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Last September I left Houston, Texas, setting my sights on Los Angeles and beyond.
It was a bittersweet departure. Houston had been my home for eight years, and it had brought me some of my best memories, closest friends, and most amazing stories. It was the city where I truly found myself, where I became an adult, and where I laid the foundation for my future.
It seems only fair that I should leave behind some sort of token of appreciation for the city that has done so much for me.
The perfect opportunity presented itself to me through this very blog, when Chris Backe, the mastermind behind the Choose a Way guidebook project, contacted me. If you haven’t heard of his books, they’re really something special, turning city travel into an interactive choose your own adventure experience.
I quickly agreed to collaborate with Chris and highlight 36 of my absolute favorite places to see in Houston, and I’m happy to say that Choose a Way Houston will be published on November 23, 2015. Want to request an early copy? Just head on over to the website.
So, what makes Choose a Way Houston special for me?
My Favorite Places to See in Houston
After eight years I’ve managed to see quite a bit of Houston and the surrounding area, and I’ve definitely picked up a few favorites. Additionally, my time working for The Houston Museum of Natural Science gave me the opportunity to see the city through the eyes of those traveling to it.
This not only uniquely qualified me to create Choose a Way Houston, but also provided the opportunity for me to highlight the aspects of Houston I would miss most. These are the venues I spent years visiting myself and recommending to others. They include classic tourist spots, like the Menil Collection and the Discovery Green, as well as a few more unique options, like the Waugh Bat Bridge and the Art Car Museum.
Choose Your Adventure
The child in me still gets a little giddy when I pull a choose your own adventure book off the shelf at Barnes & Noble. There’s something so fun about this style of book. Maybe it’s the extra level of immersion, maybe it’s the sense of control, or maybe it’s the added responsibility of a character’s fate resting in your hands.
Whatever the reason, I’ve always loved this style of writing. The opportunity to apply it to a travel guide is nothing if not brilliant. What better way to explore a new city than by literally immersing yourself in an interactive choose your own adventure book — where you get to play the role of the main character?
Ten year old me would have exploded from excitement. Adult me almost did.
A Little Bit of Everything Houston Has to Offer
While Choose A Way Houston isn’t an exhaustive list of places to see in Houston, it provides a taste of everything. The guide includes plenty of free activities for those strapped for cash, as well as a mixture of family-friendly options and adult-only adventures. Regardless of why you visit Houston, or who you’re traveling with, there’s something for you.
My goal in creating the guide was to highlight the best attractions in Houston for everyone, providing endless options and endless possible itineraries.
Little Known Jewels of Houston
Did you know that Houston has a thriving improv scene? Or that it showcases a house made entirely of beer cans? What about the fact that it houses one of the largest museums of funeral history in the nation?
There’s so much more to Houston than the oil and gas industry, and it has an amazingly diverse culture. In fact, Houston has the most diversity of any city in the United States — including New York City!
In creating the Choose a Way Houston book, I wanted to capture this diversity by including some of the smaller, less well-known attractions in the area. While many of these spots are local favorites, out-of-towners might not typically come across them.
A Fitting Farewell
Sitting in my apartment in Los Angeles, putting the finishing touches on the book, I feel as though I’ve been able to give Houston a proper goodbye.
While Houston is not always considered a destination city, I want to show people it has just as much to offer as any other metropolis.
Choose a Way Houston has given me the opportunity to do that, and I hope you’ll get just as much enjoyment out of using the book as I got out of writing it.
Grab Your Copy of Choose a Way Houston
The official release date for Choose a Way Houston is Monday, November 23, 2015. Click the image below to reserve your copy, or request early access!