Inside the Loop
When Houstonians talk about living “inside the loop,” they’re referring to the area in Houston that’s located within the bounds of the 610 freeway (the 610 loops around the city’s core districts, hence the name). The neighborhoods in the inner loop area are among the most sought-after places to live in the region and with good reason: the location is simply unparalleled. When you live inside the loop you have easy access to Downtown Houston, the Texas Medical Center, the Museum District, an abundance of shopping, dining and entertainment options, and more.
If you want to be close to the best things that Houston has to offer, then you definitely want to take a look at real estate inside the loop. The area is composed of a wide variety of neighborhoods, each with its own unique flavor and history, so you’ll have an array of housing options to choose from.
A Sampling of Inner Loop Neighborhoods
There isn’t enough room here to detail all of the neighborhoods inside the loop, but here’s a sampling that should give you a good idea of what the area has to offer:
- The Heights. Situated north of Downtown, this collection of neighborhoods is brimming over with historic charm and a dynamic energy that comes from its fairly recent revitalization. Late Victorian and turn-of-the-century homes abound here and the Heights has the feel of a small town, with its eclectic selection of independently owned shops and restaurants and pedestrian-friendly vibe.
- Downtown. The city’s Central Business District, Downtown is the place to be if you want to live right in the heart of the action. Encompassing an area of over 1,000 acres, Downtown is composed of distinct districts and everything is linked together by a comprehensive skywalk and tunnel system. Here there are historic areas, new mixed-use developments, one of the world’s largest theater districts, colleges and universities, the offices of thousands of companies, and more. Condos and lofts predominate and there are townhome options as well.
- Midtown. Just south of Downtown, Midtown has the former’s skyscrapers as a backdrop and is also just minutes away from the Museum District and the Texas Medical Center. A supremely walkable neighborhood, it has been drawing a great deal of interest in recent years, particularly among buyers in the market for urban living options. There are now quite a few restaurants and boutiques here as well as numerous art venues and galleries.
- Montrose. This area of around four square miles is one of Houston’s oldest neighborhoods as well as its most diverse. Vibrant, colorful and still a little offbeat, the American Planning Association named this former streetcar suburb one of the ten “Great Neighborhoods” in the country in 2009. Here you’ll find historic districts, one-of-a-kind shops and restaurants, cultural institutions, and more. Real estate is incredibly varied, from bungalows and turn-of-the-century homes to new townhomes and lofts.
- West University. Popularly known as West U, West University Place is actually a city in itself and is so named because it’s located west of Rice University. This serene, family-oriented community is predominantly residential and its housing stock is composed mostly of single-family homes. Most of West U’s commercial and retail spaces are concentrated in the Rice Village Shopping Center, one of Houston’s favorite shopping destinations.
- Bellaire. Like neighboring West University Place, Bellaire is its own city and comprise 3.6 square miles. It’s actually located inside and outside the loop, since the 610 winds through it. The city is mostly residential, with tree-lined neighborhoods populated by single-family homes on spacious lots.
- River Oaks. This prestigious neighborhood right in the heart of Houston is a luxurious enclave of elegant mansions and estates set far back along broad, tree-shaded boulevards. Founded in the 1920s, it is arguably Houston’s most exclusive neighborhood and regularly ranks among the richest and most expensive neighborhoods in the country.
Certain information contained herein is derived from information which is the property of, and copyrighted by, Houston REALTORS® Information Service, Inc. All information provided is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. IDX information is provided exclusively for consumers' personal, non-commercial use. This information may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing.