A Weekend Getaway in Houston Texas
First and foremost, Houston is HUGE! We only had two nights in the area. So in order to maximize all that we could see, we chose to stay one night in the heart of Uptown Houston and one night on the outskirts of Houston in the Clear Lakes area. Both areas are beautiful and unique in their own way. Clearly, Uptown has much more of your downtown, cityscape feeling. While Clear Lakes puts you much closer to the Gulf and Galveston Beach.
- Check-in at Royal Sonesta Houston Galleria
- Lunch at Moxie’s (walking distance)
- Houston Zoo or Downtown Aquarium
- Cipher Escape Room
- Dinner at Dish Society
- Grab coffee and breakfast in the coffee shop at Royal Sonesta Houston Galleria
- Explore Uptown area at leisure
- Check-out by 12 pm
- Move across town and check-in at Sonesta ES Suites Houston – NASA Clear Lake
- Lunch near Houston Space Center (lots of places across the street – we ate at Five Guys)
- Houston Space Center
- Explore the Kemah Boardwalk
- Dinner at Perry’s Steakhouse (Baybrook location)
If you are interested in many of the “touristy” attractions in Houston, I highly recommend purchasing the Houston CityPASS. It gives you access to all of the main attractions that I mention in my itinerary, including the Houston Zoo, Downtown Aquarium, Space Center Houston and Kemah Boardwalk!
I choose to work with and stay at Royal Sonesta Houston Galleria because of a previous experience I had working with a Sonesta Hotel in Philly. I was so impressed with the Hotel and brand, that I wanted to start trying to work with them as often as possible!
I was just as impressed with Royal Sonesta Houston as I remember feeling in Philadelphia. The rooms are very spacious with killer views of the city. The lobby area is gorgeous and offers a restaurant, bar, and coffee shop. I highly recommend getting a smoothie from the coffee shop. They are freshly made and delicious!
The location of Royal Sonesta Houston is also a huge plus. You’ll be walking distance (or a very short uber away) from tons of the city’s best restaurants and shopping (including the fabulous Galleria Mall)! I would go back to Houston and stay here just for a “stay-cation” styled getaway. They also have a great (small) rooftop pool that we had to take a quick nap by once we got into town running on 3 hours of sleep!
The vibe and aesthetic of Moxie’s Bar & Grill is enough to make you want to come inside. The outside of the building is gorgeous. Offering tons of outdoor seating, this is the perfect location for a beautiful day! The inside of the restaurant is also beautiful, with huge open ceilings and stunning natural light.
- House-made Guacamole (freshly made at your table)
- Lettuce Wraps, made with ginger glazed chicken, fresh veggies, and crispy noodles.
- Chicken Tacos, blackened to perfection and made with fresh queso, guac, and salsa
- Chipotle Mango Chicken, made with a sweet and smoky rub on a bed of freshly grilled veggies and quinoa
Each and every dish tasted freshly made and left us wanting more. I absolutely adored our time at Moxie’s Bar & Grill and definitely recommend it while you are in Houston!
When we arrived in Houston, we were absolutely exhausted. We didn’t even do all of the things that I had planned because we physically and mentally needed a break. However, when the time came for us to visit Cipher Escape Rooms… something inside us woke up. With just the two of us in the game, we ALMOST managed to escape. The people at Cipher were fabulous hosts.
While the game was a bit challenging, it was put together extremely well and everything ran smoothly. They named it “Cipher” with good reason; every clue was based on some kind of code that we had to decipher. I was extremely impressed with Cipher Escape Rooms and it is a great way for you to spend time with a group!
The aesthetic of Dish Society is absolutely the cutest! With a modern vibe, greenery walls, and a subtle hint of retro, Dish Society is the perfect eatery for a night out in Houston. They offer a huge variety of craft beer, with options that are both locally made and those made elsewhere. And the staff was extremely friendly and knowledgable about the menu!
