Rice Business Billboard with Houston Skyline

Houstonia's Guide    Student Top Picks    Rice Business Guide

Video courtesy of Visit Houston

Over 10,000 restaurants, world-class theater groups, diverse culture and artistic expression; welcome to Houston, Texas. The fourth-largest city in America is home to NASA, Fortune 500 companies, the largest medical center in the world and an unparalleled music scene. The Culinary and Cultural Capital of the South is an exciting place to work, stay and play.

Houston Perks

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 C2ER Cost of Living Index Q2 2019 Annual Average shows that Houston has the third lowest overall cost of living among the nation’s 20 most populous metropolitan areas. The same study also shows that Houston's overall after-taxes living costs are 27.4 percent below the average for the 20 largest urban areas, largely due to affordable housing costs.

Houston’s a great deal, and people are taking notice. For the tenth consecutive year, Houston ranked first in U-Haul’s annual national migration trend report, "The U-Haul 2018 Top 50 U.S. Destination Cities."

And in an era when human capital — ideas, practices and inventions — is the most critical resource of all, Houston enjoys a major power source. It is the most ethnically diverse city in the country. This is an asset crucial to 21st-century business, which must prioritize adaptability to new skills and technology to thrive, notes the personal finance site WalletHub.

Consider:

  • There are more than 145 languages spoken here.
  • Houston is a truly international city: 1 in 4 Houstonians relocated here from outside the U.S.
  • Houston is the top city for minority entrepreneurs, according to Entrepreneur Magazine.
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 16 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 or your family needs care, there is no better place to be than Houston. Our 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 58 world-renowned medical research and academic institutions, including six general hospitals, 11 specialized hospitals, two specialized patient facilities, three medical schools, five schools of nursing, two schools of pharmacy, a dental school and a community college focused on 19 health science fields.

Houston is the headquarters and the intellectual capital for virtually every segment of the energy industry including exploration, production, transmission, marketing, supply and technology. Houston employs nearly a third of the nation's jobs in oil and gas extraction. Home to 4,600 energy-related firms, the region remains at the forefront of foreign investment in energy — particularly in Mexico. Continue reading at Greater Houston Partnership.

This pro-business ecosystem means that most graduating from Rice Business need look no further to use their Houston Rice degrees. While for decades the city’s fame hinged on petroleum, the 1980s oil crash prompted diversification. Twenty Fortune 500 companies now operate and recruit from Houston. Startup founders, meanwhile, can dive into a community where 400 of every 100,000 residents starts a business every month.

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 popular 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.

Houston is the city ranked 10th in the nation with the most green space per capita in the country. 60% of residents live within 1.5 miles of a park. 

Take an afternoon stroll through Houston’s museum district where you’ll find the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Children's Museum, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, 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’s 10 Best New Restaurants for Fall

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 and Culinary Capital of the South with more than 10,000 restaurants and eating establishments covering over 60 cuisines. Home to award-winning chefs like Chris Shepherd and Hugo Ortega, you'll savor Houston's world-class restaurant scene. Learn more.

Houston is a major league sports town! Wind down by watching the Astros hit a home run at beautiful Minute Maid Park, soak in some sun while watching the Dynamo and the Dash score goals at BBVA, cheer on the Rockets as they shoot for a win at the Toyota Center or catch some gridiron action with the Texans at NRG Stadium.

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 Resources & Helpful Links