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Houston is one big Texas-sized city, meaning that it’s absolutely filled with fun things to do. As home to the NASA Johnson Space Center and a Smithsonian Affiliate museum, you can launch any visit to the 281 area code at this unique and historical attraction. From there, the 281 area code opens up to the rest of the city of Houston and beyond. Take a day trip to Galveston, enjoy a picnic at Discovery Green, or spend the day shopping at the Houston Galleria. Nature and history lovers will especially love the 281 area code as it’s home to unique spots such as the Cockrell Butterfly Center, Buffalo Bayou Park, The Health Museum, and the locally famous Houston Museum of Natural Science.
Because the 281 area code is split and overlaid with the 713, 832, and 346 area codes to cover all of Greater Houston, you’ll find it peppered throughout the region. However, the majority of current 281 area code phone numbers are in the city of Houston, with a small percentage of numbers also found in Pasadena, Pearland, The Woodlands, Sugar Land, and Alvin.
The History of 281
The History of 281
Any native Houstonites will probably recognize the 713 area code as the “classic” Houston area code. While it was established first, as part of the 1947 North American Numbering Plan, it’s not the only area code serving Houston and the surrounding suburbs and cities. After being introduced in 1996, the 281 area code was used mainly for the suburbs surrounding the city of Houston. The 713 area code was assigned to phone numbers located, roughly, inside of Beltway 8, while service providers used the 281 area code for numbers outside of the beltway. This only lasted for about three years until 1999 when another area code was introduced to serve Greater Houston. At the same time, it was decided that all area codes would merge together to cover the same area, meaning that you’ll find a decent mix of the 281 area code in Houston along with the three other main area codes. Today, you’ll find that more landlines have a 281 area code than cellphones, with 75% of the numbering being assigned to landline phone numbers as opposed to a small percentage of wireless numbers.