"Houston, Texas; Beyond Oil, Heat and Space" Top 5 Page for this destination Houston by XenoHumph
Houston Travel Guide: 1,245 reviews and 2,138 photos
Houston is the 4th largest city in the USA. It was built mainly around the oil industry, but is also famous as the location of NASA-Johnson Space Center, which is among other things the training center for American astronauts. For some strange reason, Houston has a bad reputation and is thought to be an awful place to live because of "the heat", "the pollution", and the lack of "culture". All wrong!!
Despite people's presupposed ideas, Houston is a very nice place to live . Here are a few critics you generally hear and my comment on them.
1) The weather is too hot and humid.
This is true for 3 months a year (mid-June to mid September). However, personally, I prefer that over 8 months or more of winter-like weather like for example in Canada or Chicago (nothing personal, just places where I lived!). The weather in Houston is otherwise extremely pleasant throughout the year, a warm semi-tropical climate that allows flowers to bloom year-round.
2) Bad transportation. True in a sense that there is no common transportation, besides a few bus lines and a new one-line tramway downtown. A car is a must to travel around Houston. But, the freeways are good, deserve the city well and much less prone to traffic jams than other major US cities (ex: NY, Chicago, San Francisco...).
3) Houston is ugly. Very true. A maze of parking lots (necessary, as see 2)). No zoning. Some districts are pretty , however: the area around Rice University, downtown around Sam Houston Park, the Heights, North of the Galleria area (E Post Oak), the Museum District, the parks (Hermann, Memorial, Armand Bayou) . Drive to the country side, it can be very pretty (ex: Galveston bay, NW of Houston, forests N of Houston, barrier islands along the Gulf, Brazos Bend State park, Anahuac Natural preserve).
4) Houston air is polluted. True. There is a huge amount of industries, especially raffineries, East of the city. I wish Houston chemical companies would put the effort to reduce their toxic emissions like the Californian ones do. However, as Houston is located in the flattest of the flattest of lands, winds sweeps away a lot of it constantly. Consequently, there are worse places to live in terms of pollution, such as LA or Phoenix for example.
Summary on Houston : Houston is a great place to live. If you stop by for visiting a friend or for business, it is worth staying a few extra days to visit the city and surroundings. Tourism in Houston includes excellent museums, beautiful parks, great skyscraper architecture and outstanding numerous restaurants! Finally, Houston is one, if not the cheapest major city of the US to live in, in particular in terms of real estate.
Go see my pictures of Houston and its region in my Houston travelogue!
Yes, there is beautiful nature to see in the Houston area which is famous for its birding opportunities. And yes! Florida is not the only place where you can see alligators, we have plenty in the bayous around Houston! Go see my "things to do" and "off-the-beaten path" tips for details.
The red star on the map shows you where Houston is located. I made a more detailed map of the Houston area (see my General tips) that shows you:
Main freeways and streets
The reason I drew this map is that nowhere could I find a comprehensive map of the neighborhoods and attractions of the Houston area. So now this map exists. I hope you find it useful!
- Pros:Great weather! Pleasant city to discover if you know where to go. Cheap real estate.
- Cons:No common transportation; pollution; hurricanes
- In a nutshell:I am happy living in Houston
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XenoHumph's Related Pages
Houston Travel Guide
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Badges & Stats in Houston
- 101 Reviews
- 156 Photos
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- 106 Comments
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