Houston in the Spotlight

TV travel star finds lots of Places to Love in Houston while filming new series here

Travel star finds lots of Places to Love in Houston for new TV series

Houston, Samantha Brown Places to Love TV Show, April 2017
Samantha Brown was in Houston to gather material for the first episode of her new travel series, which appears to be shaping up as a love letter to the Bayou City. Photo courtesy of Samantha Brown/Facebook

With high culinary praise from the likes of celeb chef David Chang and the New York Times to a well-regarded role as host of Super Bowl LI, Houston is attracting attention beyond Texas. Some of the biggest names in reality TV have discovered America's fourth largest city, including Guy Fieri, who filmed several local restaurants for upcoming episodes of his popular Food Network show, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, and celeb chef, author, and world traveler Anthony Bourdain, who dispelled stereotypes when he filmed Parts Unknown here.

Now world travel ace Samantha Brown is shining the spotlight on the Bayou City in the premiere of new TV show, Places to Love. In each half-hour episode, Brown plans to seek out the little-known spots and haunts, with a focus on topics including food and drink, art and design, culture and adventure. 

The Dallas-born former host of a decade of Travel Channel TV shows will premiere the show on PBS in January, 2018. She was in Houston last month to gather material for the first episode, which appears to be shaping up as a love letter to the Bayou City. Here’s an idea of what to expect, using several social media posts as our guide. 

Brown paid a visit to chef Hugo Ortega newest restaurant, Xochi, sharing the snap above on Instagram with the caption, “A spoon full of sugar makes the Larva go down.” 


A post shared by Samantha Brown (@samanthabrowntravels) on

Apr 4, 2017 at 1:00pm PDT


In another Instagram post, Brown shared a photo at Saint Arnold Brewing Company, standing next to colorful convertible automobile. The caption reads, “Sure beats my minivan! This is an Art Car. Houstonians love to paint their cars. It's a popular form of artistic expression! And the Houston Art Car parade is this weekend.”


A post shared by Mark C. Austin (@mcaphoto) on

Apr 3, 2017 at 10:04am PDT

Brown hit the Continental Club with music manager and promoter Mark C. Austin of The Convoy Group and Kam Franklin, lead singer of The Suffers.

Austin's post reads,”Had an absolute blast working with @samanthabrowntravels and @thesuffers yesterday. Can't wait to see the output of Samantha's time in Houston. Very special thanks to Pete Gordon of @contclubhouston and Holly Clapham and the fine folks at @visit_houston. #myhouston #houstonfirst”

Brown was also at Houston microenterprise initiative The Community Cloth, which helps refugee women by providing seed grants, training, and peer support for the creation and selling of handmade, indigenous arts and crafts.

“This is Khatera. While in Houston I filmed at Community Cloth an initiative that empowers refugee women by helping them create handmade items: jewelry, bags, blankets based on their skills from home. Khatera is from Afghanistan, has her green card, is going to school to be a nurse and hopes to be sworn in as an American citizen next year. I ❤️ what I get to do in life. thecommunitycloth.org/ #placestolove,” Brown wrote on her Instagram post.

In addition to Houston, Brown posted photos from Gruene Hall in New Braunfels,  Maxine’s Cafe & Bakery in Bastrop, and a Sunday house in Fredericksburg.

Over the last 17 years, Brown has traveled around the world, visiting over 260 cities in 62 countries. Her laundry list of hit shows on the Travel Channel include Great Vacation Homes, Great Hotels, Girl Meets Hawaii, Passport to Europe, Passport to Latin America, Green Getaways, Passport to China, and Great Weekends.

For updates on Places to Love, head to Samantha Brown’s website.