Food (We split the following):
- Fried Smoked Gouda Grit Balls, with jalapeno jelly
- Truffle Mac & Cheese
- Balsamic Bacon Brussel Sprouts
- Crispy Chicken Kale Caesar Salad
The fried smoked gouda grit balls were definitely one of my favorite dishes in Houston! It sounds like it could be a bit odd, but they really were great! The texture combinations of cheese and grits rolled inside a fried crust was actually extremely complimentary in itself. Another favorite dish of mine was the truffle mac & cheese. Olivia and I both swoon over anything to do with truffle or mac & cheese, so there was no surprise that we both fell in love with this unique side dish.
At the beginning of day two, we traveled across town to the Clear Lake area of Houston and checked into Sonesta ES Suites Houston – NASA Clear Lake. While still part of the Sonesta Family, the ES line favors the style of small apartments versus a large hotel. The “ES” stands for an extended stay. With a spacious kitchen and living room area, this would be a great option for families or those staying for longer than just a weekend.
While we did not spend much time in the room itself. However, it was very clean and we were happy with the move across town. We did decide to check out the pool and hot tub at night before going to bed that evening. I was pleased to find that the hot tub was actually quite hot and relaxing. Sadly, I’ve encountered several hot tubs recently that did not live up to their name.
I will admit that the Houston Space Center is largely geared towards kids. However, it was still a cool experience. In my opinion, it is worth going to. We enjoyed walking through the exhibits.
Inside the museum, there are a lot of interactive activities and plenty of things to see, do, and read. Honestly, I have to admit that I am bad at museums because I am lazy when it comes reading (whoops)…. but again, it’s worth a visit if you are in the area. Also, the gift shop is really cute 🙂
If you followed along on social media at all during this trip, you already know about “Neil and Buzz.” We spent so much time laughing and acting like children at Kemah Boardwalk, so I totally recommend the trip to experience it! If you are confused, Olivia and I decided to create matching “Build-A-Bear” longhorn cows and then proceeded to carry them around with us like children for the next 24 hours. We have lots of hilarious videos saved to my Instagram Highlights. I’ll also be sharing my VLOG very soon, so be sure to check that out!
Kemah Boardwalk has a variety of rides (for adults and children), great waterfront restaurant options, and several shops (including Build-A-Bear). I always fall in love with water-front destinations, and this was no exception! It would be a great way to spend the evening whether you are on a date, with friends, or with the family.
Perry’s Steakhouse (Baybrook location):
We spent our last evening at Perry’s Steakhouse, specifically in their bar area (Perry’s Bar 79). Perry’s is an upscale steakhouse and their food is absolutely incredible. They prepared a fabulous tasting menu for us (which I will describe below). Perry’s Steakhouse would make the perfect date-night spot!
- Mini Crab Cakes, stuffed with lump crab meat served with a beurre fondue
- paired with Perry’s Private Label Reserve Chardonnay, Sonoma Valley
- Mini Pork Chop Bites, skewered caramelized Pork Chop tossed with herb butter
- paired with Perry’s Reserve Pinot Noir, Monterey, California
- Beef & Blue Crostinis, beef filet slices topped with a bacon onion marmalade and blue cheese crumbles served on thin French baguettes
- paired with Perry’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Valley
My personal favorite was the Mini Pork Chop Bites. The meat was cooked to absolute perfection and the pairing was incredible. The staff at Perry’s Steak House was fabulous; they truly went above and beyond to make this an excellent experience for us.
Conclusions and Ramblings:
While my time in Houston was very short, I could definitely see why people love it (and Texas in general). The people were very kind and genuine, the city was thriving (but also felt very safe), and the outskirts of town and coastal regions gave you a bit more of a suburban feel. Houston definitely has something to offer everyone. Please let me know if you have any question!
I am currently on a plane in route to San Francisco. James and I will be road tripping through Napa, Yosemite, Sequoia, Death Valley, Vegas, the Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Antelope Canyon. If you’d like more details on this trip or my itinerary, please follow along on Instagram (@katie.wineandweekends) for live updates and I will notify you when I release all of the details on Wine and Weekends! Thanks as always for your support and much love to ya.
Until next time,