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Houston Attractions and Things to See
Houston is the fourth
biggest city in the United States today, and certainly, the
biggest in the state of Texas, with a population of almost 6
million; founded in 1836, by brothers, John Kirby Allen and
Augustus Chapmen Allen, on the banks of the Buffalo Bayou, and
incorporated in 1837. It would be named after the president of
the Republic of Texas, Samuel Houston, the general that had
commanded the militia at the Battle of San Jacinto, that
occurred about 25 miles east of the city's current location. It
would grow quickly as a port and railroad center, that was
spurred along faster with the discovery of oil in 1901. During
the mid 20th century, it would become the home of the Texas
Medical Center, that is the world's biggest concentration of
research and healthcare institutions, and then NASA's Johnson
Space Center, that houses Mission Control for the space program.
Houston is considered a global city, with a large industrial
base that includes aeronautics, energy, transportation and
manufacturing, as well as one of the leaders of health care and
oilfield equipment building; actually second only to New York
City with Fortune 500 companies. It is the nation's biggest
international waterborne tonnage handler and the second in total
cargo tonnage handled. It has a diverse religious and ethnic
population, with a big and growing international community, home
to numerous cultural exhibits and facilities, that welcome over
7 million visitors every year to its museum district, with an
excellent and active performing and visual arts scene in its
theater district, with year round resident companies that
perform in the major arts.
The city hosts many yearly events that celebrate the diversity of the city, with the longest running and biggest Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo that is held for more than 20 days during late February to early March, that is the biggest annual livestock show and rodeo in the entire world. At the end of June, the yearly night-time Houston Pride Parade is held, as well as other annual events like the Art Car Parade, the Bayou City Art Festival and the Houston Greek Festival. The Houston theater district is home to nine significant performing arts organizations, with six performance halls, and contains the second biggest concentration of theater seats in the country, as one of the few cities in the nation that have permanent, professional resident companies in every major performing arts disciplines. It attracts numerous touring Broadway shows, concerts, exhibitions and acts that focus on many interests, with Jones Hall housing the Houston Symphony Orchestra and the Society for the Performing Arts, as well as the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. The museum district include the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Holocaust Museum Houston, the Houston Zoo, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston and the Station Museum of Contemporary Art. Other magnificent collection and exhibitions located near the district include the Menil Collection, the Byzantine Fresco Chapel Museum and the Rothko Chapel, along with Bayou Bend, the 14 acre estate of the late philanthropist, Ima Hogg, which contains one of the finest collections of decorative arts, furniture and paintings in the country, with many venues that host local and touring groups in rock, Tejano, country, blues and dubstep, with hip-hop becoming increasingly popular.
The city has a sports team for every major professional league, except hockey, with great locations in the downtown area that host these teams and their leagues with many fans quite familiar with those teams. It has excellent transportation opportunities, beautiful architecture and more that brings visitors here all year long.
Houston cuisine is a flavor of all the various ethnic groups that call it home, that include local home grown cuisine and national franchises that offer a huge variety of tastes and flavors. Since it is located by the gulf, it has outstanding seafood, local farms that produce excellent vegetables, fruits and meats, with some of the best beef in the world. It is no wonder that the New York Times stated that the residents of this great city spend more per capita on dining out than any other American city, with restaurants providing the best soul and American foods that can be found anywhere in the United States, as well as other ethnic places to eat like Italian, Mexican, Tex-Mex, barbeque, American, southwest and more types of cuisine that is sure to please any palate with the finest tastes available.