Amanda Sawit

Get away this summer to a coastal city with LEED-certified attractions.

When the weather turns warm and the days get longer, there’s no better place to be than by the water.

Cities around the country have embraced LEED to ensure the vibrancy of their communities will last for generations to come, for the benefit of both visitors and residents. We’ve collected some of our favorite LEED-certified destinations in the interactive Green Going Out Guide below, making it easy to go out and #FindYourLEED this summer.

If you planned on heading out to these summertime spots, make sure to check out some of these things to do, places to stay and eateries along the way.

Houston, Texas

Houston is home to 2.2 million residents, and its eclectic mix of international flavor and Southern charm have made it an ever-more appealing destination—it welcomed 17.5 million visitors in 2015, according to the most recent data available. The Houston metro area (inclusive of the Woodlands and Sugar Land) boasts 934 LEED-certified projects.

The city of Houston boasts hundreds of LEED-certified projects.

What to do: Catch a game at the Houston Dynamo Stadium; visit the African American Library; hit the ground running at the Memorial Park Running Trails Center; or take in the free sounds, tastes, sights and activities at Discovery Green.

Where to stay: Stay close to the action at The Element Houston Vintage Park or at the Embassy Suites Houston–Downtown.

Where to eat: True Food Kitchen, catering to nearly every food preference with a variety of gluten-free, naturally organic, vegetarian and vegan offerings, or Ruggles Green, offering healthy and delicious food that incorporates local and seasonally grown selections.

Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, home to more than 4 million residents and last year's Greenbuild, has always been one of the most influential cities in the world. The city recently announced that Los Angeles County hosted 47.3 million visitors in 2016, a 4 percent increase over the previous year. California, which boasts the most LEED-certified gross square footage in the country, sets the bar high for sustainable building. The Los Angeles metro area (inclusive of Long Beach and Anaheim) is no exception, with more than 2,200 certified projects representing more than 237.8 million GSF.

The LEED-certified Los Angeles Convention Center hosted Greenbuild 2016.

What to do: Check out events happening at the Los AngelesAnaheim and Pasadena convention centers; visit museums (including The Board and the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust); step outside at the Audubon Center at Debs Park or the Environmental Nature Center in Newport Beach; sample world-class shopping including Hermès and Burberry in Beverly Hills, or explore the shops at Santa Monica Place or Villa Marina Marketplace Mall.

Where to stay: JW Marriott at L.A. Live, the W HollywoodMontage Beverly Hills (and it’s restaurant Scarpetta Los Angeles) are all located in close proximity to the major city hubs. Further out, the Ambrose Hotel in Santa Monica, Hyatt Place in El Segundo and Miyako Hybrid Hotel in Torrance are all solid options.

Where to eat: Saladang Garden, in Pasadena, is a family-owned Thai restaurant that features an intricately designed dining courtyard surrounded by laser cut metal screens. Also worth stopping by is the Hard Rock Café Los Angeles, next to the world-famous Dolby Theater and steps away from the TCL Chinese Theater and Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. 

Miami, Florida

Miami is one of the world’s most popular vacation spots, offering a multitude of enticements for all ages. In 2016 alone, the area saw 15.8 million visitors. It’s also a hub of sustainable design and green building. The Miami metro area (inclusive of Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach) is home to 541 LEED-certified projects.

The University of Miami Patricia Frost Music Studios (North and South) each achieved LEED Platinum certification. Copyright 2015 Miami In Focus, Inc. All rights reserved.

What to do: Besides the beach, take in a game or concert at American Airlines Arena; play a round at International Links Melreese Country Club and grab lunch at the restaurant; and shop to your heart’s desire or visit museums in the Miami Design District, a LEED ND Plan.

Where to stay: In Miami, both Homewood Suites and Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton are close to downtown. If you prefer an ocean view, there are plenty of options in Miami Beach: Courtyard Cadillac Miami Beach/OceanfrontThe Miami Beach EDITION1 Hotel South BeachThe Clifton South Beach Hotel and Room Mate Waldorf Towers Hotel are all green hotels.

Where to eat: Among the shops in the Miami Design District, there are also a number of eateries to satisfy any craving, including MC Kitchen, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink and Ella and Harry’s Pizzeria. If you’re staying at the 1 Hotel South Beach, check out its many restaurants, including offerings from celebrity chef Tom Colicchio.

Explore the Going Out Guide