Oil, cotton and real estate are the backbone of Houston, a proud and wealthy metropolis situated on a vast plain just 50 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico.
Littered with glittering skyscrapers and endowed with many great galleries, museums and performing arts centres, Houston is as much a cultural centre as an economic one.
Leafy Sam Houston Park lies at the city's heart, whilst nearby Market Square still features some of the city's original buildings. In the Theatre District lies the beautiful Wortham Theatre Center which houses the city's opera and ballet.
Five miles south of downtown, in the Museum District, you will find the Museum of Fine Arts, the Cullen Sculpture Garden and the Houston Museum of Natural Science. For an altogether different experience head a little further out of town to try on space helmets, inspect moon rocks and join astronauts and scientists at the Johnson Space Center and the Space Center Houston.
Houston's prosperity has drawn large numbers of immigrants to the city and visitors can enjoy a variety of cuisines with top-notch Mexican, Vietnamese and Indian restaurants along with a wide range of delis to be found throughout the city.
Although Houston is renowned for its summer heat and humidity, many of the downtown buildings are linked by air-conditioned tunnels making a visit much more bearable.
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