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Houston, Texas Travel Guide: The Home of Beyoncé, Michael Strahan and Megan Thee Stallion
Nestled in the heart of the Southwestern United States, Houston stands out as one of Texas‘ most dynamic metropolises. From the soulful rhythms of live jazz and blues performances in the historic Fifth Ward to the thought-provoking exhibits at the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, Houston highlights a significant part of Black history and Hispanic heritage. Travelers from all around the world come to try the melting pot of Creole, Mexican and Southern cuisines. Known as “Space City,” Houston has a legacy of trailblazers inspired by the past, present and future of Black culture.
- Best time to travel: February to March and June to September (peak season), January (off season), April to May and October to November (shoulder season)
- Time zone: Central Time Zone (CST)
- Currency: USD ($)
- Noteworthy: Black Restaurant Week Houston (April), Pan-African Cultural Festival (May), Houston Black Heritage Music & Arts Festival (October)
- Best for: Culture & Entertainment, Art & Music Festivals, Culinary Trips, Black History Enthusiasts
Play: Things To Do In The Houston, Texas
2-Hour Hip-Hop Party Bike Tour
This 2-Hour Hip-Hop Party Bike Tour is a fully equipped party bike with a vibrant bar, booming sound system, and LED lights that dance to the rhythm. This electrifying ride shows the heartbeat of Houston’s musical legacy as the Trappin’ Captain guides guests through UGK, Slim Thug and Megan Thee Stallion landmarks.
Guests have some serious fun with Trill Trivia and Trap Karaoke while enjoying drink specials with VIP entrances at various bar stops. Whether it’s a birthday bash, girls’ night out or a weekend getaway, this night tour is the spot to live it up in the Houston area.
The Ensemble Theatre
Catch a show at the historic Black-owned Ensemble Theatre. Visitors will experience the cultural richness of Houston that’s rooted in the legacy of the Black theatre movement. It’s a beacon of artistic expression and community enrichment that first sparked in the 1960s and continued growing to today.
The theatre preserves Houston’s theatrical history and captivates diverse audiences with enlightenment and entertainment. Recognized with numerous accolades like the prestigious AUDELCO Award, this theater persevered as a tribute to founder George Hawkins. Their youth initiatives intertwine education and creativity to usher in a new era of young Black talent and nurture the community’s artistic soul.
Everything Artzy is a Black woman-owned paint-and-sip experience led by professional artist, Zyn. Guests will groove to high-energy beats, as they immerse themselves in vibrant paint colors and connect with like-minded souls. As a fusion of creativity, camaraderie, and self-expression, this cultural event teaches color mixing, blending and brush techniques. As canvases dry, guests can indulge in laughter, food and beverages. This is a great way for Black travelers to unleash their inner artists, make memories and cultivate connections that’ll last a lifetime.
Design a Cake or Cookie Class
For travelers with a sweet tooth, Design Cake or Cookie Class is a fun and creative way to make homemade treats under the guidance of a seasoned baker. As a proud Black woman business owner with over three decades of expertise, TearaVon brings her baking mastery to this intimate class.
Choose between crafting cookies or a two-layer cake with two icing colors to blend under hands-on instruction. The experience can be conveniently set in the comfort of any guest’s Airbnb or chosen location. Guests leave with their tasty masterpieces and more confidence in their own artistic expression.
Pour Me Perfection Mixology Class
The Pour Me Perfection Mixology Class is an immersive and intimate tasting for travelers who love to try new cocktails on vacation. This class starts with a tailored “Welcome Cocktail” crafted by the visionary Black owners of Pour Me Perfection, Rasheed and Carlesha Sidney. It is served throughout the evening before class begins and guests start crafting their own two signature drinks. This evening is filled with mingling and mastering mixology. The drinks match guest preferences and the host provides all bartending tools.
Gourmet: Best Black-Owned Restaurants In Houston, Texas
Blue Nile Ethiopian Restaurant
Guests can indulge in authentic African cuisine at the Blue Nile Ethiopian Restaurant in Houston. This family-owned gem welcomed local diners and foodie travelers since 1994. Guests can taste the rich heritage of Ethiopia through traditional dishes. The menu has delicacies, like red lentil stew called Yemissir Wot, and a sautéed minced lamb tripe, liver and beef called Dulet. This is a must-visit foodie spot when visiting Houston.
The Breakfast Klub
This Black-owned brunch spot continues to be a Houston treasure in the Midtown area. The Breakfast Klub is helmed by visionary founder Marcus Davis. The iconic Zagat-rated establishment has woven itself into the fabric of the city. It’s a haven for local families, distant travelers and busy professionals looking for delectable meals in a vibrant ambiance.
The interior has modern art, lush greenery and wooden tables for a casual familiar vibe that emanates warmth. It has secured a spot among the nation’s finest breakfast spots. Indulge in brunch classics with a twist, like Wings & Waffles, Katfish & Grits or The Kroissant sandwich. For lunch, guests can choose from sandwiches, like the B.A.L.T., or salads, like a classic Chef or Chicken Caesar.
