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When it comes to nightlife, Houston has something for everyone. Whether you’re eager to head out to a boot-scootin’ honky tonk, hit a high-energy dance club or kick back with some smooth jazz or an improv show, you’ll find plenty of fun places to go during your Houston vacation.

If you’re looking for romantic things for couples to do, you’ll find the perfect atmosphere at La Carafe (813 Congress Ave.). This cozy, candlelit wine bar is in Houston’s oldest commercial building still in use, dating back to the Civil War era. With a robust wine list and a jukebox featuring jazz and oldies, this is the ideal place for a date-night drink. Phone (713) 229-9399.

The warm glow of dozens of reproduction Tiffany lamps at Nouveau Antique Art Venue (2913 S. Main St.) creates a unique and relaxing setting for drinks and conversation. The spacious venue, with antique Art Nouveau furnishings, is often booked for weddings on weekends but offers drink specials and fun things to do during the week, making it a great spot for a group outing. Phone (713) 526-2220.

13 celsius (3000 Caroline St.) is a European wine bar in a 1920s Mediterranean-style building that housed a dry cleaning business until 2004. Restored to include a 40-foot antique marble bar, it’s now an elegant nightspot offering wines from around the world, along with a wide selection of craft beers and small plates featuring cheese and charcuterie, panini and handmade truffles. Phone (713) 529-8466.

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If you’ve been to Austin, the name of The Continental Club (3700 S. Main St.) may ring a bell. It’s an extension of Austin’s legendary live music venue, and for nearly two decades has welcomed some of the world’s biggest music names to its stage, as well as a steady line-up of great local bands. Phone (713) 529-9899.

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If you love jazz, Cezanne (4100 Montrose Blvd.) is a must during your trip. Widely known as a premier jazz venue, it features two sets each Friday and Saturday night; phone (713) 522-9621.

For all the charms of sitting in a cozy spot chatting and listening to jazz, sometimes you just want to cut loose! Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar (1201 Fannin St., No. 310) is one of the most fun places to go, where you can sip delicious cocktails and sing along to rockin’ piano tunes—even the servers and bar staff sing and dance here. Phone (713) 337-7383.

What’s a trip to Texas without some country and western music? Just minutes from downtown, Stampede (11925 Eastex Frwy. A) has it all. Listen to live country music, join the boot-clad crowd two-stepping around the vast dance floor and, if you dare, try your luck on the mechanical bull. Phone (281) 219-2006.

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Firehouse Saloon (5930 Southwest Frwy.) is a rollicking honky-tonk-style venue not far from downtown where you can hear Houston’s hottest country acts perform. With wooden floors, cowboy boots hanging from the ceiling and picnic tables for seating, it’s one of the best places to go with friends for a fun night filled with country and western music. Phone (281) 513-1995.

Looking for some family-friendly laughs during your trip? Head to CSz (2222, 2201 Preston St.) to see Houston’s longest running comedy show, ComedySportz. On Friday and Saturday nights, two teams of improv pros compete in hysterical improv games featuring scenes, songs and games based on audience suggestions. Phone (713) 868-1444.

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Houston, TX

Top AAA Diamond Hotels

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Travel Information

City Population

1,953,631

Elevation

39 ft.

Sales Tax

Municipalities may impose additional rates of up to 2 percent on the statewide 6.25 percent sales tax. Sales tax in the city of Houston is 8.25 percent; rates vary in the suburbs. The hotel occupancy tax in Houston is 17 percent.

Emergency

911

Police (non-emergency)

(713) 884-3131

Fire (non-emergency)

(713) 834-3131

Time and Temperature

(713) 222-8463

Hospitals

Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center, (281) 890-4285; Memorial Hermann–Texas Medical Center, (713) 704-4000; Houston Northwest Medical Center, (281) 440-1000; Houston Methodist Hospital, (713) 790-3311; Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center, (832) 355-1000; West Houston Medical Center, (281) 558-3444.

Visitor Information

701 Avenida de las Americas Suite 200 Houston, TX 77010. Phone:(713)437-5200 or (800)446-8786

Air Travel

Houston has two airports for visitors with airline flights.

Rental Cars

Hertz, 2120 Louisiana St., offers discounts to AAA members; phone (713) 652-0436 or (800) 654-3080.

Rail Service

The Amtrak rail station is at 902 Washington Ave.; for train schedule and ticket information phone (713) 224-1577 or (800) 872-7245. METRORail light rail service connects downtown, the Museum District, Texas Medical Center and NRG Stadium and costs $1.25 for one-way service and $2.50 for round-trip service; ages 0-5 ride free.

Buses

The Greyhound Lines Inc. bus station is at 2121 S. Main St.; phone (713) 759-6565 or (800) 231-2222.

Taxis

You can hire a taxi at cab stands near the major hotels in the downtown area or phone for one. One of the larger companies is Yellow Cab, (713) 236-1111. The standard fare is $4.75 for the first mile and $2.20 for each mile thereafter. A surcharge of up to $2.80 is added for trips between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Public Transportation

Air-conditioned buses crisscross the city and suburbs. Limited and local fares are $1.25. Passengers must have exact change. Park-and-ride bus fares range from $2 to $4.50 and vary according to location. For details phone METRO Transit Authorities, (713) 635-4000.

Boats

Houston is a leading world seaport, and the Port of Houston accommodates passenger ships.

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