Think laid-back, pick-up truck and boot-scooting town meets high-powered, high-cultured and high-heeled metropolis. During the day, chill out in your flip-flops, take in museums and go shopping, then hit happy hour on a leaf-shaded deck. At night, revel in culinary or cultural bliss – the restaurant and entertainment scenes are renowned across the region. Here, starched jeans are de rigueur in all but the very fanciest of restaurants.
Diverse residential neighborhoods and enclaves of restaurants and shops spread far and wide. Where residents of other cities talk about the weather, Houstonians talk about parking. Wealth from oil and energy companies supports luxurious shopping areas but you can also enjoy down-home fun, although don't underestimate the sauna-like summers. Don't forget that one of the town's main attractions – NASA's Space Center Houston in Clear Lake – is outside the city limits, a 30-minute drive down I-45.