35 Things Only True Houstonians Know


By: Olivia Cantor

6 Min Quiz

Image: YouTube

About This Quiz

Does the Katy Freeway really go to Katy? Can you really drive all the way onto Galveston Island without taking a ferry?  Where is the Orange Show (and what the heck is it)?  These are things that native Houstonians should know by heart.  If you are one, or if you're just a lover of the biggest city in Texas, this quiz is right up your alley!

Houston is a tremendously sprawling, fast-growing, multicultural megacity whose dimensions can be truly awe-inspiring the first time you see it. With no real geographic boundaries to expansion, the west and north sides of the city have expanded outward at a truly amazing rate. What were cow pastures a decade ago are now home to skyscrapers hosting multinational corporations, housing developments and retail and restaurant complexes.

And those restaurants!  Tony Bourdain once said that if he ever did a "No Reservations" show in Houston, it would focus on the Asian food. Houston's vibrant Asian culture offers flavors from every corner of the continent. Mix that with barbecue, our beloved Tex-Mex and flavors from all over the world and you've got a delicious menu on offer citywide.

So get on the Loop (how many loops does Houston have, anyway), find a cozy restaurant, order some food and take this quiz!

Houston also goes by the name Space City. What's the reason for this name?

Houston is home to NASA's facilities, particularly the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, and Space Center Houston. Training and research for space exploration and travel are combined with areas for educational tours.


Houston's really big on healthcare. What's the reputation of the Texas Medical Center?

The Texas Medical Center is the largest medical center in the world. It has more than 20 hospitals, almost 10 academic and research centers, and about 50 related organizations in it.


What is Buffalo Bayou?

Buffalo Bayou is the main river in the city of Houston. It served as the main source of water and acts as a shipping point for the communities that would become Houston. Today, it is still a major feature of the city.


If you’re thinking that Houston is all desert and prairie around buildings, you'd be surprised. What kind of open public space does Houston have a lot of?

Houston has more than 300 parks, and more than 200 areas they call green spaces. In all, some estimates put their park spaces at around 56,000 acres.


What’s the event in Houston where the Cowboys have their fun?

One of the largest rodeo events in the world happens in Houston and is called the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Barbecue, parades, and concerts all happen during the rodeo, aside from cowboy-centric competitive activities and livestock auctions.


These people are all about Texas. What's the name of Houston's NFL team?

The "new" NFL team for Houston is known as the Texans. They were established in 1999, after the old team up and left.


What famous, artificial garden surface was first used on a large scale in Houston?

While Astroturf had been around before the Astrodome, it was there that it was used on a large scale. These days, you can find Astroturf in many sports venues.


Houston has a sports team named Dash. What division in soccer are they in?

The Houston Dash is the women's soccer team. They joined the National Women's Soccer League in 2014.


What spans 95 city blocks, and allows Houstonians to travel without getting the sun in their eyes?

Houston has a series of underground tunnels that go across 95 city blocks. These tunnels can have shops in them, and at the very least, allows you to travel away from the daytime heat.


Before the Houston Astros were named that way, they were known as the Colt .45s. Why were they named that way?

The baseball team that would become the Houston Astros was first named the Houston Colt .45s. That was because the gun, the Colt .45, was the one that won the west. Changing attitudes called for a change of name later on.


Houston has the largest Mandir in Texas. What’s a Mandir?

A Mandir is a Hindu Temple, and Houston has the largest in the state. Here, people who practice Hinduism pray and offer gifts to their gods.


A few decades ago, Houston's original American Football team left for another state. What was the industrial name of this team?

The Oilers were Houston's first American football team, and they played for the city from 1959 to 1996. After that, the team was transferred to Nashville, then renamed the Tennessee Titans.


What's so special about the Houston Galleria?

The Houston Galleria is the largest mall in Texas, and it's found in Houston, as the name suggests. It has around 370 stores and services.


This being Houston, the soccer team is named Dynamo. What's a dynamo?

The Houston Dynamo soccer team is named after a type of electrical generator. This nickname is related to Houston's positioning as an oil and energy player in the country.


What prevented the famous Astrodome from being demolished?

The Astrodome has been around since 1965, and was eventually too old for its facilities to be upgraded. It has been saved from demolition by the Texas Historical Commission, that declared it a State Antiquities Landmark.


Houston's definitely a city for air travel. How many airports service Houston?

