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.
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.
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.
AAA’s in-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. To pass inspection, all hotels must meet the same rigorous standards for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality. These hotels receive a AAA Diamond designation that tells members what type of experience to expect.
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.
Time and Temperature
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.
701 Avenida de las Americas Suite 200 Houston, TX 77010. Phone:(713)437-5200 or (800)446-8786
Houston has two airports for visitors with airline flights.
Hertz, 2120 Louisiana St., offers discounts to AAA members; phone (713) 652-0436 or (800) 654-3080.
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.
The Greyhound Lines Inc. bus station is at 2121 S. Main St.; phone (713) 759-6565 or (800) 231-2222.
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.
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.
Houston is a leading world seaport, and the Port of Houston accommodates passenger ships.