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Top Places to Visit in Houston on an Extended Vacation

 CC: image courtesy of Katie Haugland on Flickr

Houston is one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the country, and it offers an exciting mix of history, culture, shopping and entertainment. An extended visit will allow you to take advantage of the city's many amenities and take in some sights off the beaten track. Here are a few places you should be sure to visit while in the Houston area:

  1. Bayou Place. Nestled in the very heart of the city's downtown theatre district, this megaplex offers 130,000 square feet of dining and theater options. Some of the highlights include the Hard Rock Cafe and the Angelika Film Center, which shows a combination of blockbusters and independent releases.
  2. Galleria Mall. If you enjoy shopping, you must stop by The Galleria, Houston's largest shopping mall. The mall is home to many high-end stores like Tiffany and Co. and Saks Fifth Avenue.
  3. Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. Spanning 1,260 acres, this enormous complex is home to NASA's astronaut corps. Visitors can enjoy a virtual rocket launch or spend time in a space simulator to see what being an astronaut would be like.
  4. Houston Zoo. This zoo shelters 4,500 animals from more than 900 individual species, and it's one of the top 10 most visited zoos in the country. If you get bored with exploring the grounds and viewing the exhibits, you can also book a more personal guided tour, which can include activities like shadowing staff veterinarians or meeting the zoo's baby animals face-to-face.
  5. Museum District. Spanning a 1.5 mile radius around Herman Park, this museum district provides plenty of cultural and artistic sights to keep any visitor occupied. Among the museums are The Museum of Fine Arts, the Holocaust Museum and the Houston Center for Photography.
  6. Montrose. As one of Houston's most diverse neighborhoods, Montrose has become a cultural epicenter of activism, live entertainment and vintage shopping. You want to venture off the beaten path and have a very unique Houston experience, you should definitely make time to stroll the area's tree-lined boulevards and explore the many restored bungalows and mansions throughout the area.
  7. Old Town Spring. Take a stroll through the past by visiting this Victorian-style neighborhood modeled on 1900s life. You can catch a live show at the Jailhouse Saloon or browse the many antique shops in the area.

By staying at a furnished apartment rather than a hotel, you'll have more space to relax and truly enjoy your stay. The full kitchen allows you to cook more of your own meals, and your quarters will be quieter and more spacious than what you can find in a hotel without missing out on any of the amenities you need.

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