This Is Houston, Texas

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    Located on the coastal prairies of southeast Texas, Houston is the nation's fourth-largest city and is home to a diverse set of industries and cultures. Often referred to as "The Bayou City," Houston's diversity offers much to both its residents and visitors alike.

    Recently ranked as the country's third-most livable city, Houston, the largest city in the state of Texas, is the world capital of the international energy industry and home to the world's largest and most prestigious medical center. Comprising over 40 nonprofit institutions, the Texas Medical Center is the largest medical center in the world and is world renowned in research, development and patient care. Houston is also one of the country's premier visual and performing arts centers, a pioneer in multicultural arts and a leading showcase for contemporary commercial architecture.

    A thoroughly international city, Houston's diverse population, of which more than 100 different nationalities are represented, is matched only by that of New York and Los Angeles. This diversity and the seemingly endless resources of the area combine to create an international mecca for business and cultural expression.

    With its temperate climate and affordable cost of living, Houston offers the opportunity for participation in cultural and recreational activities on a year-round basis. In all, the city maintains more than 300 municipal parks and over 100 open-space areas for a wide range of outdoor activities. Houston also features over 100 public and private golf courses. Situated just 50 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, Houston is also within reasonable driving distance to Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin and San Antonio.

    Cultural attractions in the city include a thriving theater district, featuring the Houston Grand Opera, the Tony Award-winning Alley Theatre, one of the nation's three oldest resident theaters, and the renowned Houston Ballet, as well as numerous museums and gardens.

    Houston is also home to the NASA/Johnson Space Center, which trains all of America's astronauts and coordinates much of the development of U.S. space missions and projects.

    If you're looking for things to do in Houston, you won't have to look very far. With numerous places to shop, including the Galleria, more than 300 conventions and events per year, and over 3,000 restaurants, the choices are endless. Two of the biggest choices are the internationally-renowned Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo-the largest event of its kind in the world-and AstroWorld, a 65-acre amusement and theme park affiliated with the Six Flags Amusement Park corporation.

    Several professional sports teams call Houston home, including the Astros (baseball), Rockets and Comets (basketball), Aeros (minor league hockey) and beginning in 2002, the Houston Texans (football). From its founding in 1836, Houston has grown into a vibrant and strong community with a focus on the future.

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