Tired of Boring Big City Tours? Me Too!
Let’s say you arrive in a city to which you have never been before. Let’s say that city is Houston, TX. What do you do first? How do you know where to go, or what to see? Sure, you probably know about the landmarks, but so does everybody else. Those are tourist traps that will be mobbed with tourists. What you are looking for when you visit Houston is something a little different. You want to know about all of the Houston events and Houston info, not just big attractions that everybody sees. So what do you do in this case? Well, you could just wander around, get lost, find yourself in a sketchy neighborhood, and have a terrible time. Instead, you could go on a Houston tour to get your bearings and find out about the city.
Yes, yes, I know. The last thing you want when you visit a big city is some fanny pack toting tour guide telling you where to go and what to see. This is not how tours should be. Not all tours are like that, and your Houston tour should be much more enjoyable and informative, and much more of an *experience*, than anything Google or some big tour bus could give you.
This is how Houston tours should work: Tour guides are locals. They live and work in Houston, and are not just there to visit Houston. When you go on a Houston tour, you should receive the knowledge and experience of a local who has lived there for years. Lots of apps on your smart phone will claim that they are just like having a local in your pocket. The key word there is “like.” Sure, your phone can tell you where things are and what is going on, but they cannot provide the same experience as an actual local. Houston tours should be more than just a monotonous walk from one landmark to the next. Those things are great, but what everybody really wants to see is some local color. Let’s go to the NASA Space Center and Astro Dome, but then let’s go to a local bar and chat up the people indigenous to the city. A city is made up of people as well as places, and most Houston tours focus far too much on the places instead of the people.
So this is how it should go when you tour houston or a similarly large city. First, check out the landmarks, have fun being a tourist and a stranger in a strange land. Second, and most importantly, the tour needs to veer to the extremely local side of the tourism spectrum. Go to local bars, check out a local comedy club, eat at some dive that looks extremely sketchy but that sells the best chicken and waffles you’ve ever had. Really experience the city in a way that only the people that live there do, and you will find yourself having one of the best Houston tours of your life.