Covering more than six hundred square miles on the coastline of the Gulf of Mexico, Houston, Texas claims title as the largest city in the Lone Star State and the fourth largest in the entire nation. A center for both the petroleum industry and the aeronautics industry, Houston, Texas boasts the sixth largest port in the world. At the forefront of medical care and research via the Texas Medical Center and with a thriving visual and theater arts scene, Houston, Texas has something for everyone.
Known to some as "Space City," Houston, Texas has an honour to be home to the famous Mission Control Center of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. As a result, the first word spoken by mankind on the surface of the moon was, "Houston." Texas, needless to say, takes great pride in its role in the exploration of space and Houston, Texas has a reputation for drawing young, savvy professionals to its sprawling confines.
Founded in the mid-1800s, the city was named for Texas revolutionary hero and governor Sam Houston and for a time served as the capital of the Republic of Texas. Although the capital was moved to Austin in 1839, Houston has continued to play a major role in the history and economic evolution of the state. By 1860 the city had moved to the forefront as a commercial center for the export of cotton but after the American Civil War city fathers wisely redirected their town's transportation focus away from the railroads and toward shipping, exploiting the position Houston, Texas enjoys adjacent to both a system of bayous (widened and deepened to form ship channels) and the Gulf of Mexico.
In spite of this felicitous location for the shipping industry the city's climate is humid and tropical, often described as steamy by fellow Texans who, after a day in the sweltering city, seek shelter in their air conditioned hotel. Houston heat will take down even the most hearty Texan. But when you're in this city, hot or not, you don't want to stay in the hotel. Houston lays out a full banquet of activities from shopping at the famous Galleria to premier sporting events, world class museums, and a glittering night life.
A seventeen block area in downtown Houston plays home to the theater district led by eight performing arts organizations on a par with any to be found in the world. Intermingled with this world of opera, ballet and modern dance, music of all genres, and theater, visitors find an array of posh boutiques, quaint parks, modern movie complexes, and restaurants ranging from gourmet meals prepared by famous chefs to barbecue joints where the cold beer flows like wine.
Without forsaking its Western heritage, Houston, Texas has moved into the 21st century as a leader in the field of energy production and technological innovation. Its port plays a vital role in the commerce not just of the state of Texas but of the United States and of the world. If boots are indeed made for walking, Houston is marching with her sights firmly set on the future.