Houston Galleria

Houston Galleria is an architecturally stunning and very large shopping complex set beneath a dramatic glass ceiling. It is located in the posh Uptown District of the city, about five miles due west of Downtown Houston and about four miles northwest of the prestigious Museum District. While this is primarily an upscale residential and commercial area, the Galleria Houston Shopping Mall has a number of nearby hotels. Two Galleria hotels (the Westin) are both connected directly to the complex. One of the city’s newer luxury hotels, the Granduca, is located nearby. Other hotels in the area include the Intercontinental, Sheraton Suites, and Hilton Post Oak.

The entire Galleria Houston Shopping Mall complex contains a staggering 2.4 million square feet of retail, hotel, and other space. Nearly 30 million visitors come here each year. Stores at Houston Galleria that have other retail outlets traditionally earn their highest grossing numbers here. Other nearby shopping attractions that are very popular with visitors include Rice Village, less than a mile away, and several retail outlets and shopping centers that benefit from the large number of Galleria visitors. Dillard’s, a department store chain based in Little Rock Arkansas, is just across the street and is connected to the Galleria by a pedestrian bridge. Highland Village and the Houston Fashion Centre are also in the vicinity.

Other Houston Galleria facilities include a superb 20,000-square-foot indoor ice skating rink. It is a two-level facility, and of course, there is shopping available to those on the second level as they look down on the rink. It has been open since 1970 and is available to the public for skating seven days per week. There are skating classes with professional coaches. In addition to stores at Houston Galleria you will find three large office towers housing a number of important financial institutions. There are approximately 50 restaurants, specialty and gourmet food outlets, and other dining spots in the complex. There are also cinemas and theaters and a health club, the Galleria Tennis and Athletic Club, which also has two dining spots. This is a private club, and visitors can attend only as a guest. The variety of facilities here combine to make this one of the city’s major attractions and tourist destinations.

There are more than 375 stores at Houston Galleria that make this one of the prime shopping destinations in the metropolitan area. The Galleria Houston Shopping Mall is, in fact, the fourth largest mall in the United States. Anchor stores include some of the best retail names in the world. Look for Neiman Marcus, Cartier, Gucci, two Macy's stores, Tiffany & Co., Saks Fifth Avenue, Ralph Lauren Collection, Louis Vuitton and Houston's only Nordstrom.

Houston Galleria began as the idea of an oil tycoon in the 1940s. The discovery of oil in the area is an integral part of the history of Houston and its growth into a major American city. The complex was finally opened in 1970, and was designed to resemble the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan, Italy.

Image: Greater Houston CVB

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