand paper. (I’m clearly not an expert in marine biology, please excuse).
No matter how many times Alex + I have fed them, it still makes us sequel.
ANYWAYS! The stingrays are super friendly. As you see in the video they come right up to you wanting the food you have for them. They are kind of like cats and will let you pet the top of their heads. Highly recommend this experience.
Another thing that we absolutely love to do and visit each time we go to Houston is to see Hermann Park. Hermann Park is gorgeous and is just a great place to hang out. They have a nice lake to paddle boat on, a nice trail to walk along, bikes to rent, a snack bar, and gardens to see. Within the park is also the Houston Zoo, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, an outdoor amphitheater, and a train that takes you around the park where you can see different art structures that are within the park.
When Alex and I visited we really wanted to paddle boat + bike, but all the bikes were rented out and the paddle boats were closed. So we just decided to walk around the park, admire the lake, people watch, and enjoy our afternoon. Alex’s family was still at work or at school, so we had some time to kill and we weren’t in any rush. It was a perfect and calming afternoon.
Wrapping Up Day 1
After Hermann Park, we headed home down the 45 and visited with Alex’s Aunt and cousins who live a block over from his parents. We stayed to chat and catch up, heard funny stories from his cousin about her students, and then we headed home to finally see Alex’s parents and little brother.
We caught up and went to dinner at V Star, or ‘5 Star’. Alex and his family would go to this Chinese buffet ever since he was a kid! He has told me about it this place NUMEROUS of times! So we finally went and he wasn’t kidding, it’s the best and freshest Chinese buffet you’ll go to. It’s the bomb!
Since Alex’s mom took the next day off to spend it with us, we initially planned to go to Waco, TX. Some how when I mapped it before we left for the trip, it said that it was only 2 1/2 hours away, but when I double checked that night it ended up being nearly 4 hours! Not sure what I did wrong and how I got 2 1/2 hours. Either way, we came down to spend time with his family and didn’t want to spend nearly 8 hours in the car.
Day 1 was a success! Even with the last minute changes to Day 2, everything was still going to be great!
Day 2 | February 6
With Alex’s mom being off, we got to spend the day with her! We ate breakfast and were off to a local art museum, Talento Bilingue De Houston.
The place was very cool and filled with lots of art by local Houston artists. Alex and I always go to the big Art Museums when we travel, and this place was easy going and was something different to see.
Visiting Alex’s High School
After the museum we headed to Alex’s high school, High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, ‘HSPVA’.
In January 2019 they opened up the new + improved HSPVA in downtown Houston. Check them out here! This place was INSANE!! I can not believe this is a high school. It reminded me of the movie Step Up and how the school had a department for dance, ballet, music, etc.. HSPVA was like that, except bigger and more modern.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t enter that day! Even though Alex is an illumni, due to security changes at school we had to have an appointment with one of the teachers in order to tour the school or at least the art department. Thankfully before we headed out Alex ran into a few of his former classmates that were now consults at the school! They got to catch up, and they told us to contact the director of the art department who was Alex’s former arts teacher. We made an appointment to tour the art department the following morning.
Since we couldn’t get into the new HSPVA, we decided to drive on over to the old one! It was about 15-20 minutes away, and it was so much smaller! It is a beautiful brick building with ivy growing up the sides. Since the class sizes were growing, they had a temporary building outside of the school in the back to help fit the kids. Alex shared stories with me how kids used to practice their dance routines or play their instruments in the halls, and so many other memories he had there.
Once we got done with visiting the schools it was about lunch time. We headed over to HEB to get some groceries, then got some tacos from one of my favorite taco places in Houston. It’s in a grocery store near Alex’s neighborhood called, Aquas Calientes.
When you walk into the store, turn right and you’ll see the little restaurant within. It has a diner feel where you can sit on the barstools at the counter and eat your meal. That day we got our tacos to go, and once we got home we demolished them! I was looking forward to this place for so long and the wait was totally worth it.
After our meal, we went out front and waited for Alex’s little brother to get dropped off from the school bus. We THOUGHT he would be excited. When he saw us waiting for him, he just shook his head as he got off the bus and went straight inside. 9 year olds.
We had plans later that evening to hang with one of Alex’s cousins in EaDo, but until then we napped and enjoyed the day. On vacations, we tend to have a habit to go-go-go. Not on this one! We wanted to spend some time with the family, rest and enjoy our time.
Alex’s cousin picked us up and we were off to dinner in EaDo. It is a new and hipster like area with lots of restaurants + bars which had great areas to hangout in.
We ate dinner at Rodeo Goat and ate the BEST burgers you will ever have! After dinner we went next door to the Truck Yard, got some beers and had a great evening. The truck yard was huge! They had an indoor and outdoor area, with a main and upper level, had space for a band and a ferris wheel!
After the truck yard, we crossed the street to visit the 8th Wonder Brewery! Alex has been there before when he came to Houston by himself last year, but this was my first time going.
The 8th Wonder Brewery was SO cool because it’s decor was based off the Astro Dome. Now if you are a true Houstonian, you of course already know how big the Astro Dome is to Houston and how much it means to the city. The Astro Dome was shut down a little while ago and the Astro’s moved over to Minute Maid Park in downtown Houston. Items within the dome were auctioned off, and the 8th Wonder Brewery was able to snag some of it.
Another cool thing about the place was how their beers were named after things in Houston. Very interesting and cool place to be, and is worth a visit!
Day 3 | February 7
Once we dropped off Alex’s mom at work, we got ready and went over to HSPVA for a tour by the director of the Art Department. We saw the classrooms and numerous the work spaces the students have! Again, the place was HUGE!
After the tour we headed back over to Hermann Park to try out the paddle boats or at least rent a bike before it began to rain. The boats were once again closed, but thankfully there were bikes for us to rent and ride around with!
One thing I forgot about after 2 1/2 years of living in California is the humidity! Especially in Houston! Shortly after we put our bikes away it started to pour.
For lunch we headed over to one of our all time favorite cajun kitchens, Boudreaux’s! This is another place we make sure to visit each time we come to Houston! It is so delicious! We always order the fried alligator and cajun fries, and then mix it up with fried catfish or shrimp. This time instead of the fried catfish we got the shrimp po’ boy sandwich! Hmmm Hmmm good!
Go there. Nuff said.
Since Alex’s family was at work, and we had some time to spare, we headed on over to the Galleria! I absolutely love the Houston Galleria! It has two sides, a hotel attached to it, a massive food court, and an ice skating rink on the bottom level. This place is huge.
Los Angeles has a Galleria in Glendale as well, and it’s okay. It has a part of it outside and the rest inside. The LA one just isn’t has nice or has as many options like the Houston Galleria.
We spent HOURS here. We got some dessert, watched people skate, shopped, went to LEGO store (spent more time in the there than we probably should have, hogging the play area), and then bought some Starbucks and relaxed in their seating area.
After the Galleria we headed home and met up with the fam. Alex helped his little brother Maximo with his homework, and afterwards we went to McDonald’s and watched him play on the indoor playground.
Alex and I woke up at 4:30am on February 8th to get ready to head to the airport. We said our goodbyes to Alex’s family and were off. By 9:00AM, we were back in Los Angeles.
We had such a great time in Houston, and especially getting to see Alex’s family. Even though it was a short trip, we got to do a lot and didn’t over do it.
Have you been to Houston? Where do you love to go and is on the ‘Must See/Do’ List?
Share with me in the comments below!