The largest city in Texas (and the fourth largest in the US) Houston is rightly famous for oversized helpings of friendly Southern charm and world class tourist attractions.
In Houston, urban sprawl is definitely part of the landscape thanks in large part to its oil riches that result in the pinnacle of American car culture.
Although taxis, city buses and light overland rail can get you places, a rental car is always recommended as the most convenient way to get around to see it all. And there's so much to see!.
If it's your first visit, of course you'll want to follow the crowds to the Houston Space Center, a traditional stop on any visit to Houston, with an up-close tour of the NASA Space Program featuring historic highlights, tours, film presentations, hands-on exhibits, and fun learning activities for kids of all ages.
Start with Downtown Houston. With kids in tow, you'll want to head over to the Houston Downtown Aquarium and learn more about life under the sea - or to the equally sprawling Houston Zoo action-packed with more than 4,000 animal exhibits.
If visiting in the summer with kids in tow, cool down at a major center for
spills and thrills at Houston's Splashtown, one of the state's largest water parks offering five-story high water coasters as well as cool toddler-friendly play areas.
If you're heading through town in spring, also don't miss one of the city's biggest entertainment spectaculars, the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, held throughout the month of March at Reliant Park.
See what else oil riches can buy with a tour of the Houston Museum District, featuring a dozen major art, history and science museums including family friendly trips to the The Children's Museum of Houston and The Houston Museum of Natural Science.
When the sun goes down, also don't miss Downtown's Bayou Place offering up a heap of upscale metropolitan restaurants, bars and exciting nightlife in the city's theater district.
More about Houston travel & tourist attractions around the Web:
Houston - Wikitravel - The grand sweep of the city including its history, helpful travel information, must-sees, and major annual events, tips on getting there and getting around with related references and resources.