Korny Vibes Vegan Cafe
The Korny Vibes Vegan Cafe is where locals go for soulful vegan comfort food. This Black-owned restaurant created a menu inspired by traditional recipes. Their menu extends beyond the subtly savory to the delectably sweet with cookies, pastries, shakes and soft-serve ice cream. Plant-based foodies can enjoy Houston without sacrificing flavor.
Phil & Derek’s Restaurant and Wine Bar
Phil & Derek’s Restaurant Wine and Bar is a hidden gem nestled in Houston’s Midtown and proudly Black-owned since opening in 2008. The menu showcases the heart and soul of New Orleans-inspired cuisine with dishes including Crawfish & Shrimp Étouffé, Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya and Cajun Smoked Boudin Links.
There are curated desserts, like the classic Southern Peach Cobbler and Donut Bread Pudding. Phil & Derek’s is a beacon of great music and flavorful food with a laid-back atmosphere. There’s elevated nightly Cabaret-style entertainment, popular jazz and R&B music every night. Foodie travelers can indulge in weekend brunches with Southern comfort favorites and mimosa buckets.
Bungalow Downtown Dining
Bungalow Downtown Dining is an elevated Black-owned fine dining restaurant in Houston. The intimate spaces cater to diverse guest preferences. The bar has a vibrant ambiance offering luxurious cocktails. The lavish dining room is adorned with gold accents and plush velvet booths. The menu has prime steaks, fresh seafood, vegetarian options and decadent desserts. Guests enjoy the state-of-the-art rooftop patio with gorgeous views of Downtown Houston. The Bungalow has a fairly strict upscale and casual attire. Be sure to dress accordingly for a night of indulgence in both cuisine and atmosphere.
Stay: Best Places to Stay In Houston, Texas
La Maison in Midtown
Nestled in the heart of Houston is the Black-owned urban bed and breakfast La Maison in Midtown. Within walking distance of Houston’s finest restaurants and lively entertainment, guests can enjoy one of the seven luxurious twin, queen and king rooms. They also can indulge in a full-size suite with a private veranda.
The uniquely decorated rooms have private baths that are ideal for solo, couples, small families and business travelers. Guests can start the day with a hearty Southern or continental breakfast before relaxing in the sumptuous European-style parlor, living room and dining area of the three-story inn.
The Black woman-owned gem Wanderstay Hostel is located in central Houston. Guests can connect with fellow travelers from around the world in a positive social atmosphere. The shared rooms create a sense of belonging while the private rooms allow for more secluded stays. The eight themed guest rooms can accommodate up to thirty people, all equipped with full-sized beds.
Enjoy free parking, Wi-Fi and easy access to Houston’s attractions. Travelers can know their stay contributes to the hostel’s global exposure program. They support college students through grants to help gain them a passport, international flight and week-long study abroad experience. Stretch your dollars without compromising comfort and community in Houston at Wanderstay Hostel.
Private Brand-New Home by Biko
This Black-owned Airbnb is a Houston getaway ideal for travelers who want a more homely place to stay after enjoying the city. The Private Brand-New Home by Biko is newly built and equipped with modern appliances. There are two comfortable bedrooms with an additional air mattress for larger groups. The light-colored decor creates an airy ambiance inside, while the beautifully vibrant green lawn gives space for calm evenings outside.
Get Away: Getting To and Around Houston, Texas
The best way to travel to Houston, Texas by air is to book a direct flight to George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) or William P. Hobby Airport (HOU). The airports are well-connected to major cities with routes to and from other domestic and international airports. To ensure a smooth journey, always plan ahead and compare flight options for the best deals. Pay attention to seasonal travel trends like shoulder or off-peak times to avoid crowds.
Navigating Houston by car is a convenient and flexible option for travelers with busy itineraries. Rental car agencies are available from the airport and all around the city. It is best to make reservations in advance to secure the best rates. Ride-hailing services, like Uber and Lyft, are prevalent and simple to use. Taxis are another option, but they might be less readily available during peak traffic hours. Have contingency plans ready for transportation for a smoother experience discovering the city’s diverse neighborhoods and attractions.
By Public Transit
Houston’s Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) public transit system is an extensive network of buses and light rail. The METRO provides affordable and convenient transportation throughout the city. Purchase a Q Card or use the METRO mobile app to easily access routes and schedules. Exploring Houston’s key attractions, cultural sites and diverse neighborhoods by public transit offers a stress-free and sustainable way to experience the city’s vibrant offerings.
Explore Houston, Texas on Foot
Exploring Houston on foot can be a great way to immerse in the city’s charm. Neighborhoods, like Downtown, Montrose and the Museum District have attractions and dining options within walking distance of most accommodations. Comfortable shoes and weather-appropriate clothing are key to an enjoyable trek around Houston. Sidewalks are uneven in some areas, so stay vigilant and plan ahead when possible. The city’s unique character and vibrant street life are a testament to the cultural richness of the area.