To make the sheer size of Houston’s 669 square miles more manageable, locals split the city’s regions into ‘inside’ or ‘outside’ the loop of Interstate 610 — a 42-mile ring of freeway which encircles Houston. ‘Inside the loop’ generally encompasses those parts of Houston located inside Loop 610. Areas within this region include:  Downtown, Greater Heights, EaDo, Montrose, River Oaks, The Medical Center, West University, and Bellaire.

The Inner Loop is a mix of urban amenities; residents are drawn here by well-established restaurants and coffee shops with clean, well-maintained sidewalks and cozy, tree-lined streets. Arts and culture dominate the area with Downtown’s Theatre District, Upper Kirby’s art gallery row, and the Museum District’s collection of 19 museums.

To navigate inside the loop, Midtown offers multiple commuting routes for its residents. The city’s MetroRail and new bike lanes are car-free options for both Downtown and Medical District workplace destinations.

Older homes are combined here alongside new construction. Many older house lots are being rejuvenated with modern, larger footprint homes. However, several charming older neighborhoods still exist, and both old and new alternatives boast easier access to Houston’s best attractions.

The educational opportunities abound here, as well. Families attracted to the Inner Loop shouldn’t neglect to investigate magnet school offerings, including the Houston Independent School District’s innovative curriculum for STEM students and the new downtown campus for the nationally acclaimed Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. 

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