Remember, everything’s bigger in Texas? Well, that includes Houston. The city is spread out over 601 square miles, not including suburbs, making Houston nearly 20 times larger than Manhattan geographically. This means there are a lot of neighborhoods in Houston with different personalities and levels of convenience, and that’s without considering the suburbs like Sugarland. Here’s a list of Houston’s most popular neighborhoods for young professionals.
Downtown: Downtown Houston is the main business district and headquarters to many prominent companies. But Downtown Houston isn’t all business: it’s also the main hub for going out, performing arts, festivals, and sports. So whatever your interests, unless it’s being a hermit, you’ll definitely spend some of your time Downtown.
East Downtown: East Downtown or EaDo is considered the “art and soul” of Houston. While East Downtown technically overlaps with a few other parts of the Downtown Houston area, it’s considered by locals to be an area of its own. EaDo has a conflicting personality. On the one hand, it is close to Downtown and home to a number of art galleries, newly built apartments with views of the Downtown skyline, and the older of Houston’s two Chinatowns. At the same time, East Downtown has a large homeless population, due to the number of shelters and homeless services in the area, which, unfortunately, drives the crime rate up.
East End: Also known as the Greater East End, the East End is located south of Hobby airport, just east of Downtown. This area is one of Houston’s most culturally diverse and home to Houston’s oldest Hispanic community. Over 50% of the population is Latino, which means great Mexican food and a lot of Spanish speakers. The East End is home to the largest cultural arts center of its kind, the Talento Bilingue de Houston; The Orange Show, a center for visionary arts; Our Lady of Guadalupe Church; and a Chicano mural by artist Leo Tanguma on Canal Street.
Midtown: Midtown Houston is located between Downtown and the Texas Medical Center. Its proximity to places of business, universities, and cultural venues makes it an ideal place to live in Houston. As a pedestrian-friendly urban area, walking around Midtown is a great way to move from an Astro game to an art gallery to a concert to a restaurant—all of which you can find in Midtown.
Uptown Houston: In Uptown Houston you can really feel the pulse of the city. Uptown is a center for business, fashion, dining, and living. While less pedestrian friendly than Downtown and Midtown, it still offers a real upbeat atmosphere in its restaurants and nightlife, which largely cater to young and energetic professionals.
Northside: Northside is a generally suburban area in northern Houston. It is relatively safe, with a few sketchy areas, but considered a bit too boring for the young and hip crowd (although it is popular with families).
Southeast Houston: Southeast Houston is home to the famed Texas Medical Center, one the world’s largest medical centers, including 15 hospitals, 3 medical schools, and 50+ medical institutions. For those interested in medicine, nursing or pharmaceuticals, this is where you’ll likely be spending a lot of your time. South East Houston is also home to the University of Houston, so you’ll find many young people traipsing around this area.
Spring Branch: Located in Northwest Houston, Spring Branch is home to large Korean and Hispanic populations. While the nightlife here might not compare to Midtown or Downtown, many people venture out to Spring Branch for the authentic Korean and Hispanic cuisine.
Westchase: Situated in Western Houston, Westchase is the business management district, home to over 1,500 businesses. But it’s not all work in Westchase: there’s a thriving residential and retail community as well. So you can work, shop, and pass out on your bed all in the same area!
Montrose: Located in west central Houston, Montrose is a quirky residential area with diverse demographics and a wide range of architectural styles. Its unique personality earned it a spot on the American Planning Association’s “10 Greatest Neighborhoods in America” in 2009. It’s an artsy town filled with musicians, artists, fashionistas, and a thriving LGBT scene. Funky restaurants and gay bars can be found lining the streets of Montrose. Here you’ll also find the Museum of Fine Arts and the Contemporary Art Museum.
Houston Heights: Houston Heights, or simply “The Heights” to locals, is located in northwest-central Houston. It is one of Houston’s oldest neighborhoods, with wide streets and sidewalks canopied by leafy trees and lined with homes dating back to the early 1900s. Houston Heights attracts professionals looking for a short commute and in recent years has also experienced an influx of young graduates. So you can expect to see professionals of all ages as well as young families calling the Heights “home.”
West University Place: West University Place, although technically a city in itself, is usually considered part of Houston anyway, including by the United States Postal Service. The name originated from its proximity to Rice University. This is a bustling area full of university students and well-to-do professors and professionals. It is considered one of the most affluent areas in Houston. So while you may not be able to afford a house in West University Place, you may find apartment living in this student-friendly atmosphere appealing.