Leah Walker

Correspondent

  • Houston, Texas, USA

Leah Walker is a Forbes Travel Guide correspondent based in Texas. She is a bit obsessive when it comes to travel and counts new experiences like she does airline miles and shoes. Despite a ridiculous fear of heights, Walker is willing to try anything once. She’s the writer and editor for LeahTravels.com and also a proud Texan, which really says it all. In addition to her website, she is a special contributor and the Houston city editor for The Daily Meal, contributor for Travel Squire, the travel editor for The Daily Basics and a Tastesetter for Triptease.

  • On June 25, 2013
    Leah Walker answered the question: Leah Walker

    What are the best museums in Houston?

    Houston Museum of Natural Science: Visitors of all ages can get lost in this museum for hours. With 11 permanent exhibits ranging in subjects from Ancient Egypt to Gems and Minerals to African and Texas Wildlife, there’s something that will pique the interest of visitors. Attractions also include a 3D theater, planetarium, Butterfly Center, and various special exhibits. Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for children, seniors, and college students. Houston’s CityPASS includes admission to the museum.


    Art Car Museum: For something a bit different, check out the Art Car Museum in the Heights. Far from stuffy and boring, this museum celebrates cars, art, and individuality. Here a VW Beatle is transformed into the Easter Bunny and a Honda motorcycle is made into a red stiletto. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, admission is always free and a sense of humor is a must.
  • On June 25, 2013
    Leah Walker answered the question: Leah Walker

    What are the best steakhouses in Houston?

    Pappas Bros. Steakhouse: It’s hard to believe that this award-winning steakhouse is part of Houston’s own Pappas chain of restaurants.  The food is spectacular, and with locations only in Houston and Dallas, it’s easily one of the best places to get a steak in a state known for its beef. The menu also offers tempting seafood options and sides are ordered à la carte. The wine list is extensive with over 500 options. Dinner is served daily.

    Vic & Anthony’s: Owned by the Galveston-based Landry’s group, Vic & Anthony’s is the quintessential great steakhouse. The elegant dark woods, clean lines, and unfussy interior add to its warm feel. Vic & Anthony’s has an extensive wine list and offers only the best cuts of prime beef, lamb, and veal. The menu also includes the freshest seafood featuring favorites such as oysters, crab, shrimp, and fish. Open for dinner seven days a week and lunch on Fridays, Vic & Anthony’s is easily one of the best restaurants in Houston.

    Taste of Texas: Locally owned since 1977, this is not nearly as fancy as one might expect from a typically great steakhouse. Just as the name describes, visitors are given a taste of Texas not only in the food, but also the atmosphere. With its rustic décor, everything about this restaurant is huge. From the building to the steaks, expect sensory overload. The salad bar is delicious; don’t miss the rolls and cinnamon butter. The steaks are huge and additional items such as jalapeno stuffed shrimp and quail skewers can be added. Open for lunch and dinner, this is the place to go for great food in a relaxed atmosphere.
  • On June 25, 2013
    Leah Walker answered the question: Leah Walker

    What are the best sports bars in Houston?

    Mezzanine Lounge: This Upper Kirby sports bar has two floors and has a covered outdoor patio. With 30+ televisions scattered throughout, there’s not a bad seat in the house. Mezzanine Lounge offers a full bar and a menu that has typical bar food. Check their calendar for theme nights such as karaoke and trivia.
     
    Big Woodrow’s: If fantastic food is a prerequisite for a great sports bar, then Big Woodrow’s is the best around. Specializing in Cajun food, this bar has a neighborhood feel to it. There is lots of outdoor seating, both covered and uncovered, as well as two levels of indoor tables. During football season, it’s as if Louisiana has come to Houston when LSU and the Saints are playing. Grab a bucket of beer and crawfish and settle in for the day.

    Champps Americana: Located in the Galleria area, Champps is a chain and a bit more refined. The menu reads like a book and it has a full bar with specialty cocktails. This place has countless televisions showing most every sporting even available and offers more of restaurant feel.
  • On June 25, 2013
    Leah Walker answered the question: Leah Walker

    What are the best sports bars in Houston?

    Mezzanine Lounge: This Upper Kirby sports bar has two floors and has a covered outdoor patio. With 30+ televisions scattered throughout, there’s not a bad seat in the house. Mezzanine Lounge offers a full bar and a menu that has typical bar food. Check their calendar for theme nights such as karaoke and trivia.
     
