Final Four Visitors: Ten Alternative Places to Visit in Houston

Categories: Spaced City

Beer Can House Front View.jpg
You can skip the Beer Can House.
So, you've made it to town for the Final Four and you are shocked to find out there are no tumbleweeds, we all aren't walking around in ten-gallon hats and the area surrounding downtown and the medical center is not filled with strip malls and urban decay. Welcome to Houston!

Now, what are you going to do? Unfortunately, Houston is not a city built for tourists. It's spread out. There aren't a ton of traditional "attractions" and mass transit is, how shall we say this, shitty. But, what makes our city so great is that you have to dig past the sprawl and chain strip mall hell to find the real Houston.

Fortunately for you, we've done the work for you. Now, you can enjoy H-Town like a resident with these ten alternative places to visit while you're in Houston.

Night Life
Where You Might Consider Going: Washington Avenue
Where You Should Go: Market Square (Honorable Mention: Alabama Ice House)

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La Carafe
If you want to get drunk with a bunch of Jersey Shore wannabes, surrounded by cops just waiting for you to do something stupid, by all means, hit Washington Avenue. But, if you want a decidedly more laid-back vibe where you can get your crunk on just as easily, Market Square is the place.

Not only does it have a nice park for hanging out early and maybe grabbing a bite to eat at Niko Niko's, it has the oldest bar in Houston, La Carafe, and Warren's, one of the best bars in town for getting an extremely strong drink with a side of Texas sass. Equally worthy is Alabama Ice House, outside of downtown on the western edge of the Montrose area (yes, we call it "the" Montrose 'round here), where you can hang outside under the oak trees and sip a Lone Star just like a regular Texan.

Upscale Night Life
Where You Might Consider Going: Hotel ZaZa or Midtown
Where You Should Go: Marfreless (Honorable Mention: Anvil)

marfreless-justine-schmider.jpg
Photo by Justine Schmider
Marfreless
Say you want to take your nighttime drinking up a notch and go for something a little more classy. Stay away from Midtown and try Marfreless, the speak-easy style bar under the staircase behind the River Oaks shopping center. Despite being known to locals as a makeout lounge (it was once thought you weren't a true Houstonian until you had done a little spit swapping upstairs), Marfreless is short on sleaze, but long on quiet chatter and good drinks. It's a damn fine place to take a date. If you like your cocktails more complicated, try Anvil. It might take a few minutes to get whatever amazing concoction they've whipped up for you, but it will be worth it.

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15 comments
John Gardosik
John Gardosik

Hong Kong City Mall is "just southwest of downtown"?!

Kyle
Kyle

Lone Star is owned by Pabst and brewed by Miller, so please let's stop buying into this National Beer of Texas nonsense, please. It's a terrible beer and there are a lot of good beers actually representative of Texas.

Nishta
Nishta

this is awesome for those of us who live here, too!

P Lewis
P Lewis

This article is so true- you nailed it!

Ted Stickles
Ted Stickles

Last time I was at Marfreless I walked in on someone getting a beej in the upstairs back room.

Restaurant Traveler
Restaurant Traveler

FYI, Space Center has $8. and $10. tickets if you buy them on line, and the drive is not as bad as it sounds. Take Nasa Rd 1 ramp from 45 and avoid lights and traffic, getting you right to NASA.

Thenonymous
Thenonymous

Remember, Final Four Visitors: "A fool and his money are soon shown the way to the V.I.P."

Kyle
Kyle

Pretty good list, though! Some of my favorites.

Kyle
Kyle

Buddy, if you walked upstairs and into the back room at Marfreless you got to see exactly what you were seeking.

Brittanie Shey
Brittanie Shey

Aww Marfreless. Where every CEO takes his new secretary.

Jeff
Jeff

It was one line in a story meant as a joke and since Lone Star is a very popular beer in Texas and it is the one most associated with the state thanks to the name (whether it is brewed here or not), I'll stick with it. I seriously doubt anyone cares or will base their entire beer drinking experience on the one line from my story.

Kyle
Kyle

My comment was more to the general drinking public, not condemning your story as bad for the beer community, or somesuch. Stick with what you please!

furioso ateo
furioso ateo

It is brewed here in Texas at least. Up in Fort Worth.

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