Recommended Houston Activities + My Favorite Hyatt in Houston

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Thanks in large part to the deal on United that offered flights for as low as $130 RT to fly from Houston – Detroit or Detroit – Houston in first class, I have been getting many questions today about things to do in Houston, and in particular my favorite Hyatt in Houston.  Some of the Houston activities I recommend are visiting the many museums downtown (Children’s Museum and Museum of Natural Science for the younger crew), Houston Zoo (though gets quite hot in the summer), Moody Gardens or Schlitterbahn in Galveston, Downtown Aquarium (small amusement park and aquarium restaurant), Space Center Houston, and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo that runs from March 4 – March 23.

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At Moody Garden’s in Galveston

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Playing on the beach in Galveston

If you are staying downtown Houston and doing most of your activities there, the Hyatt Regency Houston should be fine.  I haven’t stayed there in years, but remember it being fine, though not necessarily exciting.  Since I live here, I don’t actually stay in many hotels in the area.

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Hyatt Market Street in the Woodlands

My favorite Hyatt in the Houston area is actually not in Houston, but rather in The Woodlands about 20 miles north of Houston.  It is the Hyatt Market Street and it is located in a commercial area with many shops, restaurants, and a small play area in walking distance.  It is a very commercial area, but it is pretty nice for a night or two.  Again, since I live here, I haven’t stayed at this hotel in almost two years, but the last time we did it was a bunch of fun.  The hotel was converted to a Hyatt a few years ago, but still retained some of its “boutique feel”.

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On our last stay here we rented a suite for my husband’s birthday, so had plenty of room to spread out.  Do note that the base rooms here are on the smaller side, as is the base suite a Diamond certificate often upgrades you into.  We had a master patio suite shown below which did cost extra, but was worth it to us for this event.

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Here is a view from the patio in the suite both of the surrounding walkable shopping area and the pool.

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Again our stay was a while back, but the bed was great (though I do remember hearing our loud neighbors), and the bathroom was awesome!

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The pool area wasn’t overtly family friendly as lots of people were hanging out having drinks and appetizers around the pool, but no one objected to our daughter playing.  At the time, she was still very young so playing on the steps made for a perfect depth for her.

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Diamond breakfast was provided in the on-site restaurant, which I remember enjoying.

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Apologies for the lack of tons of details in this older review, but it should give you an idea of one of the hotel options in the Houston area that I really like.  If you want a hotel close to the airport, the Hyatt North Houston was also fine, and often has very cheap upgrades into even their largest suites.  I’ve only been there on a mattress run, but it seemed fine if you want to stick near the airport.

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Hyatt North Houston

Houston has no solid public transportation to speak of, so if you are doing anything more than just an overnight near the airport then you will need to rent a car.  Some of the activities I mentioned are a good hour apart from each other, so factor that in when making your agenda.  Houston is big, spread out, and extremely hot in the summer…but it can also be a lot of fun.  Let me know if you have any additional questions and I’ll do my best to help you out.

Comments

  1. I LOVE Houston! The culinary scene is amazing at all price levels. For activities the art museum and contemporary art museum are great. We always enjoy the butterfly pavilion at the natural history museum. Favorite houston hotel is ICON downtown, but I’d be tempted to stay at Zaza and spend some time in the museum district.

  2. Thanks for the Houston primer!

    I’m actually sitting in DTW right now waiting for my flight down there (interview tomorrow). Any recommendations for dinner tonight? I was thinking the steak must be great in Texas. Any great non-chain steakhouse? Preferably one not too fancy. Price doesn’t matter all that much. Or, if there is one specific local restaurant you’d recommend?

    For reference, I’m staying at the Four Points Southwest, but will have a rental.

    Thanks!

  3. Thanks for the reminder about Moody Gardens! I need to make the drive down from Austin with my own kiddo. I haven’t seen Galveston since pre-Ike days.

    I was wondering, since you’ve mentioned in previous posts about maybe not holding on to Diamond status, do you plan to book suites with cash when traveling with Little C in the future, stay in standard rooms instead, or looking toward a different chain altogether? I’ve gained quite the love affair with Hyatt from your posts and was curious if you’re looking to go a different direction if Diamond status requires too much to be worthwhile?

  4. If you are flying from IAH to DTW on this deal. I recommend you rent a car and head south to Ohio. The Toledo Zoo is one of the best zoo’s in the Midwest. If you are a roller coaster nut Cedar Point has sixteen coasters to keep you occupied. It is located in Sandusky which is about an hour from Toledo. Cedar point is open daily from may to labor day. Then weekends until around the first of November.

  5. Highly recommend that Natural History Museum, especially the Butterfly Habitat (and wear bright colors so you have a better shot of the butterflies landing on you). There are also lots of concerts during the Rodeo – and not all of the performers are country artists. I think that Maroon 5 and Selena Gomez will be performing this year.

  6. Don’t overlook the Museum of Fine Arts. In addition to a stellar permanent collection, they have some blockbuster special exhibits running right now (Impressionists, John Singer Sargent).

  7. Dare I ask what the traffic is like? If you were at the Natural History or Children’s museum in downtown Houston and had a 7:30PM flight to catch, what time would you leave to be safe?

    • Erik, if you are talking about a weekday traffic is bad. I don’t even know for sure what time to tell you since I’m not downtown around then, but I would be very conservative. Assuming you wanted to be at the airport at 6PM I would be leaving downtown by 4PM just to be safe. It shouldn’t take that long, but that’s probably what I would do.

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