Culture / Travel

New York Times Becomes the Latest to Fall Hard for Houston’s Charms, Touting the Bayou City as a Must Visit

But Houston Still Finishes Behind Iran on the Legendary Newspaper's Travel List

BY // 01.10.19

It’s been a crazy-satisfying run for Houston, a city used to getting recognition for its dynamic food scene. Now, it’s not just accolades about the Bayou City’s restaurants, though. Instead, H-Town is finally getting recognized for its all-encompassing offerings as one of America’s greatest cities.

It’s no longer just people who live in Houston touting it. Outsiders are finally starting to get it, too — and they just can’t wait for a visit.

Houston’s been showing up on list after list of the top travel destinations for 2019, and the appreciation just keeps rolling in. This time? Well, The New York Times.

The Gray Lady just released its annual list of 52 Places to Go in 2019. The coveted list is peppered with paradises such as Puerto Rico, clusters of islands and even the odd spot here and there such as Canada’s Ontario Ice Caves.

Houston is the only Texas spot to make the cut, and it’s the city’s second time popping up on this travel list in six years. At No. 46, Houston came behind Iran and before Columbus, Ohio.

Writer Kelly DiNardo applauds Houston’s everything-is-bigger-in-Texas attitude, especially after Hurricane Harvey.


The reporter builds Houston up with good reason — the city’s built a lot to be proud of. That includes the showcase Post Oak Hotel from billionaire Tilman Fertitta. DiNardo was impressed by the five-diamond hotel’s Frank Stella art, two-story Rolls Royce showroom and 30,000-bottle wine cellar.

Next, culture. There’s the seven-month renovation of The Menil Collection’s main building, which sprung the 30,000-square-foot Menil Drawing Center to life. DiNardo is quick to mention The Menil’s cultural significance as the “first freestanding museum dedicated to modern drawing in the United States.”

She’d be remiss not to mention the mega-expansion of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the doubling and relocating of the Holocaust Museum.

Like previous congratulators, The New York Times was struck by the restoration of the Apollo Mission Center in honor of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

No story on Houston would be complete without reference to the Bayou City’s vibrant, ever-growing food scene. DiNardo doesn’t disappoint, citing Finn Hall, the robust new cafeteria-style food hall on Main Street with its outpost of James Beard-nominated chef Jianyun Ye’s Mala Sichuan and tasty tacos from Goode Co. Taqueria.

DiNardo also mentions that the downtown food hall is one of four food halls to open last year, which is a bit of a puzzler. The Conservatory, the very first Houston food hall, opened up back in 2016. Meanwhile, Bravery Chef Hall and Lyric Market aren’t scheduled to open until this year, and Railway Heights’ debut date is TBD.

That just means in future there’ll be more and more to love. Don’t be surprised if Houston shows up on even more lists. Hey, this city’s earned it.

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