Houston Heights: Small Town in the Big City

Click on our interactive map to see highlights of this walking tour of Houston, Texas.

The Heights sits just four miles northwest of downtown Houston. But stroll the area's broad, tree-canopied esplanades and side streets dotted with homes dating from the early 1900s and you may think you've landed in a small town. Incorporated as the independent city of Houston Heights in 1891 and annexed by Houston proper in 1918, the neighborhood maintains a quirky sense of individuality. The Heights passed its own Prohibition in 1912, and a large section of it remains dry, as required by the annexation agreement (restaurants have skirted the law's intent by forming private clubs that allow diners to instantly join and order a drink). In a city where development has typically been willy-nilly and zoning laws are nonexistent, the Heights stands out as one of the earliest planned communities in Texas, boasting 117 places that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Following a period of decline that began when industrial interests moved in after World War II, Houston Heights now flourishes as a destination for foodies, architecture buffs, and creative types (the neighborhood is said to be home to the highest concentration of professional artists in the state).

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