Hello, readers! We’re going to do a multi-part series here featuring all of the cities with direct routes from VPS. The idea is to provide some points of interest and information for those of you who may be traveling to one of these great areas. We’ll tell you a bit about the area, and we’ll feature four or five popular attractions you might want to check out while in town. So, without further delay, let’s get started.
Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States and the largest in Texas, with a population of 2.1 million. It covers 579 square miles, and the metro area of Houston, Sugar Land, and Baytown has a collective population 6.1 million. Less than 100 days of rain, an average high temperature of 80 degrees, and an average low of 61 make Houston, TX a comfortable stop on any itinerary.
Culturally, Houston is a very diverse city, and it’s growing. Of its residents, 21.4 percent were born outside the United States. Nearly two thirds of that foreign-born population comes from south of the U.S. and one fifth comes from Asia. Houston has the nation’s third largest concentration of consular offices, with representation from 86 countries. It has a rich culture, so… where to go?
Space Center Houston has several permanent exhibits, attractions and theaters. It also features several traveling exhibits throughout the year. SCH is the official visitor’s center for NASA’s Johnson Space Center. “Houston, we have a… good time!”
The Downtown Houston Aquarium is half a million gallons of undersea adventure. The facility includes a Ferris wheel, an aquatic carousel, Shark Voyage, a white tiger exhibit and a restaurant. There are over 200 species of marine life living at the aquarium. Exhibits featuring a shipwrecked Spanish galleon, a recreation of the rainforest, a sunken temple, and more guarantee fun for explorers of all ages.
A visit to the Houston Zoo is like traveling around the world. More than 4,500 exotic animals representing greater than 800 species call the 55 acre landscape home. The Houston Zoo was named among the top 10 zoos in the United States by Parents magazine in 2009. There are more exhibits and habitats than we have room to list. Suffice it to say that the Houston Zoo should be on your short list of things to do.
While we’re on the subject of family-friendly attractions, of which Houston has many, let’s not forget the Children’s Museum of Houston. This recently renovated museum was rated the #1 children’s museum in the U.S. by Parents magazine. It is 90,000 square feet of innovation and interaction for kids and parents alike. Thursdays are Free Family Nights from 5 until 8.
Well, there you have it. It’s a small, but fun, sampling of things to do while in Houston. Of course, a city of this size has all of the other amenities that you may desire, including premium hotels, four star dining, an active nightlife, and plenty of sports.
All of this is a direct flight from Destin/Ft. Walton Beach, FL from the Northwest Florida Regional Airport aboard Continental Airlines. They provide 3 daily non-stop flights to Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH).