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Welcome to the largest city in New Mexico. In Albuquerque, the population is around 650,000, but city seems smaller because everyone is so friendly. Founded in 1706 by the Spanish, Albuquerque has a unique south-of-the-border and Native American feel, and a strong sense of multiculturalism. The sun shines about 330 days a year - all the better for enjoying the majestic mountains, beautiful lakes and vast deserts surrounding the city. Situated 5,000 feet above sea level, the climate offers unique desert dryness with four distinct seasons. Whether you enjoy snow skiing, golfing, world-class fly fishing or cultural endeavors ranging from progressive music to traditional crafts, you can find it all here in this unique state. Interested in higher education? The University of New Mexico is right in Albuquerque.
Welcome to Austin, the state capital of Texas! Once a buffalo hunting ground of the Tonkawa Indians, and permanently settled as a trading post in 1838, you know you're in Austin when you see its pink granite Capitol building - the largest domed statehouse in the US - serving as a prominent reminder of Texan history. And this history is alive in the artifacts and exhibits of the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. The city's trendy, creative population of musicians and artists accents its modern-day casual style and culture with nightly performances at more than 100 music venues. It is these artists that make Austin "The Live Music Capital of the World." Austin's climate provides around 300 sunny days a year, with a temperature amenable to outdoor activities, such as hiking, canoeing and kayaking. For those who seek a uniquely Austin evening activity, Congress Avenue Bridge, which spans Town Lake, offers bat watching - from April through October. That's right. One-and-a-half million Mexican free-tail bats that live below the bridge take off for a nocturnal flight between spring and fall. It's an attraction not to be missed; however, those seeking the comfort of tamer activities might aim for Austin's professional ballet, opera, symphony and theater performances. For sports fans, the University of Texas' athletics teams offer a multitude of yearlong events.
Welcome to Baton Rouge - a diverse city established along the riverbanks of the Mighty Mississippi as Louisiana's state capital in 1842. While Baton Rouge boasts a strong government-based community, the area also presents the Louisiana State University and Southern University systems, and other practical colleges. Fun family entertainment runs the gamut from historic plantation homes to educational museums to fine arts and the city's zoo, as well as riverboat casino gambling and professional sporting events. And, cultural variety is colorfully displayed through Creole, Cajun and French influences across the state. A balmy year-round climate catering to tropical plant and animal life ensures optimal opportunities for outdoor activities such as fishing and boating, while those who wish to spice up their taste buds with the zest of Zydeco blues and jazz won't want to miss out on New Orleans' world-famous Mardi Gras parades and cuisine. But don't stay too long! You'll want to be back in Baton Rouge to celebrate Bonne Fete - in honor of the city's birthday. As they say, "Laissez les bon temps rouler!" Let the good times roll.
Discover more about the good times to be had in Baton Rouge by visiting these links:
As the saying goes, "everything's big in Texas"… and the quality of life in Dallas is no exception to that rule. The area offers a wide variety of cultural, educational and recreational activities. In fact, the Dallas Arts District is the largest urban district in the US. Shopping venues are plentiful in the area, too, with Dallas Galleria, NorthPark Center, Valleyview Mall and more… along with a host restaurants with atmospheres ranging from refined to rowdy, bistro to barbecue. Dallas' climate is another amenity to the area, with subtly defined seasons, sunshine and warm weather that allow for outdoor activities all year long, such as those of the various professional and semi-professional sports teams -- Dallas Cowboys' football or the PGA's GTE Byron Nelson Classic golf tournament. Plus, with 50,000 acres of public parkland and more than 60 lakes within a 100-mile radius, the opportunities to participate in the great outdoors seem virtually endless. Families enjoy the area's two Six Flags theme parks, the Dallas Zoo and Medieval Times, as well as down-home entertainment at the annual State Fair of Texas. For tastes that bend toward the fine arts or culinary delights, there's the Dallas Convention Center, Museum of Art, Farmers Market and GrapeFest to explore. It's Dallas' rich blend of cultures that enhances its diversity. If your interests lead you to pursue educational opportunities, there are plenty of options for higher learning at the University of Dallas, University of Texas, University of North Texas and many more nearby institutions.
One of the most vibrant and young cities in America, Denver offers a landscape that varies from flat plains to towering mountains. The city's business and residential neighborhoods are intermingled with 205 parks - in fact, Denver has the largest city park system in the nation, including 20,000 acres in the mountains. Its animal and plant life - as well as the city's population of 2.4 million - enjoy sunshine more than 300 days a year. Denver is also noted as being the nation's most highly educated city, with the highest percentage of high school and college graduates. It also has the nation's second-largest performing arts center, major league sports teams - the Denver Broncos, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Rockies and Denver Nuggets - as well as a multitude of well-known shopping areas, such as the 16th Street Mall. And Denver has a lot to offer families, from art, nature and science museums to the Butterfly Pavilion and Insect Center, the Denver Zoo, the Botanical Gardens and the US Mint. For even more family fun in the city, there is Six Flags Elitch Gardens Theme Park. Or, discover the skiing, hiking, fishing, rafting, camping and more activities that are all within a 90-minute drive.
