Welcome to Houston! With our energy, medical and tech industries laying the foundation for our diverse population, the energy capital of the world is teeming with multicultural flair. If you’re moving to Houston, here are some tips on what to expect.
Setting Up Your Utilities
Before we jump into the fun stuff, let’s make sure you’re on point for a comfortable transition into your new apartment or house. Setting up your basic utilities is a breeze if you’re moving to Houston.
Centerpoint Energy is the only natural gas utility in the city, and water, sewage and trash service is handled by your local government. You can set up both accounts online- have your new address on hand.
Houston is different than other major U.S cities when it comes to electricity though. Being in a deregulated market means you choose your own electricity plan! But with more than 1,000 plans on the market, do you have time to know you’ve chosen the right one with the best rate?
Save time and money with Power Wizard. Its technology finds you the best electricity plan on the market. Then manages the entire sign up on your behalf, then ensures you won’t overpay for electricity now into the future. If it finds you a better one that can save you more? It gives you the option to switch.
During sign up you’ll enter your new address, and Power Wizard handles the rest. Yes, every bit of it! Joining now is FREE. Just use promo FREEYEAR at sign up. This is the one key way you can get a financial head start when moving to Houston.
How to Fight Traffic
In a city of 2.3 million people spanning over 630 square miles, traffic is an inevitable part of life.
If you live inside the Interstate 610 loop, which circles the inner city, you won’t hit as much traffic heading into the city center as you would living in one of the outer lying suburbs such as The Woodlands, Sugarland, or Katy.
Though if you are moving to Houston and living in the burbs, our METRO system offers Park & Ride facilities in most major suburban areas to bring you into the city center, the Medical Center, and other major employment centers.
Utilizing this system will give you a better experience with Houston traffic overall, and allow you some shut eye during the commute.
Houston also has a great light rail system. METRO’s light rail trains move between Downtown, the Medical Center, NRG Stadium and Park, EADO (East of Downtown), the University of Houston, and to the Museum District.
It’s an ideal situation if you live close enough to use it. But even on the weekends it’s a great way to get around and dive into the city without using a car.
Explore Houston Car Free
Get to know the surrounding areas of Downtown with the hike and bike trails – some paved, some gravel- built along White Oak and Buffalo Bayous. You can also find great trails at Memorial Park and Hermann Park. Many of these trails connect our inner-city neighborhoods. Stop at restaurants along the way or soak up the flora and wildlife around our bayous.
And if you’re moving to Houston for some real urban adventure, you can now canoe a 26-mile paddling trail in Buffalo Bayou! It’s the bayou that runs from west Houston into Downtown. Our bayous are also why we are known as Bayou City.
Embracing Houston’s Culture – Space, Art and Sports
Home to NASA, Houston earned the name Space City with Johnson Space Center located on 1,700 acres in southeast Houston. It’s a great place to take out of town visitors. Here you can touch a lunar rock or meet an astronaut!
The Menil Collection brings a world class art collection to its campus with a focus on surrealist, modern and African art, and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston boasts more than 63,000 works!
But it’s the quirkier, grass roots side of Houston’s art world that Houstonians cherish, too. Don’t be surprised when you see sculptures on wheels cruising our streets. These are our beloved art cars, on full show each spring with the Art Car Parade, hosted by another one of Houston’s quirky institutions The Orange Show. You don’t want to miss this!
Houston loves its major sports teams. Yet we can’t ignore that we’re home of the largest rodeo in the world, also dubbed our state’s unofficial sport! The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is the world’s largest livestock show and richest regular-season rodeo competition. It takes over the city late February to early March. Look for the trail riders as they close down the streets and make their way into the city!
A City for Foodies
Award winning barbecue and Tex-Mex are Houston staples. But given the international fabric the city is swathed in, some of the best Chinese and Indian food can be found in our Chinatown and Mahatma Gandhi districts, respectively.
The city has multiple farmers markets too if that’s your preferred choice of shopping, and you can even venture south of the city to Kemah, where you can find fresh off the boat Gulf seafood for a fraction of the price you’d pay in the city.
There is so much to do, see, eat and experience in Houston. But don’t forget we have a major international airport just 20 miles north of the city. We also have Hobby airport, offering more of a focus on domestic flights 11 miles south of Downtown.
If you need an escape into nature, the Texas coastline is a mere 50 miles south. If hiking in the woods is your speed, then Sam Houston National Forest is just 60 miles due north.
Whatever your interests are, moving to Houston guarantees you’ll find your niche in no time.