What You Need to Know About Houston
Well, guys, Super Bowl LI is just days away, and we can hardly wait! Our city of Houston has been gearing up for the big event for months and months and months, and everyone can’t wait to show it off and all H-town has to offer. If you aren’t too familiar with Houston, we want to help you out! Of course, you can look back at our Houston City Guides: Mural Guide / Brunch / Dessert / Fine Dining / Coffee Shops / Nail Salons, but what you’ll find below are some facts and important tidbits that’ll help you when you’re in town. Even if you live here, you might find this guide helpful! As well, Carrie is featured on the Draper James blog today, so be sure to check out her feature all about her thoughts on Houston hosting the Super Bowl!
When it comes to highways, that’s an area in which we’re certainly not lacking. As the fourth largest city in the US, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the highways are aplenty (they can be confusing, too!), so below are the main ones, along with what they’re commonly referred to as.
- I-10 (also referred to as Katy Freeway and Baytown-East Freeway)
- I-45 (also referred to as Gulf Freeway and North Freeway)
- US-59 (also referred to as I-69, Southwest Freeway, and Eastex Freeway)
- I-610 (also referred to as 610 Loop, and yes, it quite literally makes a loop around the city)
- Sam Houston Tollway (also referred to as Beltway 8)
- Hardy Toll Road
- Westpark Tollway
- US-290 (also referred to as Northwest Freeway)
- Spur 527 (also referred to as The Downtown Split)
Parts of Town
As we said, Houston is big, and there are many different parts of town, many of which are in close proximity to one another. Below we’ve listed the different areas and some information on each.
- Downtown – DT is surrounded by I-45 on the south and west, US-59 on the east, and Buffalo Bayou on the north.
- Theater District – Located in north downtown (home to Alley Theater, Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, Wortham Center, Verizon Wireless Theater, Jones Hall (Houston Symphony Orchestra)).
- Chinatowns – One is located right by the George R. Brown Convention Center and the other is on Bellaire Blvd., west of Sharpstown.
- Southwest – This area includes suburbs, such as Bellaire and Meyerland, and it goes from around Beltway 8 to Highway 6, south of Interstate 10.
- Northside – This area includes several historic neighborhoods, such as Houston Heights, The Fifth Ward, and Greenspoint.
- Energy Corridor – This district lies along Memorial Drive and Eldridge Parkway in West Houston (bound by the area north of I-10 and Westheimer to the south, and extends from Kirkwood Road to the east, Fry road to the west).
- Midtown – Located just south of downtown, this area is bounded by I-45 on the north, SH-288 on east, US-59 on south, and Bagby Street on the west.
- Uptown – Anchored by Post Oak Blvd., this is right near the Galleria area.
- Medical Center – It is about 3 miles south of Midtown, and it’s the largest medical complex in the world. Bordering this area, you’ll find NRG to the south and Rice University/Rice Village to the west.
- Museum District – It covers a 1.5 mile radius around Mecom Fountain in Hermann Park.
- Greenway Plaza – This business district is west of midtown and southwest of Downtown Houston.
- River Oaks – Located in the center of Houston, it’s within the 610 loop and between Downtown and Uptown.
- West University Place – Between Highway 59 and the 610 Loop.
- Upper Kirby – This commercial district is east of Greenway Plaza, north of West University, and south of River Oaks.
Something else you won’t find a shortage of here in Houston would be great stores. We are lucky to have so many incredible retailers and shopping districts here, and below we’ve listed them all, along with some of the stores you’ll find in each.
- Highland Village
- Apple, Design Within Reach, Kate Spade, J.Crew, Lululemon, Splendid
- Rice Village
- BlueMercury, Emerson Sloan, Gap, Myth & Symbol, Sephora
- River Oaks District
- Alice & Olivia, Cartier, Dior, Forty Five Ten, Intermix, Vince
- River Oaks Shopping Center
- Atrium Ready to Wear, Brooke Feather, Events, Gap, Luke’s Locker
- The Galleria
- Chanel, Free People, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue
- The Heights/19th Street
- AG Antiques, Bliss, Emerson Rose, The Lift, Manready Mercantile
- Upper Kirby/West Ave
- Cakewalk Style, Jonathan Adler, More Than You Can Imagine, Richly Clad, TOOTSIES
Parks and Greenery
If you’re looking for a little respite amidst the hustle and bustle of the city, Houston has some beautiful parks and green spaces. Below we’ve listed the most popular ones that we go to time and time again and what part of town they’re located in.
- Hermann Park (Medical Center/Museum District)
- Houston Arboretum and Nature Center (Midtown)
- Buffalo Bayou Park (Montrose – Downtown)
- Memorial Park (Rice Military/Washington Avenue)
- Discovery Green (Downtown)
- Eleanor Tinsley Park (Allen Parkway/Fourth Ward)
Houston is certainly a museum town! We have some truly spectacular ones and below we’ve listed some of the best, all of which are in the Museum District.
- Asia Society Texas Center
- Children’s Museum of Houston
- Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
- Holocaust Museum Houston
- Houston Museum of Natural Science
- Houston Zoo
- Rothko Chapel
- The Menil Collection
- The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
In Closing + A Giveaway
- We’ve teamed up with CultureMap here in Houston to give away a pair of tickets to their Super Bowl Party! It’s going to be such a fun night; find out all the details here. In order to enter to win, all you have to do is make sure you’re following us on Instagram (@carriec) and leave a comment below on what you love most about Houston, and include your Instagram handle. Good luck!
And there you have it! We hope this handy little guide will help you as you head to town. If you live in Houston or if you’ve been here, what’s your favorite part of town? We’d love to hear in the comments below!
Photos by Matthew Weinstein, Graphic by Ashley Cardoza