From a distance, Houston seems like an unappealing city for tourists. The home of numerous Fortune 500 companies, this vast concrete jungle has highways and skyscrapers as far as the eye can see. But at its core, America’s fourth-largest city has so much more to offer than generic infrastructure and corporate hangouts. A melting pot of cultures and ethnic groups, the city’s urban center buzzes with exotic sounds and flavors, hip bars and restaurants, and a vibrant arts scene waiting to be explored. Here are three great places to start your journey through Houston.Space Center Houston
Older visitors will recall fond memories of watching NASA
’s moon landings in the 1960s and 1970s, while kids will marvel at some of the most sophisticated technology in existence. Either way, there’s something for everyone at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
. The visitor center of this massive 1,620-acre complex contains dozens of excellent exhibits and attractions that bring space travel to life. Tourists can experience a simulated zero-gravity environment at the Living in Space exhibit or see a virtual rocket take flight at the Blast Off Theater.Health Museum
From the mysteries of space to the wonders of the human body, the health museum explores one of the most complex and astounding organisms on the planet: the human body. Located at the north edge of Hermann Park, the Health Museum
is a unique place that teaches visitors about the various components and functions of the human body, as well as the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Interactive exhibits take visitors on a journey through the human body – literally. At one of the museum’s many highlights, the Amazing Body Pavilion, visitors enter through the mouth and travel down the digestive tract, learning about the many organs they encounter along the way. Other exhibits will give you insight into the aging process of your own body or take you on a journey through the landscape of the skin with a 4D movie.Downtown Theater District
Located at the heart of Houston’s lively downtown area is the Theater District, an impressive hub for entertainment and culture in the city. One of the district’s main draws is Bayou Place – a gargantuan entertainment complex housing an impressive array of bars, theaters, restaurants and attractions. One of the city’s most popular live venues, the Verizon Wireless Theater is located within this complex. Visitors can take in shows, opera, ballet or musical theater performances at exquisite venues like Jones Hall, Wortham Theater Center and the Alley Theater. For a more up-tempo experience, the area is also home to some of the finest restaurants, bars and clubs in Houston, as well as family attractions like the Downtown Aquarium.