As a freshman from Jacksonville, Florida, the city of Houston and the state of Texas are completely new places to me. In the beginning, I had no idea what grocery stores people shopped at, which places had the best food, or where I could grab the tastiest coffee to brighten my morning. Not to mention, I don’t have a car at Rice — but that doesn’t keep me confined to the Rice campus, and over the fall semester, I have scouted out the best bikeable and walkable places near Rice’s campus.
- Hermann Medical Plaza:This area is a great place to go to if you need quick necessities from a Walgreens, or a cup of coffee from Starbucks. Located right across from the South colleges, Hermann Medical Plaza is full of different stores and food chains to satisfy a college student. And if you walk a block farther, you could easily grab a meal at Chipotle or a smoothie from my personal favorite place, The Fresh Factor.
- Hermann Parkis the perfect place to take a chill day and enjoy the natural wonders of Houston. On a warm, sunny day, there are so many fun, cheap activities to do in Hermann Park; you could never get bored. Like to work out? There are plenty of running trails and bike routes, for every fitness level. Or visit the zoo! Every Rice student gets free admission. Also, on any given weekend, you could spend a day paddle boating on the lake and grab a scrumptious grilled cheese from the grilled cheese shack afterwards.
- Rice Village!Every prospective student should know about Rice Village and its wonderful stores and restaurants. Only a 10-15 minute walk from the North and South colleges, Rice Village has every type of store a college student needs to survive. Craving some French pastries? Rice Village has not one, but two wonderful crepe restaurants with both savory and sweet delights to brighten anyone’s day. Want a nice off-campus place to study? Go to the Starbucks of Boba Tea House in Rice Village to assuage a stressful study day. What aboutSaturday nights, when you need an off-campus meal? Fear not: there are plenty of restaurants to make even the pickiest of eaters happy. Also, there are numerous stores and boutiques for shopping if you are focused on that. Urban Outfitters or Gap, among many other stores, will provide all the latest trends you need for college life.
Overall, it is easy to be connected to the areas of Houston around Rice! As we Rice students know, there is no need to worry about branching out of campus life and exploring the wonderful city we live in.