Houston Texas OverviewHouston was founded the same year as the Republic of Texas and is home to more than two hundred industries, such as petrochemical and steel. The space industry is also thriving. Not only is NASA located here, but training facilities, research, and development in areas of space travel. There is so much to see and do in the city that visitors may have a difficult time deciding where to start.
If you enjoy the great outdoors, Houston has plenty to offer. The Armand Bayou Nature Center is a 1,900-acre reserve that also offers environmental education, hiking, and bird watching. There are tours and demonstrations on most weekends. Or, visit George Ranch Historical Park. The park is four hundred and eighty acres and is an outdoor living history museum of Texas history. You'll see a cabin, late nineteenth century Victorian home, and other exhibits. Or visit Hermann Park, with around four hundred acres of gardens and a theater area with free summer concerts, ballet and theater productions.
When you think of Houston, Texas, you probably think of oil wells and cowboys, and that's certainly understandable.
But there's much more to Houston than oil and ranches.
Houston is a city of nearly two million residents, with a surprising amount of arts and culture, including some fascinating museums.
Although the city has a reputation for being difficult to navigate, there's been a significant amount of renewal in the downtown area, making it a central spot for visitors and locals to flock to.
Houston started out as two sleepy settlements that eventually grew into each other. Oil was, not surprisingly, what set the city going, and once air-conditioning became readily available, the city really began to boom.
By the 1970's, oil was central to the city's economy, and by 1981, it was going for $40 per barrel. The price of oil plummeted just a few years later, though, leaving many Houston residents feeling the sting. The city's economy started to diversify into other sectors, including healthcare and high tech, and the city continued to grow.
Today Houston is so large that it can be a bit confusing to the uninitiated.
A map and a car are essential for exploration, and the residents are friendly, so don't hesitate to stop and ask for directions if needed.
The downtown area is definitely worth exploring, where there are many new restaurants and clubs, as well as the theater district.
Older buildings are being converted into apartments, and a number of corporations are moving their headquarters into the area.
No visit to Houston would be complete without checking out the Uptown area, home to the Galleria shopping mall.
And don't miss the thrill of Six Flags Astroworld, offering over 40 exhilarating rides, including 10 roller coasters.
Houston is lively and growing, with friendly residents, interesting cultural scene, and ongoing redevelopment and renewal.
So explore the downtown area, the great museums, take in some theater, dine at any of the many diverse restaurants, or just stroll drinking in the sites.
Whatever you think of Houston, it's sure to be much more than you expect.
Houston is also home to the Astrodome, one of the country's first domed sports arenas; Six Flags AstroWorld, which offers seventy-five acres of rides, shows and other features. And the Houston Zoological Gardens offers small mammals, a retile house, a primate house, bird area, aquarium, and a large cat building.
If you enjoy fine arts, Houston has plenty to offer. Try the Bayou Bend Collection, which offers art from the late seventeenth century through early nineteenth century. Or try the Contemporary Arts Museum, which has exhibits that alternate on a regular basis, including sculpture, paintings, and photography. Other museums and exhibits in the city include: Children's Museum of Houston , Burke Baker Planetarium, Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston Arboretum and Nature Center, Rothko Chapel, The Menil Collection, Space Center Houston , and Music Hall.
With so much diversity in the Houston , you'll be able to find something to keep you entertained. Bring out your wild side at some of the nightclubs or cater to your more refined self at the area museums. Be sure to allow plenty of time, because you'll want to see it all!
More Information About Houston From a Local PerspectiveHouston Texas is a city that has a little bit of something for everyone, no matter what type of person you are. Our attractions feature theatres, science, historic sites, and even amusement parks and sports arenas. We have parks, outdoor areas for sport or relaxation, and the largest port in the world situated on the gorgeous Gulf of Mexico. This is a warm expanse that's perfect for boating, fishing, and other water sports. Several major universities, including Rice, Baylor, and the University of Texas Health Science Center all grace our city with their educational contributions, hosting more than 240,000 students every year.
Of course, there's a lot more to Houston than figures. It is also home to the Texas Medical Center, one of the largest and most successful medical and research facilities in not only the United States, but also the entire world. With more than 5 million residents, Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States, and our people contribute 11.5 percent of the entire United States' volunteer hours. We have the second largest theatre district in the world. Ours has 10,000 seats, and rivals New York City for cultural events. Of course, it's long been recognized as the energy capital of the world. This international city is home to many businesses, many founded by entrepreneurs. Our port is the largest in the United States in foreign waterborne commerce.
For those looking for relocation possibilities, Houston has one of the lowest costs of living in the United States. A low tax burden keeps housing and other costs affordable, ranking Houston at minus 8.4 percent below the national average for cost of living. When you add that to our great educational opportunities, Houston is a pretty nice place to raise a family.
We're pretty proud of our city here in Houston, and for good reasons. There are very few places that offer the mix of culture, sport, education, and fun that Houston offers. When you're looking for a change of pace, look into Houston Texas. Our friendly people and fabulous attractions make it so we can be anything you need us to be. All you have to do is come, and we'll handle the rest.
A Few Restaurants in Houston by LocalsIf you are planning a trip to the bustling city of Houston and want to know where you can eat well on a shoe-string budget, help is on the way. With a vast selection of inexpensive Tex-Mex eateries located throughout the city and a fair number of moderate-priced cafes in the Bohemian area known as Montrose, you will find no shortage of places that offer excellent food at a veritable pittance. Here's the heads up on some of the most popular local joints that will fill your belly without emptying your pockets.
If your taste tends toward exotic, then a trip to the extraordinary Vietnamese hole-in-the-wall, known as Pho Tau Bay, is sure to satisfy. Here you will taste some of the best egg rolls of your wife washed down with a refreshing drink served out of the belly of a coconut. If the less-than-posh environment leaves you cold, the take out is also excellent. The portions are enormous, the service fast and friendly, the price tag cheap and the dishes utterly delicious.
For moderate-priced pasta, gourmet pizza, awesome salads and more, visit Cafe Botticelli, located in the Midtown Lofts section downtown. Featuring New York caliber pizza and an ultra-hip wine bar, this is no ordinary pizza dive. Offering excellent wines by the glass, a comfortable lounge and a sweet brick courtyard in the back for al fresco dining, the giant pizza slices are an incredible deal and the custom calzones and deep-dish Sicilian pizza absolutely to die for. Thursday nights, they feature live music.
No muss, no fuss and the best darn selection of crabmeat you'll find, Joe's Crab Shack is a Houston staple, with shacks popping up all over the city. Emulating the feel of a Gulf Coast fishing camp, the mood is casual, the prices cheap and the food fabulous. You can sit out on a breezy patio while you crack open the catch of the day or relax with a smooth drink accompanied by some fresh house music. More types of crab than you are ever likely to encounter elsewhere under one thatched roof, if crustaceans are your cup of sea, then this spirited Houston institution is definitely for you.
For some of the best authentic Mexican food you'll find at any price, Chapultepec continues to earn raves. Colossal portions of all your favorite dishes, including amazing salsa and fresh chips to start, will keep you in a party mood. Add great music, a comfortable setting and a friendly staff, and you have a recipe for a good time. Located in the trendy Montrose section downtown, the empanadas, burritos and, well, darn-near everything, are stellar. Don't miss the margaritas, which keep the college crowd going strong.