How do Houstonians describe their city? It's all about diversity. In fact, the international flavor of Houston is one of its finest points, with more than four million people of more than 100 nationalities calling Houston "home." Not only are its people diverse, so is its landscape. As the Bayou City, Houston's numerous waterways irrigate the area, and offer recreational spaces for physical fitness and nature seekers - and, the Gulf of Mexico, just south of the city, provides a fun coastal escape. Hunting, fishing and boating activities are also abundant in Houston's great outdoors. The city's climate provides sunshine and mild temperatures year-round, with an average winter in the mid-60°s, and an average summer in low 90°s. Neighborhoods offer excellent medical care and schools. Along with 31 independent school districts in the surrounding area, there are about 300 private schools, and 25 institutions of higher learning. Housing, living and transportation costs are all below the national average. For entertainment, there is much to see and do at Space Center Houston - the Official Visitors Center of Johnson Space Center. Or, there are Kemah Boardwalk's restaurants with their waterfront views and Ferris wheel. Houston's 17-block Theater District is home to eight performing arts groups, and summertime brings many of the performers to the stage for free shows at Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park. Next door, it's the call of the wild, at the Houston Zoo. In Houston's Museum District The Children's Museum of Houston and Houston Museum of Natural Science are waiting to be explored. Children also enjoy nearby Six Flags AstroWorld and WaterWorld theme parks, while sports fans head out to the ball game at Astros Field to watch the Houston Astros play, or cheer on the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium.
Welcome to the state capital of Mississippi! Jackson is a historic city that was initially founded on a trading post site along the Pearl River in 1821. Though it was originally known as LeFleur's Bluff, after French-Canadian trader Louis LeFleur, the town was later named Jackson in honor of Major General Andrew Jackson - our seventh American president. Today, its ideal situation is centrally located between Memphis, New Orleans, Dallas and Atlanta, with a thriving community involved in university systems, high technology and health care. Residents also enjoy engaging in shopping for antiques, gifts and everyday necessities at convenient local malls and shopping centers, while sports fans and outdoor enthusiasts cheer on the area's professional teams, or seek out recreational activities, ranging from boating to fishing and swimming. The arts are also well represented by two ballet companies that participate in an international ballet competition every four years, and art, history and science museums. From rodeos to Scottish Highland games to hot air balloon races, music festivals and flea markets, there's always something fun and educational going on in Jackson to make this Sunbelt city a sunny place to call home.
Considered the #1 mid-size city in the US, downtown Knoxville is only a short northerly drive from the beautiful rolling landscape of Great Smokey Mountains National Park. Situated at the convergence of the French Broad and Holston Rivers, Knoxville offers open green spaces just right for walking trails, convenient access to Gatlinburg's ski resorts and regional whitewater river rafting. Knoxville's comfortable climate year round promises the benefits of big city activities set against a cozy country backdrop. Shopping, fine dining and cultural attractions are also presented here, amidst historic buildings and modern corporations. Spend the day exploring antique treasures in the French Market area, or seeking out the latest fashions at one of the local malls, such as Knoxville Center or West Town. Or, meander your way through the city's streets at a festival or parade, saving the evening hours for a bit of club-hopping in the Old City district. And you won't want to miss out on attending an exhibition at one of Knoxville's art galleries, or a performance of the Knoxville Ballet. You may also choose to take time out with your family and visit the animals at the zoo. With professional sports teams, a convenient transit system and notable landmarks, this vast and varied region will provide you an easy lifestyle in a city that is easy to call "home."
There's a lot to like about Little Rock, starting with a small-town feeling that lends southern charm to a cityscape rich with cultural attractions for the entire family. With a history that dates back to the pioneer days, and encompasses such monumental national events as the Civil War and civil rights movement, the area presents antebellum homes, significant landmarks and museums, festivals and fairs that offer educational and recreational opportunities throughout the year. Camping, tennis and golf activities are also well represented in Little Rock's central Arkansas locale, along with entertainment venues that suit the interests of both young and old - and all ages in between - with fine arts, music and theatrical productions. When you need to get away for some rest and relaxation, the spas and scenic attractions of Hot Springs are just a little more than an hour's drive southwest of downtown. And all of that is just the beginning of what residents and visitors alike enjoy about this "hidden gem" of a city.
The city of Lubbock is located in the northwestern region of Texas, between the Permian Basin and the Texas Panhandle. Situated upon a caprock, Lubbock's elevation is 3,256 feet above sea level. As the city has grown in the past century, so have the many opportunities available to those who live here. When Texas Tech University first opened its doors in 1925, Lubbock's economy was given a major boost. Similarly, two military training bases were opened during WWII, expanding the city's growth even further. In 2001, Lubbock's estimated population was 201,212, and it continues to grow, with a vast agricultural industry, manufacturing plants, universities and health care system. In the area of local business, Lubbock's territory contains more than a quarter of the nation's oil, a third of its natural gas and a quarter of its cotton, industries that pour billions of dollars into the South Plains region. Financially, Lubbock boasts the largest resources between Dallas-Ft. Worth and El Paso, and between Austin and Denver. Lubbock's cost of living is moderate and suitable for economic development. Fortune Magazine even named Lubbock the 27th best location in the country for career opportunities and quality of life. With 62 parks, 275 restaurants and a climate that offers comfortable summers and mild winters, it's a city where the sun shines about 267 days a year, and outdoor activities are the standard. And, all major Texas cities are easily accessible, and ski resorts are just a few hours away. Or, if you prefer, there are plenty of cultural museums, sporting events, golf courses and local wineries to suit your tastes in the friendly, welcoming community of Lubbock.
