Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States, and the largest in the South and Southwest. Its consolidated metropolitan area encompasses more than 7,500 square miles and its population tops 3.5 million. Houston's sunny climate and abundant recreational resources support the almost infinite diversity of life-styles, which is the hallmark of all great cities.
The Houston area is a place to enjoy life year-round. From seashore to pine forests, golf to ice skating under the sun-lit dome of the world famous Galleria, neighborhood theater productions to world class performing arts all wrapped in an even-tempered climate that encourages year-round enjoyment of the Texas Gulf Coast.
Houston is one of only four cities in the country with permanent companies in all four performing arts: opera, theater, symphony and dance. Houston is also the permanent home of the 10,000 piece Menil Collection a world famous collection vied for by New York City and other cultural centers.
With all its cultural growth, Houston has retained its enthusiasm for Texas traditions like the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Houstonians are ardent supporters of both professional and college sports teams. Houston holds major league sports franchises in baseball, football, soccer and basketball. In addition many of the local colleges boast outstanding intercollegiate athletic programs.