to fill your days. And the cherry on top of the fine-arts sundae? Many of the museums and galleries are free.
- Lawndale Art Center: This unassuming art-deco building combines a beautiful façade with a huge graffiti art mural, a fitting representation of the the diverse art found inside. The center hosts contemporary local artists and artist studios. Closed Sundays. Free.
- Asia Society Texas Center: The newest addition to the Houston arts scene (opened April 2012) is worth a visit for the architecture alone, which was designed by architect Yoshio Taniguchi (the mind behind MoMA’s 2004 expansion). Closed Mondays. Free.
- The Menil Collection and Rothko Chapel: The Menil is a stunning collection along with thoughtfully-curated rotating exhibits of contemporary arts. The nearby Rothko Chapel was custom built by the Menil family to host 14 large Rothko paintings, and also acts as a non-denominational chapel. Menil Collection is open Wednesday-Sunday and the Rothko Chapel is open daily. Both are free.
- Contemporary Arts Museum Houston: This sleek, all-steel building houses intimate, rotating exhibits of emerging artists. Open Wednesday-Sunday. Free.
- Museum of Fine Arts: Houston’s most expansive collection is home to pieces from the Stone Age alongside contemporary film art and a huge calendar of events. Worth a trip alone to see James Turrell’s “The Light Inside,” a trippy, optical illusion of a light tunnel. Closed Mondays. Admission: $10.
- The James Turrell Skyspace: Did you like that light tunnel at the MFA? Then check out this cool installation at RIce University by the same artist, James Turrell, which opened in June. The piece, called “Twilight Epiphany,” encourages visitors to view the ever-changing sky as part of the art work. Reservations required. Free.
Hotel Zaza is the go-to spot for Houston’s luxury travelers with an eye for style, and is within walking distance of many museums. With a black and gold color scheme and rooms names like “It Happened One Night” and “Fatal Charms,” the hotel brings out your inner rock star. Check out the pool and the hopping restaurant, “Monarch.” Rooms start at $239.
This trip was sponsored by the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau.