…Houston is the hot new tourist destination for fall. Or, at least that’s what the fine folks at NBC’s Today Show would have you believe. Now, obviously, I love Houston. I love it with all of my heart and I will ferociously defend its honor to any potential detractors. But I don’t know about Houston as a tourist destination.
Sure, the weather is mild during the fall and winter. And we’ve got fantastic restaurants and a theatre distract rivaled only by New York City. But I staunchly believe that Houston is not the kind of city that you can fully appreciate based upon a weekend visit. There’s no way that an out-of-towner can take in all of the subtle nuances about Houston that make it such a wonderful place to live: the affordable housing, the diversity (it doesn’t matter what country you came from, we’ve got your immigrant community rightcheere), the museums, the universities, the wide breadth of the residents’ viewpoints and politics, the sports teams, our many “downtowns,” the quirky little neighborhoods around every corner, the come-as-you-are attitude of the residents, the small spots of beauty hidden around the city that you come to appreciate even more when surrounded by mostly concrete and billboards.
I know I’ve dogged Houston in the past on certain unavoidable issues: traffic, the lack of historic preservation, the general greed of the city’s leadership and our appalling excuse for a newspaper. But for all its flaws, it’s still my home and I still adore it. But the real question is: would tourists?