The Houston skyline is visible beyond the Buffalo Bayou on Aug. 3, 2018.

Tamir Kalifa for Texas Monthly

Most people do not associate Houston with the word “vacation.” There are good reasons for this. The city lacks virtually any kind of natural physical beauty—no mountains, no sparkling lakes, no beaches—unless you count Galveston, an unprepossessing fifty-mile drive to the southeast. Indeed, there’s no place you would immediately associate with any sort of R&R, unless your idea of a great vacation is floating along the Texas-shape lazy river on the roof of downtown’s Marriott Marquis—not that there’s anything wrong with that.

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