Regardless of which team you’re rooting for in Super Bowl LI, there’s one thing football lovers from either fan base can agree on: having a good time. Whether you’re a current Houstonian and want to discover more of what your city has to offer or are planning a visit for the big game, we’ve got you covered. Our team rounded up some of the best hotels to stay, places to eat and things to do in Houston, TX – specifically those that are near NRG Stadium, where this year’s bowl is taking place. To get access to this knowledge, explore our list below.
Nestled in the heart of downtown Houston, Hotel Derek, part of the Destination Hotels family, combines edgy design with excellent service and accommodations. Staying true to its roots of southern hospitality, the hotel recently rolled out six newly redesigned concept suites at its Houston location, each with a varying theme. The purpose behind the update? To set itself apart from other boutique hotels in the area by offering a self-acclaimed “wildly unique” experience that pushes the envelope. Suite themes vary from rooms decorated with psychedelic wallpaper to others exuding delicate femininity. Hotel Derek is 7.9 miles from NRG Stadium.
The Houstonian, self-described as “the ultimate urban oasis,” offers guests peaceful seclusion in the midst of the bustling city. Sitting on an 18-acre wooded lot, the hotel has become a huge part of the state’s history. Décor in each of the luxurious suites gives a nod to old-school Texas elegance. Equipped with a spa, three restaurants, bar and café, guests receive treatment fit for royals – it’s no surprise that it received a four-star rating from the Forbes Travel Guide. The Houstonian is located 9.9 miles from NRG Stadium.
If you want to experience “the best Mexican food in Texas since Texas was in Mexico,” run – don’t walk – to the original Ninfa’s on Navigation. The most popular dish? Mama Ninfa’s original Tacos Al Carbon, the inspiration behind the restaurant. But that isn’t all the restaurant offers. Featuring an extensive menu of traditional dishes with a flair that only Ninfa’s can produce, you won’t be disappointed, regardless of what you order. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the Wood Oven Roasted Quail or the Mole-Encrusted Grilled Salmon. Ninfa’s on Navigation is 8.7 miles away from NRG Stadium.
If you’re in the mood for fine dining, look no further than Brennan’s of Houston – the city’s “crown jewel” of Southern hospitality. With a history dating to 1967, Brennan’s is known in the Bayou City for serving award-winning cuisine, including its main attraction – Texas-style Creole. Brennan’s Creole Jazz Brunch, limited to weekends, is one of its most popular features. The restaurant adheres to a strict business casual dress code, so make sure you’re looking your best before stepping in the door. Brennan’s of Houston is 12.8 miles from NRG Stadium.
At Texian Brewing Company, everything – from the way the beer is brewed and served to the historical story printed on each bottle label – celebrates the rich heart and soul of the state. “Making history by the pint” is one of the core themes, and the company is spreading Texas’ heritage with every bottle sold. The microbrewery offers limited tours and tastings, so call ahead before stopping by. Texian Brewing Company is located in Richmond, 24.8 miles from NRG Stadium.
One of the city’s most-loved attractions, the Houston Zoo is an expansive, 55-acre park in the heart of downtown. With 11 exhibits, the zoo offers something for nearly every age group. You’ll have the chance to get up close and personal with sloths, tamarins and blue-tongued skinks when you walk through the immersive Natural Encounters exhibit. Or, view one of the zoo’s seven elephants swim in an 80,000-gallon pool at the McNair Asian Elephant Habitat. The Houston Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums and is committed to not only treating the animals it cares for with excellence, but saving animals in the wild, too, by partnering with organizations that protect wildlife. The Houston Zoo is 3.8 miles from NRG Stadium.
Houston, we have liftoff. For an experience that’s out of this world, round up the family for an educational day at Space Center Houston. The center’s newest attraction is Mission Mars – an immersive, interactive exhibit that allows visitors to experience a glimpse of an expedition to Mars as they sit in a simulated Orion space capsule and feel the texture of the planet’s red rocks. If you’re curious about what life is like at an international space station, check out “Living In Space” for a behind-the-scenes tour. Finally, don’t forget to make time for “Lunch with an Astronaut” – a chance to hear firsthand stories from a real NASA astronaut. The Space Center Houston is 3.8 miles from NRG Stadium.
Tours and Transportation
Get ready to explore the city in a whole new way. With Segway Tours of Houston – self-described as Houston’s premier Segway tour company – you’ll have a chance to do just that. Choose from five tours with a different theme to each. On the Buffalo Bayou Tour, you’ll have a chance to learn more about Houston’s history, view its prominent parks and buildings and learn more about the Buffalo Bayou – the city’s vital waterway with a rich backstory. On the Twilight Tour, riders have the chance to glide through Houston’s downtown streets as the sun goes down and city lights come up. Other tours offered are: the Houston History Tour, Houston Graffiti and Street Art Tour and a Pokémon Go tour. Segway tour headquarters is 9 miles from NRG Stadium.
group of friends and want to plan a memorable night on the town, The Wave is a great option.
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