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A sprawl of concrete and superhighway? Intense summer heat? Yeah, Houston has some of that. But the nation’s fourth-largest city (5 million in the metro area) is also a multicultural, zoning-free hodgepodge where in one strip mall there might be a Vietnamese grocery, a Venezuelan empanada stand and a big-beef meat market. Eat at great ethnic restaurants or shop in arts-and-antique neighborhoods. See world-class paintings and funky folk car parades.
Then just down the road a bit you can walk the beaches of Galveston island and visit the astronauts at Space Center Houston. The interest’s here; you just have to look a little.
sprawl - distesa
The ten best:
1- Johnson Space Center
The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center spans 1,620 acres and consists of 100 facilities. It is an extremely popular, unique attraction, it allows you to look back at the history of space travel. A five-story plaza models a full-size shuttle mock-up including flight deck. Tourists can experience a simulation of a zero-gravity environment in the Living in Space exhibit or encounter a virtual rocket launch complete with exhaust at the Blast Off Theater.
spans - si estende
2 - Bayou Place
Located in the heart of Houston’s Downtown Theater District, this huge entertainment megaplex is comprised of theaters, bars, lounges, and restaurants. Start the evening off with dinner at the legendary Hard Rock Café or the authentic Italian “trattoria”, Mingalone. Enjoy box office hits at the Angelika Film Center followed by drinks and dancing at Rocbar, Houston’s largest rock and roll nightclub.
3 - Galleria Mall
The Galleria Houston, Texas’s largest mall, is an upscale shopping mall centrally located just outside the 610 loop in Houston’s Uptown District. The retail center is anchored by Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue, and occupies such high-end tenants as Tiffany and Co., Dior, Louis Vuitton, and Yves Saint Laurent. The mall is also home to two separate Westin hotels.
4 - The Water Wall
The Water Wall, is located near the Galleria. A unique attraction it has thousands of gallons of water that flow 64 feet down the wall every minute. A popular resting spot for locals, it is also favored as a wedding spot.
upscale - alla moda, sofisticato
5 - Museum District
The Houston Museum District refers to the collection of museums, galleries, and cultural centers located within a 1.5 mile radius of Herman Park. The Museum of Fine Arts which also houses the Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, boasts a collection of over 56,000 pieces. Just a few blocks away is the John P. McGovern Health Museum which is home to Houston’s first and only 4D theater. Other area attractions include the Holocaust Museum, Houston Center for Photography, and the Lawndale Art Center.
6 - Old Town Spring
Located in North Houston, Old Town Spring is a community of shops, restaurants, and museums designed to resemble America during the early 1900’s. Enjoy a nostalgic walk through the town’s many Victorian-style antique shops, or catch a live music performance at the Jailhouse Saloon.
7 - The Neighborhood of Montrose
One of Houston’s most demographically diverse regions, Montrose has become the city’s hub of vintage shopping, live music, and gay and lesbian activism. Restored mansions and bungalows, tree-lined boulevards, and an antique mall make this neighborhood a unique, pedestrian-friendly tourist spot.
boasts - vanta
8 - Houston Zoo
Houston Zoo shelters over 4,500 animals and 900 species, among these are vampire bats and a living coral exhibit. Spend the day strolling through the facility’s beautifully landscaped grounds or enjoy a more hands-on encounter by scheduling a guided tour. Tour experiences range from feeding a lion cub to shadowing a staff veterinarian for an entire day.
9 - The Houston Museum of Natural Science
It’s a full days experience. There is a three level butterfly exhibit as wells as a Challenger Learning Center. Other exhibits include those on oil and energy, Native Americans, minerals and gemstones as well as the Hall of Medical Sciences. Also housed there is an IMAX theater and the Burke Planetarium.
10 - Downtown Aquarium
Discover over 400 species of marine life and dine alongside a 150,000 gallon two-story tank at Downtown Aquarium. Witness White Tigers lounging about, pet a stingray, or go on an exhilarating train ride through the Shark Voyage. Wrap up the evening by feast on seafood entrees, steaks, and decadent desserts.
shelters - ospita
Il viaggio: un esercizio di inglese!