The United States’ fourth largest city may have muggy summers, but it’s a world-class cultural hothouse. Edgier than its rival Dallas and more metropolitan than the Texas capital of Austin.
Houston is one of the few US cities to have its own resident symphony orchestra, opera, ballet and theatre companies, plus a higher concentration of theatre seats than any American city bar in New York. The city's downtown skyline, the third highest in North America, is like an architectural textbook of the 20th century, while elsewhere there are unusual sights such as the decommissioned craft of the Houston Space Center, or original Mark Rothko paintings in the fortress-like Rothko Chapel. High-end shopping in Uptown’s Galleria mall and the restaurant and bar scene of bohemian, gay-friendly Montrose are also draws. Nearby, the Gulf Coast’s beaches, the alternative-leaning city of Austin and the Texas Hill Country are all easy to reach.