We’re less than a month away from the kickoff of the 2017 Super Bowl LI in neighboring Houston, TX. This year marks the first time since 2004 that Houston has hosted the big game. While the NFL Playoffs are still in full swing and the final two teams have yet to be decided, many San Antonians plan to make the short trip to Houston for the once-in-a-lifetime chance of watching the Super Bowl live, in-person. With just around a 3-hour drive, or a short flight, train ride, or bus trip, sports fans can make their way from San Antonio to the city of Houston. Super Bowl LI takes place at NRG Stadium on Sunday, February 5 at 6:30pm EST on FOX, but travelers hoping to attend the game should make travel plans long before that weekend.
As always, the San Antonio Daily Sun has the scoop on Super Bowl travel plans with all the best places to stay, places to eat and drink, and things to do in Houston leading up to kickoff.
Where to Stay
There are an abundance of hotels and accommodations available in Houston, from your typical luxury high-rise hotels, to resorts, historic and boutique properties, bed and breakfast (B&B) locations, and much more. If you’re looking a place to stay that is in close proximity to the stadium, here are a few places to check first:
- The Crowne Plaza Houston Near Reliant-Medical: located down the street from the stadium.
- Quality Inn & Suites NRG Park-Medical Center: located down the street from the stadium.
- Holiday Inn Express & Suites Houston S – Medical Ctr Area: located on Main Street, just blocks from the stadium.
If you don’t mind being further away from the stadium, there’s plenty of other unique and affordable places to stay spread out all across Houston. Here’s a list of a few of our favorites:
- Hotel ICON: 135-room and 12-story luxury hotel, originally built in 1911 as the Union National Bank Building.
- La Maison in Midtown: nicknamed, “Your Escape in the City,” and inspired by New Orleans architecture, this three-story B&B holds seven guest rooms, including other amenities such as whirlpool tubs, walk-in showers, great views of the downtown skyline, and plenty more.
- Marriott Marquis: recently opened in December 2016, this brand new hotel features 1,000 guest rooms, a lazy river, a rooftop infinity pool, a two-story sports bar, and two additional specialty restaurants.
For additional accommodations, check out Visit Houston’s Hotel Directory.
Things to Do
In the weeks leading up to Super Bowl LI, visitors will find plenty of events, both related to the game, and external entertainment options for their enjoyment throughout Houston.
One of the biggest events of the week is Super Bowl LIVE, which is “a multi-block festival celebrating the NFL and Houston as the host of this year’s championship game.” Super Bowl LIVE opens its doors on Friday, January 28 from 10am to 11pm in Downtown Houston, and continues its entertainment for 9 days leading up to the game. Discovery Green is the headquarters for Super Bowl LIVE, and the event includes over 250,000 square feet of live music, interactive exhibits, food vendors, a 90-foot tall virtual reality trip to Mars, and much, much more. While attending the festival, be sure to stop by Houston LIVE, which is a “first-of-its-kind exhibit at the Super Bowl, that shares the history of and tells the story of the host city to Super Bowl LI.”
To find out more about all the events, visit Super Bowl LIVE.
The entire city of Houston is excited for Super Bowl LI, and in addition to Super Bowl LIVE, there’s a long list of other events taking place around throughout city:
- January 28 through February 5, from 10am to 10pm: NFL Experience Driven by Genesis
- February 3 at 9pm: Bruno Mars at Club Nomadic
- February 4, gates open at 11am: Celebrity Flag Football
- February 4 at 9pm: Rolling Stone LIVE: Houston Big Game Bash
- February 4-5, from 11am to 7pm: Lunar New Year Houston 2017
For additional events taking place around the Houston area in the days leading up to the game, check out Visit Houston’s Events Calendar.
Restaurants and Bars
No trip to Houston is successful without taking the time to try some of the local cuisine. While we’re pretty sure it can’t be anywhere near as good as the food in San Antonio (yes, maybe we’re a little bias), we have heard good things about multiple bars and restaurants spread out around the Houston area.
If you’re not looking to break the bank, here’s a few places that offer good food at great prices:
- Doozo Dumplings and Noodles, located in Downtown
- Frank’s Pizza, located in the Downtown Historic District
- Bubba’s Texas Burger Shack, located in the Galleria/Uptown
When you’re in the mood for a nice sit down meal or a romantic night out on the town, these Houston restaurants might just do the trick:
- Brennan’s of Houston, located in Midtown
- Caracol, located in the Galleria/Uptown
- Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, located in the Galleria/Uptown
Finally, if you’re just searching for a cool place to grab a cold one, check out these laid back spots:
- Darkhorse Tavern, located near Memorial Park/Washington Corridor
- Public Services Wine & Whiskey, located in Downtown
- Under the Volcano, located near West University/Rice Village
For more food and drink options, check out Visit Houston.
Tickets & Additional Information
To find out more, visit the official Super Bowl LI website or the Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Visit Houston Texas website. Visit Houston has a great site filled with additional information about the area and the events surrounding Super Bowl LI (See their Guide to Super Bowl LI).
If you still need tickets to the game, you can check out Super Bowl LI’s official Hospitality Package page or visit StubHub. But be warned, tickets are limited and very expensive. Good luck and have fun!
Traveling to Houston for the game? Don’t forget to share all your pictures and videos from Super Bowl LI with us on the San Antonio Facebook page.