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Houston Sports and Recreationflickr/Ed Uthman
Sports thrive in Houston. Major League Baseball's Houston Astros, (713) 259-8000, play at Minute Maid Park. Houston's NFL football team, the Houston Texans, (832) 667-2002, hits the turf at NRG Stadium. Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo, (713) 276-7500, and Texas Southern University's Tigers football team, (713) 547-3000, call BBVA Compass Stadium home. The University of Houston's Cougars, (713) 462-6647 or (877) 268-4275, play football at the TDECU Stadium. The NBA's Houston Rockets, (713) 627-3865, play basketball in Toyota Center. The 19,000-seat arena also hosts professional boxing and wrestling events; phone (713) 758-7200.

The various Rice University Owls teams, (713) 522-6957, draw large crowds to their 70,000-seat facility.

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Rodeos always are sellouts, particularly those presented by The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo; phone (832) 667-1000.

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Houston has many public tennis courts. Golf is available at many public courses in the city: Bear Creek, (281) 859-8188, at 16001 Clay Rd.; Memorial Park, (713) 862-4033, at 1001 Memorial Loop Dr. E.; and Woodlands Resort and Conference Center, (281) 882-3000, at 2311 N. Millbend Dr.

Polo is played near Memorial Park at the Houston Polo Club, 8552 Memorial Drive at I-610; phone (713) 681-8571.

Challenger Seven Memorial Park, 2301 W. NASA Blvd. in Webster, (713) 440-1587, and Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield Rd. in Humble, (713) 274-4160, contain hiking trails as well as picnic areas. Memorial Park, 6501 Memorial Dr., features 6 miles of running trails as well as paths for bicycling and skating; phone (713) 863-8403. Track cycling can be found at the Alkek Velodrome in Cullen Park, 19008 Saums Rd.; phone (281) 578-0858.

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Tom Bass Regional Park Section II is at 3602 Fellows Rd. and contains jogging and nature trails as well as a 20-acre spring-fed fishing lake. Visitors can enjoy canoeing and a view of Houston's skyline from Buffalo Bayou. Boating is popular at Clear Lake Park, 5001 NASA Pkwy.

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Cypress Trails Equestrian Center at 21415 Cypresswood Dr. in the town of Humble offers horseback riding trips along the trails threading through the undeveloped land around George Bush Intercontinental Airport. The equestrian center offers rides at other locations as well; phone (281) 446-7232.

Horse racing, both Thoroughbred and quarter horse, takes place at the Sam Houston Race Park, 7575 N. Sam Houston Pkwy. W. Simulcast racing is available daily. Phone (281) 807-8700.

Note: Policies concerning admittance of children to pari-mutuel betting facilities vary. Phone for information.

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Houston, TX

Top AAA Diamond Hotels

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5060 W Alabama St. Houston, TX 77056

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9595 Six Pines Dr, Suites 1100 Dr. The Woodlands, TX 77380

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The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center

1601 Lake Robbins Dr. The Woodlands, TX 77380

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Travel Information

City Population

1,953,631

Elevation

39 ft.

Sales Tax

Municipalities may impose additional rates of up to 2 percent on the statewide 6.25 percent sales tax. Sales tax in the city of Houston is 8.25 percent; rates vary in the suburbs. The hotel occupancy tax in Houston is 17 percent.

Emergency

911

Police (non-emergency)

(713) 884-3131

Fire (non-emergency)

(713) 834-3131

Time and Temperature

(713) 222-8463

Hospitals

Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center, (281) 890-4285; Memorial Hermann–Texas Medical Center, (713) 704-4000; Houston Northwest Medical Center, (281) 440-1000; Houston Methodist Hospital, (713) 790-3311; Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center, (832) 355-1000; West Houston Medical Center, (281) 558-3444.

Visitor Information

701 Avenida de las Americas Suite 200 Houston, TX 77010. Phone:(713)437-5200 or (800)446-8786

Air Travel

Houston has two airports for visitors with airline flights.

Rental Cars

Hertz, 2120 Louisiana St., offers discounts to AAA members; phone (713) 652-0436 or (800) 654-3080.

Rail Service

The Amtrak rail station is at 902 Washington Ave.; for train schedule and ticket information phone (713) 224-1577 or (800) 872-7245. METRORail light rail service connects downtown, the Museum District, Texas Medical Center and NRG Stadium and costs $1.25 for one-way service and $2.50 for round-trip service; ages 0-5 ride free.

Buses

The Greyhound Lines Inc. bus station is at 2121 S. Main St.; phone (713) 759-6565 or (800) 231-2222.

Taxis

You can hire a taxi at cab stands near the major hotels in the downtown area or phone for one. One of the larger companies is Yellow Cab, (713) 236-1111. The standard fare is $4.75 for the first mile and $2.20 for each mile thereafter. A surcharge of up to $2.80 is added for trips between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Public Transportation

Air-conditioned buses crisscross the city and suburbs. Limited and local fares are $1.25. Passengers must have exact change. Park-and-ride bus fares range from $2 to $4.50 and vary according to location. For details phone METRO Transit Authorities, (713) 635-4000.

Boats

Houston is a leading world seaport, and the Port of Houston accommodates passenger ships.

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