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Culture / Travel

Houston Named One of the Best Vacation Destinations in the World For 2019

Big Dollar Revamps, Showcase New Hotels and Affordable Escapes Lauded in New Rankings

BY // 01.09.19

Space City-proud citizens should be over the moon. Houston’s just had two major travel accolades heaped upon it.

Now the world knows what Bayou City locals already knew: Houston is a must-visit destination. From sightseeing to affordability, H-Town is a rising star when it comes to travel.

Bloomberg places Houston on its new Where to Go in 2019: Best Places to Travel. Houston holds its own alongside 20 other unbeatable locales across the globe, places such as Brazil and Grenada. Only two other United States cities made the cut: Savannah, Georgia and Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Just what do these far-flung wanderlust wonders have in common? Bloomberg based its list on draws like brand new restaurants, major hotel openings and “skyrocketing cultural cachet.”

Houston fits right in, don’t you think? Bloomberg correspondents and editors were left starry-eyed over the Johnson Space Center’s decision to restore literally all of the original Mission Control in honor of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

But it’s not just Houston’s old history that earned it a spot on the coveted list. The city shot for the stars with its $450-million expansion of the revered Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Holocaust Museum moving and doubling — and Bloomberg took notice.

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Among the new and novel: the future looks bright thanks to four upcoming food halls. Bloomberg shines a spotlight on chef-driven, 9,000-square-foot Bravery Chef Hall, where wood-oven steakhouses and pasta spots reign.

Checking out these aspects take visitors from tourist status to traveler status.

And when they come to stay, they can choose from a variety of luxe hotels like the renovated Four Seasons and the beyond glamorous new Post Oak.

Bloomberg recommends a Spring or Fall trip, with special emphasis on March — hello, azaleas. Howdy, Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo.

Some would say the best part of a trip to Houston is just how easy it is on your budget— if you skip staying at spots like the Post Oak, that is. GOBakingRates heralds Houston as wallet-friendly on its 20 Best Travel Destinations for Your Money in 2019 list.

Coming at No. 14, Houston’s not the lone Texas stop on the 55-city list. Even with some of the cheapest airfare out there, at $286 a flight, and not-too-shabby average hotel costs of $131 per night, Houston still comes in after Austin at No. 13, and San Antonio at No. 5.

Even if Houston’s affordability is breaking news now, visitors have been coming a good long while — with 21 million visits in 2017, and a goal of upping that to 25 million annual visits by 2020.

GOBankingRates alludes to the tourism hit Houston took after Hurricane Harvey, but points to the city’s recovery. And what’s not to love with free outings to Miller Outdoor Theatre for live performances, Market Square Park for movie screenings or the Art Car Museum for an eye-opening experience?

Austin, with $322 airfare and $189 hotel cost per night, got kudos for its crazy-cheap $8-per-day public transportation costs, the very lowest on the entire list. And while visitors are there, they might as well hit up the ballet, a world-class museum or Lady Bird Lake, so long as they leave time for Tex-Mex and barbecue.

San Antonio was the highest-ranking affordable Texas city, with $338 set aside for airfare and just $151 for a hotel stay. Like Austin, it offers up cheap transportation and unbelievably inexpensive beers. Travelers can snag a domestic brew for as little as $3.50. But even if they get a $12 meal to go along with it, they can’t forget about the River Walk.

So, call your friends, call your family. They’ve got to hit up Houston — and they might as well make it a Lone Star State road trip.

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