    Big Woodrow’s: If fantastic food is a prerequisite for a great sports bar, then Big Woodrow’s is the best around. Specializing in Cajun food, this bar has a neighborhood feel to it. There is lots of outdoor seating, both covered and uncovered, as well as two levels of indoor tables. During football season, it’s as if Louisiana has come to Houston when LSU and the Saints are playing. Grab a bucket of beer and crawfish and settle in for the day.

    Champps Americana: Located in the Galleria area, Champps is a chain and a bit more refined. The menu reads like a book and it has a full bar with specialty cocktails. This place has countless televisions showing most every sporting even available and offers more of restaurant feel.
  • On June 19, 2013
    Leah Walker answered the question: Leah Walker

    What are the best stores for designer clothes in Houston?

    The Galleria has the most concentrated options for designer shopping in Houston. Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Neiman Marcus anchor the mall, while high-end designers like Gucci, Burberry, Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Tory Burch, Valentino, Bottega Veneta, Bally, Fendi, Kate Spade, M Missoni, Salvatore Ferragamo, St. John, and Tous are found throughout the 2.4 million square feet of space.

    For over 30 years,Tootsie’s has been the perennial top spot for Houston ladies looking for high fashion. Located in River Oaks, Houston’s most affluent neighborhood, Tootsie’s is a one-stop shop for all things designer. Ready to wear, shoes, purses, and jewelry from designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Missoni, Pucci, and Stella McCartney are all found in this chic department store.
  • On June 19, 2013
    Leah Walker answered the question: Leah Walker

    What is public transportation like in Houston?

    Houston is a huge place. In fact, the metropolitan area is nearly 9,000 square miles. That’s larger than the state of New Jersey. As one can imagine, public transportation covering that much area would be difficult to accomplish.

    Cabs are the best choice when going outside of downtown, but usually need to be prearranged. Public transportation is plentiful and efficient in the downtown area, however. The free Greenlink busses are environmentally friendly and pass by popular downtown destinations with its 18 stops over a 2.5-mile loop. The METRORail is an inexpensive option that runs 7.5 miles beginning in downtown and travels through midtown, the Museum District, the Medical Center, and ending at Reliant Park. METRO also has an extensive bus system that runs throughout the city, not just downtown. Houston also has a bike-sharing program called Houston B-Cycle. Using the bikes requires a membership and is useful for short trips to downtown destinations. 
  • On June 18, 2013
    Kaitlin Madden is now following Leah Walker
  • On June 18, 2013
    Leah Walker answered the question: Leah Walker

    What are the best fine-dining restaurants in Houston?

    Brennan’s:

    Texas Creole is such a thing and Brennan’s of Houston has mastered it. No relation to Brennan’s in New Orleans, this Houston staple is instead the sister restaurant to the grand dame of New Orleans restaurants, Commander’s Palace. Located in Midtown, Brennan’s has been a fine dining staple in Houston since 1967. The atmosphere is sophisticated with its crystal chandeliers, elegant table settings, and attentive staff, yet it’s very welcoming at the same time. The menu is filled with perennial favorites such as turtle soup, pecan crusted gulf fish, and bananas Foster. A variety of surf and turf options fill the menu along with creative specials and side dishes. Not just for lunch and dinner, Brennan’s jazz brunch on Saturdays and Sundays is one of the most acclaimed in the city. Their courtyard is also a great place to grab an after-work or pre-dinner cocktail. 

    Vic & Anthony’s:

    Owned by the Galveston-based Landry’s group, Vic & Anthony’s is the quintessential great steakhouse. The elegant dark woods, clean lines, and unfussy interior add to its warm feel. Vic & Anthony’s has an extensive wine list and offers only the best cuts of prime beef, lamb, and veal. The menu also includes the freshest seafood featuring favorites such as oysters, crab, shrimp, and fish. Open for dinner seven days a week and lunch on Fridays, Vic & Anthony’s is easily one of the best restaurants in Houston.
  • On June 18, 2013
    Leah Walker answered the question: Leah Walker

    What are the best fine-dining restaurants in Houston?

    Brennan’s:

    Texas Creole is such a thing and Brennan’s of Houston has mastered it. No relation to Brennan’s in New Orleans, this Houston staple is instead the sister restaurant to the grand dame of New Orleans restaurants, Commander’s Palace. Located in Midtown, Brennan’s has been a fine dining staple in Houston since 1967. The atmosphere is sophisticated with its crystal chandeliers, elegant table settings, and attentive staff, yet it’s very welcoming at the same time. The menu is filled with perennial favorites such as turtle soup, pecan crusted gulf fish, and bananas Foster. A variety of surf and turf options fill the menu along with creative specials and side dishes. Not just for lunch and dinner, Brennan’s jazz brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, is one of the most acclaimed in the city. Their courtyard is also a great place to grab an after-work or pre-dinner cocktail. 

