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#AsuquoTravelsTheUSA: The ins and outs of Houston

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#AsuquoTravelsTheUSA: The ins and outs of Houston

After some memorable and well deserved rest in Killeen, Texas, it was all system go and I purchased my trip ticket online and headed to the Greyhound station to embark on the about 3 hours bus journey to Houston.

Even as eventful the 3 days was, I totally enjoyed my visit to Houston. Enough of me and my stories, back to the fun part of the review…LOL

Houston aka H-Town is a major metropolis and the most populous city in Texas and the fourth-most populous city in the United States after Chicago. It’s progressive and traffic might be a nightmare but the cost of living far outweighs it.

Houston is home to the Space Centre Houston, the coastal visitor centre at NASA’s astronaut training and flight control complex. The city’s relatively compact Downtown includes the Theatre District, home to the renowned Houston Grand Opera, and the Historic District, with 19th-century architecture and upscale restaurants.

Find out the ins and outs of everything H-Town:

Houston feels different
Keep your Texan stereotypes and beliefs at the border. Houston is definitely part of Texas, but progressing very fast and becoming a melting point for all races, classes and trendsetters.

More younger population
As the population grows in Houston, so does the youth crowd. As a result of growing opportunity, affordability, awesome food, lots of art and a great nightlife scene, the median age in Houston is 28 years old.

The obsession with everything automobile
Houston is a big city and so isn’t exactly a walkable city and the traffic there is one of my biggest downfalls. So do yourself a big favour and live as close to where you work if possible to cut down on the commute time or get a car to enjoy the city.

Taxes
Texas has got no state tax which can be a big draw in a big city like Houston. But don’t get too excited yet, you won’t get away tax-free. Property taxes can be higher than average in many parts in the city and the 8.25% sales tax tends to balance things out.

The fate of the Astrodome
When you visit Houston you can’t but notice The Astrodome, the coolest sports dome ever built. The only thing is that it’s completely empty. I asked my friend what the city plans to do with it and he said “your guess is as good as mine”. No one wants to see it demolished, but it sitting empty is just a crime.

Affordability
Traffic might be a nightmare in Houston, but the cost of living far outweighs it. Compared to other major cities around the country, Houston’s affordability is almost too good to be true and that’s not a joke.

The city of Loops
Houston is separated by highways. The Inner Loop is a freeway called 610. When you’re inside the Loop, you’re downtown in the trendy areas.

Areas in Houston are generally classified as either being inside or outside Interstate 610, known as the “Loop.”

Houston is the most populated city in the United States without zoning laws. As a result, Houston has grown in an unusual manner. Rather than a single “downtown” as the centre of the city’s employment, five additional business districts have grown throughout the inner-city, including one for Houston’s medical centre complex. If these business districts were combined, they would form the third largest downtown in the United States. The city also has one of the largest skylines in the United States but because it is spread over a few miles, pictures of the city show, for the most part, the main downtown area.

Home to the world’s largest rodeo
Hosting a rodeo may not seem like a big deal in Texas, but the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is in a class of it’s own. Founded in 1931, it is the largest rodeo in the world, and over 1.6 million people paid to attend this cultural mainstay in 2016 with the 2017 currently on-going till the end of March. This event features not only the world’s best cowboys and cowgirls, but there are concerts, children’s carnivals, food and wine events, and much more.

Art and design is everywhere
Fine art, contemporary collections, and tons of galleries – Houston has it all and you see it everywhere around downtown.

Visitors love Houston thanks to the so many awesome museums at their disposal in the Museum District. There are over 25 museums to choose from all within a 12 block radius including The Children’s Museum and Museum of Natural Science.

A beach just a drive away
Houston doesn’t have a beach of its own but locals and tourists enjoy spending time at the gorgeous beaches in Galveston which is only 45 minutes away.

The gateway to space
Houston is home to a small organization that has worked on some ground breaking technology called NASA. You may have heard of them.

Oil at the heart of the city
The economy of Houston is primarily based on the energy industry (particularly oil); however, health care, biomedical research, and aerospace also constitute large sectors of the city’s economy.

Go shopping in the Galleria
The Galleria Houston is Texas’s largest mall. An upscale shopping mall centrally located just outside the 610 Loop in Houston’s Uptown District. The retail center is anchored by Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue, and occupies such high-end tenants as Tiffany and Co., Dior, Louis Vuitton, and Yves Saint Laurent.

The mall is also home to two separate Westin hotels.

Visit the Houston Zoo
The Houston Zoo shelter’s over 4,500 animals and 900 species, The Houston Zoo is the 7th most visited zoo in the United States. Spend the day strolling through the facility’s beautifully landscaped grounds, or enjoy a more hands-on encounter by scheduling a guided tour. Tour experiences range from feeding a lion cub to shadowing a staff veterinarian for an entire day.

Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park
The horseshoe-shaped waterwall in Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park in the Uptown District is a sight to behold. At 64 feet high, the rushing water fountain is certainly worth a visit. It’s especially beautiful at night with the lights shining on the unique sculpture in operation since 1983. The urban waterfall is open daily from 8am – 9pm. Drought conditions may affect the waterfall’s operation.

Planning a holiday to Houston? I suggest you plan is fast as there is a lot to see and love about the city. Houston is filled with the friendliest people you’ll ever meet.

Next on my #AsuquoTravelsTheUSA trip is the city of Baton Rogue, Louisiana.

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Asuquo Eton founded talkmediaafrica.com, now one of the most visited TV, music, tech and features website, in 2011. He is also a social media analyst, media and entertainment consultant.

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