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Houston is the most populous city in Texas with a population of over 2.3 million people. It’s located in Southeast Texas near the Gulf of Mexico and Galveston Bay.
The city was founded by land investors in 1836 at the confluence of White Oak Bayou and Buffalo Bayou and was incorporated as a city in 1837. Since then, it’s become known for its various contributions to science and industry, with “Houston” being the first word spoken from the moon. The city is still home to NASA’s Johnson Space Center and is the base for a number of energy, aeronautics, and transportation companies.
Nicknamed the “Bayou City”, Houston is a global heavyweight with strengths in medicine, research, and culture. Its population is made up of various ethnic and cultural backgrounds, a fact that’s earned it a reputation as one of the most diverse cities in the United States.
Tourists to Houston can expect to enjoy the city’s dedication to the sciences at Space Center Houston, as well as the great outdoors at attractions like Buffalo Bayou Park and the Houston Zoo. Its diverse citizenship makes it a great place to enjoy international festivals with strengths in music, culture, and the arts.
The George Bush Intercontinental Airport services all of Houston, providing flights both international and domestic.
Traveling by car to Houston is relatively easy. The city is encircled by rings of highways – nine radial freeways, three-ring freeways, and a 180-mile outer ring. Interstate 10 runs through Houston proper, and the Texas-only Interstate 45 connects Texas’s major cities.
If traveling by train, Amtrak trains on the Sunset Limited route stop at Houston three times a week. They travel west to Los Angeles and east to New Orleans with many stops in between.
Space Center Houston: The official visitor center of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Space Center Houston is a must-see attraction. In the massive complex, you can walk through a replica of the space shuttle Independence and explore a replica of America’s first space station. You can even touch a rock from the moon!
Houston Zoo: Located in Hermann Park, the Houston Zoo is popular with locals and tourists alike. It’s home to more than 6,000 indigenous and exotic animals, each set up with their own unique habitats. The zoo also contains an education center and aquarium.
Buffalo Bayou Park: Set on 160 acres of rolling green space, the Buffalo Bayou Park is an excellent way to escape the bustle while never leaving the city. The urban park features a dog park, extensive walking and biking trails, a number of fascinating sculptures, and plenty of shady areas to lounge in.
Metered, on-street parking is available during the day throughout the downtown area. If you rent an RV, you can park a maximum of three hours, after which you’ll have to move your vehicle. Hourly prices depend on the location. Meters are free after 6 pm Monday through Saturday and all day Sunday.
Houston is home to a number of paid parking garages. Rates vary depending on the location, with the prices rising as you near the city center.