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Moving to Houston? Here are Five Things to know about the Bayou City

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There’s more to Houston than meets the eye.  It’s important to know that H-Town offers more than the stereotypical cowboys, cattle, and oil wells. While many small towns across the Lone Star state are home to those things, Texas cities like Austin, Dallas and Houston are more urbane and sophisticated.  If you are planning to move to Houston, you may already be aware of its diversity and thriving economy, but here are five unique facts, that maybe you didn’t know about the Bayou City.

1. More than a Boom Town – Houston is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. Houston’s population now ranks fourth in the nation, with more than 2.2 million people living within the city limits and more than 6.5 million living within the metro area. There are many factors that contribute to the rapid growth, but part of the answer lies in Houston’s entrepreneurial spirit — Houston has always valued and cultivated risk takers and go-getters. It’s no wonder this city has produced such impressive achievements such as the Port of Houston (the nation’s second largest in total tonnage), the Texas Medical Center (the world’s largest, most renowned medical complex) and the Johnson Space Center (home of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration).

Although Houston is known for oil and natural gas, only about 3,700 Houston business establishments are tied to the energy industry. Other notable industries are business services, medical and biotechnology, aviation and aerospace, information technology, and manufacturing. Today, nearly 30 of the Fortune 500 companies have their headquarters in Houston, and more than half of the world’s 100 largest foreign-based corporations operate here.

2. Houston is Full of Energy…Literally! – In some cities, residents rely on one energy provider or their local utility to power their home. However, due to the competitive energy market, Houston residents have the option to take advantage of competitive rates, service and rewards and find the energy company that fits their lifestyle. Direct Energy  offers customers a wide choice of plan options. For instance, very few Texas energy suppliers offer energy plans with free electricity. After reviewing the various plans available, we found that Direct Energy offers the most hours of free weekend electricity in Texas*! With Free Power Weekends, you won’t be charged for the electricity supply you use from Friday at 6pm to 11:59pm on Sunday. If you tend to have high usage activities like doing household chores, entertaining friends – or even moving, doing these activities over the weekend can save you money!

3. Never a Dull Moment– There is so much to do and see in Houston and its surrounding areas. The city is internationally recognized for its arts and entertainment, shopping, sports, dining and world-class attractions and events. Best of all, there are a number of budget-friendly (or free) things to do like attending free concerts at the Miller Outdoor Theater or strolling around the Houston Zoo or the Menil Collection.

Art and Entertainment Houston’s renowned Museum District lies just south of downtown and is a dynamic testament to the city’s commitment to the visual arts.  There are 20 museums to choose from all within a 12 block radius including The Children’s Museum and Museum of Natural Science. Houston’s theater district, home to nine performing arts organizations in a 17-block area, has the second highest concentration of theater seating of any city in the nation—according to city officials.

Shopping- Houston is indeed a shopping mecca. Its home to a Project Runway-winner and more than a dozen distinct shopping areas, with retailers that range from vintage to high-end designer. For luxury shopping, Galleria is Houston’s main destination, followed by the newly established River Oaks District. Locals can also shop at chic boutiques and shopping centers near their neighborhoods or go bargain hunting on Harwin Drive, or one of the outlet malls located just outside of Houston city limits like Katy Mills Outlet Mall.  Houston’s antique retailers and thrift stores have an endless array of resources celebrating bygone eras.

Sports- Houston is a sports town where fans can cheer for professional and collegiate teams year round. In addition to having five championship-winning, professional sport teams and four state-of-the art sports arenas, Houston has hosted numerous major sporting events such as three Super Bowls and three NBA All Star games.  Other annual professional sporting events include the Shell Houston Open and the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, an event that attracts nearly  2 million visitors during this 20-day extravaganza.

Dining – Houston is a paradise for foodies.  The restaurant scene is just as diverse as its population.  With 10,000 restaurants representing cuisine from more than 70 countries and American regions, Houston’s restaurant scene is as ethnically diverse as its more than 6-million residents. From Mediterranean to Indian, Greek, Sushi, and of course Tex-Mex and BBQ! With such a vast and varied assortment of eateries to choose from, many Houstonians rely on word of mouth to make their selections.  Prices range from the high-end restaurants to food trucks. Plus with major food events like the World’s Champion Bar-B-Que Festival and The Original Greek Festival there are culinary events year round to satisfy cravings from around the world.

Places to Play – Houston is home to a diversity of ecosystems available for us to explore. With more than 366 municipal parks and an additional 200 green spaces, the city ranks third in the nation in green space.  Numerous bayous run through Houston and even through people’s backyards, prompting the nickname “Bayou City.” Whether you want to enjoy outdoor recreational activities, dog parks or enjoy fine dining, be sure to check out Memorial ParkBuffalo Bayou Park or Hermann Park Conservancy which are all located within the city limits.

4. Houston is HOT, HOT, HOT – Air conditioning in your car and home is a must year-round. Houston has a subtropical climate that is known for blazing summers, mild winters and perpetual humidity. Which means Houstonians can enjoy patio weather as early as January. If you are moving to Houston, take advantage of the competitive energy market and keep your home cool by taking advantage of an energy plan that can help you save all weekend long.

So, are you ready to move to Houston? If you’re still on the fence, one additional thing to know about the Bayou city is that it’s residents are unbelievably kind, welcoming and happy to help the city’s new comers at a moment’s notice. Due to approximately 125 people moving to the city each day, Houston is experiencing tremendous growth and is finally getting the recognition it deserves.

*Most free hours weekend electricity claim as of June, 19 2017 when compared to other retail electric providers offers listed on the powertochoose.org website. Subject to change.


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