Houston's a hub for air travel. It has three airports that service it, two for general and commercial use, and one for government, military, and general aviation.


Traditionally, what is one reason why the energy industry's a big player in Houston?

With the closeness of Houston to oil fields, it's no surprise that the energy industry's a big player. It's important to note, though, that many oil fields aren’t active anymore.


You may not think about this when you think about Houston and Texas, but what is one place that handles a lot of foreign transport and trade in Houston?

The Port of Houston has the most amount foreign transport and tonnage in the country going through it and is one of the top ports when it comes to overall tonnage. It's so big and it's already expanded beyond the city limits.


Who, or what, are Addicks and Barkers, and why are they so important to Houston?

The Addicks and Barker water reservoirs were created to prevent Buffalo Bayou from overflooding in Houston. It's estimated that millions of dollars in damage are prevented every year, thanks to these reservoirs.


When it comes to baseball, Houston had the Astros. Why were they named like that?

The Astros were named as such because of Houston's involvement in the space program, with the opening of training and control facilities for space exploration near the city. Talk about space-age names!


Which U.S. President has a Houston airport named after him?

George H.W. Bush had a major airport in Houston named after him. He was famous for using the term "thousand points of light" to describe the power of citizens to help their own communities.


Were the Houston Rockets named after the Space Program facilities in Houston?

The Houston Rockets originally came from San Diego, which had the slogan "city in motion." Also, San Diego had a General Dynamics place that was developing rocket boosters. It's just good luck their name fit Houston's history when they moved there.


What is Houston known for, when it comes to constructing new buildings and houses?

Houston is well known as one of the bigger cities that doesn’t have a zoning law to regulate what people can build in which area. However, local guidelines can influence what you can build in a neighborhood or specific place.


It's not just the heat that makes you sweat in Houston. What else makes it easy to do so?

Houston is one of the most humid U.S. cities. It's just behind Jacksonville and New Orleans when it comes to being a sweaty place.


In Houston, what's the special status of the JP Morgan Chase Tower?

The JP Morgan Chase Tower is the tallest building in Houston, coming in at 75 floors. It used to be known as the Texas Commerce Tower.


Who was Houston named after?

Houston was named after Sam Houston, a former President of the Republic of Texas. He was also responsible for winning Texan independence from Mexico.


Is Houston the capital of Texas?

Houston isn’t the capital of Texas anymore, but Austin is. In the early days of the Republic of Texas, it was made the temporary capital.


This Houston-originated, sharp-dressed, classic rock band is famous for their brand of gritty, bluesy rock music. Who are they?

ZZ Top is one of the bands that bridge blues and rock. Their bearded front men are natural eye catchers, and their groove-based songs have become rock staples. They’re proudly from Houston.


Waugh Drive Bridge is a perfect place for a horror movie treat. Why is this so?

The Waugh Drive Bridge is home to thousands of bats, and they usually come out at sunset. The bats have become a tourist attraction, aside from helping the local ecology by being a natural pest reducer.


Why is the San Jacinto State Historic Site so important?

San Jacinto State Historic Site is also known as the battleground where Texas achieved its independence. It became a National Historic Landmark in 1960.


What’s the name of the battleship moored at the San Jacinto Historic Site?

The Battleship Texas is currently a museum ship at the San Jacinto Historic Site near Houston. It's the only remaining capital battleship that has served in both World Wars.


The San Jacinto Historic Site has a really tall monument that serves as a memorial. Which is taller, the San Jacinto monument, or the Washington Monument?

The San Jacinto Monument is the tallest masonry monument in the world. However, the Washington Monument is the tallest stone monument, and comes in second to San Jacinto's in terms of sheer height. They're both winners!


When it comes to NASA's history, Houston's name is on the list in a special way. Why was "Houston" the first word said on the moon?

The Johnson Space Center also houses Mission Control for manned space travel, so it's no surprise that the first word out of Neil Armstrong's mouth on the moon was "Houston." He was just reporting back to base!


If you're riding Houston's METRORail, what would the colors red, green, and purple mean?

The three train lines of the METRORail are assigned colors. Red is for the Northern line, Green is for the East End, and Purple is for the Southeast.


Which Houstonian became a famous singer who happens to be 'Crazy In Love'?

Beyonce is a Houston native, and she's well known for many hit songs and a very successful career. She name-checks Houston in some of her songs.


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