As a Seattle transplant to Houston, I was a little underwhelmed when I first arrived. Where are the mountains? What’s a girl gotta do to find a decent latte?? But in the last few years, I’ve stumbled across some great websites and blogs that keep up with all of the activities and happenings around town. (I owe my 182-long list of restaurants and bars to try to you, CultureMap.) Here are my favorite sources to hear about what’s going on in Houston.
If you’ve never picked up this magazine at Kroger, add it to your grocery list. It’s full of news and events, restaurant reviews, profiles of local movers-and-shakers, and ideas for things to do in any season. The website’s even better, and their emails give me major FOMO. So much to do, so little time. My favorite recent feature is 101 Great Little Shops, the comprehensive list of Houston’s best local apparel, jewelry, home, and gift shops.
This is my newest favorite Houston-related website. They’re great at scoping out upcoming events and great bars and restaurants. Recent highlights: Houston’s 11 Best Under-the-Radar Burgers, Power-Ranking Houston’s Most Ridiculously Good Bloody Marys, and 12 Things You Must Do in Houston This April. But my favorite is this holy-grail list of 90 Outdoor Drinking Spots in Houston. (Challenge: accepted.)
There’s some overlap between this website and Houstonia Mag, but there’s also a lot of fresh content – restaurants & bars, arts, society, entertainment, sports, fashion, etc. Their “Where to Eat” section is a monthly list of restaurant recs, and we’ve loved a lot of places they’ve featured. Occasionally, I read the local sports news so I can keep up with the conversations on James Harden and Texans trades. Overall, definitely worth bookmarking.
For me, this is the OG for things to do in Houston. I’ve subscribed to their weekly emails of weekend events for the last few years. Recently they started providing daily updates, so there’s even more news about what’s going on – but I mostly stick to the weekend news, because girl’s gotta rest sometime ;). We owe countless fun weekends to 365 Houston – from Greek fests and dog park openings to free shows at Miller Outdoor Theater and pub crawls. (They also frequently link to Goldstar, which is a great source for cheap tickets to plays and concerts.)
I stumbled across Tidbits on Instagram, and now I always read their weekly emails. Part news and reviews, part social diary, and part Groupon-like deals, it’s finally a source of local scoop just for us girls. I really love Tidbits’ profiles of local shop owners and artists. And their local deals are a refreshing alternative to Groupon, which is starting to get bogged down by the same old restaurants and spa deals – I bought a voucher for tea tasting last month, which should be a fun Mother’s Day outing.
Once you own Houston real estate, you’ve got some skin in the game, and it’s worth keeping up with real estate developments in your neighborhood. Even for renters, it’s fun to hear about what’s happening in Houston’s real estate landscape. Living off Washington Ave, we’ve seen a lot of changes and buildings getting dozed, so I enjoy finding out what’s coming to our hood. Plus, the dedicated writers at SwampLot are great at providing updates on the Memorial Park re-design, all of the new stuff going into Buffalo Bayou Park, and the new bike lanes downtown.
Obviously, this is strictly limited to food news, but it’s a wealth of information. My favorite feature is their Heatmap of the top 10-ish restaurants getting the most buzz each month. They also provide great coverage on restaurant/bar openings and closings – here’s the latest for spring 2015. (As a big fan of Downhouse, I’m most excited about the opening of Foreign Correspondents on Main. Can’t.wait.)