America's Coolest City - Forbes – July 2012
It's great to be a Houstonian! Our region boasts a winning combination of low cost of living and high quality of life.
Living in Houston means affordable housing options in excellent school districts and employment opportunities in numerous industries throughout the region. Nationally recognized parks, professional sports, fine dining, and other attractions make Houston a great place to call home!
Read below to experience a day in the life of a Houstonian!
Houstonians wake up to all the perks of big city life without the heavy price tag. Whether it’s a weekend grocery run or a stop at a local coffee shop – your dollar goes further in Houston.
The Third Quarter 2012 C2ER Cost of Living Index shows that Houston has one of the lowest overall costs of living among the 29 metropolitan areas with more than 2 million residents. The same study also shows that Houston's overall after-taxes living costs are 9.2 percent below the nationwide average, largely due to affordable housing costs.
Houston’s a great deal, and people are taking notice. For the fourth consecutive year, Houston ranked first in U-Haul’s annual national migration trend report, "The U-Haul 2012 Top 50 U.S. Destination Cities."
Learn more in our Economy section »
Another major perk of life as a Houstonian is diverse and affordable real estate. From a modern loft downtown to a traditional, single-family home in the Woodlands, the greater Houston area offers a wide variety of housing options. There’s something for every age and stage in life and best of all, the price is right.
In fact, according to the First Quarter 2013 C2ER Cost of Living Index, when compared to the 21 most populous metros, housing costs in Houston are 37.3 percent below average.
Whether it’s your first home or your next, the greater Houston area is sure to have something that’s a good fit for your family, and your wallet.
Leave your coat at home; America’s Coolest City averages only 18 days per year with temperatures of 32°F or less.
Houston has had only 15 measurable snowfalls since 1939. These mild winters ensure that outdoor activities can be enjoyed year-round. Prepare for blue skies and head to one of Houston’s great parks and enjoy!
When you drop your kids off at school, know Houston is a top education destination. Based on student performance indicators, the state of Texas has rated 57 percent of HISD schools as either Exemplary or Recognized.
Also a leader in higher education, Houston has more than a dozen community colleges educating 170,000+ Houston area students, along with 17 colleges and universities that educate more than 165,000 students.
Furthermore, our numerous technical schools teach critical skills to Houston’s emerging workforce.
When you or your family needs care, there is no better place to be than Houston. The Houston metro area has long been known for its first-rate health care system, with many Houston area hospitals consistently ranking among the nation’s top institutions.
The Texas Medical Center is the largest medical complex in the world with 49 medicine-related institutions, including 14 hospitals and two specialty institutions, three medical schools, four nursing schools, as well as schools of dentistry, public health, pharmacy and a whole range of other health-related practices.
Houstonians enjoy the outdoors through all four seasons. The greater Houston region contains two of the 10 largest urban public parks in the U.S. — Cullen Park and George Bush Park And downtown’s largest park – Discovery Green – features year-round events ranging from movie nights and Zumba classes to a seasonal skating rink.
Memorial Park and Trail is also a population place to get some fresh air. More than 500 square miles, the City of Houston Bikeway Program is a 345-mile interconnected bikeway network of on-street and off-road paths that includes bike lanes, bike routes, signed-shared lanes and ‘hike and bike’ trails, and other urban multi-use paths.
Take an afternoon stroll through Houston’s museum district where you’ll find the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Museum of Natural Science and the Houston Zoo among other attractions. In the evening, attend a live performance at the Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park- just across the street!
Houston is one of the few U.S. cities that offers world-class, year-round resident companies in all of the major performing arts—symphony (Houston Symphony Orchestra), opera (Houston Grand Opera), drama (The Alley Theatre) and ballet (Houston Ballet).
Houston offers a myriad of dining options to please even the pickiest of eaters. Authentic TexMex, traditional Texas barbeque, and Creole inspired cuisine are just a few of the possibilities.
Houston is the Culture & Culinary Capital of Texas with more than 7,500 restaurants and eating establishments covering over 60 cuisines. Home to award-winning chefs like Chris Shepherd and Bryan Caswell, you’ll savor Houston’s world-class restaurant scene.
Houston is a major league sports town! Wind down by watching the Astros hit a home run at beautiful Minute Maid Park or catch some gridiron action with the Texans at Reliant Stadium. BBVA Compass Stadium, home of the Dynamos, hosts numerous soccer matches throughout the year. Prefer basketball? Courtside seats at Toyota Center to the Houston Rockets are a must.
If you want to experience the original extreme sport, make sure to check out Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo each spring, it’s the largest in the world!
Houston's professional teams include: Astros, Texans, Rockets, Dynamo, Aeros, Energy and Sugar Land Skeeters.