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Neighborhood Guide: Washington Avenue - Memorial Park, Houston

By: Miyan Benita
July 2, 2019

Living in Washington Avenue - Memorial Park

Ask locals where they love to explore and play in Houston, and they will likely say the area encompassing Washington Avenue to Memorial Park. With a wealth of restaurants, bars, and amenities to choose from, this large neighborhood is a wonderful place to call home. Looking to make a fresh start and move to this bustling Houston neighborhood? Here’s your guide to everything you need to know before moving to Washington Avenue - Memorial Park, Houston.

Know the History

The Washington Avenue and Memorial Park area is a super neighborhood that expands to the western edge of downtown Houston. Once home to a World War I training camp for U.S. Army soldiers, Memorial Park is now a 1,500-acre park. Here you’ll find popular Houston tourist destinations, like the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center. 

By the early 2000s, Washington Avenue was a busting distribution hub and a staple of Houston's economy. Today it's become a trendy spot featuring lively restaurants, bars, and nightlife. It’s one of Houston’s go-to hot spots for the late-night crowd.  

Look to the Future

Washington Avenue's reputation as a Houston Inner Loop destination is facing a new resurgence of development. This includes thousands of apartment units, mixed-use developments, and retail space. The Memorial Park area is also looking at new renovations, thanks to a $70 million gift from the Kinder Foundation.  New additions will include trail systems, a 5-acre lake area, running complex, recreational fields and more. If you want to live in a neighborhood that's constantly growing and developing, this is the place for you. 

Find a Washington Ave - Memorial Park Apartment

Single-family homes, large apartment complexes, and townhouses encompass the area. Expect modern amenities and newly renovated options with swimming pools, clubhouses, and more. Although the neighborhood is welcoming to a variety of ages, Washington Avenue - Memorial Park draws mostly young professionals. Residents here enjoy a mix of suburban sensibilities with urban amenities like bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and green space. You’ll find all of that and more in this neighborhood. Want to find your next home? Check our listings to find a Washington Avenue - Memorial Park apartment. 

Consider the Kids

The Washington Avenue - Memorial Park area is a wonderful place to raise kids. The neighborhood has a quality mix of public and private schools. The big draw for families in the neighborhood is Memorial Park. The playground constantly has kids running around and you’ll see plenty of family bike rides going on. A trip to Memorial Park isn't complete without a visit to the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center. Take the Inner Loop Trail where turtles delight kids at Meadow Pond. There's even a sensory garden to help children make the most out of their garden adventure.

Join a Festival

The stretch encompassing Washington Ave and Memorial Park is prime for year-round festivals that draw locals from around the city. Look for events like the annual Bayou City Art Festival where locals come out to support local artists and non-profits. You'll also find plenty of community picnics and corporate runs. 

The Urban Wild Bridge Bash is always a great time with live entertainment and food, and other family-friendly options. And there’s always something going on along Washington Avenue with events at bars, restaurants, and shops. Gather the neighbors and take a walk to see what you find. If you want to live in a neighborhood that always has something going on, you can’t go wrong here. 

Getting around the Neighborhood

You can get around Washington Ave - Memorial Park by public bus, light rail, and taxis. The neighborhood is pretty walkable as well. Stop by the bars, boutiques, restaurants, and bakeries to get to know the locals and savor the flavors of the neighborhood. You can also buy a one-way fare, day pass, or monthly membership on the Wave to get around the Washington Corridor and other Houston neighborhoods, sports venues, concerts, and events.

Things to Do in Washington Avenue - Memorial Park, Houston

New to the neighborhood and looking for some things to do? Here are the first things to check out in the neighborhood. 

Explore Memorial Park

As one of the largest urban parks in the United States, Memorial Park features miles of hiking trails, a golf course, indoor fitness and swimming center, playgrounds, recreational areas like tennis and baseball fields, and more. You can spend the day here and meet the locals or take a run before grabbing some lunch. Look for the food trucks near the Eastern Glades at the entrance to Picnic Loop and enjoy a picnic at the park.

Go on a Pub Crawl

Washington Ave/Memorial Park is a family-friendly, walkable neighborhood but still offers plenty of watering holes to choose from. Go on a pub crawl and explore the area with your new neighbors. Make your way up the Washington Ave corridor and stop at some local hot spots. Beer Market Co, Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co., Underdogs Sports Pub, Porch Swing Pub, are all a cant-miss. There’s no shortage of places to try, making a pub crawl an easy go-to for unwinding after work and having some fun with the neighbors. 

Stop by the Art Car Museum

Known as the "Garage Mahal," the Art Car Museum in Houston was founded in 1998 and showcases art cars that are rarely ever acknowledged by other cultural institutions. The art gallery is on the small side but features an impressive collection of cars. Locals also come out for the Houston Art Car Parade, World Art Car Day, and other events celebrating the community and all things cars. If you have no idea what an art car is, definitely swing by this museum. You’ll be in awe.

Tour the Beer Can House

Have you ever wondered what a house adorned with tens of thousands of beer looks like? Probably not, but come and see it for yourself at the Beer Can House. Ripley's Believe It or Not states that over 50,000 cans make up this fascinating monument. The house started in 1968 when retired Southern Pacific Railroad upholster John Milkovisch began adding thousands of marbles, rocks, and metal pieces into the concrete around his property. He then turned to his own home and started adding aluminum beer can siding, creating a monument to all things beer and recycling.

Shop the Silos at Sawyer Yards

Once part of the Riviana complex, the iconic silo buildings at Sawyer Yards now features 97 workspaces for over 100 artists. Creative entrepreneurs gather at the office space, set up retail space to sell their stock, and open their doors for gallery viewings. Keep an eye out for area events like art benefits, brunch events, and gallery openings at the Silos at Sawyer Yards.

Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens

Just a stone's throw from the Washington Ave/Memorial Park neighborhood in Houston, the Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens houses American decorative arts and paintings. Situated inside the home of Houston civic leader Ima Hogg, visitors can take a tour of a pristine collection of American furnishings, ceramics, paintings, and silver. The beautiful grounds, flowers, and landscape are also a reminder that Houston's urban center has a softer side.

Brenners on the Bayou via Instagram

Where to Eat and Drink in Washington Avenue - Memorial Park, Houston

Looking for some of the best bites in the neighborhood? We’ve got you covered. Here are some of our favorite restaurants in the Washington Avenue - Memorial Park neighborhood. 

Brenner’s on the Bayou

Head to Brenner’s on the Bayou to enjoy a top-notch, elegant meal at a true steakhouse. Brenner’s is tucked away in a private oasis and nestled atop a gorgeous green hill. You’ll find a pristine dining room and a beautiful outdoor patio, making this place ideal for a romantic date night. For dinner, you have an array of steaks to choose from. Options range from 6-oz. filet mignon to the 22-oz. prime bone-in ribeye. Have no doubt they will cook your steak to perfection at Brenner’s. 

If you aren’t in the mood for steak, worry not. The Gulf Red Snapper, Shrimp Scampi or the Chicken Schnitzel are all heavenly options. If you visit during the week for an early dinner, you can enjoy their Happy Hour Monday-Thursday from 5-7. They have drink specials like $8 cocktails and martinis, $7 glasses of wine and $4 craft beers. A meal at Brenner’s is an unforgettable dining experience. 

Liberty Station

Liberty Station is a unique hangout spot. This old gas station has now been transformed into a cool neighborhood bar. They have a giant covered outdoor patio with communal games like giant Jenga, foosball, and cornhole. It’s a locals-favorite watering hole where craft beer and delicious cocktails are the main attractions. During happy hour (Mon-Thurs 4-7, Fri 2-7 and weekends 12-7) you can get any draft beer for $3.50 and $1 off all cocktails. While there isn’t an on-site kitchen, there are rotating food trucks parked out front all week. Swing by for Mingo’s Latin Kitchen on Mondays and Taco Nuts on Thursdays. Grab some grub and park yourself outside to chill and make some new friends.

The Union Kitchen  

Union Kitchen is a farm-to-table style restaurant that you must try in Houston. It’s located on the ground floor of a shiny, new luxury apartment building. The building boasts floor-to-ceiling windows for bright, natural light. The vibe is casual with an upscale twist. They specialize in American dishes alongside garden-inspired cocktails. They grow their own mint, thyme, and basil onsite to elevate the freshness even further. Brick oven pizzas, pasta, seafood and American classics like burgers and salads are what you will find on the menu. Tantalize your taste buds with one of their unique cocktails like the Honeydew which incorporates thyme, lemon juice, honey, and whiskey. Another local favorite is The Autumn Breeze, which is fresh mint, lemongrass, lemon juice, simple syrup, gin, sprite, and soda water. 

Ready to make Washington Avenue - Memorial Park your new home? Find an apartment situated in the neighborhood here.

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AUTHOR
Miyan is a digital marketing specialist from Dallas, TX. She holds a BA in Mass Communication from Texas State University and has previously managed the website and social media accounts for a major home decor retailer, At Home Stores. Read More
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