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ji321 Apr 20th, 2007 07:41 AM

houston- weekend in may
my brother and i are going to houston for a weekend for a wedding. the wedding is at ashton gardens (a little north of the airport). we want to check out the sites as well. we will have a car. what area of the city would be the most convenient to stay? any specific recommendations (looking at something mid-range)

also, any recommendations for activities? we are from chicago and would really like to see things that we wouldnt get to experience here.


dfr4848 Apr 20th, 2007 07:56 AM

Which airport - IAH or HOU?

rkkwan Apr 20th, 2007 08:01 AM

Ashton Gardens is a few minutes NW of IAH. There are plenty of hotels around IAH and in the Greenspoint Area.

However, it's better stay Downtown or in the Galleria Area. You can often get 4* in either zone for about $60 on Priceline. [The Downtown hotels and some in Galleria do charge for parking.]

Traffic from Downtown or Galleria to Ashton Gardens won't be bad on weekends, and will take around 30-35 minutes.

ji321 Apr 20th, 2007 08:45 AM

we are flying into IAH

stumpworks73 Apr 20th, 2007 09:23 AM

The Woodlands is just N of Ashton Gardens. Woodlands has a nice mall. A Market Square area that has nice restaurants and shopping. Reasonably priced hotels include two Residence Inn, a Courtyard, and a Hilton Garden Inn. Weekend rates at all should be pretty good. The Res Inn on Six Pines, and the Garden Inn are both walking distance to mall and Market Square. The Pavilion, Houston's outdoor concert venue is also one block from Residence or Garden Inn if anybody is playing your weekend.

Appreciating that the Galleria is a bit more shopping and restaurants, you are driving 45 miles to have a bigger mall and a few more restaurants.

Local visitor favorites include NASA and Galveston.

maryanntex Apr 20th, 2007 12:18 PM

When are you going to be in Houston? This website is
great--tells you just about everything that is going on in Houston arts and entertainment-wise.

art_lover01 May 14th, 2007 07:30 PM

I would stay near the Galleria or downtown.
Visit NASA if you are interested in something different - that is southeast Houston (approx. 25-30 min from downtown)
Moody Gardens in Galveston is also a nice visit. (about an hour drive south on I-45)
Midtown & downtown areas have some great nightlife. A variety of dining places in cost and specialties. I've heard rave reviews about Good Company BBQ.

The Woodlands isn't anything "unique" from many other places. It is definitely close by to the wedding area. If you are interested in a nice mall area... it has a nice riverwalk/townsquare area. They also have some nice restaurants.

maria_so May 14th, 2007 10:29 PM

Yeah, I would agree. Stay at downtown or the galleria area. It's not just a bigger mall and a few restaurants, it's also the rest of Houston like the museum district and easier access to the south side like Keamh, nasa space center, and galveston. Woodlands mall is alright but mostly for the residential area near it and the pavillion is great if you have a show you plan to go see. Other than that though, it's tough to be entertained.

I say go stay in downtown (or Galleria) and depending on what you like to do, there's a really fun neighborhood called midtown that has bars, restaurants (and a dueling piano bar should be openng soon too) and other forms of entertainment. For example, the miller outdoor theater is holding free shows (from the Houston Grand Opera) - Don Quixote this past weekend and Hansel and Gretel next weekend. It's fun. Poeple take picnic blankets, bring food, some drinks (wine/beer) and hang out.

If you let us know what you like to do, we can recommend better. Kemah is a good side trip - but I imagine it's a bit like your pier (can't remember the name). If you have time, hopping over to Austin for a night could be fun too and there's a wealth of outdoorsy opportunities for you there.

maria_so May 14th, 2007 10:52 PM

oh, i wonder if there's a rodeo going on somewhere near by. it may not be as big as the one we have in Feb but it's at least something you won't see in Chicago?

I love your city, btw.

volcanogirl May 16th, 2007 06:02 PM

The Lancaster is a great little boutique hotel in downtown Houston - very nice if you want to take in the clubs, theater, or restaurants. In the Montrose area, there's La Colombe D'Or - also very charming. Have a wonderful trip!

babyfat May 16th, 2007 07:43 PM

i LOVE the lancaster hotel. however, that might be a little pricier than what you are looking for. but it's top notch. have bfast at the original baby barnaby's. VERY casual - get the biscuts. if you like the performing arts, houston is one 4 US cities with world renown ballet, acting, symphony and opera companies.

