Exploring Houston

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Enjoy some of the sights and sounds of Houston without breaking the bank.

A short walk from the Convention Center, take a stroll through Discovery Green. This park offers free Wi-Fi and open-air reading rooms, or you can borrow balls or games. There’s even a spray fountain and mist tree to cool down on a hot day.

Visit The Church of the Annunciation, Houston’s oldest Catholic church, dating back to 1869. A blend of romanesque and gothic architecture, this downtown church features beautiful stained glass, graceful columns and a Pilcher Opus 1206 organ, whose pipework is in the church itself, as opposed to recessed into chambers in the wall.

Houston’s unofficial Graffiti Park has blocks of buildings covered top to bottom in murals that pay homage to the hometown. With artistic subjects from NASA to Selena, your social media feeds will brighten with the color and vibrancy of the city’s East End.

Visit Minute Maid Park to see where the Houston Astros play. While the team is away during NTI, you can book a one- or two-hour tour of the ballpark starting at $15, or even just a short photo opportunity for $10.

Phoenicia Specialty Foods is more than a grocery store — it’s an experience. Visit this food market for artisan breads, European pastries, boutique wines and beers, quality meats, cheeses and exotic produce. Or check out MKT BAR, a gastropub offering happy hour between 4 and 6 p.m.

Catch a play at the 300-seat Neuhaus Theatre. Throughout May, see the world premiere season of Born With Teeth, a story about William Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe.

Buy a timed admission ticket to Space Center Houston, the official visitor center of NASA Johnson Space Center. With more than 400 space artifacts, exciting exhibits and knowledgeable staff, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at mission control and the International Space Station.

Walk through Glenwood Cemetery, one of the city’s most beautiful landscapes. Established in 1871, this cemetery is the resting place of Howard Hughes and many other notable Texans, including Judge Roy Hofheinz, mastermind of the Astrodome, actress Gene Tierney and oilman Glenn McCarthy, who inspired James Dean’s character in “Giant.”

You won’t run out of things to do in this historic, lively and cultural metropolis!