The City of Houston

HOUSTON – A space of infinite possibilities!

In 1836, two brothers from New York, Augustus and John Allen, navigated north from Galveston Bay to Buffalo Bayou. They were land speculators and saw the area as a perfect place for a community to thrive.

Houston was born.

Today, SpaceCity represents all that is typically Texas - and much, much more. Houston has grown to more than four million people, the fourth largest city in the U.S. Houstonians speak more than 90 languages, creating an exciting, diverse environment for all people to live, work, play and visit.

The sights are remarkable and each area of the city offers visitors something different.

Houston’s downtown is a great place for entertainment. The resurgence of development and energy downtown has brought many people to the area for dining, entertainment and much more. The new Hilton Americas-Houston Hotel adds 1,200 guestrooms to downtown Houston. Bayou Place, an entertainment complex, offers the multi-screen Angelika Film Center & Café, several excellent restaurants and clubs including Hard Rock Café, a live-music venue, Slick Willie’s for billiards and dance clubs like BAR Houston and Have a Nice Day Café.

And, there are dozens more restaurants and nightspots for any taste. The Downtown Entertainment District’s The Main Event is downtown Houston’s newest 'place to be'. Beautiful fountains and the new light rail train, which takes riders from downtown to Reliant Park, make this district a hub of activity and fun. Dining, dancing and great people-watching are The Main Event.

Downtown also is the place for sports fans. The Houston Astros’ home, Minute Maid Park, is the ticket for baseball fans every season. The park and souvenir shop is open year-round for memorabilia and tours. And the recently opened Toyota Center is the shiny new home of the Houston Rockets, Comets and Aeros. It’s also the site of concerts and special performances.

For star-studded performances, the Theater District is ready to dazzle you. Opera, ballet, performing arts and the symphony are the option in this multi-block downtown district.

Just south of downtown, Reliant Park is the site of many major events and conventions. Reliant Stadium is the 69,500-seat retractable-roof home of the NFL Texans and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo - the world’s largest rodeo. Next to the stadium is the world’s first domed stadium, the Reliant Astrodome. Reliant Center encompasses more than 700,000 square feet of state-of-the-art space which can host events, meetings and trade shows of any size and scope.

Reliant Park also is a neighbor to one of the city’s largest attractions - Six Flags AstroWorld and WaterWorld. The theme parks draw millions of visitors annually. But AstroWorld and WaterWorld share the spotlight with several other major attractions. Splashtown is the biggest water park in Texas and it offers hours of watery fun in the summer months. At Space Center Houston, visitors can explore the past, present and future of manned space flight, land the space shuttle or touch a moon rock.

The great outdoors also is a big perk in Houston. The Houston Zoo is found in scenic Hermann Park. Centrally located, the park offers a golf course, two beautiful gardens, the Japanese Tea Gardens and the Houston Garden Center, and free outdoor performances at Miller Outdoor Theatre. Additionally, find hike and bike trails and beautiful and challenging golf courses around the city to test your skill and endurance.

The Museum District, within walking distance of Hermann Park, gives visitors a taste of Houston’s impressive cultural scene. The city is home to more than 500 cultural, visual, and performing arts organizations, including The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, The Children’s Museum of Houston, the Menil Collection and the Contemporary Arts Museum. Other additions include the Holocaust Museum Houston, the John P. McGovern Museum of Health & Medical Science and the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.

For shopaholics, SpaceCity has gained a reputation as one of the world’s greatest retail centers. Its most well-known site is The Galleria, a collection of hotels, restaurants and more than 350 retail stores all centered around a giant indoor ice skating rink.

Houston also boasts the world’s largest medical center - The Texas Medical Center. Medicine is a growing economic force here, employing more than 61,000 people and comprising 43 institutions, with an economic impact of more than $13.5 billion.

And don’t forget, Houston is a coastal city. Just minutes from the cool breezes of the Gulf Coast, you can dine on great seafood, listen to live music or ride a Ferris wheel on the Kemah Boardwalk. Enjoy the sand and surf of Galveston Island and its beautiful historic homes and the fun of Moody Gardens. And in Clear Lake, take in the smooth sailing of dozens of watercraft cruising along the Gulf waters.

With three major airports, Houston boasts one of the nation's premier international gateways, linking the region to more than 150 destinations, including some 50 international points in Mexico, Central and South America, Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, Canada and Africa.

With its temperate climate and affordable cost of living, Houston has much to offer both visitors and residents.

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