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Awards & Rankings

As the rest of the country discovers what locals have known all along, Houston is finally enjoying the recognition it deserves. Read on for a few accolades H-Town has earned recently.


  • Houston ranked among the top 12 destinations in the world for 2017 by Forbes.
  • Houston ranked No. 6 in TripAdvisor Top Trending Travel Spots to Book for 2017.
  • Thrillist names Houston among “8 American Cities you Should Visit Before They’re Too Popular” (2017).
  • Houston ranked No. 7 in Wallethub’s “Best Places to Visit in Summer” (2017).
  • Houston ranked No. 9 in Travel + Leisure’s list of “America’s Most Attractive Cities” (2016).
  • Houston ranked No. 3 rising star travel destination by Gogobot (2016). 
  • Houston named the No. 2 most misunderstood city in the world by Jetsetter (2016).
  • Houston was the only U.S. destination on the Boston Globe's list of six "places to visit in 2015." 
  • Houston ranks No. 16 in Travel + Leisure "Best Places to Travel (in the world) in 2015".
  • Houston ranks No. 2 in Travel + Leisure "America's Favorite Cities 2014".
  • Houston ranks No. 12 in Tripadvisor's Travelers Choice Awards "Top 25 Destinations", above all other Texas cities (2014).
  • Houston is ranked by Hotels.com as one of the "Most Popular U.S. Cities For Foreign Travelers" (2014).
  • Houston ranks No. 9 in Hotel.com's most popular domestic travel destinations (2014).
  • Houston ranks No. 12 on Resonance Consulting's report on the Top 50 U.S. Destinations (2014). 
  • Houston ranks No. 1 in the U.S. Commerce Department list of the "Fastest Growth In Foreign Visitors" (2014).
  • Houston ranked No. 12 by Skift among Most Popular U.S. Cities for international travelers (2014).
  • Houston is ranked "Top Destination City - Fifth Consecutive Year" by U-Haul International (2014).
  • Houston came in at No. 7 on The New York Times' list of the 46 Places to Go (2013).

Arts & Entertainment

  • Children’s Museum of Houston ranked No. 2 Best Museum for Families by USA Today 10 Best (2017).
  • Houston ranked the #6 best party hub in the U.S. by Wanderu (2016).
  • Wings Over Houston Air Show ranked No. 4 best air show in U.S. by USA Today 10 Best (2016).
  • Houston ranked No. 10 by Travel + Leisure in "America's Best Music Scenes" (2016).
  • Houston is ranked No. 3 by Travel + Leisure in "America's Most Cultured Cities 2015".
  • Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion ranked No. 1 out of 100 amphitheaters in the world by Pollstar Magazine (2016).
  • Buffalo Bayou Park is ranked No. 4 in USA Today's Readers' Choice contest for "Best Urban Trail" (2015).
  • Rothko Chapel was called one of the 16 best free museums in the world by Thrillist.com (2015).
  • Houston is ranked No. 8 in National Geographic's "Top Nightlife Cities In The World" (2015).
  • The Texas Renaissance was named "Best Cultural Festival" by USA Today (2015).
  • Houston is ranked No. 10 by Travel + Leisure in "Best Music Scene Cities In The U.S. " (2015).
  • Houston is ranked No. 4 by Forbes in "America's Coolest Cities To Live" (2014).
  • Schlitterbahn Galveston Island is ranked No. 1 Best Indoor Waterpark by Amusement Today(2014).
  • Houston is called "Cultural Powerhouse" by Architectural Digest (2014).


