Everything is bigger in Texas. I’m not sure what’s larger – the actual square footage of the state, which is the second largest behind Alaska and technically as large as the country of France (…. And you can still squish in Switzerland and such) or the pride that Texans carry for their state, which shows EVERYWHERE! Houston is a city that is frequented by visitors, so I didn’t feel a need to tell about EVERY place that I went to. However, there were a few things that I got a chance to do and see, that I had to be sure to make mention of, especially since I rarely see them talked about from those I see visit. Check it out!
Pedal parties are an awesome way to get a quick mini-tour of any city/neighborhood in which its offered in. Contrary to popular assumption, it does not actually require any extreme physical activity, so tell your lazy friends that it’s okay and they will conserve their high caloric count. Pedal parties are similar to a party bus and it looks like a trolley that everyone offers everyone a bike seat. Most of the “bikes” hold about 15-16 passengers and it is actually steered by a driver and powered by a motor, so while pedaling does help move the pedi-cycle, the motor has most of the moving power. This concept, which originated in Europe, being popular in Dutch and German towns, takes you on a ride at a heart-racing 10 MPH!!!! The tour I went on with my friends in Houston was through “Pedal Party” (http://www.pedal-party.com/) and we had a super cool driver by the name of Stephanie. The costs run about $40 per person, with tax included. This particular tour goes through the Midtown neighborhood of Houston, beginning and ending at Little Woodrows, making 3-4 stops in total. Best of all: IT’S BYOB!!!! BUT, the BYOB does NOT INCLUDE hard liquor! Only beer and wine are allowed, in their original, unopened packaging and none of the containers can be glass. Patrons are even invited to bring their own kegs and hook it up to their tap system. Each bar that we stopped at had great specials, so if trying something from each bar is what you desire to do, you will be more than able to do so. Being about two hours long, the pedal party is a great way to see the city and kick off your night!
SPACE CENTER HOUSTON!!!!!
“Houston, we have (originally “we’ve had) a problem.” That line was spoken by James A. Lovell during Apollo 13, to report a major technical problem back to their Houston base. Yes, THIS HOUSTON BASE AT MISSION CONTROL! How cool is that?! Opening in 1992, the Space Center/NASA museum welcomes about 1 million visitors a year. It has the worlds largest collection of moon rocks and lunar samples for public viewing, is known as the home of NASA Mission Control, and is where astronauts train. Tours of that historic mission control, where NASA has monitored nine Gemini and all Apollo missions, is available. The other tour gives you an up close look at the astronaut training facilities, Johnson Space Center campus and Rocket Park. Additional tours are available and the cost is included with admission. Lasting about an hour, you are given an up-close view of the grounds and are given thorough explanations about each part that you tour. The amazement at all of the equipment, work in progress, and actual space rockets is insane! Be aware though that the wait for the tours can be long. Wait times are usually posted at the entrance of the lines. The center also offers rides, hands on activities for kids, movies, and tons of exhibits that are entertaining and educational for all ages.
Huge Tip: Triple A card holders get five dollars off per person for entry. Be sure to check and see what other discounts they may offer!
SAINT ARNOLDS BREWERY!
Welcome to the OLDEST craft brewery in Texas! St. Arnolds began in 2009 and in the years following has grown in size, which includes this past summer where a beer garden was the new additional to the facility, welcoming everyone from adults, to children, to pets. A new restaurant which puts you in the mindset of a Munich beer hall opened along with it as well. I was able to catch the tour of the facility, which comes along with a brief overview of St. Arnolds and their beer making process. The tour is FREE and lasts about 45 minutes. After, you can enjoy one of their brews in the new beer garden – seven seasonal and twelve made year round – or a tasty meal from the restaurant. Check out the paintings and artwork through the food hall, brewery and art cars, all done by local artists! Soak it all in as you relax with a cold, fresh brew and enjoy the Houston skyline in the background.
WEIGHTS & MEASURES!!!!!
Brunch has become one of the most important meals a person can have. One of the perfect places to indulge in that meal while in Houston, is at Weights & Measures (http://weights-measures.com/). This establishment is a restaurant, bar, and bakery, where you can see a good majority of your food being prepared and baked right in front of you. Their menu offerings cover a good selection of meals, especially brunch! From cracked egg pizza to chilaquilles made with braised wagyu, you are sure to find something to fit your fancy. One of the most popular items, the one I HAD TO try, is the Cake Donuts & Fried Chicken, served with your choice of a few offered sides. Two boneless, skinless chicken breasts are fried to perfection and placed between two of their freshly prepared donuts, for the most seductive sandwich you have ever laid your eyes on. It is sprinkled with powdered sugar and you are given a small container of syrup to top it off as you please. Try to resist the urge to sneak and live in the bakery area where the donuts are made fresh!
It is easy to voyage down to Houston and have a good time, even if you make the trip with little ones. There is no shortage of ways to have a great visit, so be sure to add these few things to your list, while you’re deep in the heart of Texas!
Links and info for businesses in the article
2000 Edwards Street, Gate B, Houston, TX 77007
Space Center Houston
1601 NASA Pkwy, Houston, TX, 77058
Saint Arnold Brewing Company
2000 Lyons Ave, Houston, TX, 77020
Weights & Measures
2808 Caroline Street, Houston, TX, 77004