Houston, Texas is home to the new venue of the US Men’s Clay Court Championships, River Oaks Country Club. The largest city in Texas and the fourth largest in the US, Houston is probably the most famous for housing NASA’s Johnson Space Center.
“Houston, we have lift-off!” could have very different connotations in April 2009 when the top clay specialists take to the courts to battle it out for the US Men’s Clay Court Championships title.
What makes Houston all the more challenging as a venue is the humid subtropical climate – Houston is called the “most air-conditioned place on earth” – and it’s extremely high pollution levels. The city has excessive ozone levels, and the American Lung Association rated the metro’s ozone level as the 6th worst in the States!
Getting around Houston has its own challenges. Generally the locals rely on private transport to get from A to B, but there is a range of public transport options to choose from which adequately service the inner city. Possibly the most effective way of reaching River Oaks, which is situated in a suburb of the city, is by taxi, or to hook up with a local! We have put together a brief guide to Housten Travel for the 2009 US Men’s Clay Court Championship.
Houston’s Public Transport
- The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas provides public transport in the guise of buses, light rail and lift vans, but these do not adequately cover the suburban areas.
- Metrorail, the light rail service, currently has only one line, the Red Line, in operation. The eight-mile track runs from the University of Houston-Downtown, past the Texas Medical Centre, to its termination at Reliant Park. There are plans afoot to add five more lines to the service
Getting to Houston
The national rail system, Amtrak, provides adequate transport to the city of Houston via the ‘Sunset Limited’, which travels between Los Angeles and New Orleans. The main train station is situated on the north side of downtown Houston.
Two commercial airports connect Houston with the rest of the world. The primary airport is the George Bush Intercontinental that is currently the 17th busiest airport worldwide and services 182 destinations, both locally and internationally.
Continental Airlines has its headquarters at the Bush Intercontinental, and offers over 700 daily departures from the city.
For small to medium-haul flights, the William P Hobby Airport is the way to go. It is home to Southwest Airlines and JetBlue Airways.
Houston Travel And Attractions
Apart from NASA, and the Mission Control Center, Houston has various other activities and attractions which will keep visitors entertained.
- Late February, early March is traditionally the time for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. In true Texas fashion, the show highlights the skills of local cowboys, and runs for 20 days.
- The 17-block theatre district is home to the Bayou Place Entertainment Complex, a multi-level building containing restaurants, bars, live bands and art house movies.
- Hermann Park is worth a visit. It houses the Houston Zoo & the Houston Museum of Natural Science
- For ‘shop-a-holics’, a must-see is Texas’s largest shopping mall, the Galleria, situated in uptown Houston.
If these Houston travel and attractions do not whet the appetite, why not get into the spirit of the 2009 US Men’s Clay Court Championships and place a bet on the prospective winner.