Maybe we’re biased, but we think Houston is one of the best places to live. With the ever growing choices of things to do, great restaurants, and a booming economy, what more could you want? Plus, it’s the nation’s fourth-largest city with a diverse population of more than 2 million residents spanning across 88 neighborhoods. But because Houston is so spread out, covering more than 1,500 square miles when you include the suburbs in the outer loop, it can be a little intimidating to navigate. So, here’s a guide to help you learn your way around some of the most popular Houston suburbs.
Houston Suburbs in The Loop
Houston’s inner loop, or “the Loop” as it’s commonly referred to, is a desirable area because of its convenience. Right inside Interstate 610, the Loop is in the heart of the city with a 10- to 15-minute drive to any part of Houston. It’s also home to some of Houston’s wealthiest neighborhoods.
In addition to the Houston suburbs we highlight below, the Loop is home to other areas like Montrose, Midtown, and Bellaire. The Loop contains loads of entertainment options, shopping, and great food. From hip cultural scenes to gated subdivisions, there's something for everyone here.
After the renovation of empty, old office buildings into lofts, Downtown Houston breathes new life. Downtown's prime location provides convenient commutes for urban professionals and after-hours fun. From sporting events to happy hours, there's always something to do. As the home to the Texans, Rockets, Astros, and Dynamo, downtown is a sports-lover's paradise.
Plus, there's a bevy of cool bars and dining experiences in the GreenStreet area. Or if you prefer some fresh air, you can head over to Avenida Houston. There you can take a stroll along Discovery Green, the new 12-acre public park. The park hosts frequent events and art exhibits.
River Oaks Community
With tree-lined streets and million-dollar estates, River Oaks is Houston’s most expensive neighborhood. It is a luxurious, gated community. In addition to the upscale living, art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants surround the area. For fun, moviegoers can catch a flick at the historic Landmark River Oaks Theatre, which shows indie and avant-garde films. However, those who prefer the performing arts can visit the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra and the Opera Vista.
West University / Rice Village
Under century-old trees are West University and Rice Village, two of Houston’s premiere neighborhoods. They’re just minutes away from the 610 Loop and Highway 59, which makes commuting a breeze. As the home of Rice University and near the Medical Center, this area attracts young professionals and families. On top of that, much of the area’s shopping, restaurants, and bars are within walking distance. Overall, Rice Village has a fun, eclectic, cultured feel.
The Museum District is a cultural haven that houses 19 institutions, 11 of which are free to enter. It attracts 8.7 million visitors per year, making it one of Houston’s most popular tourist attractions. And, if 300,000 square feet of paintings, sculptures, photography, and textiles aren’t enough, the McGovern Centennial Gardens in nearby Hermann Park, is now open to the public.
Houston Suburbs in the Outer Loop
The outer loop is any area outside of the inner loop. Many residents choose to live on the outskirts of Houston to escape the fast-paced city. On top of that, most Houston suburbs in the outer loop are more family-friendly, offering great public schools, and larger more affordable homes in quiet subdivisions or master planned communities. Some of the more popular areas are Kingwood, Katy, Sugarland, and Richmond/Rosenberg.