  • Hugo Ortega, chef of Caracol, Xochi, Hugo’s and Backstreet Café, wins the 2017 James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef Southwest.
  • Southern Living named The Original Ninfa's on Navigation the “best restaurant in Texas” (2017).
  • TheStreet calls Houston the South's 21st Century Creole city (2017).
  • Houston named the #3 best food city in America by Jetsetter (2016).
  • Houston named the #1 foodie city in America by American Sky-UK (2016).
  • U.S. News and World Report ranks Houston No. 7 in the "Best Foodie Destinations in the USA" (2016).
  • Oxheart named "The best restaurant in Texas" by MSN (2016).
  • Eater ranked Helen Greek Food and Wine in the "21 Best New Restaurants in America" (2016).
  • Travel + Leisure named Killen's Steakhouse among the Best Steakhouses in America (2016).
  • Thrillist ranked Johnny's Gold Brick among list of "Best New Bars in America" (2015).
  • Killen's BBQ ranked  No. 2 BBQ Destination in the U.S. by Food Network (2015).
  • Houston ranked No. 1 in Travel + Leisure's "America's Best Cities For Food Snobs" (2015).
  • Travel and Leisure featured Houston on "Top Chefs Favorite Food Cities" (2015).
  • Chris Shepherd, chef of Underbelly, wins the 2014 James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef Southwest.
  • Houston ranked No. 6 in Resonance's "Top Destinations For Foodies" (2014).
  • Coltivare is ranked in America's Best New Restaurants 2014 by Bon Appetit.
  • The Pass ranked No. 6 by Texas Monthly in their "Best New Restaurants In Texas" (2014).
  • Osteria Mazzantini ranked No. 3 by Texas Monthly in their "Best New Restaurants In Texas" (2014).
  • Houston named the "newest capital of great food" by Food & Wine (2013). 

Quality of Life

  • The Woodland's, one of Houston's swankiest suburbs, has been dubbed by Niche “The Best City to Live in Texas” (2017).
  • Houston named the No. 2 best city in the world to live according to expats by Business Insider (2017).
  • Houston ranked No. 1 most charitable city in the country by Forbes and Charity Navigator (2016).
  • Houston named the No. 2 in Travel + Leisure's "Friendliest Cities in America" (2016).
  • Houston named the No. 2 best city in America for families by Value Penguin (2016).
  • Houston's Montrose neighborhood named in Thrillist's top 10 "Most Beautiful Neighborhoods in the South" (2016).
  • Houston ranked No. 11 in Travel + Leisure's "Friendliest Cities In America" (2015).
  • Houston ranked No. 8 in Forbes "25 Cities Where Your Paycheck Will Go the Furthest" (2015).
  • Houston ranked 15 of 70 top cities for getting around without a car by The Frontier Group and TexPIRG Education Fund (2015)
  • Houston ranked No. 18 of 38 major U.S. Cities in Citi IO's "America's Greenest Cities 2015".
  • Houston ranked No. 2 in Travel + Leisure's "Best Cities For Singles" (2015).
  • Houston ranked No. 1 in CreditDonkey's "Best Cities For Young Couples" (2014).
  • Houston ranked No. 8 in Forbes "U.S. Cities Attracting The Most Families" (2014).
  • Houston ranked No. 6 in the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research's "Happiest Cities In America" (2014).
  • Houston ranked No. 8 in CreditDonkey's "Best Springtime Cities" (2014).
  • Houston was awarded the "Bike Friendly Community" title by National League of American Bicyclists (2014).
  • Houston was on SpareFoot Storage Finder's "Super Cities, Best Places To Watch In 2014".
  • Houston ranked No. 10 on MyLife.com's "Most Patriotic Cities In America" (2014).
  • Houston ranked No. 4 on GOBankingRates "Best City For Saving Money" (2014).
  • A paycheck goes farther in Houston than any other major metropolitan area by Business Insider (2014)
  • Houston's got more parks than any other top-10 metropolitan area by Business Insider (2014).


  • Money (as reported by Yahoo Finance) named Houston the “Best City for College Graduates” (2017).
  • Rice University ranked No. 4 "Best Value College in America" by TIME (2016).
  • Rice University ranked No. 5 college in the nation by Niche (2016).
  • Rice University and the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center made the top 100 colleges in Shanghai Ranking’s Academic Ranking of World Universities (2016).
  • Rice University one of only two schools in the United States to make top 100 international institutions in the Times Higher Education World University rankings (2015).
  • Houston ranked No. 1 in The New York Times "Top Destination Cities For College Graduates" (2014).
  • The University of Houston ranked No. 3 in Profascinate's "Most Beautiful College Campuses" (2014).
  • Kiplinger named Rice University No. 7 on its report of Private Colleges with the Best Value (2014).
  • Rice University ranked first in "30 Best Values in Small Colleges" and the "30 Best College Values in the West/Southwest" according to Kiplinger (2014).
  • Houston ranked No. 3 on Yahoo News/Homes.com "Top Cities For New Grads" (2014).
  • Rice University ranked No. 6 on The Princeton Review's "Happiest Students" (2014).
  • Rice University ranked No. 32 on Forbes America's Top Colleges (2014).
  • Rice University ranked No. 20 on "The Best Colleges for Your Money", according to Money Magazine (2014).
  • Houston ranked No. 6 on Forbes "America's New Brainpower Cities" (2014).


