Houston, then on to Louisiana

Old Oct 27th, 2009, 05:52 AM
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Houston, then on to Louisiana

At the end of January, Husband and I are considering flying into Houston, renting a car and starting a 2+ week trip east through Lousiana, Mississippi, Alabama, North Florida and ending in Tampa. Husband thinks that there is not enough of interest in Houston and the trip through Beaumont into Lousiana to merit the time (probably 2 nights) and that we should fly into New Orleans and go west to Lafayette, stay 2 nights, before returning to New Orleans and continuing the trip to Florida. So what do you Fororites suggest? Please give me things to do in Houston and on the road, either down through Galveston, or directly to Beaumont and then Lousiana.

Thanks, Margo
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Old Oct 27th, 2009, 07:22 AM
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Houston has NASA/Johnson Space Center that you can tour. Nearby is Kemah with the boardwalk and a lot of great restaurants on the water. You can also go to the Galleria for great shopping and ice skating. Loads of amazing restaurants in Houston. If you go down to Galveston, Moody Gardens is a great way to spend the day. Also professional sports, wonderful museums like the MFAH, and great theater district in Houston. In Galveston, you can stay at the San Luis; the Galvez is popular if you want a historic hotel. Good shopping on the Strand. In Kemah, we love a White Texas Pelican - great views of the water there.
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Old Oct 27th, 2009, 11:38 AM
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Margo - around last July AAFrequentFlyer posted a similar question regarding a drive from Arizona to Florida. It had lots of good responses that would give you some good ideas and comments. Sorry, but I'm having trouble copying the thread for you but it should be easy to find if you click on his name.

In short there were plenty of good suggestions and ideas on Houston and points east.
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Old Oct 27th, 2009, 12:39 PM
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For something really unique check out forbidden-gardens.com. If you enjoy art museums then go to the Houston Museum of Fine Art and also the Menil, both excellant. The Holocaust Museum is a moving experience made even better by the fact that a survivor is usually there to answer questions. NASA of course is a must see. From Houston to New Orleans is less than 6 hours drive.
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Old Oct 27th, 2009, 03:35 PM
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Thanks for the replies. I should be more specific. Our interests are places and things that are of historic interest. National parks, State parks, wildlife refuges (with animals like the sandhill cranes) and scenic drives. Also things that are of unusual local interest, like the Beer Can House in Houston----
Can't find that here in the DC area!!
Also would like interesting restaurants that are specific to the location.

Margo
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Old Oct 27th, 2009, 06:04 PM
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http://www.galveston.com/historichomes/ is a link to a lot of the historical buildings in Galveston. Several of them are really beautiful, especially Bishop's Palace, Moody Mansion, and Ashton Villa. I think Moody Gardens is a don't miss too. The Spot is a great place to grab a burger and has nice view of the water. If you want something nicer, the Saltwater Grill is good. Mosquito Cafe is great for casual, fresh food.

Mark's is our favorite restaurant in Houston - built in an old church and wonderful food. Churrasco's is popular for Latin food, excellent steaks here. Vic and Anthony's is a great steakhouse downtown. Chuy's and Cafe Adobe are fun for Mexican.
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Old Oct 28th, 2009, 05:21 AM
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Within a mile of downtown Houston is Bayou Bend Center. Run by the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, it's the former mansion of Ima Hogg (yep, her real name) and surrounding 14 acres of extensive gardens and works of art, period furniture, etc. Very worthwhile.

www.mfah.org/bayoubend

Between Houston and Galveston, is Armand Bayou Nature Center near NASA. 2,500 acres of natural wetlands and bayous, with extensive trails and wildlife - cranes, water fowl, birds, alligators, etc. Canoe trips available, etc. Beautiful unspoiled setting.

www.abnc.org

120 mi east of Houston is Orange, TX on I10 which has 3 things that should interest you:

1) Stark Museum and Mansion. Totally restored 3-story 1880s Victorian mansion complete with furnishings. The Museum contains one of the largest collections of, among other things, Audubon's original prints, Federic Remington sculptures, Charles M Russell paintings, and Steubon glass (including the only complete set of their "United States in Crystal" honoring all the states). Both the museum and mansion are FREE.

www.starkmuseum.org

2) 2 blocks away is the First Presbyterian Church. Whether you're religious or not, it's a beautiful historical structure. Is the first public air conditioned building in the US (1912) and built entirely of Italian Carrera marble, granite and mahagony. Contains many sets of now-priceless immense stained glass windows and ceilings purchased at the 1893 NY World Exhibition by woman who built the church, secretly paying for the church and its furnishings and setting up a foundation for its care and maintenance. It's also FREE.

www.firstpresorange.com

3) Shangri La Botonical Gardens. Over 250 acres located in the middle of town of original swamps and bayous, filled with water fowl, birds, alligators, Cypress groves, etc. Beautiful never-developed natural setting. Swamp tours available.

www.shangrilagardens.org
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Old Oct 28th, 2009, 08:14 PM
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Also near to the Menil collection is the Rothko Chapel, I'd go to Houston for that alone! It's one of the very few environmental installations of his work, the other one is the Seagram series intended for the Four Seasons Restaurant in New York, but now in the Tate Gallery in London.

Also there's a Quaker chapel designed by James Turrell, I haven't been but friends say it is fantastic.
http://www.friendshouston.org/
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