Bellaire is one of the city’s original suburbs. Encompassed by Houston and West University Place, Bellaire is known for its quiet neighborhoods and highly ranked schools. Bellaire Zindler Park features a neighborhood pool, tennis courts, a children’s playground, the Bellaire Recreation Center, and the Bellaire Civic Center. Nearby Meyerland is the center of Houston’s Jewish community. For more information, visit bellairetx.gov and ci.bellaire.tx.us.
Braeburn/Westbury/Willow Meadows-Willowbend/Southwest Houston
The Braeburn area features tree-lined streets dotted with mid-century modern homes. The community sits along Brays Bayou, offering easy access to more than 15 miles of hike-and-bike trails, The Galleria, the Texas Medical Center, NRG Stadium, U.S. 59, the 610 Loop, and Beltway 8. Westbury, Willow Meadows-Willowbend, and Southwest Houston lie in close proximity to Braeburn and the Brays Oaks district.
Brays Oaks/Greater Fondren Southwest
Brays Oaks residents enjoy easy access to downtown Houston and concerts and events at nearby Levitt Pavilion. The area covers roughly 10 miles with an estimated population of 60,100, and much of the district includes the Greater Fondren Southwest community, which is home to many apartment complexes. For more information, visit braysoaksmd.org.
Houston is home to the largest Asian population in the southern United States. The city’s original Chinatown, located just east of downtown, relocated in the early 1990s to the southwest area of the city. Today, Chinese shopping centers like Hong Kong City Mall, restaurants, bakeries, and more sit alongside markets dedicated to Indian, Pakistani, and Middle Eastern wares. The area is complete with street signs featuring Chinese characters.
Situated along Westheimer Road and Post Oak Boulevard, the Uptown area exudes urban sophistication, style, and cosmopolitan energy. Centrally located in the city’s Uptown district, The
Galleria is comprised of hundreds of upscale restaurants, retailers, and hotels, as well as soaring high-rises that exceed more than 200,000 working professionals and visitors daily. The community features trendy shopping centers and upscale high-fashion boutiques. Turn to p. 80 to learn more
about shopping in Houston,. Uptown is also home to many of the city’s largest hotels and boasts an array of housing options. For more information, visit uptown-houston.com.
Located approximately 10 miles southwest of downtown Houston, Gulfton is about two miles west of Bellaire between Beltway 8 and the 610 Loop, southeast of U.S. 59 and north of Bellaire Boulevard. Gulfton is a densely populated area with few sidewalks.
Hedwig Village/Hunters Creek Village/Piney Point Village
Hedwig Village is located west of downtown Houston adjacent to the Katy Freeway. The area primarily features ranch–style homes, and residents enjoy easy access to Hedwig Park and the
Spring Branch Memorial Library. Spring Branch ISD (cms.springbranchisd.com) serves students in Hedwig Village. For more information, visit thecityofhedwigvillage.com.
Medical Center/NRG Stadium
Houston has long been known for its burgeoning energy and aerospace industries, but it’s also home to the world’s largest concentration of researchers, physicians, and medical professionals. In addition to world-class medical facilities, the Texas Medical Center—which treats more than five
million patients annually and employs more than 70,000 people—is comprised of educational icons like the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, Memorial Hermann Hospital, and the Baylor College of Medicine. Nearby NRG Stadium hosts a myriad of
events throughout the year, including Houston Texans football games and the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo.
Memorial Park/Washington Corridor
Memorial is a wealthy area located along Buffalo Bayou on the 610 Loop west of downtown. The area is home to Memorial Park, one of the largest urban parks in the United States. It’s popular for golf, running, and cycling, and reports nearly three million annual visitors. Popular attractions
include the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, Memorial City Mall, and Town & Country Village. A strip of popular restaurants, lounges, wine bars, and townhouses recently replaced a stretch of dilapidated properties. The Wave taxi-bus offers a fixed-route, fixed-rate shuttle within the Washington Avenue District, Midtown, and the Heights.
Sandwiched between downtown and the Museum District, the trendy Midtown neighborhood is a popular choice for young and middle-aged professionals. Midtown is one of the city’s most pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods—it’s packed with high-rise apartments, boutique shopping, art galleries, restaurants, and nightlife. Situated directly between downtown and the Texas Medical Center with three dedicated METRORail stations, location is a big attraction for prospective Midtown residents. For more information, visit houstonmidtown.com.
Established in 1911, Montrose is one of the most eclectic areas in all of Houston. It’s home to music venues, vintage shopping, and historic residential architecture. South Montrose is nestled near the Museum District, which encompasses more than 50 cultural institutions, museums, and art galleries. The American Planning Association named Montrose one of the United States’ 10 great neighborhoods in 2009.
Culture runs deep in Houston’s Museum District, which welcomes nearly nine million visitors a year. The area is home to 18 museums within a 1.5-mile radius of the Mecom Fountain, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Rice University Art Gallery, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Houston Children’s Museum, and more.
River Oaks is well known as one of Houston’s oldest and most affluent neighborhoods. Located just three miles west of downtown in the Inner Loop, the area sports white-columned mansions dating from the 1920s, as well as Houston’s oldest country club. The community is protected by high
architectural standards and comprehensive building restrictions. The median home value in River Oaks is over $1 million. For more information, visit riveroaksdistrict.com.
Sharpstown is a master-planned community southwest of downtown Houston. The area features post-World War II bungalows, as well as modern and traditional homes on large lots. The
area’s civic association estimates that more than 60 dialects are spoken here. Residents enjoy access to the Sharpstown Green Park, a community center, and the Sharpstown Golf Course. For more information, visit sharpstowncivic.org.
South Main/Central Southwest
Central Southwest Houston is a predominantly African-American neighborhood that offers easy
access to The Galleria and Texas Medical Center. Homes and apartments tend to be affordable.
High-end shopping and fine dining has yet to move into the area, but it’s home to a large number of
authentic ethnic restaurants.
Upper Kirby/Greenway Plaza
Upper Kirby is a network of historic neighborhoods that are intermingling with redevelopment. The area is just minutes away from Greenway Plaza, downtown, The Galleria, and the Texas
Medical Center, offering residents easy access to the places they live, work, and play. West Ave is home to an assortment of top-notch restaurants, art galleries, and trendy boutiques. For more information, visit upperkirbydistrict.org.
West University/Rice Village
The third-most expensive neighborhood in Houston, the tree-lined West University area— West U, as locals call it—is a community of upper-middle class families. On every block you’ll find an abundance of upscale housing options, including unique bungalows and newly remodeled homes. Home to Rice University and Rice Village Shopping Center, the neighborhood appeals to families
and young professionals alike. Morningside Boulevard offers a good mix of lunch, dinner, and happy hour spots. For more information, visit westutx.gov.
Woodlake/Briar Meadow is a vibrant and diverse community located approximately 12 miles southwest of downtown Houston, just west of The Galleria. Its location allows for lots of options when it comes to shopping, dining, and nightlife. Close proximity to Memorial Park allows easy access to hike-and-bike trails. For more information, visit briarmeadow.org.