The Ravens take on the Houston Texans today in a makeup game forced by the devastation of Hurricane Ike in September. While Houston is mostly recovered, other Texas coastal towns have a long way to go. The Houston City Statistical Area covers more square miles than all of Maryland, according to the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. The statistical area also includes Galveston. Here are five things to do in and around Houston:
The Johnson Space Center/Space Center Houston : Just about everything you ever wanted to know about space, the final frontier. The attraction is family-friendly, allowing kids to touch a moon rock, land a space shuttle or experience a launch.
The Health Museum : Houston's medical community is huge, so it makes sense that the city would have an interactive museum that promotes appreciation of well-being. Don't miss the Amazing Body Pavilion, a larger-than-life walking tour of the human body.
Photograph a fountain : The Water Wall, a 64-foot U-shaped fountain at 2800 Post Oak Blvd., is Houston's most photographed site, on 3 acres shaded by 180 oak trees where you can picnic, stroll or toss a flying disc.
San Jacinto Monument & Museum : At 570 feet, this is the tallest monument column in the world - taller than Washington Monument in D.C. by about 15 feet. The museum, a quick drive from downtown Houston (in La Porte), commemorates the battle in which Texas gained independence from Mexico.
The Beer Can House : Amass some 50,000 beer cans and what do you get? Aluminum siding - of a sort. It took nearly 20 years to create a house, at 222 Malone St., starting in 1968. Weekend tours are offered for $2-$5, but you can see it from the street for free.
More information: visithoustontexas.com