Houstonians love the Heights because of its eclectic culture, laid-back attitude and bevy of popular bars and restaurants. It’s also a forward-thinking neighborhood that strikes a balance between old-world charm and modern amenities.
Its allure also extends far beyond the Bayou City.
National Geographic recently tabbed the Heights as one of the friendliest neighborhoods in U.S. cities. It made a list of 28 spots that also includes locales in Austin and El Paso as well as Alaska, California, Florida, Hawaii and New York, among many other places.
“We’re extremely proud of that,” said Emily Guyre, executive director of the Houston Heights Association. “We know that we’re a destination, and we hope it encourages people to come see us and see what we’re about. I think it’s going to increase the amount of people who want to live here, which is always great.”
In its slideshow on nationalgeographic.com, which includes a photo of 19th Street, the magazine said of the Heights: “Mid-century bungalows and turreted Victorian houses draw young couples and singles to walkable The Heights, an older neighborhood a short bike-trail ride north of downtown Houston. Restaurants, many in buildings, specialize in tacos, Vietnamese sandwiches, or Texas brisket (try the new Truth BBQ). Nineteenth Street is lined with quirky coffee shops and local retailers, including AG Antiques, a decor emporium in an old dry goods store. The Art Car Museum exhibits lavishly tricked-out wheels, as well as local and international contemporary artwork.”
To put together its list, National Geographic enlisted Vancouver-based Resonance Consultancy, which combined analytics from more than 200 cities with statistics and user-generated data such as walkability, home affordability, public spaces and the prevalence of third spaces (breweries, cafes restaurants, etc.). Social media and perception data from TripAdvisor and Yelp also were considered.