Houston is the largest city of Texas. Because of its broad industrial base, which includes the medical and aerospace industry, it is ranked as a gamma world city, meaning that is an important node point in the global economy.
Many Fortune 500 companies have their headquarters located in Houston, only New York is the home of more. These numbers and rankings should mean that the city doesn’t need a well-developed tourism. Luckily, this is not the reality. You can expect fine restaurants, chic bars, clubs, and a friendly multicultural population.
Houston is often called “Space City” because its importance in the space industry. The NASA’s Johnson Space Center is located here. The city’s geographical positions can be considered as advantage to its development.
The highest point is only 38 meters above sea level. The almost perfectly flat land is perfect for any construction; the large number of hotels is the evidence of this. The fact that it is located in a bay area is also an advantage. This way tourists can arrive in the city with an ocean liner or with private yachts.
The climate is humid subtropical meaning that summers are wet and very hot, and winters are mild. Nearly 100 days a year there are temperatures over 32 °C, but the winters are also fairly temperate. The average temperatures in these months vary between 7 and 17 °C.
Being a real international and diverse city as many as 90 languages is spoken in the city. Considering the large number of non-English speaking people, not only in the city of Houston but also in all the state of Texas, there is no official language, being unique this way in the US. Houston has the third largest Mexican and Hispanic and the largest Asian population in the US. This gives a truly unique cultural life to the city. You can also find even two Chinatowns in the city because the large number of Asians, especially Chinese. In Chinatown and the areas with a significant number of Vietnamese even bilingual street sign are present.
There is a good chance that you didn’t realize in a conversation that it is about this city, until its official name wasn’t told. Because of its diversity and rich history, the city has over ten widespread nicknames. Maybe the most known is the “Space City”, because of the NASA base located here. Another very popular is the “H-Town”, which simply shortens its name to an ‘H’. This was also the name of a popular R&B group from the mid-90s.
The earliest of its nicknames is slowly disappearing because is not valid these day. This is the “Magnolia City”, which was given because of the large magnolia forest. These forests were wiped out because of the widening of the city borders. The most recent nickname that was given to the city is “The Big Heart”. Maybe this is the most important one both for the residents to earn it and for those who give it to the city. After the Katrina Hurricane an incredible 150,000 refuges were housed in Houston. This was a truly outstanding act from the city. You can be sure that the locals welcome everybody visiting the city, making the city a true tourist’s paradise.
The 26 annually held events are also popular attractions for visitors. The part of the city, which is always full of tourist, is the Theater District. This is the district of large numbers: spreading over a 17 blocks and having 14,528 seats for visual arts – including over 1,500 movie seats. This way you can be sure that despite the popularity of this area, you will always be able to watch the wanted movie or play. Here is situated the Houston Grand Opera, the Houston Symphony Orchestra and the Houston Ballet, as well as The Alley Theater.
The main attraction has to be the Bayou Place Entertainment Complex. This is a multilevel entertainment center, which houses many restaurants and bars. These include The Hard Rock Café that needs no introduction, the ROCBAR that has the same style as the HRC, the Sake’ Lounge being an upscale Sushi bar and lounge and the Minaglone is a traditional Italian trattoria featuring an open kitchen. Walking on the real streets of this huge mall you can find the Vin and the Mosaic, which are upscale restaurants.
If the Bayou Place wasn’t big enough for you can visit The Galleria. This is the largest mall in Texas. Here two Westin hotels are operating. However, not only these two malls are the entertainment centrals of Houston. Dozens of other bars and clubs are located all over the city, and there is a need for this because the median age in the Lone Star State is the second lowest in the US, following Utah. The Brasil is a top of the list club. Here you can enjoy the best beats from the South American country but not only. Many other clubs have a distinctive theme, which is accentuated by the music, furniture and even the clothing of the staff. Here can be mentioned the Bronx Bar playing music mainly from the East coast especially New York, the Cadillac Bar, where waiters wear tuxedo, La Cueva Tequila Lounge, offering more than 50 varieties of tequila and the Mugsy’s, which is a jazz club with a décor that make you feel like you can travel in time.
Having a population coming from so many countries it is normal for the city to have sister cities from all around the world. Abu Dhabi in the UAE, Chiba in China, Luanda in Angola and Tyumen in Russia are only a few, but the many foreign cities Houston keeps a relationship mean that the cultural life of this town is diverse. Numerous street festivals are held over a year to keep the different ethnicities heritages alive.
Houston is truly a world city having a rich cultural life and many attractions for tourist. Visiting it you surely won’t regret anytime the choice made.