Houston - description of the city:

The 4th largest city in America and the biggest city in Texas, Houston have a population of 2.16 million people as of 2012 census estimates. The city was founded in the year 1836 in an area called Allen’s landing. Houston was made into a city in 1837 on the 5th of June. General Sam Houston was the Republic of Texas president and is who the city is named after. The railroad industry and the burgeoning port in combination with the discovery of oil in 1901, has caused continuous surges in the population of the city. 

During the mid-20th century, Texas Medical Center made Houston its home. This is the largest concentration of research institutions and healthcare facilities in the world. The Johnson Space Center from NASA is located in this area as well. 

The economy of the city has a wide industrial base that includes manufacturing, energy, transportation and aeronautics. The city is also the leader in the health care sector and in building oilfield equipment. The only place that has more fortune 500 companies is New York City. The Houston Port is second in handling total cargo tonnage and first in international waterborne tonnage. 

The population of the city comes from a number of different ethnic groups and religious backgrounds. There is a large international community that is continuously growing. There are many cultural institutions in the city which attract over 7 million tourists to the museum district. There is an active performing and visual arts scene located throughout theater district.


In August of the year 1836, John Allen and Augustus Allen bought just over 6600 acres of land located along the Buffalo Bayou. Their intent was to found a city. The brothers wanted to name the city after Sam Houston, who was a popular general from the Battle of San Jacinto. 

The city was incorporated in 1837 and the first mayor of the city was James S. Holman. The city also became the Harrisburg County seat during this same year. It was also named as the temporary capital for the Republic of Texas. During the year 1840, a chamber of commerce was established for the community in order to promote waterborne business and shipping for the port that was newly created on the Buffalo Bayou. 

By the year 1860, the city had emerged as a railroad and commercial hub for cotton exportation. Railroad spurs from the inland of Texas would converge in Houston. The rail lines would meet in the area and transfer to the ports of Beaumont and Galveston. 

During the civil war, Houston served as the headquarters for General John Magruder, who used the city to organize the Battle of Galveston. Once the civil war was over, businessmen in the city tried to widen the system of bayous in the city so they could accept more commerce between the downtown area and the port of Galveston. By the year 1890, the city became the railroad center for the state.

In the year 1900, Galveston was hit by a devastating Hurricane. This sped up the efforts to make the city of Houston into a deep water port. The next year oil was discovered at a field near Beaumont and this prompted the start of the Texas petroleum industry. A $1 million dollar project for the city was approved by President Roosevelt in 1902. The population of the city reached 78,800 in 1910, which was almost double what it was ten years before. A large part of the population was African Americans, making up nearly a third of the residents. 

The deep water port of the city was opened by President Wilson in the year 1914. By the year 1930, the city had become the most populous in the state. The 1940 census reports Houston as being 77.5% white and 22.4% black. 

When the Second World War started the tonnage levels seen at the port when down and shipping activities ceased. However, there were some economic benefits of the war for the city. Manufacturing plants and petrochemical refineries were built along the ship channel as the demand for synthetic rubber and petroleum products increased during the war. This increase in production led to the city’s growth. 

The city experienced a large boom in population during the 1970s as many people moved into the city from other areas of the country including the Rust Belt. This boom ended in the 1980s as oil prices went down. Since the 1990s, the city has made an effort to further diversify the economy of the area by focusing on health care and biotechnology as well as aerospace.


Houston is located in the American South and offers a diverse city with an already large international community that is growing. There are over 1.1 million residents in the metropolitan area who were not born in the United States. About 2/3 of the population is from Mexico and almost one out of every five foreign born resident of the city is from Asia. 

Houston earned the nickname “Space City” in the year 1967 as it is the location of the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. The city has several other nicknames as well including Clutch City, Bayou City, New Houston, and Magnolia City. Locals often refer to the city as H-Town as well.


There are many annual events that take place in the city. These events celebrate the many cultures of the city. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is the longest running and largest event that takes place in the city. The event starts at the end of February and goes into March. It last for 20 days and is the largest livestock show and rodeo in the entire world.

The Houston Pride Parade is another large celebration that takes place in the city. It is held at the end of the month of June. Some of the other events that take place in the city include the Houston International Festival, the Auto Show, Art Car Parade, Greek Festival, and the Bayou City Art Festival. This art festival is considered to be in the top five of art festivals in the country.


Located downtown, the Houston theater district offers 6 performance halls and 9 performing arts organizations. The city is one of the few in the United States that offers professional, resident, permanent companies in every area of the performing arts disciplines; theater, music, ballet, and opera.

The city is also home to art groups, folk artists, and other small various progressive arts organizations. There are many touring Broadway acts that are attracted to the city. Some of the facilities in the city include Jones Hall, which is where the Houston Symphony Orchestra calls home.

There are over 7 million people who visit the exhibits and cultural institutions in the city of Houston each year. Some of the notable facilities include the Houston Zoo, Holocaust Museum, and Station Museum for Contemporary art, Contemporary Arts museum, Houston Museum of Natural Science, Museum of Fine Arts, as well as the Byzantine Fresco Chapel, the Menil Collection, and the Rothko Chapel.

Reasons to Visit

One of the reasons to visit Houston is that the city is home to 337 parks. Some of the more prominent parks that you should consider visiting include Sam Houston Park, Discovery Green, Sesquicentennial Park, Tranquility Park, Memorial Park, Lake Houston Park, Terry Hershey Park, and Hermann Park. The Houston museum of natural science and the Houston Zoo are both located within Hermann Park. Of the top 10 most populous cities in the United States, the city has the most green space and parks. There are over 200 green spaces that are managed by the city.

Located in the uptown district, the Gerald D. Hines Water wall Park is a popular tourist attraction. There is a waterpark called Wet and Wild Splash Town that is also quite popular among tourists.

The city of Houston is not known for being one of the more walkable cities. The main reason for this is because of the way that it was first designed. There are some areas of the city that are easy to navigate while on foot and many of these areas offer many entertaining activities in a short space.

For sports fans, Houston has a professional team in every major sport except for hockey. You can take in a Houston Astros baseball game or if you prefer the NBA, the Houston Rockets play in the city. The Houston Texans football team offer a great NFL venue if you want to catch a football game while you are in town.

Overall, Houston has a lot to offer its visitors. There are many great museums and other cultural centers to enjoy while visiting the city. In addition, there is plenty of green space available so that you can take a break from the hustle of the city and enjoy some time in nature. 

Country United States
International title Houston
Population 2,099,451 people
Timezone America/Chicago
State Texas
Geographic coordinates Latitude: 29.76328 x Longitude: -95.36327

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History and present of Houston
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Amazing Houston
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Places to visit in Houston
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Houston video guide

Places to visit in Houston

Famous Places

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