Hotspots in Houston, TX

Prestonwood Forest Nite of Lites

For over 35 years, Prestonwood Forest residents have been going all out when it comes to Christmas lights. Houston locals and visitors alike come out in droves to see one of the best neighborhood light displays in the country. These dazzling holiday lights have been featured in local newspapers, on Houston television, and even nationally on Fox News. About 750 homes participate in the Nite of Lites festival in Prestonwood Forest each year. It's a competition by home, culdesac and block in a variety of categories so the participants really get into it. Check out their website for times, maps and other details.

Michelangelo’s

Nothing says romance like a classic Italian restaurant. One of the best Italian places in Houston is Michelangelo's. Their special Valentine's Day menu features appetizer, salad, choice of five entrees and dessert. Looking like a quaint, old house from the outside, this restaurant is really romantic with its dim lighting, flickering candles and piano music. Many proposals have taken place at Michelangelo's over the years. A couple warnings -- you can only valet park at this restaurant (unless you want to park on the street a few blocks down) and they automatically add a 15% gratuity to your check -- which shouldn't be a problem to most. Their wine list is exceptional and on Valentine's Day, they are offering special prices on a selection of Argentinean wines.

Strip House

The name of this restaurant sounds like you are going to get down and dirty. And though you won't be taking your clothes off at dinner, it's definitely a romantic, sexy place to spend Valentine's Day. Their dining room has low red lighting, so you can get cozy with your sweetie. The place is also decorated with seductive black and white photos of women photographed in the early 1900s. The Strip House menu is top-notch including Chateaubriand carved tableside, succulent crab cakes, and a gorgonzola fondue to die for. For dessert, don't pass up on their famed 24-layer chocolate cake. Sure, it's indulgent -- but it's Valentine's Day.

Star Fleet Dinner Cruise

What's more romantic than a dinner cruise? Star Fleet offers dinner cruise packages starting at $79.00 on Valentine's Day, as well as on Saturday and Sunday right before the holiday. The package price includes a two-hour cruise on Clear Lake and Galveston Bay, dual entree gourmet buffet dinner, complimentary beer, wine, champagne, juice, soda and more. They have put together a fantastic menu that includes beef tenderloin and Tuscany tilapia. For dessert don't miss the assortment of whoopie pies, as well as chocolate covered strawberries. For something more casual, check out their pajama dinner cruise on Saturday from 11:00pm to 1:00am. It's a late night cruise for adults only that includes drinks, snacks, dancing and games.

Seymour-Lieberman Exer-Trail

If you are looking for the perfect place for your morning jog, check out Seymour-Lieberman Exer-Trail at Memorial Park. About 10,000 runners hit the trail every single day, so it's definitely not a private retreat. However, this 2.93-mile crushed granite and packed-earth jogging trail is perfect for those wanting to stay in shape. While you are at the 1,500-acre park, you can also enjoy a number of other exercise and athletic facilities including tennis courts, swimming pools, sports fields, a golf course and much more. The park is home to over 30 miles of trails where you can hike or bike.

Artista

If you are looking for breathtaking skyline views and amazing cuisine to match, make a reservation at Artista. Located in downtown Houston’s Hobby Center of the Performing Arts, Artista is part of the Cordua restaurant group and is headed by famed execute chef and owner Michael Cordua. For Valentine's Day, Artista offers two special menus ($45 or $55) each featuring a three-course meal. You can select your appetizer, entree and dessert from a variety of sensational options. The food presentation at this restaurant is absolutely stunning, but there is more to their food than good looks. The meats and seafood are tender and fresh, and the desserts are absolutely heavenly. A must-have is their cocoa tart, featuring a rich gianduja fudge, chocolate ganache and coconut ice cream.

Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens

For a relaxing, serene time in the outdoors, head to Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens located just outside Houston. With 300 acres of East Texas Piney Woods, you'll find an amazing array of native and cultivated plants, along with a wealth of animal life at this gorgeous botanical garden. You can enjoy a day of hiking, canoeing, kayaking, bird watching, or just learning about the flora and fauna in the area. Located along the Cypress Creek, Mercer is a horticultural masterpiece with over 25 gardens and collections of plants and flowers. Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens is also home to many special events and seasonal activities.

Sambuca Jazz Cafe

If you love jazz music, you can't go wrong by making a reservation at Sambuca. This hot jazz spot has a special Valentine's Day menu, which includes a three-course meal, live music and dancing. Sambuca in Houston is very romantic. Located in the historic Rice Hotel, you'll love the ambiance and the outstanding service. And if he pops the question, it's also a fantastic place to host your rehearsal dinner or wedding reception. Call to make reservations early because they book well in advance.

SplashTown Houston

 

If you have a family that loves water and the outdoors, SplashTown Houston is the place to be this summer. With more than a dozen rides, there is sure to be something for everyone to enjoy. Splashtown even has family rides that are perfect for adults with small children. In addition to the rides, SplashTown holds numerous events in the summertime such as music festivals and fundraising drives. For exclusive offers and cheaper prices, purchase the tickets online from the Splashtown website. And if you want to avoid the crowds and the long lines, be sure to go during the week.

 

Lillie & Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden

Spanning over an acre, this beautiful site features trees, walls, lawn and pavers that surround a series of amazing 19th and 20th century sculptures. The peaceful garden is a fantastic place to spend a relaxing afternoon. The Cullen Sculpture Garden contains over 25 works from the Museum of Fine Arts collection, along with various loans and installations. Nestled among over 80 trees, the picturesque garden is a must-see for both Houston residents and visitors. Admission is always free.