As big as Texas is, you'd think the state would be filled with LDS temples, however there are only four. And the Houston Texas Temple was only the second temple to be built (Dedicated 2000) after Dallas in 1984. That was a space of many years for faithful members in this area to wait to have a temple of their own. Arguably, one of the most beautiful temples with it's intricate design patterns, detailed glass windows, azure spire and large fountains.
In 1843 when Joseph Smith and the Mormons were facing persecution in Illinois, Texas was considered as a new place where the Mormons could colonize. Several missionaries and groups were sent to Texas in 1844 and 1845 to negotiate and learn about the possibilities in the area. However, after the death of Joseph Smith, it was decided by Brigham Young to lead the saints to Utah instead.
Houston, the largest city in Texas, is filled with diversity, culture, art, sports, industry and history. But, don’t be fooled, this isn’t just another sprawling metropolis – there is a real friendly, ethnic, unique vibe and Texan charm that makes this place special.
Once you familiarize yourself with the 610 Loop (the 38-mile long freeway that loops around the downtown area) and the Sam Houston Tollway/Beltway 8 (the second freeway loop around the city), you’ll feel like you can conquer any super-freeway, although the time it takes you to get from one place to another may be somewhat time consuming due to the traffic congestion problems you will often experience in the city.
Whether you want to experience country or cosmopolitan, funky charm or Southern charm, Houston’s wide array of attractions won’t disappoint. Just don’t forget the sunscreen. Be prepared for high temperatures and high humidity in the summer months.
Dining in Houston is an attraction in itself with an array of choices to satisfy any palette. You could spend days eating your way through the cuisines of the world. Choose classic Tex-Mex at Pappasito's Cantina. If you're craving New York deli food, Kenny & Ziggy's New York Deli is one of the best you'll find outside of the Big Apple. No visit to Texas would be complete without barbecue, and Rudy's Bar-B-Q won't disappoint. For more of an eclectic menu, try Black Sheep Bistro for something out of the ordinary. If you're a chocolate lover, you can't miss The Chocolate Bar for dessert that won't soon leave your memory.
With so many attractions to choose from, you may be left wondering where to start. The San Jacinto Museum is a great place to get some history under your belt. Escape the heat while seeing some interesting exhibitions at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Houston Museum of Natural Science. See Red Pandas and Hornbills up close at the Houston Zoo, or pretend you're an astronaut at the Houston Space Center.