Cradling the scenic banks of Buffalo Bayou in Southeast Texas, Houston is one of the largest cities in the United States and home to more than 2 million people. Originally a busy seaport and hub of the railroad industry, Houston has since blossomed into a thriving metropolis that is attracting new residents from around the world. Known as the energy capital of the world, Houston's main economy is based primarily on oil production and a growing renewable energy industry, with the biomedical and retail industries also offering many promising opportunities.
Things to Do in Houston
No matter where in the world you're relocating from, Houston is a welcoming city, and the friendly residents will make it easy for you to settle in. Meetup groups, like the Newcomers and Neighbors of Greater Houston, are a great way to make friends with locals and get to know your new city.
On your days off, you can explore the many attractions that Houston has to offer. Museum lovers can spend hours browsing the Houston Museum of Natural Science and the Museum of Fine Arts, while golfers can tee off at one of the many golf courses and driving ranges that are dotted around the city.
Families can often be found hanging with the wildlife at the Houston Zoo or getting up close and personal with the sharks and other sea creatures at the downtown Aquarium. If you love to dance the night away, Houston also boasts a lively bar scene. No matter how you like to spend your free time, Houston has something for you.
Here is just a handful of the wonderful neighborhoods that Houston has to offer:
The Museum District
If you're a lover of art, culture, science and history, there is no better place for you in Houston than the Museum District. With nearly 20 different institutions including the Houston Museum of Natural Science and the Children's Museum of Houston, the area makes it easy for you to drop by a museum of your choice for a visit anytime.
The Woodlands has the unique history of being founded by oil tycoon George P. Mitchell, who found his interest sparked by the idea of creating a master-planned community of his own. Today, it's the home of many major companies, shopping and dining destinations and a waterway modeled after the San Antonio Riverwalk.
Childhood dreams of thrilling rocket launches come true in Clearlake, home of NASA's Johnson Space Center and Space Center Houston. If you prefer to keep your feet on Earth, the Armand Bayou Nature Center is one of the largest preserves in the U.S., offering miles of wildness to explore.
Just west of downtown Houston is the Memorial area, where the neighborhoods are lined with towering trees and filled with a variety of unique home styles. Western Memorial includes a district referred to as the Energy Corridor, the location of many leading businesses in the energy industry.
Houston is home to nearly 700 public schools, over 250 private schools, and close to 100 post-secondary schools. With that many schools, you have a lot of choices when it comes to education. One of the main public school districts in the city is the Houston Independent School District, the largest in all of Texas. If you're looking for a charter school education for your children, schools such as the Harmony School of Advancement and Westchester Academy for International Studies offer a unique approach to education.
If you're looking to pursue your own education goals, a number of Houston institutions offer night classes, part-time classes and distance learning if you need to fit your studying in around other responsibilities.
Housing Options in Houston
Whether you're hunting for a downtown studio apartment or a gated mansion in the tree-lined streets of the suburbs, Houston has a diverse range of housing options to suit all tastes, needs and budgets.
You'll find that your dollar doesn't go as far when it comes to housing costs in Houston, with the median home price here falling above the Texas average and far above the national averages.
No matter where you choose to live in Houston, you'll be lucky to have access to the excellent public transportation system (METRO), which offers transportation by light rail, bus and van. Or hop on your bike and join other Houston residents who make cycling their commuter mode of choice. Houston is a seriously pro-cycling city and offers unique bike-share programs.