Local Area

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Local Area


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4 Recent Alumnus

Local Area: Rice is next to the historic district, museum district, and metro line. There is also a lot of interesting restaurants and (slightly expensive) shops in the Rice village (which is kinda in walking distance from campus).

4 College Freshman

Local Area: As a pre-med nerd, I get excited seeing the vast greatness of the Texas Medical Center and the museums of Houston from my residential college. Rice students tend to stay on campus though. Everything I need like food, friends, work and fun are all on campus, so I don't feel the urge to explore the local area very often.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Local Area: With the world's largest medical center, a thriving museum district, a gorgeous shopping mall, an enormous park complete with a theatre, zoo, science center and golf course AND the metro rail all literally bordering campus, Rice's location can't be beat. The Texas Med Center conducts amazing research and has killer internship opportunities, there are over 20 museums/galleries within walking distance of campus, Rice Village has a great selection of stores and restaurants, Hermann Park is stunningly beautiful with loads of attractions and Rice pays for public transportation around Houston. It is an absolutely ideal environment for a college campus, I cannot imagine a better one.

The area around campus is also incredibly safe, even when walking back from Whattaburger at 2am. It is in a protected and affluent part of Houston.

6 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Local Area: Rice University is right by Rice Village, which is a very nice area of Houston. Restaurants and shopping are convenient, especially on weekends if you take the shuttle.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Local Area: Houston is a surprisingly (for me, coming from California where I knew nothing about Texas) vibrant city with many opportunities for students: great food, Hermann Park right beside campus, and many museums and other attractions very close to campus. Public transportation is not great, basically consisting of one light rail line, but this has two stops at campus and leads downtown. Uber or Zipcar are generally used for trips to destinations not reachable by rail.

5 people found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States, and the urban sprawl, heavy traffic, and air pollution can be very intimidating at first. However, there are amazing advantages to living in a large city. Many Rice students acknowledge that the social life on campus is enough to keep students busy without needing to look beyond the Rice hedges for entertainment. However, outside of the Rice bubble ("over the hedges"), there is a world of diverse cultural and social opportunities to explore. Be sure to make time to experience the plethora of restaurants, museums, theaters, clubs, bars, sports teams, concerts, and everything else that Houston has to offer. While there are definitely areas of town that should be avoided late at night or when you are alone, students say that you only need to use common sense and exercise caution to guarantee your safety.

Overall, Houston is a fairly happening place for a young person to live. Go off the beaten path of typical Rice hangouts and discover your own. If nothing else, you can keep things interesting by dining at a different restaurant every time you go out, and you probably won’t run out of options before you graduate!

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
Each spring, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo comes to town and attracts a large following. Ranchers from across the state ride into town on their horse and carriages, often riding on the shoulder of Houston highways!
Notable Natives
  • Wes Anderson - director
  • Clint Black - country musician
  • Hilary Duff - actress
  • Howard Hughes - business magnate
  • BeyoncĂ© Knowles - pop star, actress
  • Tara Lipinski - Olympic figure skater
  • Jim Parsons - actor ("Big Bang Theory")
  • Patrick Swayze - actor
  • Renee Zellweger - actress
Local Slang
  • H-Town: Houston
  • The Loop: Refers to 610 Highway
Points of Interest
  • Alley Theatre
  • Bayou Place
  • Children's Museum of Houston
  • Cockrell Butterfly Center
  • Downtown underground city
  • Galveston Beach
  • George R. Brown Convention Center
  • The Health Museum
  • Hermann Park Conservancy
  • The Houston Museum of Natural Science
  • Houston Zoo
  • Jones Hall for the Performing Arts
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH)
  • NASA
  • Reliant Astrodome
  • San Jacinto Battleground
  • Space Center Houston
  • Wortham Theater Center
Shopping Centers
  • Houston Galleria
  • Memorial City Mall
  • Rice Village
Movie Theaters
AMC Studio 30
2949 Dunvale
(888) AMC-4FUN
Movie Theaters
Edwards Grand Palace Stadium 24
3839 Weslayan St.
(713) 871-8880
Major Sports Teams
  • Aeros: American Hockey League
  • Dynamos: MLS (soccer)
  • Houston Astros: MLB
  • Houston Rockets: NBA
  • Houston Texans: NFL
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Dallas: : 4 hours
  • New Orleans: : 6 hours
Did You Know?
Houston was ranked by Kiplinger as the number-one place to live, work, and play in America.

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 57 responses

Very poor
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 60 responses

  • 78% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.
  • 2% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 0% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 20% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 0% Painfully remote.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 59 responses

  • 19% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.
  • 81% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 0% There aren't any nearby schools.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 59 responses

  • 31% Totally.
  • 59% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 10% No way.



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