Been to downtown Houston much? Or are you looking to make your first visit? With many of the local sports stadiums, bars, restaurants, and luxury hotels literally a stone’s throw away from one another, a weekend downtown can be one filled with fun and excitement. Throughout the year, guests can enjoy free programming and activities at Avenida Houston - the city’s entertainment and convention district -, chow down on some delicious food with accompanying city views or pamper themselves at one of the many hotels near the campus. Because there is quite a bit to do (and so little time), we thought it’d be a good idea to put together a weekend itinerary that you can use as a guide.
Friday (Day One)
Not only is this hotel the largest in the city, it’s also the only Hilton in the Americas to have received an award for Brand of Excellence ten years in a row! What does this mean for you exactly? Well, it means that you’ll receive top-tier customer service throughout your stay. The hotel has some great amenities, including an indoor pool, luxurious spa and upgraded guest rooms.
5 p.m. – Happy Hour at R24 Rooftop Lounge
Once you’ve had a chance to wind down a bit in your room (perhaps after a power nap or your daily scroll on Tik Tok), you should head up to the 24th floor of the Hilton Americas-Houston for some delightful signature cocktails and live music. The best part? Taking in unobstructed views of the gorgeous city skyline while lounging with a group of friends, that special someone, or solo. Cocktails? Music? Views? Not sure what else could be a better start to the weekend.
7 p.m. – Dinner at The Grove
Located in Discovery Green, The Grove offers a modern and elegant dining experience with exceptional views of the nearby park and downtown skyline. From braised short rib to fresh oysters or southern fried quail, you won’t run short of entrée options. Even better? They have plenty of cocktail selections for you to wash everything down with.
9:30 p.m. – Live Music at The Rustic
This indoor/outdoor bar provides a great setting for live concerts and taking in the fresh night air. Enjoy music from different regional bands performing an array of fun tunes that’ll keep you dancing all night long.
Saturday (Day Two)
9 a.m. – Breakfast at 1600 Bar + Grille
This casual restaurant features tasty entrees brimming with locally sourced ingredients, which provides guests with a true farm-to-plate experience. Do yourself a favor and get the potatoes and bacon.
There’s so much to see and do in downtown Houston, so renting a bike at the nearby B-Cycle station is the perfect way to check out the area. Cruise through Discovery Green Park, head over to East Downtown or Main Street, which is home to tons of bars, restaurants, and hotels.
1:30 p.m. – Tour Phoenicia Specialty Foods
One of downtown’s hidden gems, Phoenicia is a state-of-the-art food market that features more than 10,000 products imported from more than 50 countries! Take your pick of a vast wine selection, fresh deli, salad bar, and full-service bakery. What do we recommend? Check out the market’s second floor for items for your kitchen or home. We’ve even found some great housewarming gifts.
2:30 p.m. – Lunch at MKT Bar
MKT Bar (located next to Phoenicia Specialty Foods) is a beer and wine bar featuring gourmet appetizers, entrees, and, of course, great libations. Sometimes you’re able to enjoy a free comedy show or musical performance during your meal as the restaurant brings in local musicians or comedians. If you’re ever in the area during the week, they have a daily happy hour, half off select bottles of wine and $5 select wines by the glass on Wednesdays, a $16.99 steak dinner on Thursdays, and weekend brunches.
7 p.m. – Dinner at Pappadeaux’s Seafood (GRB)
Nothing screams Houston more than Pappadeaux’s right? This place has truly become a Texas’ favorite and once you’ve taken a look at their menu you’ll see why. If you’re a lover of Cajun food, then this is where you want to be. Seafood, steak, and etouffee, among others all with a southern Louisiana twist. This place is notorious for serving both enticing and strong cocktails, so be sure to eat a hearty meal during your visit.
Sunday (Day Three)
11 a.m. – Brunch at Xochi
This upscale Mexican restaurant is one of five of Chef Hugo Ortega’s award-winning concepts and features Oaxacan fare with signature cocktails and homemade Mexican chocolates. Partake in a beautiful buffet filled with ceviches, enchiladas, sliced meats, seafood and more. If you’re a true foodie and a fan of Bravo’s Top Chef, you may have recognized Chef Ortega as one of the guest judges on season 19 of the popular reality series. Basically, you’re getting brunch from one of the best.
1 p.m. – Lounge at Altitude Rooftop & Pool
Relax and float down the country’s largest Texas-shaped rooftop lazy river and infinity pool housed at the downtown Marriott Marquis Hotel. This impressive area boasts lush palm trees and an outdoor bar and restaurant. Essentially, everything you need to feel like you’re at a tropical resort right off the beach. If you’re not a guest of the hotel, you have the option of purchasing a Resort Day Pass or reserve a cabana for you and your friends.
4 p.m. – Early Dinner at Brasserie du Parc
Take a trip to Paris without ever hopping on a plane or boat. Brasserie du Parc is an elegant restaurant offering classic French entrees like risotto aux crevettes, coq au vin, and a pistachio panna cotta. Some of our favorites that we recommend are the shrimp risotto, salmon, and (believe or not) their hamburger.
Remember that this itinerary is only suggested, so you can tailor it however you’d like! We wish you a fantastic visit and remember to stay plugged in to our social media channels to find out the various free events and activities happening on the Avenida throughout the year.