Let’s face it: Houston isn’t all that walkable. Unless you have a car, bus pass, or at least a moped, you’re going to have a tough time commuting beyond your block. That said, there are pockets in the city populated with bars, shops, restaurants, and more all in walking distance.
If you want to cosplay like you’re in New York City, check out our list of walkable areas in Houston. Note, you might not be able to traverse these entire neighborhoods on foot, but you’ll at least be able to see a couple things in route. If hiking is more what you’re looking for, check out our list here.
Montrose, Houston’s most eclectic neighborhood, is rife with coffee shops, bars, galleries, and more. With sidewalk streets that lead from Buffalo Bayou Park to the dozens of restaurants packed on the intersection of Montrose and Westheimer, to the Rothko Chapel, to the Museum District, the area is not only pedestrian friendly, but bike friendly.
As far as pedestrian-friendly places in Houston go, areas of Westheimer are as walkable as any. Arguably a part of Montrose, we wanted to draw special attention to Within the span of a few blocks, accessible via sidewalks, Houstonians can find Agora, Common Bond Bakery, Brasil, La Grange, Poison Girl, Select Skate Shop, Rosie Cannonball, and premier vintage outlets.
3. Hyde Park
Nestled between Montrose and River Oaks, Hyde Park is a quaint little grid neighborhood that enables pedestrian access to Westheimer, Shepherd, and Waugh Dr. By foot or by bicycle, citizens have access to Barnaby’s Cafe, The Hot Bagel Shop, Red Lion British Pub, La Guadalupana, Rudyard’s, AL Quick Stop, and more.
Exploring a city on foot is the ultimate way to immerse yourself in its ambiance. Although Houston primarily relies on cars for transportation, 19th Street in the Heights offers the chance to explore in a more traditional manner. As for what to do there, I’ll leave that decision up to you. 19th Street is filled with countless opportunities for you to browse through numerous vintage clothing stores, boutique shops, art galleries, and record shops that have become a staple of the Heights neighborhood.
Debatably the true heart of the city, Downtown, Houston is home to a plethora of office buildings, restaurants, bars, theaters, and cultural attractions. You can easily walk around (granted sufficient endurance) to explore its various districts, like the Historic District, Market Square Park, and Discovery Green.
Some of our favorite spots in the area include La Carafe, Notsuoh, Hearsay Market Square, Frank’s Pizza, and House of Blues Houston. Secret Houston tip: when the heat is on, be sure to take respite in the underground tunnels.
5. Rice University
With tree-lined streets, green spaces, and gorgeous campus architecture, the college campus area is an idyllic setting for cycling, strolling, jogging, and checking out local cafes, eateries, and more. The area is also proximate to Hermann Park and the Museum District. When in the area, be sure to check out the James Turrell’s “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace at sunset.
Just southwest of downtown, Midtown is a bustling Houston neighborhood that buzzes with nightlife, eateries, pocket parks, and more. With easy access to the light rail system, Midtown is also a pedestrian friendly area in Houston dense with awesome local spots in walking distance.
The block between W Alabama St. and Winbern St. alone features pedestrian access to The Breakfast Klub, Home Slice Pizza, The Continental Club, Tacos A Go Go Midtown, Double Trouble Caffeine & Cocktails, and Sig’s Lagoon record shop.
7. East Downtown
The rapidly developing neighborhood affectionately known as “Eado” and called, by at least one publication, the “Art & Soul of the City” has been on the up-and-up the past few years. Now burgeoning with stadiums, breweries, concert venues, and graffiti galleries of street art, the trendy area grants pedestrians ability to traverse the its many charms on foot. Some of East Downtown favorites include Warehouse Live, 8th Wonder Brewery, and Little Woodrow’s.
8. The Museum District
Known as the cultural heart of Houston, The Museum District is exactly what the name suggests: a district populated with Houston museums. In walking distance, you can go on a cultural excursion from the. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Holocaust Museum Houston, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Houston Zoo, and more.
9. Washington Avenue
For the nightcrawlers, Washington Avenue is an embedded with a wide-variety of bars and nightlife destinations in walking distance – negating the need to drive from place to place. Additionally, area pedestrians can find a number of coffee shops – including The Coffee House at West End – as well as cantinas, taquerias, and other restaurants.
10. Rice Military and Memorial Park
Located in the vicinity of various shops, bars, and restaurants, Rice Military is a relatively walkable area in Houston. In the immediate area is Memorial Park, a large urban park stitched together with extensive walking and jogging trails, making it ideal for outdoor enthusiasts.