Ever-changing yet ever distinct Houston is a big draw for people who want more than just great neighborhoods. The people who move here are as interested in witnessing firsthand the diversity of ideas and cultures.
This vast and vibrant metropolis is home to about 2.3 million residents, making it the fourth largest city in the US. Between 2010 and 2021, the city added over 1.2 million new residents.
Houston has long been a place where opportunities and exciting innovations abound – from its early beginnings as a key commercial hub during the earliest years of Texas to its current status as a hotbed of development. It’s no wonder the city consistently lures an influx of new residents.
If you’re planning to move to Houston, here are the best neighborhoods you should consider.
- The Woodlands
Few communities in Houston can successfully pull off the quintessential escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life. The Woodlands is one of them.
As one of the most sought-after master-planned communities north of Downtown Houston, The Woodlands is a sprawling township with plans to incorporate as a city. It’s surrounded by 28,000 acres of forest, providing a scenic and lush backdrop for more than 110,000 residents.
Here you’ll find a great selection of homes ranging from affordable options to luxury estates with prices ranging from a low of $300,000 to well over $10 million.
- The Woodlands Country Club – A championship golf course that’s suitable for newbies and experienced golfers. This country club is also a preferred venue for wedding receptions, business meetings, and banquets.
- Spring Creek Nature Trail – A beautiful nature preserve where you can explore miles of walking and biking trails along the meandering path of Spring Creek .
- Hughes Landing – A large mixed-use area near Lake Woodlands featuring residential properties, office spaces, boutiques, and restaurants.
- The Woodlands Mall – Features hundreds of shops from established and nascent brands including Nordstrom, American Eagle, Macy’s, Sephora, and a lot more.
- Rob Fleming Aquatic Center – Come summer time, residents flock to this beloved waterpark which features a variety of water slides, tubes, and a 500-foot lazy river.
Another neighborhood to consider in Houston’s northern section is the unincorporated community of Cypress. It’s home to approximately 120,000 residents who have convenient access to excellent amenities and open spaces.
Cypress is a lovely tree-lined suburb known for its great schools and affluent neighborhoods, which count as some of the best in all of Houston. The majority of the housing stock is composed of single-family homes, with prices ranging from $250,000 to over $10 million. Whether it’s a modest traditional home or a 10-acre ranch-style estate, you’ll find houses in a variety of styles and configurations in Cypress.
In addition, the community is part of the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District, which is ranked as the #2 public school district in Harris County by Niche.com. There are over 110,000 students from Pre-K to 12th grade. Some of the best schools in the area include Warner Elementary, Hamilton Middle School, and Cypress Ranch High School.
- Little Cypress Creek Reserve – This 58-acre nature preserve features hiking and biking trails, as well as dedicated paths for horseback riding. There’s also a number of small ponds where residents can fish.
- Longwood Golf Club – Longwood makes good use of Cypress’s proximity to verdant forests to create an unforgettable and fairly challenging golf experience.
- VillaSport Athletic Club and Spa – A local go-to gym to access state-of-the-art equipment and top-tier training and recovery advice from professional trainers.
- The Heights
Just beyond Downtown Houston is the area known as the Inner Loop, a section area that falls within the loop of I-610. The Heights is a catch-all name to describe a collection of neighborhoods north of the I-10 and to the south of I-610.
As the oldest planned community in Houston, The Heights is rich in history. The area is known for its Victorian-style homes, character-filled streets and communities, and vibrant restaurants and watering holes.
Prospective homebuyers in The Heights are drawn by the small-town vibe and proximity to Downtown Houston. Homes in The Heights cost between $400,000 and $3 million.
- First Saturday Arts Market – A hub of art, creativity, and great company is how locals describe the First Saturday Arts Market. Food trucks and local vendors are nearby as well.
- Eureka Heights Brew – For great beer on tap, check out this local bar. It also serves tacos, pizza or steak to go well with your drink.
- The Heights Theater – This early 20th century theater has been restored to continue providing residents and visitors a classic cinematic experience in the heart of Houston. The theater is the go-to place for silent and classic films.
Straddling a portion of the Inner and Outer Loop, the small city of Bellaire offers a little bit of everything. Lively haunts in Downtown Houston or elsewhere in the Inner Loop are easily accessible. So are nature getaways and the great outdoors.
A calm atmosphere and great selection of neighborhoods await future homeowners in Bellaire. Families love Bellaire for its quiet tree-lined streets and excellent schools. Homes in Bellaire usually cost between $450,000 and $3 million. Most of the housing stock is composed of single-family homes, with a scant selection of townhomes.
- Bellaire-Zindler Park – Family-friendly park suitable for a variety of recreational activities. There are jogging paths, picnic areas, tennis courts, a fitness room, and baseball field (little league).
- Ginzbarg Nature Discovery Center – The Hana and Arthur Ginzbarg Nature Discovery Center was established to provide engaging educational programs covering flora and fauna. Kids and adults of all ages are welcome.
- El Pacifico – An innovative local restaurant that combines the best of Latin and Japanese cuisine. One of only a few places where there’s sushi, soft tacos, and margaritas on the menu.
- Downtown Houston
If you want to be in the center of a thriving commercial hub and a stone’s throw away from Houston’s roots, the downtown area is worth considering. Home prices in Downtown Houston range from $450,000 to $2.6 million. In both high-rise developments and low-rise structures, you’ll find a variety of properties, from condos with industrial interiors to minimalist apartments and townhomes.
The Historic District is where the old and new converge. You’ll find an assortment of centuries-old landmarks alongside modern homes and buildings. Residents and tourists enjoy exploring the district for its great food and cool hangouts.
