Houston is the country’s fourth-largest city.
Along with being a big, economically thriving city, dining in Houston, the arts scene, shopping, and nightlife are also world-class. Houston is also business-friendly because of its location in Texas but also because of the Energy Corridor, where many national and international companies are headquartered.
For families that are planning a move to Houston or just considering one, the following are some of the key things you should know about this city.
There are a lot of great things that can come with moving to Houston, and one of those is its affordability.
The cost of living is lower and sometimes significantly lower than living in big cities like New York or San Francisco. Even compared to Austin and Dallas, the cost of living in Houston is lower.
There is no state income tax in Texas, so you can bring home more of your money.
When it comes to buying a house, your money can go a long way, especially if you’re willing to go farther out from the city center.
The median rental price for a one-bedroom apartment in Houston is around $1,200. The median rental price for a two-bedroom is around $1,620, and these numbers make Houston cheaper for renters than 40 other major U.S. cities.
Houston tends to have a strong economy, and it’s based not only on oil and the energy industry but also on biomedical research, healthcare, and aerospace.
The Houston metro has the largest concentration of petrochemical manufacturing anywhere in the world. This includes synthetic rubber, fertilizers, and insecticides. Houston leads the world in oilfield equipment construction, and there are thousands of energy-related businesses calling Houston home.
Because of the strength of the economy and the concentration of major companies in Houston, the job market is also strong.
The city is home to the world’s largest medical complex, which is just one potential employer for people who call the city home.
Top employers in Houston include Oracle, Dell Technologies, and American Airlines Group.
Houston is Culturally Diverse
For people who live in Houston, one of the things they often say they love how diverse it is. There are cultural events around the city at any given time to celebrate the diversity that makes Houston so unique.
For example, regular celebrations include Mardi Gras, the Martin Luther King Grande Parade, and the Houston Italian Festival.
Interestingly there are more than 90 languages that are represented in Houston.
Houston is a Green City
You might not think of such a large city as being green, but Houston is. There are more than 50,000 acres of park space just within the city limits.
For example, if you want to hike or bike, you might head to Memorial Park, which is on the city’s west side. George Bush Park is in the Barker Reservoir, and it’s the city’s largest park.
The Houston Arboretum is a good place to spend time if you like nature, and if you enjoy camping, you’re near Huntsville State Park. It’s just about an hour’s drive from the center-city area of Houston.
What It Means To Be in the Loop
Houston is divided into two areas. Interstate 610 forms a loop around Houston, and this has become a reference point for neighborhoods and suburbs.
Residents of Houston frequently debate whether it’s optimal to live in or out of the loop.
The inner loop is made up of the central business district of Houston. It’s also where you’ll find a lot of entertainment and museums. People who love big-city living and young professionals often reside in the loop.
The outer loop is full of more suburban neighborhoods, and if you have a family, you might opt to be out of the loop.
When people in Houston are giving directions, they’ll very often use the loop as part of that.
One of the downsides of living in Houston is the traffic. Commute times can be very long.
There are some public transportation options, however.
The Houston Metro has made a big dent in Houston’s traffic, and the state has also been working on toll express lanes and carpooling incentives.
The Houston Metro Rail can take you to the cultural districts of Houston and the Midtown parks.
When you live in Houston, you’re also close to two major airports—George Bush Intercontinental Airport and William P. Hobby.
George Bush Intercontinental Airport is often ranked as the top airport in the U.S. for international flights.
There is so much to do that if you move to Houston, your biggest issue will likely be finding time to enjoy it all.
The Houston Museum District features 19 museums, which are located across four areas of Downtown Houston that are walkable.
Included in the Museum District is the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Children’s Museum Houston, and the Holocaust Museum Houston.
Another favorite among families is the Museum of Natural Science, located in Hermann Park. It’s the most visited museum in Houston.
You can visit Space Center Houston and see spacecraft from past NASA missions or experience a spacewalk virtually.
The Houston Zoo and the Downtown Aquarium are also popular with families in Houston.
During Houston Restaurant Weeks, you’ll be able to sample the best the local eateries have to offer. You can also go to the Bayou City Art Festival, where you’ll find arts and crafts and live music.
It would be nearly impossible to live in Houston without going to the rodeo. Houston is famous for having the biggest rodeo in the world, known as the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. The event runs for three weeks and includes competitive bull riding, barrel racing, and steer wrestling. The rodeo also includes nightly country concerts, a carnival, and a barbecue contest.
Houston is ranked as one of the top sports cities in the country. There are six professional teams that call Houston home, including the Houston Astros, and dozens of college and minor league teams.
Finally, for culture in Houston, there’s the Houston Symphony, the Houston Grand Opera, and the Wortham Center for Performing Arts.