SCENE IN HOUSTON Discover a mix of southern charm and urban appeal in H-Town.

Nestled among meandering bayous, towering pines and parkland, a character rich city dares to break the mold. In Houston, standard rules don’t apply. Zoning? What’s that? An openly gay mayor? Got it. Ethnic diversity that’s a snapshot of the nation’s future? Check. Sure, things here might be a little offbeat, but the 4.2 million people who call the “third coast” city home would have it no other way.

Ask locals why they choose to live in the nation’s fourth-largest city, and they will tell you that it’s about more than a paycheck. For Houstonians, it’s a city with soul, one rich in culture and diversity.

Take the culinary scene, for example. One night you’re digging into dim sum in Chinatown, another you’re sipping margaritas at CityCentre’s Cyclone Anaya’s and the next you’re grabbing brunch at picture-perfect Tiny Boxwood’s.

The climate also enamors Houstonians and visitors. It’s easy to appreciate an average winter temperature of 55 degrees, being able to golf 365 days a year and enjoy an evening bike ride through the city’s 345-mile cycling network.

Perhaps it’s that Houston knows when to take itself seriously and when to kick back too. Locals and visitors converge on the Museum District for afternoons exploring the area’s 19 art-and-culture-filled institutions. The most recent addition, Asia Society Texas Center, opened in April 2012, featuring a 280-seat theater, gallery space and an educational facility.

Performing arts are top-notch, as well. Houston is one of the few U.S. cities to boast resident companies in all major performance disciplines— symphony, ballet, opera and theater—which means that on any given night, you can bet that there’s a stand-out show to see in the city.

Only minutes away, faithful supporters cheer on the home teams from Astros baseball and Rockets basketball to Texans football and Dynamo soccer. In 2012, the orange clad Dynamo also unveiled their state-of-theart, 22,000-seat, open-air soccer stadium in Downtown Houston.

Businesses also recognize the allure of Houston’s offerings. Twentyfive Fortune 500 companies call the Energy Capital of the World home. Aeronautic research is unsurpassed at NASA headquarters, the facility responsible for putting the first man on the moon, and the Texas Medical Center remains the largest medical center in the world, with 54 highly lauded research and treatment institutions.

Come visit and discover why Houston’s mix of international appeal and Southern charm has captured the imagination of tastemakers the world over.

Experience the fresh ideas and local pride that unite our city’s culinary community. (L to R: Chefs Anita Jaisinghani, Antoine Ware, Rebecca Masson, Chris Shepherd, Greg Gatlin, Seth Siegel-Gardner and Terrence Gallivan)