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The Geographical Areas of Houston
 
The Districts of Houston
Connected to the world by three commercial airports, Houston boasts one of the nation's premier international gateways, linking the region to more than 150 destinations, including some 50 international points in Mexico, Central and South America, Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, Canada and Africa.

A stroll down any of SpaceCity's sidewalks is likely to furnish visitors with smiles and acknowledgments in English, Spanish or any of the 90 different languages spoken in the fourth largest city in the nation. In fact, Houston is home to 79 consulates - the largest number outside of New York and Los Angeles.

Chances are Houston has grown since the last time you've seen its skyline, so here's a sampling of the distinct neighborhoods and entertainment districts.

Downtown
Energized and bustling, downtown Houston is a melting pot for business, residential development and entertainment. From baseball to theater, from historical to contemporary, the heart of Houston has it all.

And Downtown Houston has been completely revitalized since 1995. From the Downtown Aquarium with its exotic marine life, seafood restaurants and Ferris Wheel to the evolving 90-block area in the historic district, which features clubs, restaurants, shops, and the new light rail, come ready to play.

The Theater District - a 17-block area in downtown's epicenter - provides venues for ballet, opera, theater companies, symphony, and Broadway performances. Nationally, it ranks second to New York in terms of sheer numbers of concentrated theater seats in a downtown area. Nearby, Bayou Place boasts live music, restaurants, and a movie theater for passers-by, which want to sample the infinite offerings.

When football isn't the main highlight, take in a baseball game at Minute Maid Park or bounce over to the Toyota Center - the newest downtown arena - for some Rockets or Comets hoops action.

Unique Areas
Midtown Houston, to the south of downtown, is an emerging jewel, immersed in redevelopment since the mid-1990s. The community-oriented, urban neighborhood expects more visitors with the completion of the 7.5-mile light-rail project in 2004, which will run from downtown through midtown to the Medical Center.

Positioned between downtown and the Port of Houston, the historic East End encompasses 16 square miles and represents the backbone of the city's early industry.

Authentic Mexican restaurants are hallmark and bountiful in this diverse, Latino community that houses some of the city's first subdivisions. The community boasts landmarks such as colorful murals, the Orange Show folk art monument, the Lady of Guadalupe Church, and Talento Bilingue de Houston.

Uptown
The Uptown/Galleria area exudes a cosmopolitan air. Because of its high-rise skyline, some visitors often confuse it with downtown, but this West Loop area has its own distinct character.

Each year, thousands of international visitors convene here for shopping, conventions, and business. The world-renowned, upscale Galleria mall with its indoor ice rink is central to this four-square-mile community. The Galleria holds the distinction of being the fifth largest shopping complex in the nation.

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