Enchanted Rock (16710 Ranch Rd 965, Fredericksburg TX) is an enormous pink granite pluton batholith located in the Llano Uplift approximately 17 miles (27 km) north of Fredericksburg, Texas and 24 miles (39 km) south of Llano, Texas, United States. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, which includes Enchanted Rock and surrounding land, spans the border between Gillespie County and Llano County, south of the Llano River. Enchanted Rock covers approximately 640 acres (260 ha) and rises approximately 425 feet (130 m) above the surrounding terrain to elevation of 1,825 feet (556 m) above sea level. It is the largest such pink granite monadnock in the United States. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, a part of the Texas state park system, includes 1,644 acres (665 ha). Designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1936.
Houston (Listeni/ˈhjuːstən/ hyoo-stən) is the most populous city in Texas and the fourth-most populous city in the United States, located in Southeast Texas near the Gulf of Mexico. With a census-estimated 2014 population of 2.239 million within a land area of 599.6 square miles (1,553 km2), it also is the largest city in the Southern United States, as well as the seat of Harris County. It is the principal city of Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land, which is the fifth-most populated metropolitan area in the United States.
Houston was founded on August 28, 1836, near the banks of Buffalo Bayou (now known as Allen’s Landing) and incorporated as a city on June 5, 1837. The city was named after former General Sam Houston, who was president of the Republic of Texas and had commanded and won at the Battle of San Jacinto 25 miles (40 km) east of where the city was established. The burgeoning port and railroad industry, combined with oil discovery in 1901, has induced continual surges in the city’s population. In the mid-20th century, Houston became the home of the Texas Medical Center—the world’s largest concentration of healthcare and research institutions—and NASA’s Johnson Space Center, where the Mission Control Center is located.
Houston’s economy has a broad industrial base in energy, manufacturing, aeronautics, and transportation. It is also leading in health care sectors and building oilfield equipment; only New York City is home to more Fortune 500 headquarters within its city limits. The Port of Houston ranks first in the United States in international waterborne tonnage handled and second in total cargo tonnage handled. Nicknamed the “Space City”, Houston is a global city, with strengths in business, international trade, entertainment, culture, media, fashion, science, sports, technology, education, medicine, and research. The city has a population from various ethnic and religious backgrounds and a large and growing international community. Houston is the most diverse city in Texas and has been described as the most diverse in the United States. It is home to many cultural institutions and exhibits, which attract more than 7 million visitors a year to the Museum District. Houston has an active visual and performing arts scene in the Theater District and offers year-round resident companies in all major performing arts.
Galveston (/ˈɡælvᵻstən/ gal-viss-tən) is a coastal city located on Galveston Island and Pelican Island in the U.S. state of Texas. The community of 208.3 square miles (539 km2), with its population of 47,762 people (2012 Census estimate), is the county seat and second-largest municipality of Galveston County. It is located within Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land metropolitan area.
Named after Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid, Count of Gálvez (born in Macharaviaya, Spain), Galveston’s first European settlements on the island were constructed around 1816 by French pirate Louis-Michel Aury to help the fledgling Republic of Mexico fight Spain. The Port of Galveston was established in 1825 by the Congress of Mexico following its successful independence from Spain. The city served as the main port for the Texas Navy during the Texas Revolution, and later served as the capital of the Republic of Texas.
The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (JSC) is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Manned Spacecraft Center, where human spaceflight training, research, and flight control are conducted. It was renamed in honor of the late U.S. president and Texas native, Lyndon B. Johnson, by an act of the United States Senate on February 19, 1973.
It consists of a complex of one hundred buildings constructed on 1,620 acres (660 hectares) in the Clear Lake Area of Houston which acquired the official nickname “Space City” in 1967. The center is home to NASA’s astronaut corps and is responsible for training astronauts from both the U.S. and its international partners. It has become popularly known for its flight control function, identified as “Mission Control” during the Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, Apollo–Soyuz, and Space Shuttle program flights.
Dallas Zoo is a 106-acre (43 ha) zoo located 3 miles (5 km) south of downtown Dallas, Texas, in Marsalis Park. Established in 1888, it is the oldest and largest zoological park in Texas and is managed by the non-profit Dallas Zoological Society. It is home to over 2,000 animals representing 406 species. It is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and is a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).
Since 2009, when the Dallas City Council voted unanimously to turn the zoo over to private management under the DZS, attendance and community support for the zoo has surged. In 2015, the zoo achieved an all-time annual attendance record of 1,000,000+ visitors. The Dallas Zoological Society is supported by over 21,749 membership households and growing. The DZS manages all fundraising, membership, special events, food services, retail operation, volunteer programs, marketing, and public relations for the zoo under management contract with the City of Dallas.