If you like to walk, shop, and eat, check out Rice Village, situated equidistant from the university and conference hotel — an eclectic district with numerous coffee, dining, drinking, and shopping venues! Other urban destinations include the Galleria, an impressive shopping and entertainment complex, and the outdoor Highland Village, full of upscale boutiques and eateries.
The museum district boasts a number of world-class institutions, including the Natural History Museum, Houston Museum of Fine Arts, and the Houston Zoo. Don’t forget about the Menil Collection, a gallery space with a lawn perfect for picnicking and the nearby, meditative Rothko Chapel (all free!).
Speaking of outdoor spaces, Hermann Miller Park and golf course are right next to Rice University and the Texas Medical Center. If you want to venture further downtown, Discovery Green is a celebrated urban park, full of art, fountains, and activities (including playgrounds for the little ones).
Houston is a sprawling, diverse city — which means a lot of delicious food and drink options! In Rice Village, check out Local Foods for loaded sandwiches and salads. Benjy’s next door also does a fantastic happy hour.
The quirky and progressive Montrose neighborhood, just north of campus, has a ton of great restaurants, from cheap eats to fine dining. Uchi is a rightly-renowned purveyor of sushi (check out their killer happy hour specials!), Niko Niko and Aladdin offer delicious and affordable Mediterranean, and Barnaby’s and Baby Barnaby’s offer beloved brunch and diner staples. Westheimer Street, a main drag in Montrose, is also lined with bars if you’d like to explore the nightlife in Houston.
There are two coffee shops on campus, one called the Pavilion and the other is a student-run coffee house inside of the RMC Student Center. Please note: Neither venue opens before 7:30am. If you like artisanal coffee, however, you may want to make the quick trip to Siphon (hip, trendy vibes) or Agora (cozy and eclectic).
Please visit Houston’s official visitors website for more information on exciting attractions!