Houston is the city for foodies, artists, adventurers, and playful pairs seeking both metropolitan culture and small-town charm. No matter what romance looks like to you—a high-end dinner, an afternoon on the lake, or a day at the spa—it all goes down in H-town.
"We have great food—from chic restaurants to finger-licking good food trucks. We have art from public works all around to the masterful collections and visiting exhibitions...we have fabulous hotels, from the swanky Hotel ZaZa to the kitschy Heights House Hotel," says Jenny Block, a weddings writer and Houston local.
Meet the Expert
Jenny Block is a Houston-based weddings contributing writer for The New York Times and author of Be That Unicorn. Find your Magic. Live your Truth. Share your Shine.
As far as the best time to visit, Block says spring is when Houston shines. "March and April offer the best weather anyone could ask for." Plus, in March, COMMUNE comes to town dubbing itself a two-week "anti-food festival" focused on micro-events and embracing equity in the hospitality industry. "Fall is great too! And it is the perfect time to visit the Houston Zoo," Block continues. "This fall, POST Houston will open. The city is calling it a 'downtown cultural campus'—it will have dining, shopping, art, music, and even workspaces and a rooftop venue."
A Houston getaway is versatile for couples in all budget brackets as well; a great time can be had whether you want to break the bank or watch your pennies. You can eat at food trucks, visit the free parks, and take the metro almost anywhere, says Block, or you can stay in a suite, eat at elevated restaurants, and shop in the highest-end boutiques. On average, a middle-of-the-road budget may start from $156 per person per day or about $2,189 per couple for a week.
From high-end happenings to hometown chill, read on for 15 romantic things to do in Houston.
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Explore the Museum District
Houston’s Museum District is the largest concentration of cultural institutions in the country. Here, you will find a collection of 19 museums, each with its own specialty, including the new Nancy and Rich Kinder Building at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. The district comprises four walkable (or bikeable) zones that museum buffs will appreciate meandering through together.
Eat Your Way Across AsiaTown
Sampling everything from Thai to Chinese to Houston’s signature Viet-Cajun fusion cuisine, you can easily spend an entire day savoring the multicultural flavors of AsiaTown. Once you’ve gotten your fill, visit one of the area’s many salons and treat your tired feet to a reflexology massage, a therapeutic practice that has roots in China.
Look to the Skies at Space Center Houston
A visit to the Space City is not complete without an excursion to the official visitors center of NASA’s Space Center Houston. This winter, you’ll be starry-eyed as you explore the most interactive light display in Texas hand-in-hand during the Galaxy Lights holiday festival.
Stargaze from the Blossom Hotel Houston
Keep the celestial theme going at the lunar-inspired Blossom Hotel Houston that features minimalist décor with color palettes and luxurious textures influenced by the moon. Opt for the King Suite, where a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows will give you a glimpse of the starry skies from the comfort of your oversized bed.
Hike the Houston Botanic Garden
This 120-acre oasis opened in late 2020 with a Community Garden, Picnic Grove, and more inside the Houston Botanic Garden. The Culinary Garden features edible and medicinal plants that will inspire couples to embark on an agricultural journey at home. For those lacking a green thumb, The Woodland Glade—with its magnolia trees and sculpted hedges—boasts an intimate space (also available for weddings!) where you can simply be surrounded by the beauty of nature.
Don’t Miss the Biggest Show in Town
Rodeos are a quintessential Texan experience, but this is the rodeo to attend. According to Block, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is the grandest event of the year, and come 2022, the city will be celebrating the 90th anniversary of the must-see show. There are more than cowboys and cattle at this main event; the wines on tap at the Rodeo Uncorked! experience, the heated barbeque competitions, and the star-studded concerts are crowdpleasers, too.
Enjoy a Show at The Alley Theater
Celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2022, The Alley Theater produces up to 16 plays each year in its newly renovated theater. Plan a night on the town centered around a show featuring a performance that might range from re-invigorated classics to new plays by contemporary writers.
Explore the Houston Farmers Market
Spend the day taking in the sights, sounds, and samples at the city’s oldest and largest farmers market. The Houston Farmers Market has recently undergone a $10 million makeover introducing new pavilions, acclaimed local restaurants, and an event calendar packed with live entertainment, chef-led cooking classes, and everything in between.
Bike Through Buffalo Bayou Park
This sprawling green space lies west of downtown Houston and features 160 acres of gorgeous gardens and native landscaping. In Buffalo Bayou Park you’ll find hiking paths, bike trails, paddle rentals, public art, and a plethora of places to picnic. Add a visit to the Cistern to your park day itinerary—the former underground reservoir has been transformed into an immersive venue showcasing otherworldly art installations and historic architecture.
Soak up Serenity at an Outdoor Spa
The Houstonian Hotel is home to Trellis Spa and invites couples to the restorative Soaking Pools and Garden area to indulge in a bathing experience inspired by cultures worldwide. In this time-honored tradition of water-based therapeutics, you’ll invigorate with a dry brush, soak in a heated vitality pool, rinse in a refreshing outdoor shower, retreat to a private cabana to meditate together then repeat the circuit as desired.
Watch the Sunset From a New Perspective
Take a stroll over to Rice University’s campus just before sunset to witness James Turrell’s "Twilight Epiphany" Skyspace. The American artist uses light, space, and the sky to engage viewers with the wonders of human perception through an LED sequence projected onto the structure’s ceiling and through a roof aperture during dawn and dusk. Turrell's composition transforms the Skyspace into a romantic locale for reflecting on the beauty of the natural world.
Wine and Dine in Style
At MARCH, Chef Felipe Riccio leads diners through a multicultural journey with the flavors he grew up with as a Mexican native with an Italian father and Spanish mother. Indulge in a transcendent tasting menu at this fine dining restaurant to explore the evolution of the Mediterranean through its food, history, cultures, and an impressive 11,000-bottle wine cellar.
Become Part of the Scene
Take the perfect couple’s picture in front of Houston’s iconic street art that punctuates the cityscape. With a range of green spaces, public sculptures, and street art, you won’t have to look too hard to find a fun backdrop to stage a selfie photoshoot for two.
Catch a Flick on a Rooftop
Take dinner and a show to new heights with a bit of rooftop romance and a lot of nostalgia at the Rooftop Cinema Club Uptown. Grab some classic concessions, stretch out on comfy deck chairs or curl up in bean bags, and enjoy throwback films with the skyline as your backdrop.
Do It All Downtown
This fall brings with it the much-anticipated opening of POST Houston. The sizeable development will be home to a LiveNation concert venue, organic rooftop garden and park, international food hall, and 360-degree views of the city skyline. If you can’t decide what date night looks like in Houston, you can do it all at POST.