Houston Travel Guide

Districts

The city has a number of districts. Historically, many of these districts were called "wards" and they tended to have distinct populations. Today, the lines are blurring and continual sprawl has created new districts, some with a distinct character.

Downtown(Skyline District, Theater District, Historic District, EaDo)Center of the city, still the home of high finance and big business. Houston is second only to New York City in corporate headquarters of Fortune 500 companies. Many of them are located downtown including some of the world's largest energy companies. Downtown Houston also boasts the second largest theater district in the United States and the city has world class permanent organizations such as the Houston Symphony and Houston Ballet. The Rockets, Astros and Dynamo all play downtown.
Neartown(Midtown, Montrose, Museum District, 4th Ward)Neartown encompasses Midtown, an older light industrial area cum trendy apartment archipelago; Montrose, a pleasant streetcar suburb that was abandoned and resurrected by Houston's LGBT community; The Museum District, the center of Houston's visual arts and museums; and the historic 4th Ward, a Freedman's town that was built by the hands of recently freed African American slaves and now facing gentrification by Bob Perry's development company.
North Loop(The Heights, Washington Corridor)A large district of gingerbread Victorian homes as well as early 20th Century bungalows. Like its sister neighborhood Montrose, The Heights is home to a diverse population from artists and musicians to wealthy professionals. Parts of the Heights are still dry, fostering a large number of BYOB restaurants ideal for those who enjoy their own selected wine.
South Loop(South Main, Museum District, Med Center)To the south and east of downtown lie Rice University, the many attractions of Hermann Park, Reliant Stadium, and the Texas Medical Center (or just "the med center"), including some of the world's best hospitals. The Rice Village is a highly concentrated area of restaurants, bars, and shopping.
West Loop(Uptown, River Oaks, Upper Kirby & Greenway, West U)Uptown or The Galleria Area is known for its namesake, a huge high-end shopping mall complex and has the tallest building in the United States outside of a main downtown area, the Williams tower. Nearby River Oaks is home to Houston's most exclusive and affluent neighborhoods and businesses, home to eye-popping mansions and the River Oaks Shopping Center, one of America's first suburban shopping districts and a great display of Art Deco architecture. This area has many great restaurants, vibrant nightlife, and infamous traffic jams during peak hours.
Outside 610(West Houston, East Houston, North Houston, Clear Lake)Off-the-beaten-track, these areas have plenty to offer for the patient traveler.

source: Wikivoyage

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