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Houston

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Houston

Your guide to H-town!

Welcome to Houston - a diverse multi-cultural southeast mecca that is booming with opportunity. Houston is one of the most dynamic cities in the world - ranking high in employment growth rate in several key areas - including Best Places for Business and Careers by Forbes magazine. This city is rich with first class attractions and beautiful surroundings - so it is no wonder that it's a popular destination for visitors, as well as new individuals and families each year who call it home.


Known for its vast economic base in manufacturing, energy, transportation, aeronautics, oil, and healthcare, only New York City is the home to more Fortune 500 headquarters than is Houston, Texas. Houston is also the most populous city in the state of Texas - and the fourth most populous city in the U.S., with more than 2.2 million people as of 2014, which ranks it as a solid 4th in the nation in terms of its population. Home to more than 5,000 energy related firms, Houston is considered by many to be the Energy Capital of the world. It is also home to Texas Medical Center, the largest medical center worldwide, visited by more than 4.8 million patients each year. Located in the southeastern region of Texas, Houston actually borders the Gulf of Mexico, providing it with a year-round temperate and subtropical climate. Snowfall is extremely rare here, having an average January temperature of a relatively mild 53 degrees. Houston is also considered to be culturally diverse. So, if you love arts and the theatre, you're in luck, as Houston has a Theatre district that is second only to that of New York City. It also offers professional sports teams representing football, baseball, basketball, soccer, and AHL hockey. For those who love the outdoors, Houston has much to offer as well. You can bike along the Buffalo Bayou, catch a sunset light show at James Turrell's "Twilight Epiphany" Skyspace on Rice Campus, explore the full 7,800 acres of George Bush Park, or visit the bat colony at the Waugh Drive Bridge. The city is also loaded with museums, parks, and hiking trails.


What to do in Houston

You will never be at a loss for things to do in Houston. While many may be familiar with visiting the NASA Space Center or the Houston Museum of Natural Science, there are plenty of other ways to spend the day - and the evening - as well. For example, the Downtown Tunnels is a popular way to enjoy Houston. This six-mile long maze of tunnels connects many of the city's downtown buildings. And, for the shopper, The Galleria can't be missed! Houston also boasts a wide variety of restaurants, shops, and other hot spots for both residents and visitors that can suit nearly any taste.


How to Get Around in Houston

Although Houston is a fairly large city, getting around it can be easy - especially if you link up with the proper map and / or app. There are several modes of public transportation offered - and, due to the temperate weather conditions, walking and biking are also quite common for Houston residents. METRORail is the area's light rail system. Currently, it has three lines - Red, Green, and Purple. There are also 78 regular bus routes, of which 75 operate on a daily basis. In addition, the Greenlink service operates a free shuttle that links much of the downtown area - including the GRB Convention Center and City Hall. These shuttles run every ten minutes, Monday through Friday, during business hours. The Houston B-cycle is a "bike sharing" program that shows Houstonians how easy, efficient, functional, and practical that bicycle sharing can be. This program is intended to be used for short trips in and around downtown Houston and the surrounding urban areas. Bikes may be picked up at any B-station and returned either to that same station or to any other B-station when their trip is complete. For pedestrians, Houston provides a number of tunnels and skywalks. It also includes restaurants and service retail between connecting buildings.


What it's like to live in Houston

Houston is much more than a thriving metropolis. It can be a great place to work, play, live, and to call home. There are numerous employment opportunities - even for those who are not in the oil or aeronautical industry. The things to do in Houston are nearly endless - and many are even free. The city has a long list of parks and public green spaces - and the cost of living in Houston is extremely reasonable. Those who live in Houston can ultimately wake up every day to all the perks of living in a big city, yet without the hefty price tag. So, whether you're sipping latte at a local coffee house or catching the latest show at the performing arts center - your dollar will go much further here in Houston. This city is also known for its first rate healthcare. Not only is Houston home to the largest medical complex in the world, but there are also three medical schools and five nursing schools that are located right here in the vicinity. Arts, culture, and outdoor recreation also can't be beat. That's because Houstonians can enjoy the weather during all four seasons. Houston is also considered to be the culture and culinary capital of Texas - so bring your appetite. Not only will you find fine dining establishments in the city, but a taste of local flavor that is dotted throughout the local neighborhoods.


