Welcome to Houston and the 23rd World Petroleum Congress! You’ve arrived in the fourth-largest city in the US and the energy hub of the world. Here are a few tips as you visit:
Make sure you are driving on the correct side of the road
If you’re from the UK, you drive on the opposite side of the road in the US. And we have enough traffic issues in Houston without visitors driving into oncoming traffic.
This is not the wild west
You may see some people wearing cowboy hats, but not many. People do say “Howdy” but it’s because they’re polite. Houston is a tech hub, the centre of the US space programme and one of the most diverse cities in the nation.
There is a lot to do
If you like shopping, the Galleria is internationally known. NASA’s Johnson Space Center is south of downtown and has numerous attractions, including a Saturn V rocket from the Apollo programme and a tour of the old Mission Control, made famous in the 1960s.
The San Jacinto battlefield, where Texas won its independence from Mexico — and yes, we will tell you about it — is east of town. If you have some strange desire to go to the beach in early December, Galveston is approximately an hour south of Houston.
The city also boasts numerous high-quality museums. If socialising is more your speed, there are dozens of bars on Washington Avenue, just a few miles from downtown.
Be ready to eat
Houston boasts a wide variety of outstanding food choices.
If you like steak, Pappas Brothers Steakhouse, Vic & Anthony’s and Brennan’s are fine selections.
Tex-Mex food is legendary, starting with Ninfa’s on Navigation, the home of fajitas. Pappasito's and La Tapatia are other fine choices for excellent Tex-Mex and large margaritas.
Barbecue is a regional specialty; you may want to check out Houston institution Goode Co. or make the short drive to the southern suburb of Pearland to try Killen’s BBQ, one of the best in the nation.
You are visiting during football season
American football, not what is considered “soccer” in this country.
The Houston Texans football team might be having an awful season but will still be the subject of much discussion amongst the locals. So will the very good baseball team, the Houston Astros, even if their season ended in November. (Note: If you see someone wearing a hat with an H in the middle of a star, that is an Astros hat.)
This is the perfect time of year to visit
The legendary humidity will be at a minimum and temperatures should be lovely. Much of the city will be lit up in preparation for Christmas. The atmosphere should be relaxed and fun.
Welcome to Houston. Enjoy your stay.