Rice's campus is in the heart of a thriving global city. Centrally located to downtown, midtown and the Texas Medical Center, our students easily take advantage of all that Houston has to offer.
Within walking distance of campus, the
Rice Village is a bustling neighborhood of shops and restaurants. It's where students head to browse funky boutiques and name-brand stores, dine on ethnic cuisine, enjoy a smoothie or meander through bookstores. Free
shuttle bus service from campus is available, but most students choose to walk the short distance from campus to the Village. The
Galleria, a few miles from campus, is more than a million square feet of designer stores, boutiques, restaurants and an indoor ice skating rink.
Arts lovers spend their free time in both the downtown
Theater District and the
Museum District, taking in new, avant-garde plays, musicals, concerts, multimedia art shows and world-renowned exhibits. The
Edwards Theatres and
AMC Cinemas nearby provide 54 screens for movie lovers.
Houston is well-known by travelers for its array and preponderance of restaurants. Every ethnicity and price range is available in all areas of town.
Rice Village features dozens of dining and club/pub experiences in all price ranges. If you want ethnic, the Village has French, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Mexican, Spanish, Mediterranean, Vietnamese, Indian and Thai restaurants.
Online listings and reviews of area restaurants:
Shopping opportunities abound in Houston. Rice Village is a lively neighborhood shopping district adjacent to the campus. One of Houston's first shopping areas, the village offers more than 400 stores and restaurants. From familiar names to funky mom-and-pop shops, the village is a place where students can browse through unique import stores, buy a pair of jeans or the latest CD, or linger over a latté at an outdoor cafe. The Village is within walking distance of campus, and a shuttle-bus service is also offered from the university.
The Uptown Houston (Galleria) area is a concentration of upscale, modern hotels, fine restaurants and sophisticated shopping venues. The area's lure is its fabulous shops - such as Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Gucci and Tiffany & Co - but, other diversions include galleries, restaurants and a year-round skating rink. The Galleria Mall is the fourth largest in the nation at 2.4 million square feet. Expanding the shopping and dining options in the area are Highland Village's 50 shops, including Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, Apple and Anthropologie.
Festivals and Events
These popular Houston-area destinations are great places for day trips or weekend fun.
- Galveston Island: A 45-minute drive from Houston, a visit to the island offers 32 miles of Gulf Coast beaches, restaurants, shopping in the historic downtown district, the Texas Seaport Museum and the Tall Ship Elissa.
Guadalupe River: Rent a tube, fill a cooler with snacks and drinks and float down the river for a day of lazy fun, but don't forget the sunscreen!
Houston Premium Outlets: For designer clothes at bargain prices, head northwest of campus to this mega outlet center. Shops include Brooks Brothers, DKNY, Journeys, and Nike.
Kemah Boardwalk: Approximately 20 miles south of downtown, the Kemah Boardwalk is built on the bay and includes restaurants, shops, rides, a hotel and daily events.
Moody Gardens: A tropical destination on Galveston Island that includes an aquarium, a rainforest pyramid, IMAX 3D Theater, 4D Special FX Theater, Palm Beach, Discovery Museum, and Colonel Paddlewheel Boat. Located on Galveston Island next to Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark.
Old Town Spring: Twenty-five miles north of Houston lies this charming collection of shops, restaurants, museums and art galleries, many of them housed in refurbished Victorian homes.
Space Center Houston: Located 25 miles south of downtown, Space Center Houston is the official visitor center of NASA's Johnson Space Center.