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10 Surprising Houston, TX Fun Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

Houston, Texas, is an amazing city. Millions of people call this metropolitan area home, and millions more visit each year from across the world. If you think you know all there is to know about this vibrant city, think again. Here are ten Houston fun facts that may surprise you.

1. The Most Populous City in Texas

There are plenty of large cities in the Lone Star State, including Dallas, San Antonio, El Paso, Austin, and Corpus Christi. However, they all pale in comparison to the size of Houston, which has a large and diverse population of almost 2.3 million residents. It is also the fourth-most populous city in the entire United States, after New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. 

2. Largest City in the US by Total Area

If you take out consolidated city counties, Houston is by far the biggest city in the US by total area. That means it is not nearly as compact as metropolitans like New York City or Chicago, so there is more room to spread out. The city covers roughly 665 square miles. 

3. Largest Concentration of Healthcare and Research Institutions


If you are looking for a place that features plenty of research institutions and a dense healthcare system, then Greater Houston is the place to be. The presence of NASA alone makes “Space City” one of the most research-heavy cities in the world, with sites like the NASA Mission Control Center and Space Center Houston.

Natural science, space exploration, and renewable energy are three of Houston’s largest research sectors. Anchored by the largest medical center in the country, the Texas Medical Center, the city’s healthcare network is more concentrated than any other city.

4. Energy Capital of the World

There is a good reason for Houston’s designation as the energy capital of the world. The headquarters for every segment of the energy industry are located in the Bayou City. Its location on the Gulf Coast makes it a perfect hub with ideal infrastructure for all types of energy companies.

The country’s fourth-largest city is home to over 600 exploration and production companies, 1,100 oilfield service companies, and over 180 pipeline transportation firms. It is also a leader in renewable energy, with hundreds of solar, wind, battery storage, biomass, and cleantech companies.

5. Diverse Culinary Scene

Houstonians eat a diverse array of foods, and whether you visit or live in this beautiful city, you will have the chance to partake in many delicious dishes. If you remember any facts about Houston that will entice you to visit, it should be the amazing food — there are over 10,000 restaurants in Houston, serving food from over 70 countries.

houston food

6. Underground Pedestrian Tunnel Network

One of the most unique features of the city of Houston is the underground pedestrian tunnel system. Six miles of tunnels cover roughly 95 city blocks, which makes the city incredibly walkable.

Even the downtown area has reduced pedestrian traffic because of this underground tunnel network, which features restaurants and shops below the city. Taking these tunnels is often the fastest way to navigate the area, whether you are visiting the Houston Galleria in uptown or the first traditional Hindu Mandir in North America.

7. Second US City in the Number of Theater Seats and Zoo Visitors

The art culture is very strong in Houston, with the second-largest number of theater seats in the country — the Theater District boasts over 12,000 seats and eight performing arts organizations. It’s also famous for its Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern, which now hosts art installations and tours. Birthplace of Queen Bey herself, Houston is no stranger to amazing live performances either.

Furthermore, Houston is home to a 55-acre zoological park that features over 900 species and is the second most-visited zoo in the country with over 2 million annual visitors. It is located in Hermann Park and is essentially a small ecosystem of its own.

8. Home to the World’s First Multi-Purpose Domed Stadium

While the famous Houston Astrodome no longer hosts events, it was the world’s first stadium of its kind, built in 1964. At the time, it was called the Eighth Wonder of the World, so it is no wonder Houstonians feel sentimental about it even today. It also featured the world’s first animated scoreboard, the four-story Astrolite.

When visiting Houston, Texans had the chance to listen to some of the largest concerts of the time, including some of Elvis’s largest concerts. Luckily for all visitors and inhabitants, the county has decided to revitalize the iconic venue. 

houston astro dome

9. Selling Limburger Cheese Is Prohibited on Sundays

Every city has old, weird laws that are still on the books but seem to have no place in society. One such regulation is the inability to buy or sell Limburger cheese on Sundays. The reason? This 19th-century Dutch cheese is particularly stinky, and the bacteria that causes this stink is the same that is responsible for human body odor, especially from the feet. As a result, your nose won’t have to deal with this stinky-feet smell on Sundays in Houston.

10. Most Affordable Big City in the US

Moving to a big city can be an expensive undertaking, especially if you want to buy a home. Fortunately, of all the major US cities, Houston is the most affordable in terms of real estate prices. At the end of 2023, the median price of a single-family home in greater Houston was about $336,000.

That is less than the median prices in Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and many other major cities.

The Bottom Line

There are plenty of other fun facts about Houston that are worth mentioning, as well as attractions you can check out when you visit. You could check out a Houston livestock show and rodeo during your trip to the big city. The Houston Museum District is an area worth visiting for lovers of history and the fine arts, where you can learn more about the first president of the Republic of Texas, Sam Houston.

Those looking to move to the area could fall in love with neighborhoods like City Park. Multiple sports teams such as the Houston Astros (MLB), the Houston Rockets (NBA), and the Houston Dynamo (MLS) ignite the passionate fanbase, and the opportunity at various top-notch education institutions like Rice University can make anyone’s future promising.

Whether you have come to see the Morgan Chase Tower, the Art Car Museum, the Texas Medical Center, or the domed sports stadium, there are many facts about Houston that you probably didn’t know. Experience the wonders of Houston, and you will not be disappointed. 

Sell My House Fast Texas | We Buy Houses Texas

Zach Shelley

Zach Shelley is a seasoned real estate investor with a diverse network spanning across the nation. As the founder of his own real estate venture, Zach is committed to offering innovative solutions to homeowners facing various real estate challenges.. Through his dedication and strategic approach, Zach continues to make a significant impact in the real estate industry, providing homeowners with alternative pathways to navigate their property transactions.

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