Why Houston is the best city in the country
Dont argue – Beyoncé’s from here
Houston, the heart of Texas, is known for its exceptional medical centers, space exploration program, mouth-watering food options, scenery, and city life. Having lived in Houston for more than five years, I can safely say there’s no place like it.
When you picture Houston, the first things that come to mind are probably the horses we ride to school and thick Southern accents. “Y’all” must be surprised I know how to write this well. Unfortunately for you, we don’t talk like that, and public transportation like buses and the metro are just as pervasive here as they are in any other metropolitan city.
In Houston, there are ample activities to enjoy by yourself, or with your partner, friends and family. Whether you’re an art lover or gamer, Houston has a ton to offer. Anyways, since Beyoncé is from H-town, it has to be the best, right?
Gerald D. Hines Water Wall
This 64-foot beauty next to the Houston Galleria on Westheimer Road looks absolutely gorgeous at night. The sharp beam of light from the Williams Tower grazes the top rim of the Water Wall, creating an enigmatic yet spectacular aura. The beautiful grassy field in front of the structure is perfect for picnics and playing Frisbee with your dog.
Make sure to bring a selfie stick!
Meet and greet your favorite animals when you stroll through the Houston Zoo which is free every first Tuesday of the month from 2:00 pm till closing. Make sure to meet University of Houston’s mascot Shasta the “Coog.” If you decide to attend the University of Houston, you can visit for free if you show your student ID at the ticket booth.
This zoo has more than 10 animal exhibits, including a petting zoo with some of the cutest goats, donkeys, and chickens ever. If you visit in the summer, make sure to wear your sunscreen, dress light, wear sneakers, and bring an umbrella because you are about to do a lot of walking in the scorching heat. Be prepared to stalk people exiting to snag a parking spot.
Kingspoint Mullet graffiti art
Looking for a perfect spot to have a photo shoot with friends? Adore the intricate and meaningful graffiti designs and make sure to pose while you’re at it! During the summer before I went off to college, my friends took me to this beautiful spot for a glamorous photo shoot on my birthday.
If you’re interested in graffiti itself, this is the only legal graffiti spot in the city, so load up on your spray paint. However, there are some strict rules you will need to follow if you decide to paint a masterpiece here.
Learn Improv at Station Theatre
Station Theater’s Intro to Improv has a free class every Friday at 7:30 pm. All Intro students are then invited to stay to watch a Supernova Armando comedy show for free. Maybe you can even add it to your resume, register here.
I took theatre in high school, and I can vouch for the evident improvement in my confidence levels. This class will be beneficial for any career, augmenting public communication skills, and even overcoming the fear of public speaking.
Kwality Ice Cream
If you are a food connoisseur and enjoy trying various tropical fruits, then this authentic Indian ice cream parlor in Hillcroft is your next stop. How can ice cream be Indian, you ask? With flavors ranging from paan masala to lychee and Ferrero Rocher, this parlor has flavors both basic and exotic.
My personal favorite is kulfi falooda, which has a distinct rose flavor. Luckily, they opened up a branch two minutes from my house, so you know where to find me.
Houston Holi Festival
If you’re interested in cultural festivities, or even just throwing colored powder on everyone in your vicinity (without being punched in the face), then Houston is where the party is at. There is absolutely no Holi in America like Houston Holi. In case you don’t know what this celebration is, it is the Hindu festival of colors and sharing love.
This event is held every March and is open to people of all ethnicities and religions, so don’t feel like a pariah! Masala Radio hosts this event annually and puts in a great deal of effort to bring the hottest Bollywood singers to perform live. You wouldn’t want to miss this one. Fun tip: I always volunteer at this event to get backstage access.
P.S. Bring spare clothes to change into later, towels for the car, and a ZipLoc bag to put your phone in.
Best cancer research center in the world
The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center is located in the Medical Center region of Texas, home to some of the richest and most successful doctors in the city. This area is a few minutes away from Rice University and the University of Houston, making it accessible to professional connections and attaining internships if you are accepted into a fast-track program.
If you decide to rent an apartment while studying at these universities, the apartments by the medical center are significantly safer than those in third ward, but the rent is also exorbitantly high. The expensive rent is worth it, considering how high the crime rates are in third ward. A few of my friends have even had their cars broken into there.
The Houston Livestock Show Rodeo
When you heard “everything is bigger in Texas,” they weren’t joking. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is the largest in the world. Bring your friends and roam the NRG stadium to check out the interesting products displayed at the booths.
Most items won’t be cheaper than $50, but the candy booth is worth a visit. They sell every single candy/chocolate you have ever found in America. Awesome, right? Rodeo food is the most fattening food ever, but if you want to binge-eat once a year, this would have to be it.
They sell every fried item from fried oreos to fried cheesecake (it was gross). Make sure to buy tickets early, because all the best artists come to perform.
Bijan Persian Grill
Persian cuisine is like no other. This restaurant serves everything from khoresh gheymeh to baklava. The food always lives up to expectations, with its flavorful curries and spot-on presentation. Persian is only one of the unique cuisines Houston has to offer. You can find Lebanese, Afghani, Vietnamese, Turkish, Nigerian food, galore!
Don’t let the scandalous Houston heat and humidity get to you. There are definitely ways to go around it by dressing appropriately. Fall and Winter are the best seasons to visit and this city has several adventures waiting to be taken, as well as unlimited career advancement opportunities.
Houston thrives on diversity, meaning there are multiple organizations for people of all facets of society to join. The social scene here is great, and so is the education, with Rice University located in the center of Houston.
There’s truly no place better, so book yourself a trip – you’re in for a treat.