(BPT) - February is fast approaching, and with it the year’s largest football event. Fans will come from across the nation to experience the highly anticipated Sunday football game in Houston, Texas.
With mild weather, amazing city views, a walkable cultural district and delectable food, visitors will have plenty to keep them busy during their visit to the nation’s fourth largest city.
Check out the game (even if you don’t have a seat)
Snagged tickets to the big game? Make sure you check out the “know before you go” transportation details and plan accordingly. Once there, NRG Stadium will be ready, rain or shine. With pro football’s first retractable roof, the stadium is nearly as much of a spectacle as the game itself.
No tickets? No problem. There are some amazing events happening just outside of NRG, such as the Houston Touchdown Tour or LIVE Fan Festival in Discovery Green Park, which will feature concerts from various Texas artists over the course of nine days leading up to the event. Both events offer free admission and feature fun for everyone! Houston is also filled with restaurants, bars and breweries perfect for catching the game! Some local favorites include:
* Saint Arnold Brewing Company: As Texas' oldest craft brewery, Saint Arnold is home to a passionate fan base of beer aficionados, along with people just looking for a fun place to hang out. You can take an official brewery tour or simply enjoy a pint while watching the game in the Beer Hall.
* 8th Wonder Brewery: Named for Houston’s infamous Astrodome, dubbed the eighth wonder of the world in 1965, 8th Wonder has taken over a “dome-like” warehouse in East downtown. The company explores various styles of beer from around the world, which you can try for yourself at the WonderWorld taproom.
* The Hay Merchant: Located in a remodeled building featuring worn brick from its original 1940's structure, Hay Merchant offers a relaxed atmosphere complete with 80 types of beer on tap.
* West Alabama Ice House: Open since 1928, West Alabama Ice House means business. The cut and dry bar doesn’t serve food or liquor, only the usual beer standards plus Saint Arnold seasonal brews and a small wine selection.
* Pub Fiction: With a full selection of liquor, beer and wines and a heavy emphasis on sports with every inch of wall space filled by the latest HD screens, Pub Fiction is a great spot to catch the game. With a recently expanded patio, this spot will be an ideal accommodation for Houstonians and visitors alike come Feb. 5.
Explore the city
Paint the town your team colors! As the largest city in Texas, Houston is filled with so many entertaining things to do. Hit up Buffalo Bayou Park and “burp the bayou.” Built as part of a 1998 art project, you’re able to send a massive bubble to the water’s surface with the push of a small, red button. A great place to relax or take the kids and get a breath of fresh air, the park is also great to hike, canoe, bike and see bats under the bridge.
For the perfect photo opp to document your time in Houston, ride to the top of JP Morgan Chase Tower for an incredible view of the Houston skyline, snap a photo in front of the infamous biscuit paint wall or one of Houston’s many wall murals, and definitely make sure to visit Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park, featuring a 64-foot waterfall.
Visit the renowned Space Center Houston, an educational complex and space museum with more than 400 space artifacts. The center serves as a nonprofit gateway to NASA Johnson Space Center and is Houston’s only Smithsonian Affiliate museum.
Midtown Houston is the heart of Houston night life. Grab drinks and dance the night away with friends at the many bars and clubs the city has to offer in celebration or defeat. Houston is also filled with an underground society of secret bars, such as Last Concert Café and 13 Celsius. Beware, as some of these hotspots are password protected.
Stroll through the cultural district. Houston’s Museum District is comprised of 19 museums located within approximately one and a half miles of downtown, making it the country’s fourth largest museum district. Ten of the 19 museums always feature free general admission, including the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston Center for Photography and DiverseWorks.
Save the wings for Sunday, and explore the diverse food scene throughout Houston. As part of the Gulf Coast region, Houston is well known for its Cajun food. Get a taste of Louisiana at Zydeco Louisiana Diner, Brennan’s of Houston and Bernadine's.
Like any big city, Houston also hosts a variety of global cuisines, including French, Indian and Pakistani, Japanese and Italian. However, when in Texas you can’t miss the barbecue, tacos and Tex-Mex. Local favorites include Goode Company Barbeque, Gatlin’s BBQ, El Tiempo Cantina, Texas founded-Torchy’s Tacos, Cuchara, Hugo’s and The Original Ninfa’s.
Extend your stay
Spending a few extra days in the Lone Star State? There are a number of incredible destinations that are quick drive or flight from Houston. San Antonio, Austin and Dallas are all within a three and a half hour drive or 50 minute flight from Houston. If you’re looking for a shorter drive but want to feel further away from city life, head 45 minutes south to Galveston Island. This beautiful beach town has everything from luxurious resorts to cottage-style beach rentals. Visitors can take advantage of the deep sea fishing, a family-friendly pleasure pier, and of course, all the fresh Gulf seafood you can handle.
Whatever you do for the big game, be sure to make your game plan early! For more information about travel experiences in the Lone Star State, visit www.TravelTexas.com and find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.