Houston, the city with no limits, is America’s most diverse city. Whatever their backgrounds, newcomers from around the nation and the world come to Houston in huge numbers. Houston’s status as the Energy Capital of the World remains unrivaled. The city is home to more than 3,700 energy related firms, including 40 of the nation’s 145 publicly traded oil and gas exploration and production companies.

Due to Houston’s sheer enormity, the 8,929 square mile metro area is larger than the state of New Jersey – most of its growth takes place outside of the 610 Loop, the innermost of the three highway rings around Houston. But inside 610, the living is good and getting better.

What is so great about living in Central Houston IE: Inside the Loop

Living in Central Houston means easy access to Houston’s rich cultural scene. The Theatre District in Downtown Houston has the largest concentration of seats outside of New York. This 17 block district is home to nine performing arts organizations that wow audiences in venues including Jones Hall, the Hobby Center, the Wortham Theater Center and the Alley Theater. Overall, Houston has more than 500 arts organizations – most of them in Central Houston.

Just southwest of downtown, in the pedestrian-friendly Museum District, more than 8.7 million visitors explore the 19 museums that make up the tree lined, culture filled neighborhood each year. Within a 1.5 mile radius of the iconic Mecom Fountain, are such famous institutions as the Museum of Fine Arts-Houston, the Houston Museum of Nature Sciene and more specialized museums such as the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, the Holocaust Museum and the Asia Society Texas Center.

Love Sports?

For sports fans, all of Houston’s professional sports teams are rooted in the central city. The Astros baseball team play downtown at Minute Maid Park, built around the historic Union Station railroad depot. Also downtown, the Rockets play basketball at Toyota Center, next to the incredibly popular Discovery Green, which has quickly become Houston’s own people filled version of Central Park. One the exciting east side of Downtown, BBVA Compass Stadium is home to the Houston Dynamo soccer team. Reliant Stadium, home to the Houston Texans football team, is just inside the 610 Loop.

Downtown Houston is fast transforming itself into a 24/7 place where people live, work and play. More than a dozen new residential towers are sprouting up all over downtown, and a host of new hotels open in time to welcome sports fans. The largest of these is the 1,000 room Marriott Marquis.

Downtown Entertainment

Green Street Houston is home to the House of Blues, the Lucky Strike Bowling Alley, a growing array of stores and restaurants and a new luxury hotel, Hotel Alessandra. Bayou Place, Houston’s original downtown entertainment complex offers movies at Sundance Cinemas, concerts at Bayou Music Center and a variety of restaurants.

It’s well known to Houstonians eat out more than residents of any other city and with 11,000 eateries to choose from who could blame them? Central Houston is home to many of the nation’s most acclaimed new restaurants. In a city where more than 90 languages are spoken, great ethnic food is everywhere, from many Vietnamese restaurants along Milam Street in Midtown to the original Ninfa’s Mexican restaurant on the recently beautified Navigation Blvd.

Shopping Paradise

Central Houston is a shoppers paradise that includes funky fashion boutiques in Montrose, antiques stores in the Heights, and a large cluster of art galleries and home decor stores along Kirby and Richmond. Westhiemer is the undisputed champion of Houston’s shopping streets, crowned by The Galleria, Texas’ largest shopping center.

So much more..

Central Houston residents are enjoying a growing number of options for getting around without cars. The Red Line light rail line provides access to Downtown, midtown, the Museum District, The Medical Center and NRG Stadium. Bike trails and the popular Heights Trail link downtown to the east end trails, and has recently been expanded to the the west, connecting to Timbergrove and other hot neighborhood along the White Oak Bayou.

Houston has plenty of parks off the bayous. Hermann Park, between downtown and the Medical Center is home to the Houston Zoo, Miller Outdoor Theater and Japanese Gardens, which recently celebrated its 100th birthday with new public art and the McGovern Centennial Gardens. A new master plan is also underway to renovate and improve Memorial Park.