Market Square Historic District

Bounded by Travis, Milam, Congress and Preston streets, Market Square has remained a geographic centerpiece of downtown Houston since the arrival of the Allen Brothers (the city's “founders”) more than 150 years ago. The streets are lined with fine examples of 19th Century architecture and a slew of entertainment venues, nightclubs and dining establishments that suit a variety of tastes. Nearly as old as the locale itself, La Carafe (813 Congress Street) offers a low-key, intimate setting and has an extensive wine list. If you're looking for a more raucous way to spend the evening, try Spy (112 Travis Street), a dance club catering to the 20- to 30-something crowd that features a variety of music and plenty of singles to flirt with. Market Square Park gives visitors the opportunity to get away from the noise and take a relaxing evening stroll.

—Market Square Historic District writeup by Joy Howard