Weekend Getaways

Short on Time? Here’s How to Spend 48 Hours in Houston

Long known for its car culture and high rise-style living, Houston in recent years has gotten back to its urban roots, restoring mid-century modern buildings and creating new parks and gathering spaces for the community. These days, there’s more than enough to eat, see and shop for in a single weekend.

Friday

4 p.m.: Meander by the Menil Neighborhood

Designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, The Menil Collection houses an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art, as well as two satellite galleries dedicated to the work of Cy Twombly and Dan Flavin. The museum’s neighborhood is worth a stroll to peruse the early 20th-century craftsman bungalows, live oak trees and sumptuous green spaces.

what to do in houston
Wander the grounds of the Menil Collection. (Photo: Getty Images)

6:30 p.m.: Enjoy Dinner at B&B Butchers

Although the owner is from New York, B&B Butchers is a quintessentially Texan restaurant that specializes in locally sourced Wagyu beef. The old school eatery, which has its own butcher shop, balances out its meat offerings with lighter fare, such as tuna tartare and pan-seared salmon in a citrus beurre blanc.

9 p.m.: See the Skyline on a Rooftop Pool

After you check into The Westin Houston, Memorial City, head up to the 18th floor for some of the best views of the city, while you lounge in an infinity pool flanked with waterfalls. It’s a perfect end to your evening.

Saturday

10 a.m.: Shop at Longoria Collection

A Houston staple, the Longoria Collection carries some of the city’s best linens, décor and antiques. Pop in to outfit your home, or just to admire the beauty, then walk through the Uptown/Galleria neighborhood’s wealth of shops—mere steps away from The Westin Galleria Houston.

what to do in houston
Snap photos at the Water Wall. (photo: Getty Images)

Noon: Meet with the Mods

Houston boasts several mid-century modern marvels—office buildings, private homes and even a college campus, the University of St. Thomas, which was designed by Philip Johnson. The preservation group Houston Mod offers a great resource to create your own architectural walking or driving tour.

3:30 p.m.: Pamper Yourself at the River Oaks Spa

Take this time to recharge and enjoy the massage and therapy offerings at The St. Regis Houston River Oaks Spa. Also on premises are a pool, sauna and full-service fitness facility.

7 p.m.: Dine with James Beard winner

James Beard Award-winner Justin Yu is the chef behind Theodore Rex, a bistro focused around locally sourced ingredients. The menu changes often, but might include dishes liked Persian cucumbers with warm ricotta, almonds and shiitake mushrooms and Gulf snapper with Meyer lemon and spinach pistou.

what to do in houston
Chow down. (Photo: Getty Images)

Sunday

8 a.m.: Early Morning at Discovery Green

A 12-acre park in the heart of downtown, Discovery Green redefined the city while creating a fountain, green space, playground and performance venues. This is now one of the city’s most vital areas, and home to countless special concerts, activities and events.

11 a.m.: Brunch at Tiny Boxwoods

Visitors and residents alike rank Tiny Boxwoods as one of the best brunches in town. With classic dishes and house drinks galore, the breakfast pizzas are to die for, particularly the potato and egg pie.

1:30 p.m.: Take off at the Space Center

Space Center Houston features more than 400 things to see and do, from simulating living in space to seeing a full-scale replica of the shuttle to meeting an astronaut and more. It’s the perfect last stop before heading home.