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Houston, Texas - Things to do and facts you may not know

Updated on May 2, 2009

Houston, fourth largest U.S. city

Houston, Texas has grown over the years to eventually become one of the more important cities in the United States, and in fact the fourth largest city in the nation. The city was founded in 1837 and has had a very interesting history since those early days. Today, the community of Houston has developed into a hub of national and international business, but it is also a very popular destination for travelers heading to Texas and the Gulf of Mexico.

Some Things You May Not Know About Houston, Texas

1. The 610 Loop, a freeway that circles the inner-city section of Houston was originally proposed just prior to World War II as a way of moving troops through the area in a way that they would bypass the downtown section of the city.

2. The Port of Houston ranks first in the United States in the category of tonnage shipped internationally.

3. It took seven years of digging and dredging to turn Houston's waterfront area into a deep water port in the early 1900s.

4. No city in the United States, other than New York City, has more Fortune 500 companies headquartered there than Houston.

5. Houston is home to a number of professional major league franchises including the NFL's Houston Texans, the NBA's Houston Rockets, and Major League Baseball's Houston Astros.

The city has also been the host of a number of professional sports teams that are either no longer in existence or have relocated to other cities including the Houston Oilers who became the NFL's Tennessee Titans, the Houston Mavericks of the American Basketball Association that would later move to North Carolina, a previous Houston Texans football team of the World Football League that would relocate to Shreveport, Louisiana before folding, and the Houston Gamblers of the United States Football League which also folded when the league did the same in the mid-1980s.

6. Houston is the home of the beer can house.The beer can house is just like it sounds, a house made of different parts of beer cans. This was the idea of John Milkovisch who built this place over 18 years using different pieces of the beer can. Ripley's estimates around 50,000 cans were used for this project. Man, that's a lot of beer! It is an amazing work of art and worth paying a visit to. John passed away in 1988 and his creation was deteriorating until it was undergoing renovations by The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art, a nonprofit organization.

Address to the beer can house: 222 Malone Street, between Memorial Drive and Washington Avenue.

Famous Beer House. Photo by: gruntzooki

The city of Houston has a good deal to offer businesses and corporations alike, but it also is a popular destination for travelers too. The city has a number of museums, parks, sports teams, outdoor recreational opportunities, shopping districts, and special events that appeal to the wide variety of people that come to the city each and every year. Houston has developed into a treasure in terms of its value as an American city and is a great city to travel to for both personal and business purposes.

Beer Can House Video

Top Houston Attractions to Experience

There are a number of quality things to do for visitors coming to the city of Houston, here is a look at five attractions that everyone coming to the city should try to experience.

1. Professional Sporting Events

Houston is very lucky in that it is represented well in the world of professional sports. The Houston Texans play in the NFL and their home games at Reliant Stadium are incredibly memorable events. The Houston Astros are a Major League Baseball team that has more than fifty years worth of history in the community. The Houston Rockets are a first class National Basketball Association team that has even won back-to-back championships in their history.

2. Johnson Space Center

The top attraction in the city of Houston is the Johnson Space Center, home of the NASA space program. The visitor center, known as Space Center Houston, has a number of incredible exhibits and displays including actual space modules.

3. Memorial Park

A great way to spend time away from the hectic city life in Houston is to spend part of the day at Memorial Park. The park offers golfing, walking and biking trails, as well as wonderful areas perfect for play and relaxation.

4. Buffalo Soldiers National Museum

The only museum in the entire United States that is focused on detailing the history, triumph, and perseverance of the African-American soldier is Houston's Buffalo Soldiers National Museum. The museum is a perfect stop for anyone interested in American history, military history, or African-American history.

5. The Galleria

A great way to experience the shopping and activities of Houston is to visit the Galleria. The Galleria is a large sprawling shopping area featuring many nice eating establishments, upscale retail shops, and an ice arena among other things.

While most people agree that Houston's main attraction is as a business and industrial city, the types of attractions available in the city also show that it is well equipped to entertain and occupy even the most discriminating traveler from outside the area. With a decent amount of museums, parks, shopping areas, and special events, Houston truly does present itself as a valid destination for vacation travelers. The city really does offer something for everyone and it is more than able to entertain the many visitors return to it year after year.

Houston Travel Video on Special Things about Houston

Brief video on what makes Houston so special. Everything from places to visit, from the unique Beer Can house, Beatles statues and more.

Must-See Museums In Houston, Texas

The city of Houston is famous for a number of reasons, everything from its ties to the United States space program to its history as an important part of the state of Texas' early days. The city has a long and storied history that include time as unexplored territory, a territory of Spain, part of the nation of Mexico, an independent nation unto itself, and finally part of the United States of America. The city has grown to become the fourth largest city in the entire United States and based largely on this large population has a wide variety of things to do and attractions that it can offer to visitors that come its way. There are a number of must-see museums in the city of Houston, and here is a look at seven of them.

1940 Air Terminal Museum

Houston's 1940 Air Terminal Museum details the city's long history as a major player in commercial aviation. The museum is housed in the same building that served the city as its first commercial air terminal.

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

One of the largest art museums in the United States can be found in the city of Houston. The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston features well over 40,000 items on display from every corner of the world.

Children's Museum of Houston

With fourteen different galleries, the Children's Museum of Houston is filled with hands-on experiences that light up the eyes of the thousands of children that visit it every year. The museum is finely tuned to provide interesting exhibits to children of a wide variety of age groups.

Holocaust Museum Houston

With a mission of spreading the belief that prejudice and hatred are dangers to everyone in all walks of life, the Holocaust Museum in Houston not only provides an interesting and informative look at history, but also does its part to make the world a better place. This is actually the fourth largest museum commemorating the holocaust in the entire United States.

National Museum of Funeral History

One of the most unique museums in the city of Houston is the National Museum of Funeral History. The museum details a wide variety of aspects related to funerals throughout history including unique caskets, age-old embalming methods, and more. The National Museum of Funeral History is also home to the NMFM Hall of Fame, honoring the most influential people in the many professions related to funerals and cemeteries.

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center

Space Center Houston is the visitor's center for the famous Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. The center is home to many of the actual spacecraft that NASA has sent into space like the Mercury 9 and Gemini 5 capsules.

John C. Freeman Weather Museum

With a mission of inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers, the John C. Freeman Weather Museum provides wonderful opportunities for both children and adults to learn as much as possible about weather in general and what causes certain specific weather patterns. The museum is housed in the Weather Research Center and hosts a number of special exhibits and even very popular weather camps.

The museums available in the city of Houston offer a truly special opportunity to not only learn about the history of this city and the entire region, but also to learn about a number of other things that are important to people from around the world. Houston offers a great many things to do, and one of those things to do is the chance to frequent some of the better museums in the entire country. Visiting museums is a great way to be entertained and learn something new, as well as a nice opportunity to escape the heat of the outdoors or the hustle and bustle of crowded business areas. For a great time in the city of Houston, visitors should definitely look into visiting the city's many museums and historical sites.

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Houston Texas Travel Comments

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    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 8 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      One of my best friends from high school moved to Houston (from CA) and now my mother lives near there too. Maybe someday I'll get to see it.