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6 Reasons Why This Iconic U.S. Destination Is Breaking Tourism Records

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From coast to coast, the United States is blessed with countless enchanting destinations that captivate the imaginations of travelers.

Many of these places have had fantastic years when it comes to tourism, and there’s now another iconic city in the state of Texas that we can add to this list: Houston.

view of looking up at sky scrapers in downtown houston area at night in texas

It seems that travelers just can’t get enough of this Texan treasure – both of Houston’s airports welcomed a record-breaking 60.1 million passengers in 2023.

This eclipsed the previous record that was set in 2019 by almost 370,000 additional passengers.

It's time to take a closer look at why Houston is such a hot U.S. destination right now.

All-American Experiences

For some people at least, visiting Texas is one of the best ways to get a truly authentic American experience.

The Lone Star State always ranks as one of the top trending states for travelers and has the perfect blend of classic traditions and modern cities.

One of the most iconic experiences you can have in Houston is to head on down to watch a rodeo.

horse rider at a rodeo in houston texas

In 2024, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo takes place from February 27 to March 17 at NRG Park, and attracts more than two million fans to the watch the live action and music performances.

Affordable Winter Destination

Houston can be an affordable getaway, especially in the winter when daytime temperatures hit an average between 55 and 65F.

At the time of writing, many hotels were offering last-minute deals and discount coupons on stays this winter that could see you saving as much as 25% on your stay.

view of houston skyline at night from a green park

The city also has plenty of free things to do, including visiting Market Square Park, the Art Car Museum, Houston Arboretum and Nature Center, and even boat tours at Port Houston.

2024 Will Be A Great Year

There are plenty of reasons to consider visiting Houston in 2024, not least the opening of a new Birds of the World exhibit at Houston Zoo and a new interactive urban playground in Hermann Park.

The city will also be getting a massive new public sculpture in the shape of Arco del Tiempo – this eye-catching piece will measure the time of day using sunlight and geometric patterns and will also generate electricity to power nearby homes.

two tourists riding bicycles on a path through a park in houston texas on a sunny day

Out Of This World Attractions

For fans of space exploration and its history, there might not be a better place in the country to visit than Space Center Houston.

This attraction allows visitors to get up close and personal with one of NASA’s main headquarters when it comes to astronaut training and manned space expeditions.

There are a host of guided tours, special films and shows, interactive exhibits, and even virtual reality experiences that will keep your inner space geek very happy.

outside view of space center houston with american and texan flags flying

Houston is so intertwined with space travel that the city’s name was one of the very first words spoken by a human being on the surface of the moon.

Beach Bums Are Welcome

While not strictly a coastal city, Houston is close to some pretty beautiful beaches on the Gulf of Mexico.

The closest to downtown is Sylvan Beach Park, which is about 25 miles away and offers beautiful golden sand, calm seas, and a huge park complex with tennis courts, skate parks, and even an air-conditioned pavilion.

two rental beach chairs on stewart beach in galveston near houston texas

If you’re willing to travel for about an hour, you can get to either Stewart Beach or East Beach in Galveston, both of which are family-friendly and packed with vendors selling food and drink and hiring beach chairs.

New Flights Being Added

To get to that record-breaking number of passengers, it goes without saying that Houston’s two major airports – George Bush Intercontinental Airport and William P. Hobby Airport – are both very well connected.

And that connectivity just seems to be getting better all the time, with airline Frontier recently adding a new twice-daily service to George Bush Airport from Dallas-Fort Worth, as well as a three-times-a-week flight from Charlotte-Douglas International.

There is also a new four-times-a-week flight from Chicago Midway.

And that’s just one airline – many of the other major carriers are also expanding their connectivity with Houston.

a concourse at george bush intercontinental airport in houston texas

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.