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As the country’s fourth largest city, Houston delivers all the delights visitors seek in restaurants, attractions and entertainment with its unique cultural character. Houston’s major attractions continue to grow along accessible main highways and roads, making it a relatively easy city to navigate despite its rapid growth. Known for its oil and gas heritage, the Houston area is home to 2.2 million residents in an extensive area of 600+ square miles (1,600+ square km). Houston holds second place in the U.S. for the number of Fortune 500 company headquarters located in the city. This Texas feels far away from the cliché landscape of cattle ranches.
There's always something to do in Houston. Take a stroll through Houston Heights, spend the day exploring the Museum District, which boasts seventeen museums, including the Menil Collection, Museum of Fine Arts and the Houston Museum of Natural Science. These museums draw a reported seven million visitors to the district each year. Other world-class attractions you should not miss are NASA Johnson Space Center, Hermann Park Conservancy and Galveston Island.
More than 8,000 restaurants await, ranging from international cuisine and fresh seafood from the Gulf to barbeque, TexMex and Asian flavors. There are so many quality venues to choose from that one might have to work hard to find a favorite restaurant. Houston has become a new hip culnary hotspot. The attitude here blends Southern gentility with Texas hospitality, so you’ll find service to be both gracious and friendly. Best of all, you can eat very well at prices that never cease to amaze the experienced traveler.
Cafes are usually a world unto themselves, and Houston’s are no exception, offering plenty of variety in atmosphere, food, drink, and entertainment. Jazz is often the music of choice, and it is usually helpful to call ahead to find out about the night’s entertainment and menu specials.
Houston’s nightlife has been growing and developing into a different life from that known by previous generations, when most clubs and bars were located along Richmond Avenue. Now more places are opening throughout the city offering a much more varied and diversified array of night-time entertainment.
Houston shopping has grown to meet almost any shopper's budget or whim: From upscale stores located in the Galleria to trendy boutiques and outlet malls. International shoppers can also claim a refund of the sales tax at Tax Free processing centers located in the Galleria, Katy Mills mall and at Bush Intercontinental Airport. Requirements include passport, visa (if applicable), boarding pass or e-ticket and original sales receipts www.taxfreetexas.com
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