Where to find apartments in Houston

There are neighborhoods both directly in and around Houston proper in which you can locate the apartment rental of your choice. But, prior to heading out and signing on the dotted line, it is always a good idea to do some research first. When you are securing an apartment for rent in Houston, you should be prepared to put down both a security deposit, as well as the first month's rent, in most cases. This will also typically need to be accompanied by proof from your employer that you have steady income, and that your employment is stable. Your income should also be well above what you will need in order to cover your monthly rent amount. In addition, today it is often required that you provide a good credit history, along with at least one or two good credit references. With regard to finding that ideal Houston apartment rental, here you will want to decide just where exactly you want to be in terms of location, as well as what amenities you want included in and around your apartment unit. For example, is it important to be near any parks, the downtown area, and / or your employer? Also, do you want to be near the stops for public transportation? What about other items or features such as having a washer and dryer in your unit - or would you instead prefer to pay a little less in rent and instead do your laundry elsewhere on your time off? Do you own a vehicle? If so, is a garage important to you, or is on-street parking ok? Likewise, are other amenities like an on-site gym or workout equipment a must-have? Once you have decided on all of the features that you want or need, you will be more prepared to move forward with your ideal Houston apartment search.


Neighborhoods in Houston

Downtown Houston


For those who love the hustle and bustle of the city life, this may be the ideal location for you. That's because downtown Houston has a dining and nightlife scene that extends far beyond the 9 to 5 hours. In this walkable city, you can head over to the Market Square Park area and enjoy bars, or catch a show over at the nearby entertainment complex.

Clear Lake / Bay Area


This great locale, located on the shores of Galveston Bay - and just a short 25 minute drive from downtown Houston - offers some of the most fantastic seafood restaurants, as well as water activities. So, it is easy to see why the area is often referred to as the Boating Capital of Texas. Residents here can also enjoy the beauty of the nearby Armand Bayou Nature Center, with its hiking trails, as well as the tours of the Space Center Houston.

EaDo / East End


East Downtown, or EaDo, also offers a diverse mix of ethnic bars, restaurants, and clubs, as well as cafes and galleries. Located within walking distance of downtown and the Brown Convention Center, this vibrant neighborhood continues growing and attracting new business and residential tenants.

Galleria / Uptown


The Galleria / Uptown area of Houston is considered to be a shopper's paradise. With over 700 retailers, along with dining, sports, and hotels, this is a popular destination for both residents and visitors alike. You can even bring your ice skates!

Greenspoint / IAH


Roughly 15 miles north of downtown, the Greenspoint / IAH locale is considered home to many of Houston's largest companies. There are also a number of nice restaurants that cater to both residents and visitors alike, as this neighborhood is just a short ways away from the George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

Houston Heights


Houston Heights is just northwest of the downtown area. It is considered more of a historic spot, although it is primarily inhabited by young couples and singles who are drawn to the area by its rich character. There are numerous mom and pop shops, restaurants, and cafes, as well as thrift stores and boutiques that line the streets here. On the first Saturday of every month, you can find the "First Saturday Arts Market" to be in full swing.

Memorial Park / Washington Corridor


The Memorial Park / Washington Corridor area is lined with a mix of nice lounges and "down home" bars - all mixed together. This locale has seen some redevelopment of late, so it is not out of the ordinary to see some older properties sitting next to a newer development.

Montrose


Montrose is an extremely diverse area of Houston. Here you may find quaint coffee houses and tattoo parlors - right in the heart of the city. There are also several cool B&Bs here for visitors to stay.

River Oaks


River Oaks is considered to be one of the more posh areas of Houston. It contains some of the more high dollar real estate - which includes shops, restaurants, and boutiques, as well as art galleries and retail stores. Here you will also find the River Oaks Theatre, which is the oldest operating movie theater in the city.

Chinatown


Located in the southwest area of the city, this thriving international district boasts some of the best Chinese restaurants, shops, and cultural centers - including Harwin Drive, where there are numerous strip malls that offer discounted items galore.

Hobby Airport / Third-Ward


This area of Houston is full of culture and history. The Third Ward is set just inside of the 610 Loop, southeast of the downtown area, and just to the east of the Texas Medical Center. In this area, you can find a unique array of restaurants such as Banh Mi Hoang and Frenchy's Chicken, along with the American Cowboy Museum. This area is also near Houston's Hobby Airport.

West University / Rice Village


The West University area is one of the most sought after area locales in Houston. Here is where you will find Rice University, as well as Rice Village Shopping Center. This neighborhood is appealing to both young professionals, as well as to young families.

Galveston


The 32-miles of beautiful Gulf beaches make this island a must-visit destination for anyone in, near, or around Houston. There are a number of great restaurants and shops in the area. The area also includes the Texas Seaport Museum and the 1877 Tall Ship Elissa, as well as The Grand 1894 Opera House - all of which have survived more than a century of storms, and have been fully restored.

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