07/31/2015 02:38 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Houston's Local Secrets, A Beautiful Travel Guide

We sent Houston local and photographer extraordinaire, Christian Watson to The Sam Houston Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton to experience the historic property, shoot some beautiful photos, and create a Local Guide for Houston full of tips and local secrets just for you.


Name: Christian Watson

Occupation? Brander, photographer, illustrator, storyteller.

Preoccupation? Preoccupied with occupation.

How long have you lived in Houston? Two years

What is the best thing about Houston? The community is the best thing and is what keeps me here. I am so in love with people's willingness and ultimate lust for kindness. Everyone is so warm and inspiring.

Can you sum up Houston? Yes, and it's the same as the previous answer. Community makes Houston, and Houston makes community. It's as simple as that!

What is a perfect day in Houston? A perfect day is the end of the hustle and bustle. Everyone works their tails off in Houston and it's amazing to see that at the end of the day we can all get together, eat the best of foods and drink the best drinks. Houston is an incredible place for meeting new people, is not pretentious and holds high regard for others.

What are the people like in Houston? People are very straight forward and there is little mess about. No one wants to give you the wrong impression, even if the impression isn't always great. Haha! People are down-to-earth, kind and loving. Sure there's a few bad eggs, but much less than in other cities in the world. This place has easily become home.

If Houston was a person or character who would it be? It would be everyone who makes it up, myself included. It's not just one person or one thing, it's everybody, it's everything.


Please describe a perfect 24 hours in Houston. Get your things squared up at The Sam Houston Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton, take a small nap and get comfortable. Slip on good clothes!

Go start with breakfast at Tiny Boxwoods or Kraftsmen Bakery. The best way to prepare for the day is to know that The Sam Houston Hotel offers shuttles and UBER is a great service to utilize as well. Houston is the biggest city in America by square mile and spans a lot of space. Most of the great areas like The Heights, Montrose, and Kirby are within 15 minutes of the hotel. So once you've had a wonderful breakfast, (trust me those two places are highly recommended) you can walk around and spend the day at the Menil Collection. The Menil Park is right next to great coffee places like Brasil and Commonbond along with shopping experiences like the Montrose Shop. The park itself is wide and lush with green and holsters a free and privately owned Museum with continuously changing works that involve greats like Picaso and tribal arts from all over the world. The Rothko Chapel is also in walking distance, as is the Cy Twombly Museum.

If art is less your speed and you're more about the action, there are great music venues including the House of Blues and Fitzgerald's which almost always have shows going on in the evenings! You can even catch a movie at an iMax theater within walking distance of The Sam.

Follow up the day with dinner at Coltivare in the Heights; there will be about a 40 minute wait depending on the time you get there, but it's well worth the stop. Once you're full from the best foods Houston has to offer, top it off with a drink at Julep just about 6 minutes driving from Coltivare. This place has the best cocktails and is run by some of the nicest people.

Wanna stay downtown? You can do that too by walking to the bar district on Main. Check out amazing cocktail bars like OKRA, Public Services, and Captain Foxhearts. Walk up the stairs (to what seems like an attorney's office) into a hidden speakeasy and it's amazing. Great music is always playing on the radio and the drinks are well-priced and drinkable! You can walk to The Sam Houston Hotel no problem and have a last drink at The Sam Bar. After you've had one or four drinks, plop on the bed feelin' satisfied, put on the television and enjoy all the little provisions offered to you right inside your room.

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