When evaluating cities in the United States, Houston will appear in many lists. It is the fourth largest city in the United States in terms of population with lots of various destinations waiting to welcome tourists. This city in Texas is also the headquarters of many Fortune 500 companies, which helps sustain the economy. Such prosperity has raised the standard of living, which makes Houston one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the country.
Houston started out as a large plot of land bought in 1836. Augustus Allen and John Allen established a city in this area which prospered as a shipping and waterborne business town. Oil discovery in 1900 and World War II pushed for more growth in the region due to the need for petroleum products and synthetic rubber. The construction of various infrastructures such as the Brown Shipbuilding Company, Texas Medical Centre, and other significant landmarks has attracted people from beyond the city limits to migrate to Houston. This enriched the human capital of the city which has established its position as one of United States' best places to live in.
What to see & do
Houston may be called a land of many wonders due to the number of various important landmarks within its environment. The first part of the city to visit is the Museum District with its treasure trove of cultural attractions. The Menil Collection is one of the top sites here due to its vast collections of art ranging between antiquity, Byzantine and Medieval, tribal, and modern art. From there, a trip to the Art Car Museum will beguile visitors with the quirky and unique as cars were decorated and made to look like a dog, a fruity feast, or even a colourful mat made with billiard balls and action figures. More museums are located in the area, which provides tourists an intellectual itinerary to discover.
Tourists must also set aside time to watch a show or two. The performing arts scene in Houston is alive and active with Broadway Across America presenting first-rate shows from Broadway and West End. There is also Chamber Music Houston ready to regale listeners to the moving strains of classical music. Those interested in contemporary dance can also visit the CORE Performance Company to see exciting performance as dancers move gracefully on stage.
Houston also abounds with heritage sites, which tourists can explore. A glimpse of Southern charm can be experienced in Bayou Bend, which was once owned by Ima Hogg, a well-known philanthropist in the 1920s. The place is a beauty with its 18th century Georgian style with Spanish Creole stucco and wrought-iron accents from New Orleans' French quarter. Those interested in the supernatural, on the other hand, can visit the Galveston region, especially the Jefferson Davis Hospital which was built on top of a Confederate cemetery. This long-abandoned hospital was then renovated to the Elder Street Artist Lofts.
Last but not the least is the NASA Space Centre, which tourists can go around in to find out more about space exploration, astronauts, and other intriguing facts about man's journey outside the Earth.
How to get around within Houston
Various transport options let travellers make their way around Houston in a convenient manner. Buses run by the METRO system bring passengers to various destinations around every other corner, depending on the specific route of the bus. Free transportation in downtown Houston is also available on Greenlink Buses. A jitney service – a hybrid between a taxi, limousine, and public bus – will shuttle people to Houston's lively nightlife hotspots. A rail system can also be found within the city which will take passengers between the downtown area to the NRG Park, as well as the Museum District and Texas Medical Centre.
Driving is also another option available for travellers. One can choose from a wide range of vehicles for rent or turn to the Zipcar program. Taxis are also available going anywhere within the Central Business District and the downtown area. There are also ride-sharing services from Uber and Lyft, which provide more convenience for travellers. Bicycles loaned on a bike-share program can also be rented by tourists who want to explore the city on two wheels.
How to get there
When going to Houston, travellers will probably land on George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Airlines serving here include flights coming from Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Some of them are: Aeroméxico, Air Canada Express, Air China, Air France, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, American Eagle, Avianca El Salvador, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Interjet, KLM, Korean Air, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines, and United Express.