Arguably the most prominent thing — activity-, dining- or entertainment-wise — that the state has to offer, football reigns supreme in Texas. From playing under the Friday night lights for the local high school to seeing the University of Texas Longhorns battle the rest of the Big 12 to tailgating at NRG Stadium before watching the NFL pros take care of business, football in Texas is simply huge. The two words are practically synonymous. In fact, the professional football team in Houston is even called the Texans.
However, no matter how big football is in Houston, the largest city in Texas has much more to offer. From golfing and skateboarding to finding the best bars to watch the game, check out our picks for the best sports spots in Space City.
Wesley Hitt / Getty Images Sport
NRG Stadium, formerly known as Reliant Stadium, plays home to the NFL's Houston Texans. The stadium has a capacity of 71,500 and is one of the few stadiums in the league with a retractable roof, allowing games to be played either indoors or out, depending on the weather.
Looking for an amazing golf outing without ever leaving the state? Get an up-close and personal peek at some of the United States' most amazing golf courses at Tour 18 Houston. From No. 11 at Augusta National to No. 14 at Pebble Beach, all 18 holes at Tour 18 are exact replicas of legendary holes from some of the country's most legendary golf courses.
Not your typical sports bar covered with an insane number of flat-screen TVs, the Hay Merchant is known for its obsession with high-quality craft beers and finger-lickin'-good Southern-style eats. With its exposed brick walls and piping, the Hay Merchant has a classy yet industrial feel throughout. The best part? On football Sundays, if the Texans happen to find themselves with the lead at any point in the game, all beers on tap from the city of Houston are half off!
Home of the MLB's Houston Astros, Minute Maid Park can seat just over half the number of the people that can fit inside NRG Stadium, with a maximum capacity of 40,963. Like NRG Stadium, Minute Maid Park has a retractable roof, Houston’s first. Known as one of the more hitter-friendly stadiums in all of baseball, Minute Maid Park is located right in the heart of downtown Houston, so watch out for deep fly balls when walking around the city.
Greenspoint Spring Recreation Area
Home of local skateboarding legend Dan MacFarlane, Houston is one of the country's most up-and-coming spots for the sport. Its growth is evident by the construction of the 10-acre Greenspoint Spring Recreation Area; its skate park is now the largest of its kind in the US. It is one of the city’s newest sports attractions, having opened in August 2014, and the public skate park stretches across more than 70,000 square feet.
Stats Sports Bar and Grill
Known as one of the more popular places to watch a game in Houston, Stats Sports Bar and Grill is more than just your average sports bar. Yes, there are abundant HDTVs and projection screens covering the walls, and yes, it does have great food and drink deals during the games, but that's no different than most of the sports bars in America. Stats also brings fan participation to a new level. Like playing beer pong and cornhole? How about a poker tournament to tickle your fancy? From Texans, Rockets and Astros games to bingo, trivia and other assorted events, Stats is the ultimate sports bar of Houston.
Located less than a mile from Minute Maid Park is the Toyota Center, home of the NBA's Houston Rockets and the stomping grounds for NBA all-stars James Harden and Dwight Howard. Opened in October 2003, the court of the Toyota Center is set more than 30 feet below street level in one of the smallest basketball arenas in the NBA, with a capacity of just over 18,000.