Houston has been deemed a “must-visit global destination” for 2015 by three travel publications, accolades that come as the city grows its food, retail and arts scenes.
More than $1.5 billion is being invested around the 1.2 million-sq. ft. George R. Brown Convention Center, including a new Marriott Marquis Hotel, the 70,000-sq. ft. Nau Center for Cultural Heritage and improvements to the convention center itself.
Travel + Leisure cited Houston as one of its “50 Places to Travel in 2015” for a restaurant scene that’s receiving national attention.
Conde Nast Traveler included the city on its list of “Top 15 Places to Go in 2015,” and pondered whether Houston is the nation’s new “it” city.
The Boston Globe came up with a list of “six places to go in the year ahead,” and Houston was the only U.S. city listed. The Globe wrote: “The $1.5 billion downtown redevelopment, in anticipation of hosting Super Bowl 2017, has already brought in a slew of new restaurants and bars. The influx adds to an already dynamic, nationally recognized culinary scene showcasing the city’s rich, cultural diversity.”
And there’s more. At least five new projects will also have travelers, groups and meeting planners looking at the Bayou city:
- A new $156 million international terminal at Hobby Airport, due to open late in the year.
- A $58 million renovation of Buffalo Bayou Park that will include new trails, gardens, recreation and a visitors center. Due to open this spring.
- A $46 million renovation, the biggest ever, to the award-winning Alley Theatre downtown. Completion is targeted for the fall.
- The opening of the $25 million MATCH Complex, which will house the Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston and become home to a number of independent performing arts groups. Scheduled to open in the fall.
- A $29 million Gorillas of the African Forest habitat at the Houston Zoo, due to open early in the summer.