Known as the City of Churches, Memphis is the home of Elvis' legendary Graceland, the National Civil Rights Museum, Beale Street District… and the world headquarters of FedEx Corporation. The cosmopolitan area includes the city of Memphis, Southaven and Desota County, MS, with attractions that range from the past to the present - from historic and educational civil rights events, to the Casino Resorts of nearby Tunica, MS where you can rest and relax, or try your hand at gambling. Memphis is a city whose citizens maintain a small-town attitude in a world-renowned venue full of family entertainment opportunities, such as the Memphis Zoo, and baseball and basketball games. And, the city's central US location provides ready access to other inviting cities, such as Atlanta, Dallas and Chicago.
Welcome to Nashville -Tennessee's capital city and the home of country music's Grand Ole Opry. With mild climates all year through, the area presents an outdoor lover's paradise of camping, boating and hiking activities… and a music lover's dream of stardom. Historic buildings and venues are alive with a host of past and present cultural and educational events, from science to nature to fine arts, or simple family fun at regional theme parks and museums. Head east to the Smokies to get a taste of homegrown folk life, while experiencing the beauty of the sprawling mountain range. Or, take a trip to the western boundary of the state and Elvis' Graceland in Memphis. Wherever you go, you'll find a wide variety of exciting social pastimes that will keep your toes tapping to Nashville's country, folk, blues and rock beats… and your senses humming along with a modern city conveniently appointed with all the amenities you desire and require for comfortable living.
Located in the heart of the state, Oklahoma City is a modern metropolitan community that features fine arts, quality health care and education, without the high costs and overcrowding that are associated with other cities. Its population of one million fits comfortably into its large geographic area, and it is a city that remains one of the least-expensive major metro areas to live in, due mainly to low housing costs, while offering numerous recreational activities at its parks, resorts and public golf courses. And, if you and your family would enjoy taking a trip back in time, you can experience the life of the Old West at Frontier City or the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. Or, maybe you'd prefer to cool off on the water rides at White Water Bay, or to cheer on world-class horse racing at Remington Park. From the Myriad Botanical Gardens to historic Bricktown dining and entertainment, to triple-A baseball and NCR racing at State Fair Speedway, and Oklahoma City Storm basketball games… there is so much to see and do in this city that offers a hometown feel, with the cultural benefits of a metropolitan area.
Once the capital of Confederate Louisiana, today Shreveport is filled with inviting neighborhoods, nightlife and family entertainment, such as casinos and other amusement centers, as well arts council activities, festivals and fairs. A number of the state's institutions of higher learning are also nearby, if you're seeking educational opportunities. Or, you might venture out of downtown to test your outdoor adventure skills, participating in river and lake activities, such as fishing, boating or camping. If it's good food you're searching for, you won't have to look too hard. The area's dining establishments cater to your taste buds - from catfish to barbecue to haute cuisine at an abundance of cafes, bistros and eateries. Museums and fine arts organizations ensure a well-rounded lifestyle, with their galleries, exhibitions and theatre programs all the year through. And Louisiana's professional sports teams are always on hand to give their cheering fans something to root for. Along with Shreveport's mild seasonal temperatures, you'll discover plenty of activities to keep you busy during every season in this northwestern corner of Louisiana.
Situated in the northeastern quadrant of Oklahoma, in the area known as Green Country, the beautiful city of Tulsa is surrounded by rolling hills and green valleys. With the Arkansas River meandering through town, and the Osage Hills standing at the northwest, Tulsa's distinctive neighborhoods exemplify the diversity of the city's history, cultural venues and scenery. It holds a unique blend of southern, eastern and western cosmopolitan flavor, combined with small-town reserve. There are also world-class fine art exhibitions at both the Gilcrease and Philbrook Museums, as well as the Tulsa Ballet and Tulsa Opera and Philharmonic. Festivals also offer family-oriented entertainment throughout the year, with Mayfest, Oktoberfest, Jazz on Greenwood, Festival Hispano, Greek Holiday Festival, the Tulsa Run and HallowZooeen. If you're seeking higher learning, you will find the educational opportunities you want at the University of Tulsa, Oral Roberts University and local branches of the University of Oklahoma and Okalahoma State University. If you're into sports, check out Tulsa's sports network - featuring everything from competitive college teams to championship golf tournaments. Or, maybe you prefer water activities, such as boating, skiing, fishing and diving. It's all here in Tulsa.
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