Susan7 May 16th, 2007 11:11 PM

IMHO, a must see in Houston is the Rothko Chapel. Even if you don't like modern art or abstraction, the atmosphere of this very simple non-denominational space is incredibly calming, peaceful and meditative. It's one of my favourite places on the planet. I think I'd be a better person if I sat in it every day :)

maria_so May 16th, 2007 11:19 PM

I completely I agree with Susan. I love the Rothko chapel. The few works that are there were done towards the end of his life and you can really feel the contemplation. That whole area is great. Less than a block away from Rothko is the Cy Twombly museum, the Menil, and the Byzantine chappel. All are free and there is a nice little park there that I love to hang out at. I even bring a small easel and bring my painting stuff out there sometimes to play while my honey reads on a beautiful day.

Close by are good eats too. Also, if you do end up staying in downtown, you can take the metro rail to spots close to the Rothko area but it also drops you off right in front of the MFA (Museum of Fine Arts) where across from the MFA is the contemporary arts museum too!

volcanogirl May 17th, 2007 03:25 PM

The whole museum area is really nice. It has the MFAH and the Contemporary Art Museum, as well as the zoo, and the Museum of Natural Science. Miller Outdoor Theater that someone else mentioned is there too. It's a great area.

If it interests you, the Astros might be in town that weekend - Minute Maid Park is a cool stadium with a retractable roof.

Also, I think getting some great Mexican food and BBQ are Houston requirements.

Susan7 May 17th, 2007 04:11 PM

Maria_so, could you recommend some places to eat near the Rothko Chapel? I ate in the cafe at MFA and that was very good (fabulous Angus beef burger) but would like to explore other options in the vicinity next time I go to Houston.

DebitNM May 17th, 2007 05:09 PM

If you like Greek, this place has great food:

This isn't really near Rothko, but is worth the trip for excellent Belgian food {on Westheimer not to far west of Montrose}:

This site has restaurants around MFA:

Hope this helps...

volcanogirl May 17th, 2007 06:24 PM

There are two good search engines that I know of for Houston restaurants. There's Houston Citysearch and b4 u eat houston. If you do a search, they should come up and show you reviews of all the restaurants. I believe you can search by ZIP or neighborhood.

Someone mentioned Kemah; my husband and I went sailing there on a boat called the Captain Kid - they let us bring a picnic on board, and it was a great, relaxing day. Kemah also has a lot of restaurants along the water and some small rides, etc. It's on the way to Galveston near the NASA area.

maria_so May 17th, 2007 10:29 PM

Susan, about 2 blocks from Rothko is a little place called Cafe Artiste. It's where the local writers and artists hang out. If you go down the side of Rothko closest to Richmond and and head towards Menil, right past Menil on Mandell street to the left across the corner. If you keep taking Mandell to Richmond, across the street on the left is a little yellow building. That's El Pueblito and is a Houston secret for really yummy mexican food (but mainly fish dishes). Very yummy and their margaritas are delish and STRONG! Try ordering one frozen with a shot of sangria - they do it the best! Don't let the place fool you. Their outside patio at the back transforms you to another place altogether!

If you take a left on Richmond from Mandell then hit a left on Montrose, on the left hand side next door to the public library is The Black Lab. It's a pub but they make really nice food along with an excellent selection of beers. The too have an outside seating area and on Sundays, is a really great place to hang out.

The ultimate hang out place close to there is a really short drive to Westheimer and I believe Park st. is Empire Cafe. Yummy coffees and cakes and 70% good food. I think they must've changed the cook because it's tasting better lately. Be prepared for long lines. It's a local favorite for the weekend.

I agree about Niko Nikos. Good greek food. Used to date a greek doctor who was very picky about greek fooding (didn't like anyone else's cooking but mama's (boy - hehe)and even he liked the food there. If you take fairview right across the street from there and take a left on Hayden, Baba Yegas is another goof one and gets plenty of local attention. Their black bean burger is superb. I order it all the time and I'm not really a vegetarian/

That's probaby more than you asked for...


maria_so May 17th, 2007 10:36 PM

Oh! 2 more! Across the street from Empire at the corner of Dunlavy and Westheimer is Brazil. Better food than Empire and can also get crowded. Delicious Chicken Pesto Pizza. Paulie's, also another good one with fantastic frozen bellini's and wasabi tuna sandwhich is just further along montrose on the right at the corner of woodhead (i think - could be the next one from woodhead).

Alot of good food in that area though.

maria_so May 17th, 2007 10:39 PM

Oh. for the original poster, across the street from Brazil is a greek bar called Agora (meaning marketplace - yes, 2 yrs of greek classes later....). They have belly dancing there on Wednesdays and it can get BUSY! That's somethng a bit different maybe?

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