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Houston is the largest city in the state of Texas and the fourth-largest in the United States. The city is named for Sam Houston, who was largely responsible for winning Texas its independence from Mexico. Houston is internationally known for its energy (particularly oil) and aeronautics industries, and for its ship channel. Houston also boasts the world’s largest medical center. Just minutes from the cool breezes of the Gulf Coast, you can dine on great seafood, listen to live music or ride a Ferris wheel on the Kemah Boardwalk. With its temperate climate and affordable cost of living, Houston has much to offer both visitors and residents.

Houston is famous for offering a vast range of opportunities and cultural experiences to its residents. The friendly and open nature of residents welcomes newcomers from all walks of life into the growing fold. Houston is one the few cities with permanent ballet, opera, symphony and theater companies. There are more than 30 museums, 500 parks, 100+ golf courses, 60 movie theaters and over 8,000 restaurants.

Houston is located in the Central Time Zone and has a mild year-round climate. Although the humidity in the height of summer can make the city feel warmer than the actual temperature. Winters in Houston are cool and temperate. Summers are very hot. Snowfall is rare in this city. Houston is an international city that is a leader in the arts, education, and health care.

Houston is also very attractive, livable, and fun. There are many parks and smaller green spaces and many unusual public sculptures and fountains. Houston is second to New York City in Fortune 500 headquarters. Among the 10 most populous metro areas, Houston ranked second in employment growth rate and fourth in nominal employment growth.

Houston is a year-round city. It’s large enough to accommodate big events, though you might want to avoid it when there’s a mega-event like the Super Bowl. NASA, the rodeo, museums, the Astrodome, elegant restaurants and barbecue spots—Houston has plenty to offer.

The quality of educational programs plays a major role in your relocation decision. Houston I.S.D. is the largest independent school system in Texas and the seventh-largest in the nation. Houston is the location of several private institutions both secular and non-secular. The city is home to Rice University, a private institution boasting one of the largest financial endowments of any university in the world. Houston has the University of Houston System, which is the largest urban state system of higher education in the Gulf Coast. The Houston area is home to more than 300 private schools and several are well-known. All public school systems in Texas are administered by the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

Houston is an astonishingly green city. Anyone shopping for a home in or around Houston will often hear the phrase “master-planned community.” Master-Planned communities offer a mix of lush scenery and modern conveniences. Housing is extremely inexpensive compared to many other large metropolitan areas. There are plenty of apartment rentals to choose from, most of which are reasonably priced. The Downtown Houston area also offers a vibrant neighborhood for city dwellers. The Houston area has great neighborhoods and shopping centers and many apartments are just a short distance. Whether you want to live near schools or in a quiet area near parks and recreation, you can easily find the place you are looking for in the Houston.

The city of Houston has a strong mayor-council government. As of 2006, the mayor of Houston is Bill White, who is serving his second term. The City's elected officials, serving concurrent two year terms, are: the mayor, the city controller and 14 members of the city council. City council members are elected from nine districts in the city, along with five at-large positions. Houston is best considered to be a politically divided city whose balance of power often sways between Republicans and Democrats.

Houston City Guide

The city is in close proximity to many beaches and sometimes experiences coastal breezes. Each neighborhood has backyard burger joints worth exploring, but the cuisine of almost every ethnic group on earth is served somewhere in the city. Houston has many great restaurants. French restaurants, Italian restaurants, Chinese restaurants, and more. Nearly every segment of town has its favorite Thai, Indian, Latin American, and Japanese restaurants as well as outstanding burgers, Tex-Mex, and Italian.

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