Houston's Texas Medical Center is the largest medical center in the world, with 21 hospitals, eight academic and research institutions, and 50 total related organizations, all not-for-profit. 

2016 Hospital Rankings by U.S. News & World Report:

Houston Methodist Hospital

  • 1 - Best Hospital in Texas 

The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

  • 1 – Cancer
  • 9 - Ear, Nose & Throat
  • 9 - Gynecology

Texas Children's Hospital

  • 2 - Pediatrics: Cardiology & Heart Surgery
  • 1 - Pediatrics: Pulmonology
  • 2 - Pediatrics: Neurology and Neurosurgery
  • 5 - Pediatrics: Urology
  • 6 - Pediatrics: Gastroenterology
  • 2 - Pediatrics: Cancer
  • 3 - Pediatrics: Nephrology

Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center

  • 5 - Best Hosptial in Texas

Memorial Hermann TIRR

  • 2 - Rehabilitation

Memorial Hermann - Texas Medical Center

  • 2 - Best Hospital in Texas


  • Houston ranked No. 6 in CNBC's "Metro 20: America's Best Places to Start a Business" (2016).
  • Houston ranked No. 4 best city for entrepreneurs by Money-Rates.com (2016).
  • Houston ranked No. 19 by Dell in a study of the world's most future ready economies (2016).
  • Houston ranked No. 7 by the Milken Institute's "Best-Performing City In The U.S." (2015).
  • Houston ranked No. 2 in Career Builder's "Top Cities To Find A Job" (2015).
  • Houston ranked No. 2 in Forbes "Top Labor Markets In The U.S." (2015).
  • Houston ranked No. 7 in Nielsen's "Top Markets For Millennials" (2015).
  • Houston ranked No. 1 in Forbes "Most Competitive Metros In America" (2014).
  • Houston ranked among "The 10 Best Cities For Young Entrepreneurs" by Forbes (2014).
  • Houston ranked No. 5 in Newgeography's "Best Large Cities For Job Growth" (2014).
  • Houston ranked No. 3 in Fortune's "Number Of Fortune 500 Headquarters" with 24 companies (2016).
  • Houston ranked No. 2 in Inc. Magazine's "Most Inc. 5000 Winners Of All Time, Based On Number Of Companies" (2014).
  • Houston ranked No. 5 in Forbes "The Best Cities For Jobs 2014".
  • Houston ranked No. 3 in the nation as "Most Friendly To Small Business" by Thumbtack (2014).
  • Houston was named "The Best City In America" by Business Insider (2013). 

Growth and Sustainability

  • Bisnow named Houston’s suburb, Conroe, the “Fastest Growing City in America” (2017).
  • Houston was named one of the "Top 3 American cities of the future" by the Financial Times (2017).
  • Houston ranked No. 1 by Forbes in the "Fastest-Growing Cities" (2016).
  • Houston ranked No. 1 by Austin Business Journal "Fastest Growing County In Texas By 2050 - Harris County" (2015).
  • Houston is on FDI Intelligence's "American Cities Of The Future" (2015).
  • Houston ranked No. 1 on the U.S. Census' report, "Houston Tops Census List On New Metro Area Residents - Adding 156,371 Residents From 2013 - 2014" (2015).
  • Houston is ranked No. 4 on a list of "America's Fastest-Growing Cities" by Forbes (2014).
  • Houston ranked No. 4 by the Manhattan Institute's "America's Top Metros" (2014).
  • Houston is ranked No. 2 on Site Selection's "Top Metros Of 2013" (2014).
  • Houston was named one of the "10 Greenest Cities in the U.S." by Causes.com (2013).

Fireworks in Downtown Houston