Photo Credit: Norm Lanier

If there’s one city in Texas that doesn’t live up to the cheesy stereotype of cowboys and cattle it’s Houston. A mecca for foodies, history buffs, and adrenaline junkies, Houston is quickly asserting itself as one of the best cities in the U.S. with a little something for everyone.

The best part? Thanks to its location near the Gulf, you’re guaranteed nearly 205 days of sunshine, clear skies, and warm weather, making it the perfect year-round destination for a quick domestic getaway.

Ideal for bachelorette and bachelor parties

Houston’s close proximity to the beaches of Galveston, plethora of honky-tonks, and budget-friendly activities make it one of the best places to hold a last fling before the ring. For men, a trip to the oldest craft brewery in all of Texas at St. Arnold’s Brewing Co. is a must, meanwhile, the ladies will love splurging on a few nights at The Houstonian, one of the city’s swankiest hotels that just so happens to be attached to the biggest and best malls in the city, the Galleria. Don’t forget the plastic.

Not short of adventure

The home of NASA, Houston is basically the birthplace of adventure. That being said, a visit to the Space Center and the 95-minute tram tour through the rockets are a rite of passage for first time visitors to the area. Afterwards, book a sunset tour with Waugh Bridge Bat Colony Pontoon Boat Tours to watch thousands of Houston’s bats emerge to hunt insects, a natural phenomenon few tourists know about.

Be romanced

The standard romantic night in Houston consists of photos at Williams Waterwall around dusk, dinner at the Rainbow Lodge downtown and staying a cushy hotel. For something more unique, spend the day hiking and picnicking before an evening stargazing at the George Observatory at Brazos Bend State Park, which is easily one of the best cheap date options in Texas. Afterwards, nix the fancy restaurants and head straight to a sinfully good dessert at The Chocolate Bar. Who said dinner was the most important meal of the day?