Everyone's heard the stereotype: it's all cowboys, cactus and cattle. While those Texas roots are strong, Houston will surprise you with everything it has to offer. The 11-county region is the largest city not only in Texas, but the whole Southern United States. Here the grass is green, landscaping is lush and the tree canopy is thick and widespread. It's the perfect mix of Southern greenery and urban sophistication. Known as the Bayou City, the Houston metro area—the fourth largest in the nation—is criss-crossed by a number of bayous, many of them flowing into Buffalo Bayou, the site of the city's birthplace in the downtown area.