While some may consider the remote, pastel-colored plains and canyons of West Texas plenty inspiring, we recognize that others draw inspiration from the hustle and bustle of big, busy cities—and so does TravelBird. The travel website has compiled a list of the world's most inspirational cities, using such statistics as the number of cultural institutions, new businesses and Google searches—yes, Google searches—for "romantic" spots in each city.
And although Houston didn't make the cut, a number of U.S. cities did—and several offer easy getaways from the Bayou City. The world's No. 1 most inspirational city, Miami, is a short two-hour flight away from Houston, with tickets routinely going for $100 round-trip. Coming in at No. 3 according to TravelBird is San Francisco, with New Orleans at No. 13 (and only a quick Megabus ride down I-10).
Other U.S. cities on the list: Portland, Oregon at No. 23 (hit up our sister magazine Portland Monthly to see why); Los Angeles at No. 23; New York City at 34; and Chicago (fittingly) at No. 53. The top international destination, meanwhile, would seriously displease Colin Farrell's character in In Bruges, though we can personally vouch for No. 8 Zurich, No. 10 Florence, No. 11 Paris, and No. 15 Barcelona.