Houston is the fourth largest city in the nation and offers a warm, sunny climate year-round. Economically and ethnically diverse, Houston abounds with employment opportunities, housing options, and entertainment choices.
The cost of living in Houston is among the lowest of all urban settings in the United States. Houston has the lowest cost of living and least expensive housing among twenty-nine metropolitan areas with populations of more than 1.7 million in the U.S.
The twenty-two Fortune 500 companies, which call Houston home, provide a sound economic base for the city. A prized asset is the Texas Medical Center - the largest medical center in the world. With its plentiful oil and gas companies, Houston is considered by many to be the energy capital of the world. NASA's Johnson Space Center and its surrounding contractors are the reason Houston is called Space City.
The international flavor of Houston is apparent through art, music, food, and shops. Houston is home to more than 100 different nationalities, supported by consular offices representing seventy-seven nations, and more than sixty languages can be heard throughout the city. Festivals, such as the Houston International Festival, pay tribute to virtually every culture in the Houston area.
Houston is world-renowned for its rich culture that offers arts, entertainment, and dining. It is among only a handful of cities that supports professional companies in ballet, opera, theatre, and the symphony. The city's Theater District is home to eight performing arts groups with more than 12,000 seats - placing it second only to New York City. In the Museum District you can experience nationally ranked Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), Children's Museum of Houston, Contemporary Arts Museum (CAM), Museum of Health and Medical Sciences, and Museum of Natural Science, as well as many galleries and other cultural institutions.
If you are a sports enthusiast, Houston has something for everyone and every season. Cheer for your favorite professional team - the National Baseball League Astros, National Football League Texans, Women's National Basketball Association Comets, National Basketball Association Rockets, or American Hockey League Aeros - from a comfortable seat in one of three state-of-the-art stadiums. Golf year-round, sail on Galveston Bay, jog on miles of trails, swim or just lie on a beach.
For those with families, Houston provides educational opportunities that include distinguished public and private schools. Twenty-three public school districts lie entirely or partly within Harris County, and the seven surrounding counties contain another thirty-eight districts. Houston's youth are encouraged to take part in after-school and summer programs (some right on the UH campus), and to visit the Houston Public Library for reading enrichment.
Houston and its surrounding areas offer affordable real estate in a variety of master-planned communities, wooded neighborhoods, and historic enclaves. The heart of the city is experiencing a renaissance, with the development of numerous loft-style, high-rise and garden apartments.
To find out more about Houston, visit the following Web sites:
- Greater Houston Partnership The Greater Houston Partnership comprises the Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development and International Business.
- Greater Houston Convention & Visitor's Bureau The official visitor's site for the City of Houston
- City of Houston City of Houston eGovernment Center
- Houston Business Houston Business Announcements and Listings
- Houston Association of Realtors Houston area realtor-listed properties