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Houston, we have a problem: there’s simply too much to see, do and experience over a few days in America’s fourth largest city, that was recently crowned “the new capital of southern cool” by a leading international men’s magazine. This is a town that thrives on business and the art of the deal, but it’s laid-back enough to allow jeans in all but the swankiest of restaurants. It’s a place of fine art and street art, where haute cuisine thrives but no one’s going to judge you if you’d rather just have a burger. It’s a city of diversity where people from all over the world have settled and who are proud to show off Texas’ legendary spirit of hospitality to visitors. It’s on the frontier of knowledge from galaxies far, far away: visit the Space Center here and learn all about NASA. And it’s a city that knows how to kick back its heels at night with a vibrant and eclectic music scene that’s envied all around the world.

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THE SPACE FRONTIER

Pub quiz fans…the first word spoken on the moon was? Houston! So, it’s not surprising the city is synonymous with NASA and space exploration. A visit to the NASA Space Center is a must for everyone who’s ever looked up at the stars and wondered who’s looking down at us. Here you can learn all about the Apollo space programme and stand in the mission control room where the words “the eagle has landed” first echoed.

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THE URBAN ART FRONTIER

There’s a massive trail of brilliantly colourful murals and street art across Houston, which perfectly highlights South Texas’ creative streak. There’s even a mural festival each November. Take a street art tour to find the best examples with a local ambassador. Who knows, you might leave your own innovative mark on the city? Elsewhere the Museum of Fine Arts is one of the largest in the country, while the Menil Collection houses around 18,000 artworks in a building designed by Renzo Piano.

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THE MUSIC AND SPORT FRONTIER

What has Houston ever done for the music industry? Apart from Beyoncé, ZZ Top, Kenny Rogers, Barbara Mandell, Slim Thug, Travis Scott, Paul Wall, Mike Jones, DJ Screw, Lyle Lovett, Chamillionaire and other legends, that is. From hip hop and rap to country, you don’t have to scratch too deep in the music industry to find a Houston connection emanating from its renowned live venues. If sport’s your thing, come and watch the Houston Texans play football at the NRG stadium, see the Astros on the baseball diamond at Minute Maid Park and get courtside to blast off with the Rockets as they play basketball at the Toyota Center.

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04

THE CULINARY FRONTIER

Houston is a melting pot of cultures from all around the world, which is especially reflected in how the city eats. Think of a dish and we’re making it. We’re constantly pushing the frontiers of cooking, taking classics from Oaxaca to Osaka and giving them our own Texan twist. We’ve got food trucks to fine dining, and we certainly have gourmets covered, with numerous James Beard-awarded restaurants. So, loosen your belt and enjoy: Houston’s got the grill fired up.

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THE FASHION FRONTIER

Houston is the style capital of the south. You’ll find everything from one-off boutiques and vintage outlets to internationally recognised shops, high-end fashion stores and mega malls with everything under one air-conditioned roof. The Galleria, for example, covers more than 2.4 million square feet with more than 400 shops so better make sure your credit card is ready. Fun neighbourhoods like 19th Street in the Heights and Montrose are great to explore for funky finds to bring home to remind you of Texas.

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