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Houston Sightseeing

Bus and Van ToursMedioimages
The easiest way to familiarize yourself with the city when on a trip to Houston is to take a bus or van tour of the city. This allows you to take in the top things to do and see, and to explore the area to find local restaurants and other fun places to go.

Houston Historical Tours

Houston Tours

Driving Toursirabassi/iStockphoto.com
Scenic drives wind through Memorial Park and residential River Oaks, with its large live oak trees and beautiful houses. This is ideal if you are on vacation and want the freedom to explore or for group travel that needs to accommodate a lot of people.

Walking ToursSubsociety/iStockphoto.com
An area suited to walking tours is the original business district. Travel to Allen's Landing Park, at the corner of Main and Commerce, which marks the site where Houston's founders, two brothers by the name of Allen, came ashore in 1836. Nearby Old Market Square is all that remains of Houston's original business section, bounded by Congress, Preston, Milam and Travis streets. This is a must-see if you like history, so make sure to add it to your list of things to do in Houston.

The 1847 Kennedy Trading Post, on the square at 813 Congress St., is Houston's oldest commercial building on its original site. The old Cotton Exchange Building is a four-story, Victorian-Italianate structure on the southwest corner of Travis and Franklin streets. Built in 1884, it served as a cotton exchange until 1923. The Old Sixth Ward is a residential-commercial area of Victorian gingerbread frame houses just northwest of downtown.

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Houston, TX

Top AAA Diamond Hotels

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5011 Westheimer Rd. Houston, TX 77056

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The Westin Galleria, Houston

5060 W Alabama St. Houston, TX 77056

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Hilton Americas-Houston

1600 Lamar St. Houston, TX 77010

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SpringHill Suites by Marriott Rosenberg

6815 Reading Rd. Rosenberg, TX 77471

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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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