Between our unforgiving climate and historical myopia — our most famous building has been in ruins for more than a decade — it's not surprising that Houston struggles to attract tourists. When it comes to spending money, though, we're a world-class destination anyway. Home to 3 million square feet of the city's swankiest department stores, specialty boutiques and shopping-mall staples, from Victoria's Secret and Disney to the Apple Store, the Galleria attracts hordes of out-of-towners every year; if they're anything like us locals, more than a few must come just to gawk at all the conspicuous consumption. Opened in 1970, this is Houston's retail Shangri-La and, of course, a place to avoid at all costs when a major event like the NBA All-Star Game or the Super Bowl is in town. Otherwise, it's got a killer ice rink, the mall-in-miniature "Little Galleria" play area, abundant upscale dining options, and surely one of the nation's best food courts — all of these make the Galleria a great place to take your visiting company, even if shopping isn't their bag.