    Vic & Anthony’s:

    Owned by the Galveston-based Landry’s group, Vic & Anthony’s is the quintessential great steakhouse. The elegant dark woods, clean lines, and unfussy interior add to its warm feel. Vic & Anthony’s has an extensive wine list and offers only the best cuts of prime beef, lamb, and veal. The menu also offers the freshest seafood featuring favorites such as oysters, crab, shrimp, and fish. Open for dinner seven days a week and lunch on Fridays, Vic & Anthony’s is easily one of the best restaurants in Houston.
  • On June 18, 2013
    Leah Walker answered the question: Leah Walker

    What are the best food gifts to buy in Houston?

    Buc-ee’s:

    This Texas-based chain of convenience stores doesn’t just sell gas, chips, and Cokes. Stop into Buc-ee’s for a variety of Texas-made items. Specialty products such as hot sauces, marinades, jams, and pickled vegetables line the shelves. In-house made items like fudge, cookies, kolaches, and jerkey are also available. There are several locations around the Houston area, as well as Austin and San Antonio.


    Hebert’s Specialty Meats:

    Louisiana doesn’t have the monopoly on great Cajun food, it can also be found in Hebert’s three Houston locations. This import from Louisiana has Cajun staples such as gumbo, etouffee, and boudin. Delicious crawfish pies, turduckens, stuffed chickens, and Cajun-spiced steaks, catfish, and pork are also top picks. Stop in around lunchtime where a pre-cooked meal of the day is available. Most items can be purchased already frozen and thus can be packed in a carry on or loaded in a cooler of ice for the road trip home. Hebert’s also accepts online orders and ships anywhere in the USA.
  • On June 17, 2013
    Leah Walker answered the question: Leah Walker

    What are the best parks in Houston?

    Discovery Green:
    This twelve-acre park sits on the edge of downtown and was created by the City of Houston and the non-profit group, Discovery Green Conservancy. Kids flock to the John P. McGovern Playground. During Houston’s hot summers, the most fun and laughter can be found near Gateway Fountain. This is the spot where children of all ages beat the Texas heat. Kinder Lake is a man-made lake that features a water garden and a pier with tables and chairs. In the winter, Kinder Lake is frozen and turned into an ice rink. Oak trees form a canopy over the limestone path known as Brown Foundation Promenade. Dog runs, jogging trails, indoor and outdoor reading rooms, and even a branch of the Houston Library are found throughout Discovery Green. Free entertainment abounds in the form of concerts, family and date night movies, exercise and dance classes, and a monthly flea market. 

    Memorial Park: 
    Memorial Park is located west of downtown near the Galleria. It’s a 1,500-acre park that features a nearly three-mile jogging/ walking trail, tennis facilities, and opportunities for hiking and biking, One of Houston’s best public golf courses, a swimming pool, and fitness facility are also found in the park. The Houston Arboretum and Nature Center is 156-acres and contains five miles of nature trails for visitors to explore.


    Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park:
    Located next to the Galleria in the shadows of 64-story Williams Tower, Waterwall Park is also known as the Williams Waterwall. The main attraction of this nearly three-acre park is the 64-foot, semi-circular water fountain. With it’s numerous surrounding oak trees and expanse of green grass, this park is a great photo opportunity and place to relax to the sound of the water falling.
  • On June 16, 2013
    Leah Walker is now following Houston
  • On June 15, 2013
    Leah Walker is now following Beth DeLozier-Hayes
  • On June 15, 2013
    Leah Walker answered the question: Leah Walker

    Where is the best shopping in Houston?

    Everything’s bigger in Texas and that includes the shopping malls. In Houston, the Galleria is king when it comes to retail therapy. With 400 stores and restaurants found in 2.4 million square feet of space, if the Galleria doesn’t have what you’re looking for then it’s probably not necessary. Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, and not one, but two Macy’s, anchor the mammoth shopping center. High-end designers like Gucci, Burberry, Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Tory Burch, and Valentino, as well as jewelry stores such as Cartier, Bvlgari, and DeBeers, all have stores in the Galleria. Never fear, there are also more budget-friendly shops such as Ann Taylor, Gap, J. Crew, Urban Outfitters, and Zara. Find your inner geek at Apple, Brookstone, and Microsoft. If shopping is your thing, then the Galleria is the place to be. One could be there from open to close and still not see all there is.
  • On June 14, 2013
    Quia Querisma is now following Leah Walker