Houston, Texas

Article by Ted Gresham
Photography by George Hosek

Houston: Texas’ home town. The old song by Dean Martin tells how most feel once they visit. Houston is blue-collar laid back and high-collar culture all rolled into one. The city, named for Texas’ greatest hero, is a grand place to spend a few days, a summer, or a lifetime.

Houston gives added meaning to the phrase, “everything’s big in Texas.” Like Texas, Houston is a big place, always in the top ten cities of the U.S. It’s a lot more than oil rigs, tall buildings, big hats and cowboy boots.

Houston has a massively diverse economy, from shipping to manufacturing, banking and finance, all going on within this most welcoming of Texas cities. Houston has the largest, finest and one of the most well known medical centers in the world located just south of downtown.

Houston really does have it all: shopping, recreation, education, good jobs, low cost of living and so much more. Of course, first-time visitors want to know what to do. Well, there’s the Houston Zoo, Museum District, and Theater District just for starters.


The Houston Visitor Center is downtown near the Theater District has an amazing display of memorabilia and enough booklets, brochures and assorted print information on the city to fill a pickup.

Seasonal events like the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, assorted award-winning plays, free productions in Hermann Park, the International Festival and many more making choosing a challenge. Of course don’t forget NASA down the road a bit, too.

Sports? Houston has sports. Astro’s Baseball is a mainstay over in Minute Maid Park. The Houston Texans play at the new and incredible Reliant Arena.

Round Ball fans love to watch the Houston Rockets in season. In fact, every major sport and a whole bunch of minor ones have teams in Houston.

Whether you’re looking to swing your own club or you want to listen to the crack of a ball bat swung by a true professional, Houston is the place to come back to again and again.

Houston is impressive as one drives in from any direction or drops out of a cloud to land at one of Houston’s fine airports. All roads, sea-ways and sky-ways lead to Houston. Thousands of planes and millions of people come and go at Bush Intercontinental alone.

Hobby Airport adds hundreds of planes and many thousands of travelers more to the mix, not to mention air cargo operations from both airports.

Interstate 45 rolls in from Dallas, Interstate 10 brings folks over from South and Central Texas or from points east as far away as Florida. Other major routes like U.S. 59 (NAFTA Highway and route of proposed I-69), U.S. 290 out of Austin, and a couple more highways coming up from the coast put Houston at the hub of a very large traveling network.

If roadways and airways aren’t enough, the Port of Houston is the nation’s largest international port and second-largest overall. Every kind of cargo imaginable and then some ply the channel up from the Gulf. Cruise ships come and go from the port, too.

Houston is an impressive place “by the numbers.” It’s one of the oldest towns in Texas, founded in 1836. There’s 1.9 million people living in the city and almost four times that in the metro area. There’s some 11,000 restaurants, 500 arts and culture organizations, the world’s largest rodeo, more than twelve thousand seats in the Theater District.

Houston isn’t called “Space City” just because a few locals can’t seem to keep their head out of the clouds! If you’ve a couple bucks burning a hole in your pocket or just in need of a new pair of shoes, Houston is a shopping Mecca.

Downtown has a five-story department store with more stuff than one can imagine. Then there’s the magnificent Galleria. Don some ice skates after shopping if you’re feet are up to it.

Shopping centers like the East End, Rice Village, and Highland Village have everything from cool to quaint. And if that isn’t enough, out west a few miles you’ll find the Katy Mills Mall or The Woodlands up I-45. But that’s not all. Stand downtown at the corner of Fannin and Walker, twirl around, point a finger and go. You’ll find shopping.

Something to do! The city has forty institutions for higher learning, 21 million square feet of medical facilities serving five million patients a year, 18 fortune 500 companies, and it’s considered the Energy Capitol of the world, home to most major energy corporations.

Cost of living is second lowest of America’s metro areas. There are jobs, recreation, faith groups of all kinds, educational opportunities and the best medical facilities in the nation. Houston is a pretty hip place considering most of the population is under fifty, and a third under 40.

It’s a family town with museums and playgrounds, and a grown-up town with nightlife a’plenty. It’s a classy town where limo’s deliver the well-to-do and a bare-foot town with kids dragging kites in Memorial or Hermann Park. It’s a good place to retire, with a warm climate, relaxing recreation and trustworthy medical facilities all close at hand.

No wonder ol’ Dean sang about Goin’ Back to Houston. Don’t mind the numbers, in Houston everyone’s much more than a face without a name. No matter if you ‘got holes in both your shoes or you glide in on a jet plane, Houston’s a great place to go, to go back to, and to call home.

The Maritime Museum is the first of it's kind in Houston. Displays include hundred year old model ships, Titanic artifacts, jewels from around the world, a 2.5 million year old prehistoric shark tooth and much much more!
The Houston Art Car Parade is the largest in the world. The parade was the first art car parade in the world when it first launched on May 14th 1986.


Houston Metro
Metropolitan Transit Authority Of Harris County Texas

Route and Schedule Information

Houston Metro-Rail Map and Information

George Ranch Historic Park
Mercer Arboretum
Houston Government
900 Bagby / Houston, TX 77002  713.837.0311
Houston Partnership
1200 Smith, Suite 700, Houston, Texas
Houston Library
500 McKinney
Houston, TX 77002
Houston Information Guide
P.O. Box 300481
Houston, Texas 77230-0481
Houston Historical Tours
PO Box 1495
Bellaire, TX 77402
Community Artist Collection
1501 Elgin
Houston, TX. 77004
Sam HoustonHeritage Society
1100 Bagby
Houston, TX 77002,
Blaffer Gallery
University of Houston
4800 Calhoun
Houston, TX. 77004
Black Heritge Gallery
5408 Almeda Rd.
Houston, TX. 77004
Main Street Theater
4617 Montrose, suit 100
Houston, TX. 77006
Gulf Greyhound Park
1000 FN 2004, La Marque, TX 77568; (409) 968-9500, (800) 275-2946
Sam Houston Race Park
7575 N. Sam Houston Parkway West
Houston, Texas 77064

Houston Texans Schedule

Houston Rockets

Houston Fireworks Display

Rice University

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

Houston is known as the cowboy capital of the world with cowboys and cowgirls coming to compete at the world’s largest and richest rodeo.








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