Moving to Houston: The most popular neighborhoods
Houston is the fourth largest city in the US, but it’s got loads of diverse neighborhoods, green areas, nightlife to experience, and booming real estate. Here’s some quick hitters for Houston’s most popular neighborhoods:
- Montrose: Perfect for art enthusiasts and foodies alike. The Menil Collection is one of the best art collections in the world.
- Downtown Area: Hosting a lively theatre district, a diverse mix of restaurants, and plenty of watering holes. Home to nine Fortune 500 companies and renowned sporting teams like The Rockets and Astros.
- The Heights: Houston Height’s has a mix of vintage shops, residential areas, hike and bike trails, and dining and entertainment districts.
- River Oaks: A pricey neighborhood with golf courses, shopping malls, and parks that the whole family can enjoy!
Moving to Houston: Some quick hitters
“Everything is Bigger in Texas” really gets it’s name here. The diverse city of Houston dominates all other cities in Texas with it’s booming population and size.
- Population: 2,300,000+
- Cost of living: 8% lower than the National Average
- Median 1-bedroom apartment cost: $1,100/Month
- Average salary: $72,000/year
Moving to Houston: 20 Things you need to know
Beyond the basics, here are 20 things you need to know before heading to the friendly confines of Houston, Texas!
1. Houston puts the “bayou” in Bayou City
There are tons of bayous that go through Houston, prompting the nickname “Bayou City.” These waterways wind through downtown and some will even stretch through local backyards. You might not see them, though, as most of them are fairly hidden and aren’t the best places to hang out at.
2. There’s a difference between “inside the loop” and “outside the Loop”
Familiarize with Loop 610, because Houstonians will distinguish only whether the location you’re describing is inside or outside the Loop. The loop runs north, south, east and west, so trying to give directions any way other than “inside” or “outside” is darn near impossible. Singles or couples without children yet aim to live inside the Loop in a hip area like Montrose or Midtown, and families tend to divert to outside the Loop.
3. ‘Galleria Area’ will be in your vocabulary!
Determine the most direct route to The Galleria and memorize it! You’ll find that you need to head to Texas’ largest shopping center a lot — even if you aren’t a shopaholic. This area is always bustling and a common meeting spot for locals.
4. Get to know the Eighth Wonder in Houston
The Eighth Wonder of the World is not some misguided reference to the Grand Canyon, this is actually a reference to Houston’s Astrodome! It’s been up for ages, and nobody is in a hurry to tear it down. Don’t ask why!
5. The humidity is real
Like Florida, the humidity is a part of life here. Think of it as an anti-aging tactic, as it might keep your skin looking younger!
6. Rodeo is how we roll
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is serious fun for everyone, even if you think it’s not your thing. Staged just once per year, the 20-day show is what Houstonians spend all year talking about it and preparing for.
7. The Dream lives on
“The Dream” is a former Houston Rockets player, Hakeem Olajuwon, and he was huge in the NBA team’s three-peat back in the glory days of Houston basketball. Even though he’s been retired for many years, Houston locals still lovingly refer to him as “The Dream.”
8. Arguing about other cities is a no-no
The never-ending argument between Houston and Dallas is just annoying at this point, and there’s no true winner. Actually, Dallas thinks it’s the winner, and Houston thinks it’s the winner, so just forget about arguing.
9. Galveston is a great getaway for the weekend
Just 45 minutes south of downtown, Galveston is just a quick pop over and perfect on the spur of the moment trips. Just try to ignore the smokestacks that line the nearby Houston Ship Channel and focus on the waves!
10. You might pack on the pounds
GQ magazine has deemed Houston “America’s Next Great Food City” with some of the best restaurants in the country. Be prepared to eat your way through the city, with authentic stops on every corner. Putting on the “Freshman 15” is not a rarity for Houston newcomers.
11. The suburbs are amazing
Those who live in areas like The Woodlands, Katy, Pasadena or even Galveston can still be considered a Houstonian. Not to mention, the Houston metro area is just huge. Driving long distances is a way of life here in Houston. A work commute that’s under 30 minutes is a bonus.
12. Pack some rain gear
Houston receives an average rainfall of over 50 inches per year, more than all other Texas cities. It seems to rain almost every day, like Florida, even if it’s just for an hour or so. Do your best to ignore it and go about your business with the rain gear you’ve prepared with.
13. But you can ditch the cold weather gear
Even during the cold months of January and February, the average temperature is 53 degrees. You can go through several winters without even needing a sweater, much less a coat! You know what that means? Flip-flops are appreciated year-round!
14. State of the art medical care
M.D. Anderson is considered the best cancer hospital in the United States with some of the smartest researchers and doctors hosting here. Rice University is one of the top research facilities in country, perfect for young achievers.
15. Pools, pools, and more pools!
Considering buying in Houston? Try and find yourself a home with a pool. You won’t even need a heater for it. Pools are a dime a dozen in Houston, and you can swim comfortably in them for nine months out of the year.
16. Energy fuels Houston
Unless you’re in a specific industry, darn near every job in Houston is going to be tied to the energy industry in one way or another. It might seem less than glamorous to outsiders, but energy is king in Houston.
17. Houston is diverse in culture and language
Houston is a decidedly international metropolis with the influx of energy industry executives. There are about 90 different languages spoken by Houston residents. Embrace the differences, and learn from them!
18. Houston loves its homegrown stars.
The “first lady” of Houston is Beyoncé Knowles, and with that, be prepared to support all of the hometown stars like Dennis and Randy Quaid, Patrick Swayze, Lyle Lovett, Renee Zellweger and, of course, George W. Bush.
19. In Houston, it’s “Y’all”
Say goodbye to that phrase “you guys” because here, “y’all” is part of every Houstonian’s vocabulary. Most Houstonians don’t have a heavy Southern accent, but y’all just need to get used to “y’all.”
20. Get ready to explore a bit of space
Space Center of Houston pays homage to the U.S. space program, and once you pay a visit, you won’t have a problem understanding Houston’s out-of-this-world connection to American history.