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A few free hours in Houston

new york
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A few free hours in Houston

Hi all. Two of us are attending a course/conference in Houston in May at the Texas Children's Hospital. We will only have a few free hours each evening because the course gets over at 5:30 pm.

We are thinking of staying at the Holiday Inn Express near the medical center or Hilton Medical Center due to the proximity to the hospital. Is there an area close by that would be good for a little walking/exploring/dinner in the evenings?

I would like to see a little bit of Houston but with the limited hours, not sure where to look. Would Rice Village be a good area to walk in the evening?

Would you recommend that we consider staying in a different area? There were some good rates for downtown hotels, but then we would rely on cabs to the medical center each day. We are on a budget and hoping not to go over the $130/night that we would pay near the medical center.

Any and all advice is welcome.

Thanks a lot.

Houston, TX
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1. Re: A few free hours in Houston

The Rice University campus, about 1 mile wide by 2 miles long (east to west) is a 5 minute walk north of the MC Hilton, and has a perimeter path that is great for walking or jogging morning or evening. Walking through the middle of the campus is also a pleasant route. The Rice Village shopping area is 1/4 mile west of the western edge of the campus, and has many choices for food, drink and shopping. Rice University also has quite a nice large university library, Fondren Library, which visitors may use freely just be signing in at eastern entrance. The library is approximately in the middle of the campus, and can also easily be found by asking any student you walk by while still looking for it.

Immediately to the east of the Rice University campus on the other side of South Main Street is Herman Park, a large public park with a Zoo and further to the north a nice Rose Garden and a couple of Museums. Just outside the northwestern corner of Herman Park is Hotel Za Za, which has several eating and drinking options from mid range to higher end.

The Medical Center area can also be reached by public light rail transit (Houston Metro Red Line, www.ridemetro.org) from Center City Houston should you want to either stay there or visit one evening. The Medical Center portion runs along South Main through the midst of the Medical Center and onwards south. The fare is $1.25 and each stop on the light rail line has a ticket machine that takes cash and credit cards.

Google Maps or Google Earth can give you a quick visual orientation of the above descripton.

Houston, TX
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2. Re: A few free hours in Houston

Great post Jackta! The only thing I could possibly add is to expand that the Rice Village has some great restaurants as well as some eclectic shopping which can be interesting without needing to buy.

new york
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3. Re: A few free hours in Houston

Thanks very much for the suggestions.

When I visit cities, I enjoy walking through different neighborhoods and taking pictures of interesting architecture or landscapes. Any areas or streets that I shouldn't miss?

Thanks again

Houston, Texas
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4. Re: A few free hours in Houston

Hi,

The Rice Village area,itself, has some great older homes, and cottages. This time of year,our azaleas are blooming, and the massive oak trees that canopy some of the streets, make for great photos.

Rice Village is great for walking around on a nice day; shopping lunch, or sitting on a patio for a drink.

http://www.ricevillageonline.com/

Speaking of canopies, Canopy is a great place for dinner; eclectic, great food and comfortable, with a great staff. It's not in Rice Village,but not far away,and one of our new favorites:

http://www.canopyhouston.com/Canopy/

the main photo on their website must be an older one, as the decor is much cozier and nicely decorated.

Hope you all enjoy Houston!

cc,

cupcake

new york
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5. Re: A few free hours in Houston

Thanks a lot. Here's hoping the conference ends early each day!

QOE
Houston, Texas
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6. Re: A few free hours in Houston

Just to add to the excellent advice already offered, Metrorail goes downtown from the Medical Center and downtown offers some excellent dining options as well as entertainment: Houston has some of the best theater and musical entertainment around and downtown now offers a Sundance Theater for first run movies.

Downtown dining options include The Strip House, House of Blues, Massa's, McCormick & Schmick's, Morton's, Vic and Anthony's and Spaghetti Warehouse just to name a few.

I highly recommend Rice Village and the University area as a good place for dining, shopping and walking. It's unfortunate that you won't be free before 5:30 pm since most of our museums and the zoo close about that time.

Hope you have a great visit!

new york
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7. Re: A few free hours in Houston

Thanks!

8. Re: A few free hours in Houston

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