The Skyline District is the economic heart of Houston. More than 50 skyscrapers, 10 Fortune 500 companies (e.g., Halliburton, Sysco, Hewlett, Packard), and an extensive underground network of pedestrian walkways characterize this iconic district.
- Market Square Park – This is the site of Houston’s original city hall. Today, it’s a bustling commercial area where locals gather over food and drinks.
- The Steakhouse – Morton’s The Steakhouse is known for top-tier steak and seafood. Book a table at this upscale restaurant but customers can also hold private events or avail of catering services.
- Toyota Center – Go see the Houston Rockets in action at the Toyota Center, the city’s venue for exhilarating NBA games since 2001. You can also check out other sporting events like boxing and musical performances from some of the biggest artists today.
Westchase is a fairly affluent neighborhood to the west of Downtown Houston. While the atmosphere is unmistakably suburban, it’s also a thriving business district. Well-known companies operating in the area include Phillips 66, Geokinetics, and Chevron Corporation.
Home prices in Westchase range from $100,000 to over $2 million. You’ll find a range of housing options in this compact neighborhood, from townhomes and condos to multi-million dollar estates. Residents in Westchase are never far from essential shops and services.
- Royal Oaks Country Club – Royal Oaks is one of Houston’s oldest country clubs. This 185-acre property boasts a slew of five-star amenities and facilities, including a Fred Couple signature golf course, a sports complex, fine and casual dining areas, tennis courts, and many more.
- Westchase Shopping Center – Home to chains like Target and local stores like Beverly Hills Furniture & Home Decore.
- The Galleria – A vast mixed-use development that Houstonians from every corner of the metropolis have come to cherish for its upscale and world-class shopping. Though technically outside of the neighborhood’s boundaries, this international shopping destination is less than 15 minutes away by car for the vast majority of Westchase residents.
Charming Baytown is fantastic for homebuyers looking to be near the water while enjoying a variety of unique attractions in the area. Homes in Baytown will typically cost anywhere from $270,000 to multi-million dollars.
Additionally, you can also find empty lots of less than an acre priced from $220,000 to $800,000. Waterfront lots can go for as low as $255,000 and completed waterfront homes are usually priced at over $1 million.
- Baytown Nature Center – Birdwatchers and nature lovers will enjoy basking in the natural beauty of this 500-acre preserve. Baytown Nature Centers offers educational tours and volunteer programs focused on the preservation of the peninsula’s distinct species and their home environment.
- Calypso Cove – This waterpark is a favorite among families looking to cool off during the hottest months of the year. Water levels don’t go beyond four feet, making it suitable for small children.
- Baytown Historical Museum – A well-maintained local museum frequented by history buffs. Learn something new about the city and its role in the development of Texas.
- Deer Park
Another Houston community in the east worth checking out is Deer Park. This city is where the treaty documents for Texas’s independence from Mexico were signed. Homebuyers looking for a great suburb will feel right at home in Deer Park.
Aside from being prominently referred to as the birthplace of Texas, Deer Park is known for affordable homes. Prices range from $250,000 to $500,000. In addition, the Deer Park Independent School District is one of the top-rated school districts in the eastern portion of Houston. Some of the best schools include San Jacinto Elementary and Deer Park High School.
- Battleground Golf Course – The Battleground is an 18-hole championship golf course aptly named after the Battle of Jacinto, which took place near Deer Park. Weddings, business meetings, and other special events can be held in this stunning golf club.
- Antonio’s Italian Grill – An authentic Italian restaurant that’s been serving customers since the mid-1980s. There is another local branch located in Baytown.
- Skateworld Deer Park – This roller skating park is not just a great place to catch up with friends or show the kids a good time. You can also book the venue for private parties and other events.
Further south, discover fast-growing towns and cities. With one portion of the city within Brazoria County and the other in Harris County, Pearland is a burgeoning city that’s sought after for its relatively low cost of living.
The city of Pearland has some of the best neighborhoods in Houston that fit a range of lifestyle preferences. Homes can go as low as $270,000 and as high as $2 million. Investors can also look into upscale and luxury options, as well as acreage.
- Independence Park – This newly restored park features jogging trails, basketball courts, tennis courts, and a soccer field. Kids can now visit the recently revamped children’s playground.
- Pearland Town Center – The one-stop plaza for residents’ entertainment and retail needs. Pearland Town Center teems with shops, restaurants, and convenient services.
- Clear Lake City
Clear Lake City is a vast master-planned community that’s best known as the home of NASA’s Johnson Space Center. The area is named after the eponymous lake, where boats are available for fishing and cruising. Clear Lake’s array of water activities and famous space museum frequently attract visitors and tourists from all over the country.
Housing stock is mainly composed of single-family homes and a small selection of condos. Home prices typically range from $350,000 to $750,000. You can snag homes in waterfront neighborhoods for $400,000 to $500,000. Further inland, you’ll find even more affordable options
- Space Center Houston – The NASA Johnson Space Center is a research institute that’s off limits to most outsiders, but Space Center Houston does accommodate tourists daily (except for Christmas). This one-of-a-kind attraction offers space travel geeks and casual science enthusiasts a rare and unforgettable museum experience.
- Bay Oaks Country Club – One of the most highly rated courses near Clear Lake, Bay Oaks Country Club boasts premier amenities and a challenging experience for golfers of all skill levels.
- Clear Lake Park – This expansive waterfront park covers about 59 acres and is suitable for all ages, from young children to adults who are kids at heart. Fishing areas, jogging paths, a splash pad, and playground for kids, are some of the facilities within the park.
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