This is part of a collaboration with DriveShop. All opinions expressed are my own.

Houston is hard to explain. It’s huge and yet it feels tiny all at the same time. You can drive for an hour and still be within the city limits. Or drive one neighborhood over and feel like you’re in a completely different city, or country. It’s a city where most people will say “hello” and “good morning;” where your Uber driver will take you to your destination in a pick up truck; and where you can find the wildest food fusions imaginable. Think Mediterranean-Venezuelan or Korean-Mexican dishes. For the record, both awesome.

When visitors want us to show them around, we always start with one very important question – what do you want to see?

Once we have that answer it’s a lot easier to know whether our tour of the most diverse city in the world should be upscale, downtown, midtown, arts and culture, off the beaten path, cultural, multicultural, gastronomic, or just a little bit of everything. The latter is our favorite, right after eating our way through the city. That is really the best way to truly get Houston.

In this case, since we were test driving the 2017 Mazda CX-3 for a week, we decided to take the smallest iteration of Mazda’s SKYACTIV-generation lineup to a few of our favorite outdoors spots in the Bayou City.

Houston attractions not to be missed

Our first stop was at the Harrisburg Arts Museum in East Downtown Houston.

Houston attractions not to be missed

Next we stopped by the newly revitalized Smither Park, also in the East End. The new art installations there are pretty spectacular.

Houston attractions not to be missed

Right about then Edgar started trying to convince me about this being his new car.

Houston attractions not to be missed

It was a no-go for him, so down the road from Smither Park we made a little detour outside of The Orange Show location. That’s definitely an off the beaten path stop to make when in Houston.

Houston attractions not to be missed

And finally, we had to take a picture of the CX-3 next to a Houston staple. Mount Rush Hour at the American Statemanship Park. Very cool spot!

The Mazda-CX-3 was really fuel efficient. We drove it all over the city and only had to fill it up once the entire week. For 18 dollars! That’s pretty great in my book. Plus it was really easy to navigate. It kind of reminded me of a sports car. I think it did for Edgar too because he was really trying to convince me that this would be a great option for his first car. Sorry buddy, we’re not there yet.

Don’t say anything, but I think he might be on to something.

The only thing I wish would have been different on the CX-3 is that it would have been a little larger. Driving around a full grown teenager in the backseat wasn’t the most comfortable situation for anybody. That, and that the radio controls would be on the dashboard instead of between the driver and front passenger seats. Old habits die hard, and I never got used to having the controls next to me instead of in front of me.