Houston, the nation’s fourth largest city hums with a culture and energy all of it’s own and was recently recognized as America’s next great global city by Forbes Magazine. Known as the energy capital of the world, the city is home to 26 Fortune 500 companies. Since everything is bigger in Texas, Houston also boasts the world’s largest medical center and has dethroned New York City as the nation’s leading exporter.
Houston is an entertaining place to live and play, too. Forbes Magazine took notice of all the culture the city has to offer, recently naming Houston, “America’s Coolest City,” a testament to what Houstonians have known for years. Take in a show in the Theater District – that boasts more than 12,000 seats – that includes a resident opera, ballet, symphony, and over a dozen theater companies. Visit one of the Museum District’s 19 museums, all within walking distance. Have dinner at one of the 11,000 restaurants featuring global cuisine from more than 70 countries. Cheer on a local sports team or anything in-between. Houston offers something for everyone.
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Most schools in Houston area are organized in three levels – Pre-Kindergarten through 5th grade (elementary), 6th – 8th grade (middle/junior high) and 9th – 12th grade (senior high). Instruction at all levels is largely regulated by state requirements. State law restricts class sizes for grades 4 and under to a maximum of 22 students per teacher. Several standardized aptitude and achievement tests are administered to students at different ages.
The Harris County area includes 24 school districts that offer public education to many incorporated and unincorporated communities.
If good schools are on your shopping list for a home sites like greatschools.org can help provide rankings of area schools.
Dining and Shopping
Houston is considered to have one of the best culinary scenes in the country, with cuisine from around the world. There are more than 11,000 restaurants in the Houston area with culinary choices that represent more than 70 countries and American regions. Menus offer virtually unlimited ethnic options, Creole favorites, fresh-from-the-Gulf seafood and, of course, fried anything you can think of. In 2007, ForbesTraveler.com ranked Houston as one of the best restaurant cities in America.
Shopping in Houston are beyond tremendous. Rice Village is a lively neighborhood shopping district. One of Houston’s first shopping areas, the village offers more than 400 stores and restaurants. The Uptown Houston (Galleria) area is a concentration of upscale, modern hotels, fine restaurants and sophisticated shopping venues. It is the fourth largest in the nation at 2.4 million square feet.
Houston also has an array of outlet malls including Katy Mills, Conroe Outlet Center, and our newest Houston Premium Outlets. All of these centers feature the usual array of designer and electronic outlet stores.
Malls and Shopping Centers
- Houston Galleria
- Memorial City Mall
- Willowbrook Mall
- Deerbrook Mall
- The Woodlands Mall
- Baybrook Mall
- San Jacinto Mall
- First Colony Mall
- West Oaks Mall
- Pearland Town Center
- Katy Mills Outlet Center
- Conroe Outlet Center
- Houston Premium Outlets
Houston is one of five cities in the United States with resident professional companies in the four disciplines of the performing arts – ballet, opera, symphony and theater – each with numerous accolades.
Houston’s 17-block Theater District is home to nine world-class performing arts organizations and five diverse venues. The downtown Theater District host to more than 200 cultural, visual and professional performing arts organizations and brings the finest of international entertainment.
Parallel with its world-class museums, Houston has a flourishing community of more than 60 art galleries that together comprise one of the most dynamic art markets in the country. These significant art spaces, many fueled by the metropolis’ large pool of artistic talents, are distinguished both by the quality of their exhibitions and the diversity of their staples. Houston ranks among the top cities in the country in its population of working artists.
- Houston Ballet
- Houston Grand Opera
- Houston Symphony
- Ensemble Theater
- Alley Theater
- Theater Under the Stars
- Society for the Performing Arts
- Buffalo Soldiers National Museum
- The Children’s Museum of Houston
- Holocaust Museum Houston
- Houston Museum of Natural Science
- Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
- Art Car Museum
Parks and Recreation
Houston ranks first among the nation’s 10 most populous cities in total acreage of parkland, beating out Phoenix’s 49,254 acres and San Diego’s 45,392 acres, according to a 2016 report by The Trust for Public Land. Houston has 52,912 acres of total park space. Top parks to check off your bucket list are Hermann Park, Memorial Park, Discovery Green, and Buffalo Bayou Park.
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